Scottsdale, Ariz. – Knollwood Country Club in Elmsford, New York played an important role in the history of The Masters and Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia. According to club records and detailed in both Robert Trent Jones book “Great Golf Stories” and David Barrett’s “Making The Masters: Bobby Jones and the Birth of America’s Greatest Golf Tournament,” Knollwood’s Men’s Grill is the location where the idea for Augusta National was hatched in the late 1920s.
After playing an exhibition round at Knollwood Country Club, Bobby Jones met Knollwood member Cliff Roberts through a mutual friend – hotelier Walton Marshall – in Knollwood”s Men’s Grill. Marshall operated the Vanderbilt Hotel in New York and the Bon Air-Vanderbilt in Augusta. During the meeting the three discussed Jones’ desire to form a golf club. Roberts alerted Jones of the 350-acre Fruitlands property in Augusta, which could be purchased for $70,000. Thus the seed was planted that eventually flowered into Augusta National Golf Club, and The Masters tournament. Cliff Roberts later secured an option on the Fruitlands property and work began on Augusta National Golf Club. Jones became the club’s president and Roberts its chairman, and for four decades the two ran the club with unsurpassed skill. Knollwood Country Club members Mike and Joe Turnesa played in the inaugural Masters tournament in 1934.
“Knollwood Country Club has such a rich history,” said Knollwood Historian Frank Cali. “Great names in American golf history such as A.W. Tillinghast, Seth Raynor, Francis Ouimet and Bobby Jones all play a role in our club’s history. It’s fitting that Knollwood plays a role in the formation of one of the greatest golf courses and finest sporting events in the world.”
About Knollwood Country Club
Knollwood Country Club is located in renowned Westchester County. The club has a rich history dating back to 1894 when it was founded. Knollwood was one of the first 15 clubs to join the USGA and iconic golfers frequented the club, including Francis Ouimet and Bobby Jones. The original golf course was designed by Lawrence Van Etten and opened in the summer of 1895. In 1924, the club hired A.W. Tillinghast to expand the golf course. At Tillinghast’s direction, the club purchased an additional 50 acres of adjacent land which was ultimately redesigned by Seth Raynor to add approximately 1,000 yards in length. Raynor passed away before the course was completed, so Charles Banks finished the project. The present-day course features 19 holes and plays 6,552 yards from the championship tees. Knollwood’s 18th hole has been named to Met Golfer’s “Dream 18” as one of the finest holes in the greater New York area. The current 9th green remains from Van Etten’s earliest course. Over the years, notable Knollwood members have included JC Penny, Dwight Eisenhower (also a former member of Augusta National), entertainer Robert Goulet, former Major League Baseball player Rusty Staub, and ice cream entrepreneur Tom Carvel.
Knollwood Country Club is a Troon Privé-managed club. Members at Troon Privé clubs enjoy additional benefits outside of their club membership, including: the Troon Advantage program in which full golf members can take advantage of special rates at participating Troon-managed facilities worldwide; and the Troon Privé Privilege program in which full members at Troon Privé clubs have the opportunity to play at other Troon Privé private clubs for the host club’s cart-fee rate.
For information on how to become a member or to book a private event or golf outing, contact Knollwood Country Club at (914) 592-7411 or visit www.kccclub.org.
Headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz., Troon is the world’s largest golf management company, with more than 270 golf courses in its portfolio. Also specializing in homeowner association management, private residence clubs, estate management and associated hospitality venues, the company oversees operations at Troon Golf®, Honours Golf, Troon Privé (the private club operating division of Troon) and Troon International properties located in 36 states and 31 countries Additionally, there are 57 Troon affiliated properties featuring 79 courses that have been recipients of a “Top 100” ranking by national and international publications. Troon properties include Princeville Makai Golf Club, Kauai, Hawaii; Centurion Club, London, England; The Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa, Tucson, Ariz.; The Bay Club, Berlin, Md.; Els Club Desaru Coast, Malaysia; and CostaBaja Golf Club, in La Paz, Mexico.
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