Baltusrol Golf Club

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Baltusrol Golf Club
Baltusrol Golf Club during PGA Championship.jpg
Clubhouse during the 2005 PGA Championship
Club information
Location Springfield, New Jersey
Established 1895, 121 years ago
Type Private
Total holes 36
Website Baltusrol.org
Lower Course
Designed by A. W. Tillinghast
Par 72  (70 for majors)
Length 7,400 yards (6,767 m)
Course rating 76.2
Slope rating 146[1]
Upper Course
Designed by A. W. Tillinghast
Par 72
Length 7,348 yards (6,719 m)
Course rating 75.9
Slope rating 151[2]
Baltusrol Golf Club
Baltusrol Golf Club is located in Union County, New Jersey
Baltusrol Golf Club
Baltusrol Golf Club
Baltusrol Golf Club is located in New Jersey
Baltusrol Golf Club
Baltusrol Golf Club
Baltusrol Golf Club is located in USA
Baltusrol Golf Club
Baltusrol Golf Club
Location 201 Shunpike Road, Springfield, New Jersey
Coordinates 40°42′18″N 74°19′41″W / 40.70500°N 74.32806°W / 40.70500; -74.32806Coordinates: 40°42′18″N 74°19′41″W / 40.70500°N 74.32806°W / 40.70500; -74.32806
Area 474 acres (192 ha)
Built

1909: Clubhouse

1918–26: Courses
Architect

Clubhouse: Chester H. Kirk

Courses: A. W. Tillinghast
Architectural style Tudor Revival
NRHP Reference # 05000374[3]
NJRHP # 4233[4]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP May 6, 2005
Designated NHLD August 25, 2014
Designated NJRHP March 17, 2005

The Baltusrol Golf Club is a private 36-hole golf club in Springfield, New Jersey, about 20 miles (30 km) west of New York City. It was founded 121 years ago in 1895 by Louis Keller.

In 1985, Baltusrol became the first club to have hosted both the U.S. Open and Women's U.S. Open on two different courses. Both courses were originally designed by A. W. Tillinghast in 1918. Among the many major tournaments it has hosted the club was the site of seven U.S. Opens and the 2005 and 2016 PGA Championships.

In 2005, the club was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[5] In 2014, it was further designated a National Historic Landmark in recognition of its importance to Tillinghast's career as a course designer.[6]

History[edit]

Baltusrol Golf Club was named after Baltus Roll (1769–1831), who farmed the land on which the club resides today.[7][8] In 1831, he was murdered at age 61 on February 22 by two thieves who believed that he had hidden a small treasure in his farmhouse on Baltusrol mountain. Two men, Peter B. Davis and Lycidias Baldwin, were suspected of the murder. Baldwin fled to a tavern in Morristown where he killed himself with an apparent overdose of narcotics. Davis was apprehended and stood trial in Newark. Despite overwhelming but circumstantial evidence, much of which the trial judge ruled as inadmissible, Davis was acquitted of murder. He was, however, convicted of forgery and sentenced to 24 years in prison and would later die in Trenton State Prison.

The land was purchased in the 1890s by Louis Keller, who was the publisher of the New York Social Register. He owned 500 acres (2.0 km2) of land in Springfield Township. On October 19, 1895, Keller announced that the Baltusrol Golf Club would open. The club's original 9-hole course was designed by George Hunter in 1895, and expanded to 18 holes in 1898. This course, which is called the Old Course, was further modified by George Low and no longer exists.

Keller hired A. W. Tillinghast to build a second golf course to complement the Old Course. However, Tillinghast recommended that the Old Course be plowed over and he would design and build two new courses. The club approved his design recommendation and commenced construction of the Upper and Lower courses in 1918. In August 1919, Golf Illustrated declared that "what they are planning at Baltusrol is on a vaster scale than anything that has ever been attempted in American Golf for the opening of the Dual Courses." The Dual Courses, or Upper and Lower, would be the first contiguous 36-hole design built in America. Both courses officially opened for play in June 1922. In the years following their opening, refinements were made to prepare these courses for National Championship play. The first national championship held on the Lower was the 1926 United States Amateur. The first national championship on the Upper was the U.S. Open in 1936. Tillinghast served as the club's architect until his death in 1942.

In 1948, Robert Trent Jones was retained to update and lengthen the Lower course for tournament play. The Lower course was lengthened again by his son Rees Jones in 1992 in preparation for the U.S. Open in 1993. He also updated and lengthened the Upper course in advance of the 2000 U.S. Amateur. On both the Lower and Upper courses, Jones and his senior designer Steve Weisser reinstated and restored various Tillinghast design features which had been lost over the years. Some famous golfers to win tournaments at Baltusrol include Ed Furgol, Mickey Wright, Jack Nicklaus, Lee Janzen, and Phil Mickelson. In 1995, Golf Magazine recognized Baltusrol as one of "The First 100 Clubs in America." Up until the latter part of the 20th Century, blacks and Jews were prohibited from membership. Richard M. Nixon resigned from the club, after the Newark Star Ledger published this following his 1968 Republican Party Presidential candidate nomination.

Clubhouse[edit]

In March 1909, the original clubhouse burned down.[9] That same year, a new clubhouse was quickly designed by Chester Hugh Kirk, a member of the golf club, in a Tudor revival style and construction begun in June.[5]

In 1912, it became the first clubhouse to host a President of the United States, William Howard Taft.[10]

Tournaments hosted[edit]

In its history, Baltusrol has hosted 15 USGA-sponsored championships and two PGA Championships. It has hosted the U.S. Open seven times, in 1903, 1915, 1936, 1954, 1967, 1980, and 1993. It has hosted the U.S. Amateur Championship four times, in 1904, 1926, 1946, and 2000. It has hosted the U.S. Women's Open twice, in 1961 and 1985, and the U.S. Women's Amateur twice, in 1901 and 1911. The 2005 PGA Championship was Baltusrol's first time hosting a PGA Championship, and it returned in 2016.

Year Tournament Course Winner Winning Score Winner's
share ($)
2016 PGA Championship (2) Lower Course United States Jimmy Walker 266 (-14) 1,890,000
2005 PGA Championship Lower Course United States Phil Mickelson 276 (-4) 1,170,000
2000 U.S. Amateur (4) Medal play – Both
Match play – Upper
United States Jeff Quinney 39th Hole N/A
1993 U.S. Open (7) Lower Course United States Lee Janzen 272 (-8) 290,000
1985 U.S. Women's Open (2) Upper Course United States Kathy Baker 280 (-8) 41,975
1980 U.S. Open Lower Course United States Jack Nicklaus 272 (-8) 55,000
1967 U.S. Open Lower Course United States Jack Nicklaus 275 (-5) 30,000
1961 U.S. Women's Open Lower Course United States Mickey Wright 293 (+5) 1,800
1954 U.S. Open Lower Course United States Ed Furgol 284 (+4) 6,000
1946 U.S. Amateur Lower Course United States Ted Bishop 37th Hole N/A
1936 U.S. Open Upper Course United States Tony Manero 282 (-6) 1,000
1926 U.S. Amateur Lower Course United States George Von Elm 2 & 1 N/A
1915 U.S. Open Old Course United States Jerome Travers (a) 297 (+1) (300)
1911 U.S. Women's Amateur (2) Old Course United States Margaret Curtis 5 & 3 N/A
1904 U.S. Amateur Old Course United States Chandler Egan 8 & 6 N/A
1903 U.S. Open Old Course Scotland Willie Anderson 307 200
1901 U.S. Women's Amateur Old Course United States Genevieve Hecker 5 & 3 N/A

Source:[11]
Bolded years are major championships on the PGA Tour

Course information[edit]

The Upper and Lower courses are very different, being built on two distinct geological formations.[12] Tillinghast designed them as "Dual Courses" which were to be "equally sought after as a matter of preference."[13] The Lower is spread out over rolling parkland, the remains of a terminal moraine deposited during the last glaciation about 18,000 years ago. The Upper runs along a ridge line known as Baltusrol Mountain, the east side of the First Watchung Mountain (Orange Mountain) that was formed from vast lava flows about 200 million years ago.[12][14][15] Both courses have ponds and other man-made and natural hazards that come into play. On the Lower Course, the 4th hole and the 18th hole have ponds, and on the Upper Course, the 9th and the 13th holes have ponds. The 10th, 13th, and 15th holes have creeks in play. As of 2010, Baltusrol Golf Club holds the distinction of being the only two-course club to ever host both the U.S. Men's and Women's Open Championships on both of its courses.[16]

Lower Course[edit]

The Lower course from the black tees measures 7,400 yards (6,767 m) and is a par 72, but for the 2005 PGA Championship, the course measured 7,392 yards (6,759 m) and was par 70. From the blue tees the course measures 7,015 yards (6,415 m) and is par 72. From the green tees the course measures 6,652 yards and is par 72. From the white tees the course measures 6,325 yards (5,784 m) and is par 72. From the red tees the course measures 5,539 yards (5,065 m) and is par 73. In its listing of the "Top 100 Courses in the U.S.", GOLF Magazine selected the Lower Course as 22nd in 1995, 1997, and 1999.

The three signature holes of the Lower Course are the fourth, a par three of 194 yards (177 m) where the player must hit his or her ball over the pond to a two-tiered green; the seventeenth, a par five of 650 yards (590 m) where John Daly is the only player to ever reach the green in two strokes (later, Tiger Woods fired his second shot over the green in two shots at the 2005 PGA Championship); and the eighteenth, a par five of 533 yards (487 m) famous for spectacular performances by Furgol, Nicklaus, Mickelson and Jason Day.

Lower Course
Tee Rating/Slope 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Out 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 In Total
Par 5 4 4 3 4 4 5 4 3 36 4 4 3 4 4 4 3 5 5 36 72
Championship 76 / 147 478 378 503 199 424 482 503 374 211 3,552 464 444 219 432 430 429 230 647 553 3,848 7,400
Tillinghast 74.4 / 143 478 371 451 186 395 465 500 374 205 3,425 444 422 202 401 406 415 210 570 520 3,590 7,015
Baltusrol 72.8 / 140 470 362 436 143 375 420 494 360 189 3,249 437 408 188 374 379 383 180 543 511 3,403 6,652
Club 71.4 / 135 456 350 405 130 352 408 465 350 175 3,091 416 397 155 364 370 370 160 525 477 3,234 6,325
Handicap 11 7 1 17 3 5 13 9 15 2 4 16 12 14 8 18 6 10
Curtis 73.7 / 137 453 300 324 101 282 406 461 342 136 2,805 317 315 151 312 329 325 325 114 448 423 2,734
Par Curtis 5 4 4 3 4 5 5 4 3 37 4 4 3 4 4 4 3 5 5 36 73
Handicap Curtis 5 9 3 15 7 13 11 1 17 16 10 14 8 12 6 18 2 4

Upper Course[edit]

From the black tees the Upper course is a par 72, 7,348 yards (6,719 m), blue tees par 72, 7,002 yards (6,403 m), green tees par 72, 6,558 yards (5,997 m), white tees par 72, 6,232 yards (5,699 m), red tees par 73, 5,819 yards (5,321 m), gold tees par 73, 5,540 yards (5,070 m). The Upper Course has hosted three of the club's national championship including the 1936 U.S. Open.[17] GOLF Magazine's "Top 100 Courses in the U.S." selected the Upper Course 89th in 1997 and 74th in 1999.

Upper Course
Tee Rating/Slope 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Out 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 In Total
Par 5 4 3 4 4 4 3 5 4 36 3 5 4 4 4 3 4 5 4 36 72
Championship 75.9 / 151 490 463 225 445 452 443 252 550 356 3,676 166 618 359 425 400 173 447 595 489 3,672 7,348
Tillinghast 74.7 / 147 485 433 193 412 423 423 225 541 345 3,480 156 596 348 398 395 162 437 571 459 3,522 7,002
Baltusrol 72.5 / 142 468 404 165 395 400 407 192 518 323 3,272 149 540 333 385 372 144 397 523 443 3,286 6,558
Club 70.7 / 140 451 388 160 376 384 372 176 493 288 3,088 138 540 313 342 362 134 374 511 430 3,144 6,232
Handicap 13 7 17 1 9 3 15 5 11 16 4 10 14 6 18 8 12 2
Curtis 74.8 / 139 445 370 152 300 357 362 149 467 277 2,879 137 444 300 340 307 116 372 425 429 2,870 5,749
Wright 73.1 / 134 371 327 135 300 357 362 149 467 257 2,725 137 444 300 340 307 110 372 425 380 2,815 5,540
Par Curtis & Wright 5 4 3 4 4 4 3 5 4 36 3 5 4 4 4 3 4 5 5 37 73
Handicap Curtis & Wright 7 11 17 3 15 5 9 1 13 8 6 12 10 2 18 4 14 16

General information[edit]

The pro shop is open from 7:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M. The course is not open to the public. Guests are permitted to play with a member. The dress code states that denim is not allowed and that a collared shirt is required. Metal spiked shoes and fivesomes are not allowed. Moreover, cellphone use is not permitted on the course or on club grounds except in one's car. The course is open year round. The green fees for guests of members are $150. Players are required to use a caddy between the hours of 7am and 2pm. The fairways and greens are poa annua and bent grass. The greens are aerated in late March to early April, late August and November, after the season ends, and there is overseeding of Penn A4 Bentgrass. The rough is Kentucky Bluegrass.

Audubon certification[edit]

Audubon International has designated the Baltusrol Golf Club a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary. First bestowed to Baltusrol in 1999, Audubon International recognizes that Baltusrol manages its lands with concern to the environment. Audubon International uses criteria of environmental planning, wildlife and habitat management, chemical usage reduction and safety, water conservation, and water quality management.[18]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Course Rating and Slope Database: Baltusrol Golf Club - Lower Course". USGA. Retrieved July 16, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Course Rating and Slope Database: Baltusrol Golf Club - Upper Course". USGA. Retrieved July 16, 2013. 
  3. ^ Staff (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  4. ^ "New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places - Union County" (PDF). New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection - Historic Preservation Office. April 26, 2016. p. 11. 
  5. ^ a b Watson, Penelope S. (May 6, 2005). "NRHP Nomination: Baltusrol Golf Club" (PDF). National Park Service.  "Accompanying 20 photos." (PDF). 
  6. ^ Litterst, Mike (September 30, 2014). "Secretary Jewell, Director Jarvis Announce Nine New National Historic Landmarks Highlighting America's Diverse History and Culture" (Press release). Washington. U.S. Department of the Interior. 
  7. ^ "The Roll Family Genealogy". Retrieved July 31, 2014. 
  8. ^ "The Murder - The Name". 
  9. ^ "BALTUSROL CLUB SWEPT BY FLAMES; Several of Its Buildings Reduced to Ashes in an Early Morning Fire. CHEF INJURED BY A JUMP One Sleepy Member Makes His Escape by a Window, Minus Clothes and $40.". The New York Times. March 28, 1909. 
  10. ^ Strauss, Robert (June 18, 2000). "IN PERSON; Join the Club (if They'll Let You in): The State's Golf History". The New York Times. 
  11. ^ "Championship Tradition at Baltusrol Golf Club". Archived from the original on May 23, 2009. Retrieved July 6, 2009. 
  12. ^ a b Hargraves, Rob (1997). "Natural History Courses (golf, that is)" (PDF). New Jersey Outdoors. New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (Fall 1997): 11–13. 
  13. ^ "A Brief History of Baltusrol Golf Club". Baltusrol Golf Club. 
  14. ^ "Natural Resources Inventory - Township of Springfield: Geology" (PDF). Springfield Environmental Commission. 2011. pp. 3–7. 
  15. ^ "Baltusrol Golf Club bedrock and surficial geology". NJ-GeoWeb. New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. 
  16. ^ "World-class field ready to test Baltusrol". Retrieved July 13, 2010. 
  17. ^ "Championship Tradition at Baltusrol Golf Club". Archived from the original on May 23, 2009. Retrieved July 6, 2009. 
  18. ^ "Member profile details: Baltusrol Golf Club". Audubon International. 

External links[edit]