Manasquan River GC enlisted a member’s dock and chartered a 45-foot pirate ship to take 35 members out to sea on the Manasquan River.
When the Manasquan River Golf Club of Brielle, N.J., decided to showcase its waterfront property last summer, members and staff set sail on the high seas—or in this case, the central New Jersey waterway—via a Pirate River Cruise.
“We are a traditional golf club and not a country club,” explains General Manager of Clubhouse Operations Ryan Brennan. “We don’t like to disturb golf rounds and very rarely host any food-and-beverage events on the golf course.”
Because the back nine of the club’s golf course sits on the banks of the Manasquan River, the club opted to maximize the view by planning a river cruise with the help of its membership.
|THE GOAL: Offer a member event that takes advantage of Manasquan River GC’s waterfront vistas, but didn’t interrupt golf rounds.
THE PLAN: Enlist a member’s dock and charter a 45-foot pirate ship to take 35 members out to sea on the Manasquan River. The maiden voyage incorporated craft-rum cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, with steel-drum players adding to the ambiance, and by the journey’s end, members “walked the plank” to disembark at the club for a three-course dinner.
THE PAYOFF: A festive, unique event that allowed members to appreciate their club from a different perspective.
“While the club doesn’t have any boat slips or docks, we utilized one of our member’s docks whose house sits to the right of our twelfth green,” Brennan notes.
A boat was chartered for July 22, 2017—a date specifically selected to ensure a high tide—and plans for the maiden member voyage got underway.
To stir up interest among its membership, the event was included on Manasquan River’s social calendar and mailed out in March. A limited number of tickets were available, due to the boat’s size, and the event sold out to 35 members before an event flyer could even be created.
For $100 per seat, passengers were treated to a two-hour cruise, cocktails aboard the boat, and a three-course dinner back at the club.
Playing up the pirate motif, the ship was decked out in pirate-themed flags and equipped with water cannons that members used to “shoot” oncoming wave runners, in the spirit of fun. “Captain John’s boat is as authentic a pirate ship as you are going to get,” notes Brennan of the 1961 45-foot Custom Var pirate ship that was chartered.
Staff onboard included Brennan, along with a bartender, cook and server. Craft-rum cocktails and hors d’oeuvres of shrimp cocktail with mango salsa, prosciutto-wrapped melon and plantain tacos with black bean relish provided sustenance, while steel-drum players added to the festive mood.
After heading back to shore, members were required to “walk the plank” back to the golf course, where they feasted on a three-course dinner of seared scallops, grilled skirt steak and a trio of sweet treats under the stars on the back nine.
Ryan was enthused by members’ post-cruise feedback. “They were especially excited to see their golf course from a new vantage point,” he says.