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Montclair Golf Club

A colleague from Epoch invited me to play  in the summer of 2017. We were a foursome with Rob, Anton and Doug. Caddies were Pete and Hass. Rob is a colleague from Epoch. Anton is Swedish and is going Pro; I think he shot an easy 70, typically hitting his drives 320 plus. We played 1 and 4 courses; the set up is four nine holes that you can play in any combination. Quite spectacular. Hilly, tree lined fairways and greens that look as if they should be easy but are not at all. I could not get the speed right, and was told they were running slower than usual. Ended up shooting an 85 (45-39) and birdied the last. My swing was poor until about 15th hole. Not sure why. I think I had a big work out the day before and was stiff, plus I tried to keep up with the youngsters!

The Clubhouse is very nice, and dinner on the porch after excellent: good food and nice views.  We were fortunate with the weather which was extremely humid and threatened thunder storms from about 4pm onwards. The sky later was just terrific, as you will see below.

I believe this kid Anton has a real chance of being a good pro; he has some long game, and his short game just needs a small amount of work and then he'll be catching people's attention. Maybe I played with a future Henrik Stenson?

 The Clubhouse from course one, ninth fairway.

The Clubhouse from course one, ninth fairway.

 Looking down 2 and 3 from the terrace during dinner. hard to get tired of this marvelous view.

Looking down 2 and 3 from the terrace during dinner. hard to get tired of this marvelous view.

 Looking back up the hill on course 4. Magnificent.

Looking back up the hill on course 4. Magnificent.

This is from the Club's website: https://www.montclairgolfclub.org

Montclair Golf Club is considered to be the 13th oldest golf Club in the nation with over 125 years of rich, treasured history. Montclair Golf Club founded in 1893, and Rock Spring Club founded in 1925 began a new chapter in their history in January 2016 by merging together to form the only 54 hole, two-property, family oriented, member-owned Country Club in the area. Together, yet each with their individual charm, they have become one under the name of Montclair Golf Club.

The Club has a storied history:The founders initially staked out a course in the Town of Montclair on land now occupied by the “Erwin Park” residential neighborhood. In 1899, the first 18-hole course, designed by Tom Bendelow, was established roughly at the present location of today’s first and second nines. A Clubhouse was originally built on a site near the end of today’s practice range. 

In 1920, the legendary Scottish architect, Donald Ross, was commissioned to design the 27 holes of the first, second and third nines. Two years later, the original Clubhouse was destroyed by fire. A new, larger building was constructed facing Prospect Avenue, which remains as the core building of the current colonial style Clubhouse. By October 1928, the Club had acquired enough land to add a fourth nine, which was designed by another legend, Charles Banks. The original designs have been improved over the years by the work of two of Montclair’s most recognized members of the golf community. Robert Trent Jones joined Montclair in 1934 and remained a member until his death. His son, Rees Jones, “The U.S. Open Doctor,” learned the game on the Ross and Banks designs and remains a member today. 

The members of Montclair take pride in the Club’s position in the history of Golf in America and the many members who have contributed to the development of the game. The Club was one of the founding members that joined together to form the Metropolitan Golf Association in 1897. Three MGA presidents -- Isaac “Ike” Grainger, Ken Gordon and Jack Kelsey -- came from the ranks of the Club. Grainger also served as President of the United States Golf Association, as did member Charles Littlefield, making Montclair one of a select group of Clubs with two members having achieved that distinction. Montclair’s challenging greens have helped to hone the competitive abilities of many of the area’s top players.

In the words of the great Bobby Jones, Montclair is “the longest short course I ever played.” It is one of the few Clubs anywhere that can claim to have hosted both the Men’s and Women’s U.S. Amateur Championships. The Montclair property includes four nine-hole layouts, each beginning and ending at the Clubhouse, and a practice range renovated in 2008 to include target greens. 

The Club’s facilities also include seven Har-Tru tennis courts, five platform paddle tennis courts and a beautiful swimming pool surrounded by large scenic decks that can accommodate lunch or dinner on the grill. A major renovation of the golf course, pool area and Clubhouse was completed in 2011.

I really enjoyed this experience; I did not play well, yet scored ok ultimately. I believe I could break 80 no problem next time, but the greens here are highly deceptive, and but for my caddie, Pete, i am sure my score was flattered. Many thanks for the invite from my colleague Rob S. 

 

 

 

 

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