Moorestown Field Club
|Golf Professional||George Frake II||(856) 767-0559|
|General Manager||John J. Carpinelli||(856) 235-0150|
|Superintendent||John J. Carpinelli||(856) 235-0150|
|Tee Sheet||Front 9||Back 9||Course|
It was tennis and cricket that spurred the formation of the Moorestown Field Club in 1892. There was no mention of golf. But in 1898, near an apple orchard on the west side of Chester Avenue, the Field Club built a nine-hole course.
For six or seven years the members expressed only a moderate interest in golf. The turning point occurred when Dr. Joseph Stokes, a prominent local physician who at first had been lukewarm about the game, got caught up in its appealing complexity while on summer vacation in Jamestown, R.I. Returning to Moorestown, he prescribed it, with its “healthful physical exercises,” for a number of his patients, joined the Field Club himself, and persuaded many of his friends to do the same. Suddenly both golf and club were flourishing.
As the game’s popularity grew, members became dissatisfied with what was a poorly conditioned and somewhat dull original nine. In 1910, plans for a new nine were developed, principally by charter member Samuel Allen (his company manufactured the famed Flexible Flyer sleds). A club resolution spoke of endeavoring “to make a nine-hole course equal to any in the Philadelphia area …. It is expected that the holes can be so laid out that there will be but one which it will be necessary to play facing the sun.” A strawberry farm to the east of the tennis courts and the cricket pitch was acquired—45.33 acres, at slightly more than $11,000.
Moorestown’s clubhouse in 1923, a combination of the original clubhouse built in the mid-1890s and a new structure in a new location.
Play began on the new course in 1911. A professional, James Whittingham, was hired to teach the novice golfers. And a new clubhouse was built. Since this structure cost only $1,964.21, it is probably safe to assume that much in the way of both materials and labor was contributed by members. The original nine was abandoned and the club grounds became essentially as we know them today. Nor is the course itself significantly different now from the one that opened in 1911. The routing plan is the same. Eighty-five years ago there were two short holes (4 and 8), two long holes, and five par 4s. Today there is the identical attractive mixture. But the trees are now mature, a manicured parkland has replaced the old strawberry patch, and the turf rivals that of the finest golf courses anywhere, producing fairway lies that consistently accommodate a 3-wood and putting surfaces of an unfailing trueness. Not incidentally, this is a tight course, with out of bounds on six of the nine holes and consistently narrow fairways.
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