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This illustration of the Richmond Hill Club House appeared in the original April 25, 1897 Brooklyn Eagle article.  Using today's landmarks, the Club House was located on the east side of Audley Street between Beverly and Abingdon Roads in present day Kew Gardens, NY.  Click to enlarge.


This illustration of the Richmond Hill Golf Course appeared in the original Brooklyn Eagle article. The perspective is unusual in that north to south runs, roughly, from right to left. Metropolitan Avenue (then called the Williamsburgh and Jamaica Turnpike) runs across the upper left corner while Lefferts Boulevard (then called Lefferts Avenue) runs down the left side. Kew Gardens Road would be out of frame to the bottom.  Click image to enlarge
The Richmond Hill Club and Course Described
[Reprinted from the April 25, 1897 issue of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle]

For several years a portion of the Man estate at Richmond Hill has been used for golf by members and personal friends of the family, but it was not until the spring of 1890 that there was any thought of forming a club.  A dozen or more enthusiastic golfers then conceived the idea of subscribing a few dollars each and spending the money to improve the ground for their mutual benefit.  The present organization is the outcome of this idea, backed up by a circular letter which Percy S. Hildreth, Fred DeWitt Wells and Arthur Man signed and sent to some of their friends on March 24, 1896, in which they advocated the formation of a regular club with a membership limit of forty.  This letter must have met with a gratifying reception for on April 3 a well attended meeting was held at which the Richmond Hill Golf Club was duly organized and started on what has been and promises to be a very successful career.  Among the original members enrolled were Ellery Anderson, J. Searle Barclay, Jr.; Edward R. Duer, Alrick H. Man, Walter D. Edmunds, Arthur D. Moir, Fred J. Stimson, Edgar W. Van Vleet and the signers of the circular letter referred to.

During the summer of 1896 the course was thoroughly overhauled, the putting greens were graded and sodded and a pretty club house was built, which since October last has been in constant use.  At the annual meeting held on December 9, 1896, the membership limit was raised to seventy-five, and the club now has about sixty members. The present officers are: Fred J. Stimson, president; Arthur Duncan Moir, vice president; Arthur Man, secretary; and Franklyn Paddock, treasurer and captain, and they, with Arthur Smith and Walter Rutherfurd, constitute the governing committee.

The club house is a picturesque little two story structure, charmingly located on a knoll that commands a view of the greater part of the course with Flushing Bay, Jamaica bay and the Navesink Highlands in the distance.  It provides the members with a very pleasant, well lighted grill room, ample locker facilities and sleeping accommodations for five or six, possibly more at a pinch.

The course is an interesting and tricky one of a markedly sporting character.  It is laid out over and around a series of hills and knolls which, intersected though they be by vallies and ravines, help to form the ridge that serves as Long Island's backbone.

It is unlike the majority of the other courses on the island in that it is well timbered.  The trees, however, are not made to serve as hazards, as they sometimes are in the New forest, in England, though they are availed of to punish sliced or hooked balls.  In my experience trees are not generally considered good hazards save by men who have proved themselves exceptionally clever and lucky at forcing their balls over or through them, like Warner S. Kinkead, for instance, the United States consul at Southampton, who figured prominently at the reception accorded to Ambassador Hay last week.  He can negotiate them admirably.

A glance at the diagram of the Richmond Hill green, [Click here to view the 1897 diagram of the course.], will make plain some of the attractive features of this course, which dries out quickly, even after very heavy rain, the soil being sandy and light.

The teeing ground for the first hole, 226 yards away, is not far from the club house.  A drive of 125 yeards finds a good lie (technical term) on the other side of a little ravine.  A well played approach should land the ball on the green, which is cut in the side of a steep hill, but care must be taken not to overreach the hole or bungle the stroke, lest the ball rolls to the foot of the hill.  This hole is bogeyed (technical term) at four strokes.

The second hole is 210 yeard off.  A straight drive is necessary, as a sliced ball will get the player into difficulties on a road to the right, while a fuller one will drop this pill into a pond, where it will repose peacefully, in company with many other victims of similar misdirected efforts.  This hole is bogeyed at three strokes.

The teeing ground for number three will be found across the railroad track.  The holes are 325 yards away.  A stone wall will punish a poor drive, but a good one will result in a fine brassy lie.  An approach bunker protects the putting green. This hole is bogeyed at five strokes.

The next hole is the longest and is generally considered the most sporting the course provides.  It is 415 yards off.  The teeing ground is situated near the railroad track and along side a deep cut.  A pulled or foozled ball will find the rails.  A good drive clears some tiber and a long shot up hill should lay the ball near a bunker, where a long approach lands it on the green which is located in a hollow among some trees. The green is undulating.  This hole is a blind one and is bogeyed at five strokes.

Hole number 5 is 215 yards from the teeing ground.  The hazards that intervene are the pond already alluded to, which now lies to your left; some trees to the right, and an approach bunker about 25 yards from the green.  The hole is bogeyed at four strokes.

The sixth hole, 160 yards away, though short, proves a snag that most strangers stumble over, as the drive has to be made through a lane cut in the trees about 30 yards wide, and is apparently almost straight up hill, the rise being 75 feet in a little over a hundred yards.  Obviously this is a blind hole.  It is bogeyed at three strokes.

The start for the next hole, No. 7, distant 230 yards, is made from the back of the club house.  If a player fails to carry the road that faces him with his driver he will find himself in a peck of trouble.  A good high ball slightly pulled will enable him to reach the green with a long second if he's lucky.  This hole is bogeyed at four strokes.

A well played wrist shot with a clack finds the eighth putting green a hundred yards away.  Too short a stroke penalizes a player badly, as the hazard - a road - is a very difficult one to negotiate.  This hole is also a blind one and is bogeyed at three strokes.

The ninth hole is 170 yards from the teeing ground.  Trees to the right and left punish a crooked drive.  An effort should be made to lay the ball under the lee of the clubhouse, the putting green can then readily be reached. This hole is also bogeyed at three strokes.  Personally I should not care to buck up against Colonel Bogey on this course.  The putting greens are small and it strikes me whoever kept his tally must have favored him.

The club has eighteen registered caddies.  The four best are provided with a numbered badge and command a somewhat higher fee than their less fortunate associates. This course can be reached in thirty-five minutes by trolley from the city hall, and in less than half an hour by train from Long Island City, which makes it one, if not quite, the most accessible greens on the island.

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