Play began at "WALLKILL GOLF CLUB" 97 years ago, in 1910. The New Jersey Zinc Company constructed a six-hold course for the exclusive use of the New Jersey Zinc Company officials and their guests. On March 11, 1915, club members Clayton R. Ricker, J. Stuart McKaig, Clarence R. Boyce, Dr. Fredick P Wilbur, Earl M. Spry and Gilbert Morse incorporated 'WALLKILL GOLF CLUB', thus ending the operation of the Club by the New Jersey Zinc Company.
The club property has an interesting history as well as most of the land in the Borough of Franklin. The Borough of Franklin incorporated in 1913. Prior to 1913 the Borough of Franklin was part of Hardyston Township. The previous owners of the Club property are as follows: King Charles II of England granted it to James, Duke of York, who conveyed it to Sir George Carteret in 1676. Upon Sir George Carteret's death, William Penn and eleven others bought the land in 1787. Anthony Sharp conveyed the land to Joseph P. Sharp and sold the property to Noah Hammand in 1807. The next owner was William C. Burdick who sold it to the Boston Franklinite Company on May 31, 1875 and sold it on December 1, 1904 to Chester Securities Company. The New Jersey Zinc Company purchased the property on July 22, 1916 and conveyed the property to the Wallkill Golf Club on June 18, 1919. One may assume that the New Jersey Zinc Company officials controlled Chester Securities or leased the land with an option to buy because of the incorporation in 1915 of the Wallkill Golf Club.
An article in the Sussex County Register dated September 24, 1914 states "The club house was open Saturday to the members for the first time. It is a very attractive, though unpretentious, building with four rooms and a large porch overlooking the whole course. Another feature is the outside fireplace. The building is encircled by a white Limestone driveway". On April 3, 1923 the New Jersey Zinc Company released the building restrictions of the 1919 deed on 1.27 acres. It's believed this is when the present locker rooms were constructed. The Club kitchen and the storage room north of the club room were the men's' & ladies' locker rooms.
On July 26, 1923 members Clarence Haight, Gilbert Morse, Oscar Stoll, Art Watt, Reeve Harden, Lewis Dolan, Joseph Quinn, Samuel Munson, Floyd Devore and Robert Seip incorporated WALKILL COUNTRY CLUB.
On December 29, 1923 Wallkill Golf Club conveyed all rights, title and interests to Walkill Country Club and on June 3, 1926 the New Jersey Zinc Company conveyed 17,773 sq. feet of land to the Walkill Country Club. This is the land where the fifth green is located. In October 1962, the Walkill Country Club conveyed land along Wildcat Road to the Borough of Franklin for the realignment of the road. On January 21, 1966, the New Jersey Zinc Company released to the Walkill Country Club the deed restrictions in the June 18, 1919 deed, reserving the mineral rights below sea level.
The original six-hole course was laid out as follows: The first tee was located at or near its present location while the green was either smaller or nearer the tee and a par four. The second tee was located behind the first green along Maple Road with the green at or near its present location and a par three. It should be noted that all greens at this time were level with the fairways, none were elevated. The third tee was at or near its present location while the green was northeast of the maintenance garage (built in 1950), and northeast of the bunker towards or in the eighth fairway and a par three. The fourth tee was located north of the bunker in the present third fairway. The green was located at or near the spring in the present fifth fairway and a par five. This was the longest hole on the original course. The fifth tee was located at or near the ladies' tee on the present fifth while the green was located on this side of the Wallkill River and a par three. The sixth tee as well as the green were at or near their present locations and a par four. Par for six-holes was 22. It is apparent that the members played three six-hole rounds for their 18, and it is believed the course was expanded to nine holes in the 1920's.
On September 19, 1914, the first championship tournaments were held at Wallkill Golf Club. The first club champion was J. Stuart McKaig and he was presented a silver cup by President C.R. Ricker, while Mrs. Samuel T. Munson was presented a silver cup by Mrs. C.R. Ricker as the first Ladies' Champion.
When the fourth hole was constructed, access to the tee was a set of steps to an area where the men's fifth tee is today, to a bridge to the top of the hill to the fourth tee. The bridge and the steps were removed in the 50's. The cement base still remains on the hill northwest of the fifth tee. It should be noted that across the Wallkill River there was a grist mill and blacksmith shop before the railroad was built. The drainage system that removes much of the water from the third and eight fairways was installed in the 1920's.
The storage garage south of the club house was constructed in 1970. Construction of new tees for the third and eight holes was started in 1982. In 1983, construction started on a new cart path to the fourth tee as well as new upper tees on the fourth and fifth holes. An additional greens building was constructed in 1999 that serves as the main building and office for our Greens Superintendent.
1966-67 was the last year that caddies were used at Walkill Country Club; some had the pleasure of caddying for the great "Babe Ruth" when he frequented our course.