Baltusrol (Lower)

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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.

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.

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