Links Golf Club
|Golf Professional||Joseph DeLuca||(856) 983-2000|
|General Manager||Mark Kriews||(609) 298-3322|
|Superintendent||Brian Dunn||(856) 983-9778|
|Architect||Fredrick W. Hawtree|
|Tee Sheet||Front 9||Back 9||Course|
King’s Grant, a Marlton, New Jersey, housing community, is the setting for The Links Golf Club. The golf course was first played in 1976, and for the next six or seven years remained open to the public. In 1981 Anthony DeSimone, a local businessman, acquired the course and converted it into a private facility. He served as the club’s first president. The other officers at that time were Michael Orlando, vice president, and the founder’s wife, Mary Louise De Simone, secretary. When Mr. De Simone died, in 1987, Mrs. De Simone succeeded him as president of the club until her passing in 2002.
In founding The Links Golf Club, Tony DeSimone had several very specific ideas. Golf would be the only sport— no swimming, no tennis, no skeet or trap shooting, nothing but the royal and ancient game itself. The membership would be small, a limit of 230. And that would be the total number of players. He was bent on creating an uncrowded atmosphere for the game in which a member could drop into his or her club (women were—and are—as welcome to join as men) at any time, go straight to the 1st tee, and hit off. (This circumstance is perhaps the last great luxury in golf.) The majority of the club’s members are from what might be called the Cherry Hill/Haddonfield area.
The course that Tony DeSimone acquired is routed over some 160 acres of very gently rolling meadows and woodlands. Oak, maple, sweet gum, and pine are the principal species of trees framing most of the holes. England’s Frederick W. Hawtree designed the eighteen.
The only other American course by this outstanding English golf architect belongs to North Carolina’s Mount Mitchell Golf Club. But throughout the British Isles and on the European continent he was one of the most respected figures in golf course architecture during the second half of this century, designing or remodeling, in partnership with his father and son, more than 300 courses throughout the world, including Royal Birkdale, near Liverpool, where the British Open is played periodically
At the Links Club, Hawtree’s practice of letting the site dictate the character of the course can be readily observed. There is nothing forced or artificial about the holes, which, meandering through the trees, fall with a becoming naturalness on the land. Fairways here incline to be narrow, greens to be thoughtfully bunkered. The course measures just over 6,200 yards from the blue tees, 5,936 yards from the men’s regular markers, 5,350 yards from the ladies’ tees. Par is 70. Power is obviously not a prerequisite, but precision just as obviously is.
A reflection of Tony DeSimone’s sensitivity to environmental considerations is the fact that the Links is an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Club.