Seventh hole, 495 yards, Racetrack; As with the eighth at Pebble Beach, the visually uninteresting uphill tee shot is significant because the player dearly wants to catch one so he can enjoy the smashing approach. Indeed, though it may be sacrilege to suggest, the author contends the fourth at National Golf Links of America and the second here are better than the original. One assumes that Tillinghast’s visit to the fledgling Pine Valley in 1913 played a role in the creation of this Sahara. Take this hole as an example. Only a handful of architects possess a body of work that sniffs at what Tillinghast accomplished. He laid the course out accordingly and so many of his features – starting with the intriguing land movement thirty yards prior to the open first green – were built expressly for bouncy-bounce golf. It was a great place to start the day which, by … Another reason the course is so good is because it has not sought outside events. The interesting thing? Special accolades are deserved as well for a set of holes rarely discussed today, namely those in the 370 to 415 yard range. Somerset Hills Country Club. the deforestation of the interior of the course, the hiring of Renaissance and then Tuxhorn) set the stage for fairway width to be recovered and for the greens to be recaptured. These comments from an ace player in David Eger and a historian in Phil Young highlight the range of Somerset Hills’ appeal and pointedly suggest that to understand Tillinghast’s genius as an architect, Somerset Hills is where a student of architecture must head. 2 reviews of Somerset Hills Country Club "A lovely club with a tough final hole that winds up to the club house, with a classic feel to the building. Golf Course Review by: Bill Satterfield. Tillinghast 1917 Cost: Private Phone Number: (908) 766-0044 Course Website: Official Website - Visit Somerset Hills Country Club's official website by clicking on the link provided. As the following group makes their way to the green, the forward group should finish putting, move to the next tee and tee off. This wasn’t his first trip overseas (he had been to England as a four year old) but it represented the first time that he met the legendary Old Tom Morris in St. Andrews. Like Macdonald, Tillinghast was over-the-moon in awe of Ben Sayer’s Redan hole at North Berwick. - 180 Mind Mount Rd., Bernardsville, New Jersey 07924 – UNITED STATES Gentlemen and children are expected to remove their hats and caps in the Clubhouse. The idea seems an impossible task, yet Tilly, in answering a question during an interview with a reporter from the Boston Herald did exactly that. It is generally preferred for the slower group to wait until their play has reached the green before waving up the group behind. Pricing for the memberships are on the applications. Somerset Hills epitomizes inclusive architecture and should be heralded as a design ideal because it is the perfect course for youths through seniors. Other Tillinghast courses in the Met area eagerly seek major televised events and the damage that has been done to Tillinghast’s design principles manifests itself in artificially narrowed fairways and tree plantings. Only two remain today. A few years later on his 1898 trip, he had the privilege to spend considerably more time with Old Tom. The 7th tumbles down the hill from the left, the 8th plays across the valley with the pond and the long ninth bends left in the distance and returns the golfer to the professional shop. The one at Somerset Hills certainly is that but it also is more nuanced with plenty of random rolls and hollows as seen in this view from behind. One thing is for sure: a bulldozer never wrecked this land. The cant of the green from the right to left is as severe as any Redan with which the author is familiar. For sure, variety is the cornerstone to Somerset Hills: variety of terrain, variety of length of holes, variety of approach shots and variety of greens. Use of cell phones, or similar devices is permitted only in your car, never on the golf course or in the clubhouse. Clubhouse (908)766-0043. Two absolute no-nos here are a miss short or one right. As has been the case many times in my Top 100 Odyssey, a stroke of blind luck put me in contact with a member of this club. The ones at the 8th are not such an example: they are patently man-made and are all the better for it. Above is the 5th green. $350/year with no minimums! Some Redans center around a tilted putting surface that runs from front right to back left. Fifth hole, 350 yards, Nairn; This green with its dramatic two foot rolls toward the rear are unabashedly wonderful features and only could have come from someone who had the opportunity to soak up the dramatic interior green contours at courses like North Berwick and The Old Course. One green (the tenth) is no longer in its original place but otherwise, the course is as authentic to its Golden Age roots as any. © 2020 Somerset Hills Country Club. The Franklin Country Club is a private club located on the Franklin Wrentham, Massachusetts Line with a rich tradition spanning over 100 years. Greens Annual dues are another $18,500, plus a $1,500 food charge. No need to move a bunch of dirt when the routing incorporates so many natural features. Somerset Hills enjoyed the reputation as ‘a sleepy club’ when the author lived in Bernardsville in the mid-1980s. The score of courses that existed were rudimentary at best. Annual fees for membership at the Basking Ridge Country Club range from $2900 to $7650 for the 6906 yard course. It’s right up there with Cypress Point, Seminole, Fishers Island, Camargo, Shore Acres, Crystal Downs, Garden City and Valley Club.’. An American architect who hadn’t traveled to Britain would have been clueless as to the hole/site’s potential. 180 Mine Mount Road, Bernardsville, NJ 07924. Shorts and skirts should be reasonable in length, falling at least midway between the hip and kneecap. Membership Amenities Include: • As a non-equity club, Basking Ridge Country Club does not require a bond, sponsor, or initiation fee. Golf Shop (908)766-0044. Such flexibility provided the foundation for golf to explode in popularity from coast to coast during the next decade when the economic boom created the ‘Roaring 20s.’ Even though the first is sturdy (it was a par 5 in Tillinghast’s day), its open green can be accessed in every possible manner and Slawnik refers to the contours feeding onto the putting surface as ‘genius stuff.’ The author has coined the phrase ‘inclusive architecture’, meaning architecture that welcomes all to the game while being engaging for the best club golfer. Eighth hole, 230 yards, Dip; The best architecture need not be complicated. The Takeaway: Grade A- Quick Facts. A perfect use of a valley with the tee ball descending into it and the approach climbing out on the far side. Tillinghast sketched holes and his writings are scattered across many periodicals. Tennis Shop (908) 766-3686. All told, this effortlessly demanding hole was likely ‘built’ in just a few days and it feels like it has been there for a century which, of course, it has. 63 on Golf Digest's America's 100 Greatest Courses of 2019-20. Upon returning home, he was invited to build a basic course at Frankford on a municipal park outside of Philadelphia. SOMERSET HILLS COUNTRY CLUB BY THE NUMBERS: 448 members $65,000 Initiation fee $10,830 Annual dues $5.2M Gross volume $3.4M Annual dues volume $1.1M F&B volume $2.4M Gross payroll 50 Employees in-season; 16 off-season 16 Board members 58 Average age of members SOMERSET HILLS COUNTRY CLUB WEB SITE: One possible explanation as to why he didn’t is that the world changed. Take this hole as an example: length coupled with the suppressed tee has brought a key design feature back into play, namely Tillinghast’s Sahara concept. First, it is worth noting that it dispels one of the knocks of courses built in the 1910s: namely, a lack of doglegs. shorter than midway between the hip and kneecap), and tee shirts, sweatshirts or workout clothing. Somerset Hills Country Club. In order to make your visit as pleasant as possible, please note a few important guidelines. Thirty years ago, the ninth tolerated looser golf but no more. Collared shirts are required for gentlemen and should be tucked in at the waistline. when he notes, ‘ It would take an act of God to make us alter any of our 17 Tillinghast greens.’, David Eger, who has played Somerset Hills numerous times especially when he was the Senior Director, Rules Competition for the United States Golf Association in nearby Far Hills, marvels at the putting surfaces, noting, ‘Each of the original 17 putting greens is great in its own right and even better, each features unique slope and contours from one another. The staff is accommodating and the food isn't bad, but the view across the back porch down across the course, with the lake to the right - what a sight. The dress for lunch and dinner is casual; golf attire and tennis whites are acceptable attire. Increasing fairway width is not as easy or straightforward as it may seem. Ryan Tuxhorn, who trained at Merion, was hired as the Green Keeper in 2008 and he and Slawnik have formed a tight bond. Macdonald expressly set out to build template holes that borrowed design features from his favorite holes in the United Kingdom. Join us for championship golf, gourmet dining and fun around our pool. Book your next wedding reception or … and end with the same appealing result. If the architect can get the routing right (a huge if, mind you), then much of the rest follows seamlessly. Collared shirts and/or shirts with sleeves are required for ladies. Before I break down some key aspects for those considering joining a club, let’s call a spade a spade. The founders were primarily New York City residents and, thus, the use of “country” in the name of their Club. The author struggles to think of another course where the same is true. Nonetheless, this opener deserves applause. The road to playing a round at Milwaukee Country Club was longer than the drive from Canyata. Overall Somerset Hills Country Club has a relaxed and low key feel to it. The club was formed in 1899 for social and recreational purposes. Men’s shirts should have a collar unless specifically designed as tennis apparel. Young goes on to chronicle how Tillinghast transitioned from player to writer to architect from 1910 to 1917. A family oriented, private club located in the heart of Somerset County. Second hole, 205 yards, Redan; Tillinghast, like Macdonald, made many pilgrimages to Great Britain. Such variety is further amplified with the two shot holes. The club has planted indigenous hardwoods around the perimeter and wisely maintained the secluded, woodland theme on the back nine that the course enjoyed in Tillinghast’s day. The golfer plays the course’s longest two shotter, longest one shotter and longest three shotter in succession. In 1895, he traveled to Scotland with his parents and his bride. When the course opened, the non-refundable membership fee was $250,000; it’s now $150,000 and can be paid over three years instead of all at signup. Designer: A.W. Somerset Country Club is a semi-private golf club, located at 1216 N Highway 1247 in Somerset, KY 42503. All Rights Reserved. Please click here for a listing of nearby hotel information. Somerset Hills YMCA on Mount Airy Road, has a state-of-the-art fitness center, two lap pools plus one recreational family pool, numerous fun and innovative group exercise classes, an early education and child care center, enrichment classes for kids, a comprehensive program for seniors and individuals with special needs, babysitting services, and so much more. Image (530x350): Heading: That helps make Somerset Hills among my very favorite “fun” courses to play. No surprise then that Tillinghast and Macdonald produced the two finest versions in the United States. Such random, irregular mounding also greatly influenced Stanley Thompson, as we learned from the October 2018 Feature Interview with Dr. James Taylor. Somerset Country Club in Somerset, PA - Where families come to play. The star of the photograph are the dolomites and the green which is glued to the ground at grade – and is fiendish because of it. The 5th does what all great short two shotters should: it gets more and …, … vexing/interesting the closer you get to …. Click HEREto forward Guest information. A big thump is required and the valley lends the hole its visual appeal. Become a member . Not enough praise can be heaped on the one here as it ticks all the important boxes: it is dramatic in an unforced manner, it rewards creativity and bold play, it’s perfectly presented, and it is fun for all. Membership Rates inlcludes 6.625% NJ State Sales Tax For additional information about the different membership categories and fees, you can contact Lauren, our Membership Department at 908-766-8200, ext. Somersett Golf & Country Club Golf Members have a rare opportunity to gain access to ClubCorp’s (CCA) network of more than 300 private clubs, resorts, restaurants, entertainment and overnight accommodations. New for 2015, club student membership offer for all students high school and college 50% off! For Members who donated their fee in 2020, they can claim a further £20 reduction on the ‘early bird’ price of their Membership fee (£50 on the full price) if purchasing before January 31 st 2021. This hole is joined in that pursuit by the seventh and eleventh where the aim is well right of where the golfer wishes the ball to finish. Hats and caps are to be worn with the brim forward. Pine Valley leads the way. Please click here for a listing of nearby hotel information. Somerset Hills possesses an abundance of such and many of them (here, nine, eleven, and fifteen) are among the course’s finest holes. There was no more exciting decade in the state’s golf history, with Pine Valley taking shape to the south and Somerset Hills in the north. He stated, “The one shot that tells the story in golf is the shot to the green, and if you conceive of golf being a game of animate attack and inanimate defense with regard to that shot, you have my design in a nutshell.” At Somerset Hills, each hole appears to flow out of the land rather than having been built into it. However, the course flows well, and members are split over which side they prefer. Glenwood Country Club in Old Bridge, which proclaims itself "New Jersey's Best Kept Secret," has run radio ads, offering to eliminate initiation fees. Proper tennis attire, including proper tennis shoes must be worn at all times while on court. For more information, visit You May Also Be Interested In A jewel among golf courses in New Jersey, Basking Ridge Country Club offers members a stunning retreat of 257 acres in the beautiful tranquil area of Somerset Hills. Congratulations to the club for being great custodians, literally for being the Keeper of the Greens and for eschewing shortcuts. Before, the fairway failed to extend sufficiently to the right of the green and thus the player was robbed of using the land’s strong right to left pitch to his advantage. PROPER ATTIRE. Though money has become the curse of this great game, it didn’t drive these Golden Age titans. Michelangelo, in describing how he sculpted stone, said, “Every block of stone has a statue in it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.” Not only is that true of the golf course architect, but Tilly’s design here is a true example of that rarest of tasks accomplished.’. Irregular mounding is littered across the course but nowhere more liberally and attractively than this hole, hence its name. Tillinghast’s very lack of identifying characteristics make his work desperately difficult to brand, while simultaneously elevating it to the top of his profession. are also given honorary membership in the club while serving since its headquarters is just a few miles away in nearby Bernards Township. For those who join the club, Trump National Bedminster provides major championship golf, superior service and award-winning facilities in an incomparable, exclusive setting. It is a story played out scores of times across America over the past two decades but it is all the more compelling here because we are dealing with a Tillinghast masterpiece rich with neat design features. Please contact the Club for updated protocols regarding preventive health and safety measures Founded in 1899, its picturesque scenery of gently rolling hills, tree lined fairways and manicured greens ma Please ask the Professional Staff for tips for speeding up play if you need guidance. The top executives of the U.S.G.A. Golf Membership: Our golf course has developed into a challenging, beautifully landscaped 6,906-yard haven. A Green Committee member sums it up beautifully (!) 2, or send an email to The Country Club has hosted 16 USGA competitions; of these, six were U.S. This one is set over land that begs for it but only if you knew what you were looking for. Sign up for golf membership, swim membership or both, depending on your needs. Clubhouse, Tennis and Golf Course are Open. Warm-ups and hats may be worn on court in any color. Prior to playing there I knew little of Somerset Hills other than it was one of several Tillinghast designs on the … As sunlight and wind replaced trees and shade, the newly reclaimed playing surfaces hardened and firm and fast playing conditions were once again on the menu. Prairie Dunes was the fourth course on my quest to play in one year, the top 100 courses in the United States as ranked by Golf Digest. The kind of ‘plop and splat’ golf offered at most inland, clay-based courses pales in comparison. Inappropriate attire in the Clubhouse includes denim or blue jeans, cargo pants, short shorts or skirts of unreasonable length, (i.e. Somerset is a private Club and welcomes all guests accompanied by a Member. Denim, halter tops, cargo shorts, flip-flops, golf sandals and similar casual and athletic wear, including tennis whites, are prohibited. Amateurs (the most recent in 2013) and three U.S. Somerset Hills has long gone the opposite route by concentrating on enhancing the member’s playing experience. Bear in mind that Somerset Hills was built in the middle of the age of hickory golf; steel shafts weren’t yet a dream, much less a reality. The Great Depression snuffed the joy out of life for a while and World War II did worse. Official Club competitions have priority at all times and others should not expect to play through. One result is that his work is fabulously impossible to stereotype with the player hard pressed to believe that the same architect designed the courses at Winged Foot, the three nines at Ridgewood, the courses at Baltusrol, San Francisco Golf Club, Bethpage (Black) and Somerset Hills. After teeing off, the forward group should wait for the group “playing through” to tee off so that both groups may walk together to their respective tee shots. The hugely appealing rolls in the back of the 5th green feel like something straight from Scotland – and that is not a coincidence. These are the best golf courses in New Jersey, according to GOLF's 2020-2021 Top 100 Courses in the U.S. ranking. For example, Club Membership becomes £165 and Club & One Day Membership from £259, respectively. With the open front nine laid on and around an old racetrack and the back nine through rolling wooded terrain with streams and a pond, one would think the course could have a Jekyll and Hyde character (as with, for example, Spyglass Hill). Not only that, but pushing the tee back shortened the walk from the prior green, which is always a good thing. Two good golfers from the same spot in the fairway could play shots to land as far apart as 60 yards (!) They hired Tom Doak’s Renaissance Golf Design in 2004 and Brian Slawnik has been the point man since. Any course would love to claim this world beater for itself. The first two holes highlight that using the ground is integral toward success. Charles Blair Macdonald, Albert Warren Tillinghast, and George Thomas possessed a far different – and healthier – interest in the welfare of the game than did developers that followed in the 1960s-1990s, intent on profiting from the sport by selling residential properties. Directions: Get here! ClubCorp Signature Gold Unlimited. Smoking is not permitted in the Clubhouse at any time or in any dining area of the Terrace during mealtimes. This aerial captures the imaginative Sahara bunker configuration that bisects the 9th fairway. Trim or accent color of approximately ten percent is permitted. Done indiscriminately, and maintenance costs mushroom for no real purpose. Clubhouse. We invite you to experience our relaxed private club lifestyle and pristine facilities at The Golf Club at Turner Hill . Now, especially with the course enjoying such firm playing conditions under Tuxhorn for the past decade, the hole encapsulates Tillinghast’s stated ideal of hitting toward point A to have the ball end by Point B. Per the Green Committee Mission statement, no major work occurs without Slawnik’s input. II, Olympia Fields Country Club (North Course). Tillinghast joins MacKenzie, Maxwell, Ross, Travis, Coore and Doak in the pantheon of great green builders. Young quotes from Tillinghast himself when he writes, ‘If you were asked to explain Tilly’s philosophy of designing a golf hole in a single sentence, how would you put it? Today, a tee ball needs to find the fairway or carrying the Sahara on one’s second shot becomes problematic. Led by the efforts of Dunlop White III Old Town underwent a restoration by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw in 2013 and what exists now is a beautiful and challenging test of golf that has recaptured the elements that Maxwell intended for the course to have. The exquisite fairway contours are evident in this view from the side of the 1st fairway. Done judiciously, the original architect’s features and playing angles are restored and the design thrives. Along with Shawnee-on-Delaware, Somerset Hills was one of his first eighteen hole designs and it opened for play late in 1916. We are a member-owned club located in Ipswich, MA, set amongst 380 acres of tranquility and beauty.The Golf Club at Turner Hill offers a variety of membership opportunities designed to fit the needs of both individuals and families. The approach to the 7th: the right to left tilt of the ground and the flag floating in a sea of short grass epitomize what ground game options can bring to a course. …today! The following guidelines and expectations are in place for daily play: If an entire hole opens in front of a group with another group waiting behind, the forward group must give way and invite the following group to “play through”. Rather, they worked for little or no design fee, with their reward being to see the nascent sport flourish in their home country. With golf like this, Tillinghast was one of the prime instigators in making inland golf (nearly) as compelling as links golf. Tillinghast’s own take on Redans was that ‘some of the most interesting holes are those where the best line of the flag is not direct.’ He never produced a better example of that philosophy than at Somerset Hills. The above series of events (e.g. By redeploying the unused fairway turf to the sides of holes to enhance playing angles, Tuxhorn pulled off the very neat trick of restoring Tillinghast’s strategy without increasing the total amount of fairway acreage that his team maintains. In the American Cricketer, Young found an article where Tillinghast quotes from Henry Leitch who talks about the Alpinization of the hazards at Mid-Surrey outside of London. With such a small membership the course does not get much play and I only recall seeing one other two ball on the course the entire time we were there. From 1900 to 1905, Tillinghast competed in many golf events and in 1905, he was awarded the Silver Cross medal by the Golf Association of Philadelphia as the outstanding player of the year. Tennis “whites” are the standard. When Tillinghast supervised construction in 1916, that is the brand of golf with which he held in highest esteem. The membership department is friendly and responsive…and realistic. Old Town is a 1939 Perry Maxwell design set on a beautiful piece of rolling land just north of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. A membership that gets you to commit financially, but access to 80% of a regular membership. Made-made, irregular mounds with bunkers cut into them are features that enchanted Tillinghast from his trips to England and he used them here to add playing interest to the otherwise flat green surrounds. As Slawnik staked out where he would like to see the fairways expanded, Tuxhorn balanced the equation by recycling fairway turf that was too close to tees to provide value. Indeed, Tillinghast named the holes here, so clearly one of the greens at Nairn was in his mind at the time. Click HERE to forward Guest information. Somerset Hills Country Club has a rich history that began over 100 years ago. Ninth hole, 530 yards, Westward Ho; Working with Slawnik, the club has gained an important couple hundred yards in length. Somerset Hills enjoyed the reputation as ‘a sleepy club’ when the author lived in Bernardsville in the mid-1980s. & Sun. It probably still cherishes that moniker today but now there is a laser-like focus on getting the fine points right in regards to course presentation. The tees and putting surface are at grade with their surrounds and are separated from each other by a broad valley with a pond at the bottom. While most players do not relish long, 200+ yard approach shots, Tillinghast had the unmatched ability to make them appealing – no architect was clearly better. Little wonder as Tillinghast went undefeated in team events that year! Somerset Hills Country Club, located in Bernardsville, New Jersey, is ranked No. To find out more about any of these offers, or to schedule a tour of the Basking Ridge Country Club, call Kelly Pantone, Director of Marketing and Membership, at 908-766-8200, ext. In his book Albert Warren Tillinghast: A Timeline of his Life and Work, Tillinghast expert and historian Phil Young neatly lays out how Tillinghast’s interest progressed from player to architect. Albert Warren Tillinghast: A Timeline of his Life and Work, California Golf Club of San Franciso Pg. This was a complete win for the club and how thrilled Tillinghast would be to see Somerset Hills today. Somerset Hills Country Club, 180 Mine Mount Rd, Bernardsville, New Jersey (NJ) 07924, USA +1 908 766 0044 ‹ Previous › Next The club also is raffling a membership. For a complete list of membership opportunities please visit our website or contact Kelly Pantone, Director of Marketing and Membership at (908) 766-8200 ext. Congratulations to Slawnik and the green keeping staff for getting the mow lines corrected from the 1980s version that the author knew. Tillinghast took up the game sometime between 1890 and 1895. Think of the striking features of each: Winged Foot (West) with its raised, wickedly contoured greens and proportionately deep greenside bunkers; Ridgewood, with its holes interacting off a major spine, Baltusrol (Lower) which enjoyed a rustic, low-profile look in Tillinghast’s day; San Francisco with its stylishly flashed bunkers placed at all sorts of angles within broad fairways; Bethpage (Black) with its sprawling scale and Somerset Hills with its intimate layout. Such attention to detail started in earnest in the 1990s when the club set about clearing interior, non-indigenous pine trees. Headlined by the eleventh and fifteenth holes, the medium length two shotters are a hallmark of the course. The combined result is that Somerset Hills plays surprisingly long and that many of its design attributes remain in play. First hole, 460 yards, Orchard; Hugely underrated, this two shotter will never receive its proper due as the course’s most famous hole follows it. Such holes lend a course much of its fabric and appeal for regular club play. American architects in the 1910s were mindful of the sport’s nascent roots and mindfully provided designs that would accommodate a wide range of playing levels. Bondholder Guest Rate (Non-Member) $35: $20 : Special Rates: Twilight Special (Sat. Somerset Country Club • 1416 Dodd Road, Mendota Heights, MN 55118 © 2018 - 2020 All Rights Reserved That cheery thought is soon replaced by the stark reality of an uphill approach to a green with the most fierce back to front slope on the property. A tee ball short tumbles backwards fifteen yards into the bunkers at the base of the hill. learn more. Amenities. Additionally, tee pads have been suppressed, or lowered to the ground. With a Par 70 and many up, down, and sidehill shots, the course is … Tillinghast died in Toledo, Ohio in 1942 and despite the hundreds of courses he both designed and re-designed, he never built a more joyful set of putting surfaces than the ones here. Even after 100 years, Somerset Hills remains what it has always been: a pinnacle of design in America. Second, the golfer is immediately introduced to one of the design’s most beguiling elements: a green that is open in front.

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