Montclair, Fourth Nine

History of Montclair Golf Club


The founders initially staked out a course in the Town of Montclair on land now occupied by the “Erwin Park” residential neighborhood. In 1899, the first 18-hole course, designed by Tom Bendelow, was established roughly at the present location of today’s first and second nines. A Clubhouse was originally built on a site near the end of today’s practice range.

In 1920, the legendary Scottish architect, Donald Ross, was commissioned to design the 27 holes of the first, second and third nines. Two years later, the original Clubhouse was destroyed by fire. A new, larger building was constructed facing Prospect Avenue, which remains as the core building of the current colonial style Clubhouse. By October 1928, the Club had acquired enough land to add a fourth nine, which was designed by another legend, Charles Banks. The original designs have been improved over the years by the work of two of Montclair’s most recognized members of the golf community. Robert Trent Jones joined Montclair in 1934 and remained a member until his death. His son, Rees Jones, “The U.S. Open Doctor,” learned the game on the Ross and Banks designs and remains a member today.

The members of Montclair take pride in the Club’s position in the history of Golf in America and the many members who have contributed to the development of the game. The Club was one of the founding members that joined together to form the Metropolitan Golf Association in 1897. Three MGA presidents -- Isaac “Ike” Grainger, Ken Gordon and Jack Kelsey -- came from the ranks of the Club. Grainger also served as President of the United States Golf Association, as did member Charles Littlefield, making Montclair one of a select group of Clubs with two members having achieved that distinction. Montclair’s challenging greens have helped to hone the competitive abilities of many of the area’s top players.

In the words of the great Bobby Jones, Montclair is “the longest short course I ever played.” It is one of the few Clubs anywhere that can claim to have hosted both the Men’s and Women’s U.S. Amateur Championships. The Montclair property includes four nine-hole layouts, each beginning and ending at the Clubhouse, and a practice range renovated in 2008 to include target greens.

The Club’s facilities also include seven Har-Tru tennis courts, five platform paddle tennis courts and a beautiful swimming pool surrounded by large scenic decks that can accommodate lunch or dinner on the grill. A major renovation of the golf course, pool area and Clubhouse was completed in 2011.