Our Story

Our Club originated in Newark in 1891 as the Forest Hill Tennis Club located near the corner of Grafton and DeGraw Avenues. On July 4th, 1896, the original nine-hole golf course opened for play.

In December of that year, a clubhouse was completed and occupied and the Club was incorporated under the name of Forest Hill Field Club. On May 30, 1906, the full 18 holes (of what became the old course) opened for play. As was the custom in those days, each had its own unique name. They were, Prospect, Jonah, Meadow, Willows, Tow Path, Bridge of Sighs, Teaser, Orchard, Half Way, Copper Mill, Hurdle, Smoke Stack, Stone House, Little Joker, Soho, Straight Edge, Blind Tom and Home. The dues in 1909 were $40 (per year) for active members and the initiation fee was $25. In 1917, the annual greens expenses soared to $10,007. The shock factor to the membership was great as those costs just two years before were $5,603. To reduce damage to the course, members of Essex Troop, Squadron A, a local riding academy, were asked not to ride over club property. In 1918, there was an increase in caddy fees to 60 cents for 18 holes. This was done to maintain parity with other area clubs. In 1922 the Membership was treated to an exhibition golf match which paired Walter Hagen and Joe Kirkwood against Fred MacLeod of Washington DC and Bobby Cruikshank of Shackamaxon Golf Club.

1926 marked the final year of play at the Soho site. The major part of the work on the present site was performed in 1925. The following year was devoted to growth and development of the golf course. Play began at this site in 1927. In 1937, the Metropolitan Golf Association held its Open Tournament at our Club. On the second day after Sam Snead had completed his round with a record breaking score of 65, a severe rainstorm made the course unplayable, causing cancellation of play for the day. Snead lost the 65 and the Tournament was won by Jimmy Hines with a score of 279. In 1940, Craig Wood won the Metropolitan Open at this course with rounds of 64,66,68 and 66 for a total of 264. Wood had only three fives, all made on the third hole. Only two professionals bettered par for the 72 hole event—Wood and Ben Hogan.

In 1941, the first Silver Putter was held. This legendary two-day medal event is a year-end tradition and is conducted with leader boards and a large gallery of members present. In July of 1942, the legendary Emery Thomas became our Golf Professional. The assignment was provisional until January of 1943. He retired from the position in July, 1969.