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
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
Location 201 Shunpike Rd., Springfield, New Jersey
Area 474 acres (192 ha)
Built 1909
Architectural style Tudor Revival
NRHP Reference # 05000374[3]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP May 6, 2005
Designated NHL September 30, 2014
Baltusrol GC is located in Union County, New Jersey
Baltusrol GC
Baltusrol GC
Baltusrol GC is located in USA
Baltusrol GC
Baltusrol GC
Location in the United States

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 most recently the site of the 2005 PGA Championship and will host the upcoming 2016 PGA Championship.

In 2005, the club was listed on the National Register of Historic Places; and in 2014 it was further designated a National Historic Landmark in recognition of its importance to Tillinghast's career as a course designer.[4]


Baltusrol Golf Club was named after Baltus Roll (1769–1831), who farmed the land on which the club resides today.[5][6] 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 narcotic. 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 "they are planning at Baltusrol on a vaster scale than 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 1909, the original clubhouse burned down. Its replacement became the first clubhouse to host a President of the United States, William Howard Taft.

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".

Tournaments hosted[edit]

In its history, Baltusrol has hosted 15 USGA-sponsored championships and one PGA tournament. 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 is scheduled to return in 2016.

On the second day of the 2005 PGA Championship, a branch off of a red oak tree on the par three fourth hole fell down, injuring a spectator and two employees of CBS Sports. This happened while the grouping of Michael Campbell, Kevin Sutherland, and Tiger Woods was on the hole. Thunderstorms suspended the final round twice on Sunday; play was resumed on Monday and Phil Mickelson was the victor.

Year Tournament Course Winner Winning Score Winner's
share ($)
2016 PGA Championship (2) Lower Course TBDJuly 28–31
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

Bolded years are major championships on the PGA Tour

Course information[edit]

The Upper and Lower courses are very different. Tillinghast designed them as "Dual Courses" which were to be "equally sought after as a matter of preference." The Lower is spread out over rolling parkland while the Upper runs along a ridge line known as Baltusrol Mountain. 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.[8]

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, and Mickelson.

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.[9] GOLF Magazine's "Top 100 Courses in the U.S." selected the Upper Course 89th in 1997 and 74th in 1999.

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. Only 526 golf courses in the world have been designated as Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuaries.[citation needed]

See also[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. ^ 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. 
  5. ^ "The Roll Family Genealogy". Retrieved July 31, 2014. 
  6. ^ "The Murder - The Name". 
  7. ^ "Championship Tradition at Baltusrol Golf Club". Archived from the original on 23 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-06. 
  8. ^ "World-class field ready to test Baltusrol". Retrieved 2010-07-13. 
  9. ^ "Championship Tradition at Baltusrol Golf Club". Archived from the original on 23 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-06. 

External links[edit]

Portal icon Golf portal
Portal icon New Jersey portal
Portal icon NRHP portal

Coordinates: 40°42′18″N 74°19′41″W / 40.705°N 74.328°W / 40.705; -74.328