Little Mill Country Club
|Golf Professional||Mark W McCartney||(856) 767-0559|
|General Manager||Glen VanIstendal||(856) 767-5619|
|Superintendent||Don McClure||(856) 767-0559|
|Architect||Garret J. Renn|
|Tee Sheet||Front 9||Back 9||Course|
There used to be a saw mill here, about a hundred feet or so from the picturesque waterwheel on the last hole of the White Nine. And there was once a vast cranberry bog. Now there are 27 holes of very challenging golf on this tract of land in Marlton, New Jersey, straddling Hopewell Road between Mt. Holly and Berlin.
The lovely opening hole on Little Mill’s White Nine, a par 4 of just 307 yards.
In 1933 Matthew F. Van Instendal bought 100 acres for $100. Over the next 30 years, he would bring together various parcels adding up to a total of 700 acres. One of those parcels was known as the “Little Mill Tract,” and Van Instendal felt that this name was just right for the club. With a view toward preserving the natural beauty of the heavily wooded property, while at the same time making it productive, Matthew and his son, George, decided in 1966 to build an 18-hole golf course.
Garrett J. Renn, who was born in Mt. Holly and who served as superintendent of Philadelphia’s municipal golf courses from 1950 until he died in an automobile accident in 1968, was retained to lay out the course. Carved out of a forest, each hole is framed by maple, oak, birch, pine, and gum trees. Wildlife abounds, with deer, grouse, and pheasant often to be observed as the player makes his way down these tranquil allées. An overall elevation change of 65 feet, unexpected on golf courses in this area, provides an attractively rolling quality to the holes.
When Little Mill opened, on Memorial Day, 1968, it was a semi-private club. Dick Hendrickson, one of the district’s half-dozen best players, was named head professional. In 1975 the club became the property of Little Mill Associates (George Van Instendal, I. Budd Rockhower, and Matthew Van Instendal’s grandchildren). Subsequently the owners converted Little Mill into a private club and brought in Bill and Dave Gordon to lay out a third nine. Again, trees frame every hole, but this time water puts even more pressure on the swing, imperiling the shot on five of the nine holes. A combination of this third nine (Blue) and the White Nine, longest of the three at almost 3,500 yards from the back tees, is particularly stern, producing a Slope of 136. Important district competitions would be played at Little Mill in the years to come, with this eighteen more than holding its own against strong professional fields.