Title: Baltusrol Is a Landmark Course in Almost Every Sense
Description: Golf is often associated with exclusivity. But truly exclusive clubs in the United States might have more to do with history than high-priced memberships. P.G.A. Leader Board Schedule/Results Stats | Earnings L.P.G.A. Leader Board Schedule/Results Stats | Earnings Champions Leader Board Schedule/Results Stats | Earnings European Leader Board Schedule/Results Stats | Earnings Only three golf courses in the United States are listed as National Historic Landmarks: Merion Golf Club outside Philadelphia, built in 1912; Oakmont Country Club outside Pittsburgh, built in 1903; and the village of Pinehurst, N.C., and its Donald Ross-designed golf courses — namely Pinehurst No. 2, which opened in 1907. Serious golfers covet rounds at all three sites. For those who appreciate the game’s greatest designs, each course is an untarnished American gem that has stood the test of time. But being old is not all that a course needs to earn the National Park Service’s most exclusive designation. Jim Gabbert, a historian of the National Register of Historic Places and National Historic Landmarks, has a mantra when it comes to awarding those distinctions, “Just because it’s old doesn’t mean it’s historic, and just because it’s historic doesn’t mean it’s eligible.” But it helps when venerable courses occupy a distinct place in American history, and it matters if they have maintained their original designs throughout the years. One course hoping to join Merion, Oakmont and Pinehurst as a National Historic Landmark is Baltusrol, a private 36-hole club in Springfield, N.J., that hosted the 2005 P.G.A. Championship. The club’s history dates to 1895 and showcases the work of the architect A. W. Tillinghast, who also designed the East Course at Winged Foot Golf Club and the Black Course at Bethpage State Park. Baltusrol was placed on the New Jersey Register of Historic Places 10 years ago. The club later worked with the New Jersey State Historic Preservation Office to apply for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places, which it achieved in 2005. “At that time, the National Park Service deemed Baltusrol to possess exceptional historical importance and significance on a national level for its two Tillinghast-designed courses, making it potentially eligible to become a National Historic Landmark,” said Rick Wolffe, a member at Baltusrol and a club historian who has written books on Baltusrol and Tillinghast.