Next Tournament : Closing Day and Annual Meeting Luncheon
October 18, 2017
Essex Fells Country Club
In 1896, a small group of Essex Fells golf enthusiasts, led by Charles Leaycraft and Ross Weir, joined together to play a rough layout of nine holes along Roseland Avenue. Soon they tired of the rudimentary course and hired Alex Findlay to design a new course of nine holes that stretched to 1,810 yards. The new layout spurred enthusiasm and generated momentum enabling the Club to grow to 22 members when it decided to formally incorporate as the Essex Fells Golf Club on July 24, 1900. Annual dues were $20.
Although the Club prospered during the early twentieth century, it became apparent that a new location was necessary for its survival as much of the land containing the golf links had been lent by neighbors – and — they wanted it back. Member Walter Brown was dispatched to approach the Drexel Estate about leasing a vast tract of land “up on the hill”. The Drexel Estate was owned by Philadelphia financier Anthony Drexel who, in 1889, purchased for housing development the plot of land that is now the Borough of Essex Fells. Mr. Brown was successful in his negotiations and by 1913 the Club had a new home.
A full eighteen holes opened for play in 1916. The designer behind the original 5,430 yard, par 70 test of golf is to this day unknown. The first tee was located near the intersection of Oldchester Road and Oval Road and the first and eighteenth holes played over what is now Devon Road. A new Clubhouse, designed by C. Barton Keen and built by Milton Young opened shortly afterward on New Year’s Eve in 1917. The Club still occupies the building.
In the 1920’s, renowned golf course architect Seth Raynor was hired to design a major renovation and re-routing of the course. It was stretched to 6,144 yards and the holes that crossed Devon Road were eliminated. Once completed, this “new” eighteen blossomed into the golf course Essex Fells Members recognize today.
Recent Results : Special Invitational – Net Trophy
Plainfield Country Club
Kathy Kitchen/Bob Greenfield
Val Depiro/Chris Gengaro
(Full Results can be found here.)
The GSWGA is a non-profit organization that was founded on November 10, 1953 in order to provide statewide competition for New Jersey’s best women amateurs. The tremendous amount of interest in women’s golf in the metropolitan area spurred the creation of the GSWGA by eleven Founding Members representing Founding Clubs. Over the years we have enjoyed a steady expansion to our present relationship with nearly fifty New Jersey clubs.
The GSWGA is also an important competitive bridge between golf on the local and national levels – a proving ground for New Jersey’s most talented women.
Beyond competition, our members volunteer a significant amount of their time to such organizations as the USGA, NJSGA, WMGA and the Women’s Trenton District GA. In addition, many of our members have been honored by these and other organizations for their extraordinary service the the game of golf.