In honor of the 100th anniversary of the opening of the A.W. Tillinghast-designed golf course at Somerset Hills Country Club in Bernardsville, the club will conduct separate women’s and men’s events in September.
On the women’s side, a Pro-Lady event, will take place on Thursday Sept. 28, while on the following day, Friday, Sept. 29, a men’s amateur event, including top area amateurs, will be played. Members will celebrate the centennial at the club over the weekend of Sept. 30-Oct. 1.
The men's invitiational will a 36-hole Mid-Amateur and 18-hole Senior amateur event. "The idea is to have the group enjoy the golf course on a late September afternoon," said men's chairman Jim Walton.
The Pro-Lady event has a novel twist. Invited to play are professionals and top female players from area courses designed by Tillinghast as well as courses that were partially designed or reconstructed by the architect.
Additional invitees are golfers who have had an attachment to Somerset Hills, such as Amy Alcott, who won the U.S. Girls’ Junior championship played there in 1973 and Kim Saiki who won the same event at Somerset Hills in 1983.
Local members of the Curtis Cup team that competed at Somerset Hills in 1990 such as Margaret Platt, assistant pro at Ridgewood, Karen Noble, assistant at Fairmount, as well as the team captain, Leslie Shannon, are also on the invite list. Others to be invited are top women players from the area such as Val Skinner and Carol Semple Thompson.
Upwards of 80 teams are expected to take part in the centennial celebration.
“It’s been received very enthusiastically,” said Brigid Shanley Lamb, chairperson of the Pro-Lady event. Lamb, a multiple club champion at Somerset Hills has served on numerous USGA committees and is a USGA Rules official.
“We’re excited about it. I always love going to play Tillinghast courses. It will be fun. We’re very proud of our new pro, Daniel Joseph, and the pro shop staff, and the work that has been done on the course. We want to show them off.
“It’s unbelievable the work that has been done on the course. Many people will probably be shocked by the look of the course. Our superintendent, Ryan Tuxhorn, is a star. We’re lucky to have him,” Ms. Lamb said.