Baltusrol (Lower) - New Jersey - USA

Baltusrol Golf Club,
201 Shunpike Road,
New Jersey (NJ) 07081,

  • +1 973 376 1900

Mr Baltus Roll once farmed this land in the 19th century but the Dutchman was bludgeoned to death by two thieves in search of his cash. After his untimely murder, the estate later found its way into the hands of Louis Keller, owner and publisher of the New York Social Register. Keller eventually decided to build a golf course and, in 1895, the Baltusrol Golf Club opened for play.

Today’s Baltusrol bears no resemblance to Keller’s original Old course layout, which was scrapped to make way for the two new courses. Both the Upper and Lower courses at Baltusrol were originally laid out by the legendary A. W. Tillinghast in the Roaring Twenties and the Lower was stiffened up ahead of major championships by Robert Trent Jones in 1952 and, some forty years later, by his son Rees. The Lower course is not as hilly as the Upper layout. The fairways of the Lower course undulate in a pleasant manner and they are generously wide. The greens are once more trickily contoured and very tough to read.

Millions watched the 1954 US Open on television in utter amazement as Ed Furgol won the title by playing two different courses during his final round. After a wayward tee shot, he played via the 18th fairway of the Upper course before putting out on the 18th green of the Lower to save par and eventually win the title by a single stroke. Uniquely, the US Open has been played seven times on three different Baltusrol courses, the Old, Upper and Lower courses. It’s unlikely that this amazing record will ever be beaten.

Golf Digest billed The Lower course ahead of the 1993 US Open, which was won by Lee Janzen, as “the longest yawn”, but Baltusrol’s Lower course is the epitome of what is required of US Open venue. Deep bunkers, thick rough, slippery greens and length are the ingredients required to test the world’s best pros. The Lower course has it all in spades.

Perhaps Tillinghast was the first architect to use bunkers in an aesthetically pleasing manner. Not only is the bunkering at Baltusrol artistic, but also plentiful. More than 120 bunkers are positioned precisely, some say the bunker placement is cruel. It will therefore be interesting to know how Rees Jones's latest bunker renovation programme stands the test of time.

Baltusrol announces Gil Hanse as course consultant

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Description: Baltusrol Golf Club takes its name from Mr Baltus Roll who once farmed this land in the 19th century before his untimely murder. Rating: 6.8 out of 10 Reviews: 11
Was lucky enough to play both courses last summer and the Lower certainly gets the upper hand on the Upper for me although the Lower just fails in my eyes to reach the highest tier alongside the Old Course and Pine Valley. It’s certainly an amazing piece of property but fee that the flat holes come up short in my mind. To score well here you need to full repertoire of shots and the greens are like glass and three putting is commonplace. I was very lucky to get a game here and I am very privileged… it’s a lovely course and a welcoming club.
October 15, 2006
8 / 10
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