Nestled on 100 acres in Princeton, NJ, Springdale Golf Club proudly celebrates its 125th anniversary in September 2020. Founded in 1895 as a 9-hole course a mile from its current location, the Princeton Golf Club was one of the first one hundred golf courses in America. In 1901, the club (renamed Springdale Golf Club in 1922) moved to a new location on the historic Stockton Farm, a site that played a part in the Battle of Princeton during the Revolutionary War.
Springdale’s story involves two of America’s prominent golf architects from the early 20th century: Willie Dunn, Jr. and William S. Flynn (both connected with the design of US Open venue, Shinnecock Hills). Flynn’s design, which opened in 1928, created a compact, challenging layout that continues to challenge golfers of all skill levels to this day. Springdale includes design similarities gained from Flynn’s association with Merion, Pine Valley and some of his most notable architectural works.
Proud to be one of the first private golf clubs in the country to establish an active women’s golf program, Springdale’s 21 inaugural women members in 1898 included First Lady Frances Folsom Cleveland, wife of President Grover Cleveland. It seems appropriate, since the majestic 173-foot Cleveland Tower provides a reference point that can be seen from almost every hole. And perhaps uniquely for any golf course in the world, the tower’s carillon serenades golfers with a musical concert on summer Sunday afternoons.
As special as Springdale’s history is, the focus of the club is forward-looking. As a response to changing demographics in the golfing community, Springdale has embraced a new management model – a collaboration with Troon Golf, LLC. Troon, which manages over 400 golf clubs worldwide, provides management, marketing, and technology under the direction of the Springdale Board of Governors. Troon’s agronomy expertise has resulted in the best course conditions Springdale has known. The results have been dramatic, with an increase in golf membership of 25% over the past four years. The club’s award-winning junior golf program helps assure interest in the game remains high in upcoming generations.
A great part of the Troon family, Team Troon’s Cheyenne Woods, visited Springdale for some off week practice and to help kick off the celebration in September!
Throughout its history, Springdale has maintained a close and beneficial relationship with Princeton University. The University’s men’s and women’s golf teams proudly call Springdale their home course. Recently, the Athletic Department constructed a state-of-of-the-art indoor practice center on the grounds of Springdale, providing a resource available to both team and Springdale members to improve their skills. The club and University are planning now the construction of new practice facilities for the members’ and college athletes’ enjoyment.
While golf is its focus, Springdale and its members support broader community interests including Folds of Honor, Christine’s Hope for Kids, and other important initiatives. The Club seeks to provide an open, welcoming environment for all its members – as it has for the past 125 years – by bringing to life the often-heard words at Springdale: Enjoying golf and making friends since 1895!