Baltusrol: Tillinghast, The First Island Green And Murder

There's a trio! But we forget a few things and learn things with Baltusrol having hosted many majors: that this is a national treasure on many levels beyond the tournament golf.

Bill Fields filed a New York Times story on the island green at Baltusrol that was later taken out by A.W. Tillinghast.

Where the putting surface of the 16th hole is situated, though, once existed one of the most talked-about features in early American golf: the sport’s first island green. The site was the location of the 10th green on Baltusrol’s Old Course, an 18-hole layout created in 1900 that was used for two decades before the opening of the Upper and Lower Courses in 1922, built by the noted golf course architect A. W. Tillinghast.

Fields also delves into the grim story that gave Baltusrol its name: the murder of Baltus Roll in a late night robbery attempt.

Also, on a lighter note, this was a breakthrough project for A.W. Tillinghast. Brett Cyrgalis looks at the club's rich history, which, while it included multiple Opens before they let Tillie turn the place into two courses, went to another level because of the architect's effort.

Having already played host to the five major championships, including two U.S. Opens, one U.S. Amateur and two U.S. Women’s Amateurs, the club decided to rip up what would become known as “the old course,” and totally revamp its sprawling property in Springfield, N.J. The club hired proclaimed golf course architect A.W. Tillinghast, whose unheard-of proposal was for two golf courses, both of the highest caliber, playing up to the venerable Tudor clubhouse and along the side of Baltusrol Mountain.

The club opened in 1922, and the accolades have never stopped coming. It’s a history that is hardly lost on the current membership, now readying this week to play host to its 17th major championship, the PGA Championship.

“The history is very important for the average member,” said Rick Jenkins, the club historian and the member appointed to be the general chairman for the 98th PGA Championship. “It’s part of the culture here. Every member knows every 15 years, we’ll host a major championship. That’s the timetable we’re on. We want to do this because we think it’s not only part of our legacy, but our contribution to the game.”

On Golf Channel's Live From coverage, Matt Ginella profiled Tillinghast in this Eric Morris-produced piece that includes some wonderful old imagery.