The Wanamaker Trophy and the Baltusrol Golf Club clubhouse.

PGA Championship returns to Baltusrol in 2016 for centennial celebration

The PGA of America

Baltusrol Golf Club of Springfield, N.J., the home of many of the most memorable U.S. major championships, has been named the site of the 98th PGA Championship in July 2016, which will be a part of a year-long celebration of The PGA of America’s Centennial.

Considered one of architect A.W. Tillinghast’s finest designs, Baltusrol Golf Club has hosted one or more major championships in all but one decade of the 20th century, which is unmatched by any other U.S. facility. Baltusrol has been the site of seven U.S. Open Championships on three different courses, which is another unique record.

Baltusrol’s Lower Course, where Phil Mickelson triumphed in the 2005 PGA Championship, is the second New Jersey course to host the Championship, following Seaview Country Club in Atlantic City, where in 1942 Sam Snead earned the first of his three PGA Championships.

“Baltusrol Golf Club’s history is a study in how generations of premier players have shaped major championship golf in this country,” said former PGA of America President Brian Whitcomb. “We enjoyed a marvelous 2005 Championship and we could not be more excited about bringing the season’s final major back to this great club during a year when we will celebrate our Association’s Centennial. Baltusrol again sets the stage for yet another special chapter in major championship golf.”

Baltusrol opened its doors in 1895, and later employed Tillinghast, who by 1922 had created two new 18-hole courses, the Upper and Lower, where he applied the principles of modern course design and enable the club to remain one of America’s golf jewels. Baltusrol Golf Club’s Lower Course is one of the perennial clubs recognized by Golf Digest as one of “The Top 100 Courses in America.”

“We are honored to have been selected by The PGA of America to play such an important role in the celebration of its Centennial,” said Rich Secrist, president of Baltusrol Golf Club. “We look forward to again working with The PGA of America and to the world’s best golfers competing on our historic Lower Course.”

Founded in 1895 by Louis Keller, Baltusrol Golf Club was given its name by Louise McAllister, the daughter of one of the leaders of New York society. McAllister joined the first and last names of farmer Baltus Roll, who had died on the property some 60 years earlier in an attempted robbery.

With its Old Course overburdened by play at the turn of the 20th century, Keller provided 318 acres to famed architect Tillinghast to perform his craftsmanship and develop the now-renowned Upper and Lower courses.

Tillinghast’s trademark strategic designs provided ample room off the tee, but challenged the player to perform “rifle accuracy” on the shot home, thereby heightening a premium on driving accuracy.

Later, architects Robert Trent Jones Sr. and his son, Rees, prepared the Lower Course for major championships by lengthening and modernizing the layout. Between 2000 and 2005, Rees Jones made his updates to the course.

Virtually every celebrated champion in American golf has competed at Baltusrol, from Willie Anderson, Francis Ouimet, Walter Hagen and Bobby Jones to Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Mickey Wright, Nancy Lopez, Tom Watson and Tiger Woods.

Major Champions at Baltusrol
--Willie Anderson, 1903 U.S. Open (Old Course)
--Arthur Travers, 1915 U.S. Open  (Old Course)
--Tony Manero, 1936 U.S. Open  (Upper Course)
--Ed Furgol, 1954 U.S. Open (Lower Course)
--Mickey Wright, 1961 U.S. Women’s Open (Lower Course)
--Jack Nicklaus, 1967 U.S. Open (Lower Course)
--Jack Nicklaus, 1980 U.S. Open (Lower Course)
--Kathy Baker, 1985 U.S. Women’s Open (Lower Course)
--Lee Janzen, 1993 U.S. Open (Lower Course)
--Phil Mickelson, 2005 PGA Championship (Lower Course)

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