Historic Pelham

Presenting the rich history of Pelham, NY in Westchester County: current historical research, descriptions of how to research Pelham history online and genealogy discussions of Pelham families.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Failed Efforts in 1900 to Build a Golf Course on Hunter's Island Rather than on the Mainland in Pelham Bay Park

Today's Pelham Split Rock Golf Club, consisting of the Pelham Bay Golf Course and the Split Rock Golf Course, sits on land that once was part of the Town of Pelham before annexation by New York City in 1896. The narrow, tree-lined Split Rock Golf Course opened in 1934 and was designed by John van Kleek. Pelham Bay Golf Course opened in 1905.

I previously have published to the Historic Pelham Blog a couple accounts of the early, slow efforts to build the first nine holes of the Pelham Bay Golf Course. See:

Thursday, March 19, 2009: More on the Early Efforts To Develop the First Nine Holes of the First Pelham Bay Golf Course.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005: An Early Description of Construction of the First Nine Holes of the Pelham Bay Golf Course.

As noted in the December 20, 2005 posting, Val Flood, New York City's "golf professional" was overseeing construction of the course. Although the first nine holes of the course were scheduled to open in August, 1900, its condition in September of that year -- a full month later -- was described as "chaotic".

It turns out that things were more "chaotic" than I previously understood.  It turns out that in 1900 members of the New York Athletic Cub were lobbying the Commissioner of the Bronx Park District to lay out the course on Hunter's Island.  Below is a brief article that appeared in The New York Times about the matter.



Championship Tournament Will Be Played in May.




Golf Prospects in the New York Athletic Club -- Business Compels Forgan to Relinquish the Game.


. . . . . Golf has been under discussion during the past week by the House Committee of the New-York Athletic Club.  The proposition which was considered a few months ago to lay out a golf course on Hunter's Island instead of in Pelham Park is not meeting with much favor.  Last year Lawrence Van Etten laid out, on paper, an elaborate eighteen-hole course in Pelham Park, and it met with the approval of Commissioner Moebus of the Bronx Park district.  Nothing could be done then, as all the city's efforts were being directed toward the completion of the Van Cortlandt links.  Mr. Van Etten favors Pelham Park, and says he thinks Hunter's Island would prove too small for golf purposes in the near future.  The athletic club members are hoping that Commissioner Moebus may give them some golf encouragement early in the season.  Wherever the new public course is laid out, the New York Athletic Club will try to secure special privileges for the links on certain days of the week."

Source:  Activity in Local Golf, N.Y. Times, Feb. 4, 1900, p. 16, col. 1.

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