Golf Club Atlas

GolfClubAtlas.com => Golf Course Architecture => Topic started by: Mike Davidson on January 31, 2017, 08:02:47 PM

Title: Alfred Williams | Maplewood Country Club (NJ)
Post by: Mike Davidson on January 31, 2017, 08:02:47 PM
I have been trying to research into the history of Maplewood Country Club in New Jersey, specifically the course architect and with the help of many generous people and this discussion group was led to Alfred Williams (thank you Sven Nilsen).  I will include here what I have learned so far on him and wanted to see if anyone else had something to share as I try to find out more. 


In searching for early information on Maplewood, I found these articles which mention him and started me on my research into him:


News-Record of Maplewood and South Orange, March 21, 1919

(http://i.imgur.com/DBhVcqR.png)


New York Sun, Tuesday, April 22, 1919:
(http://i.imgur.com/Y6oTiHM.png)


Golfers Magazine, Volume 35-35, 1919:
(http://i.imgur.com/vOvGVzL.png)


Per the above I believe I can conclude Alfred or Al Williams is absolutely the architect / builder of Maplewood.  Outside of this, there is very little about him that I can find.  I found a few of his ads or mentions of him which begins in 1912 as the Greenskeeper of Garden City Golf Club:
American Golfer Aug 1912:
(http://i.imgur.com/NT7irhP.png)

American Annual Golf Guide and Year Book 1916 mentions him or someone with the same name:(http://i.imgur.com/pRRaOKX.png)

Also regarding Hartford and 1916 is this post by Bret Lawrence citing him as the 1916 designer:http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,43053.msg1425208.html#msg1425208 (http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,43053.msg1425208.html#msg1425208)



American Golfer Feb 1917:
(http://i.imgur.com/mTZFUuk.png)


American Annual Golf Guide and Year Book 1921 mentions him at a CT club?  Wonder if it is a different Al Williams here:
(http://i.imgur.com/HV87lHk.png)


Golf Illustrated May 1923:
(http://i.imgur.com/M7plphD.png)



If anyone has anything on Alfred Williams (or on Maplewood Field Club, A.K.A. Maplewood Country Club in NJ) I would love to learn more!


Best,
Mike
Title: Re: Alfred Williams | Maplewood Country Club (NJ)
Post by: Joe Bausch on January 31, 2017, 08:10:53 PM
I have a pretty good article on Maplewood from 1919.  I'll try to post it soon.
Title: Re: Alfred Williams | Maplewood Country Club (NJ)
Post by: Mike Davidson on January 31, 2017, 08:12:26 PM
That would be fantastic, thank you!
Title: Re: Alfred Williams | Maplewood Country Club (NJ)
Post by: David_Tepper on January 31, 2017, 09:19:34 PM
My partner & I won the Essex County Junior (18&under) Doubles tennis tournament at the Maplewood Country Club in 1966. The only official USTA tournament I ever won. ;)
Title: Re: Alfred Williams | Maplewood Country Club (NJ)
Post by: Mike Davidson on February 01, 2017, 07:45:41 AM
My partner & I won the Essex County Junior (18&under) Doubles tennis tournament at the Maplewood Country Club in 1966. The only official USTA tournament I ever won. ;)


Were they all clay courts back then?  They still are today!
Title: Re: Alfred Williams | Maplewood Country Club (NJ)
Post by: MCirba on February 01, 2017, 07:51:59 AM
This is awesome stuff.  Thanks for sharing.
Title: Re: Alfred Williams | Maplewood Country Club (NJ)
Post by: Joe Bausch on February 01, 2017, 07:59:40 AM
That would be fantastic, thank you!

From the April 27, 1919 edition of the NY Tribune:

(http://xchem.villanova.edu/~bausch/images/Maplewood/Apr27_1919_NYTribune.jpg)
Title: Re: Alfred Williams | Maplewood Country Club (NJ)
Post by: Mike Davidson on February 01, 2017, 08:21:56 AM
Joe, thanks so much for posting this.  It is very helpful (and confusing!) in piecing together the puzzle.  The two oldest scorecards I have from the USGA on Maplewood are from 1924 and 1937, both of which show 18 holes and a different routing than the article mentioned above.  I have yet to find anything specific on the second 9 being built at Maplewood (other than shortly after the first nine) but it seems it was most likely there by Fall 1923 where Walter Hagen and Joe Kirkwood played an exhibition match against Jerome D. Travers and William M. Reekie:


(http://i.imgur.com/9gWDBkU.jpg)


1924 Scorecard:


(http://i.imgur.com/6vLIEmG.png)
(http://i.imgur.com/6TwW3N2.png)




1937 Scorecard:

(http://i.imgur.com/ScvwliL.jpg) (http://i.imgur.com/ScvwliL.jpg)
(http://i.imgur.com/He0LaM1.jpg) (http://i.imgur.com/He0LaM1.jpg)


Unknown Date:

(http://i.imgur.com/2556K63.jpg) (http://i.imgur.com/2556K63.jpg)
(http://i.imgur.com/aZpO7tF.jpg) (http://i.imgur.com/aZpO7tF.jpg)
Title: Re: Alfred Williams | Maplewood Country Club (NJ)
Post by: Eric LeFante on February 01, 2017, 08:40:06 AM
I used to pass the course everyday when I took the train to NY. The par 5 along the tracks will test anyone's nerve with OB right and big trees and bunkers on the left. It's really narrow.
Title: Re: Alfred Williams | Maplewood Country Club (NJ)
Post by: Mike Davidson on February 01, 2017, 08:42:47 AM
I used to pass the course everyday when I took the train to NY. The par 5 along the tracks will test anyone's nerve with OB right and big trees and bunkers on the left. It's really narrow.


That is the 15th and you are right.  Leading the member member last summer on the tee I put 3 OB right to take us out of it (back 9 was aggregate team score).  Need to work on the nerves!
Title: Re: Alfred Williams | Maplewood Country Club (NJ)
Post by: Eric LeFante on February 01, 2017, 10:10:54 AM
I used to pass the course everyday when I took the train to NY. The par 5 along the tracks will test anyone's nerve with OB right and big trees and bunkers on the left. It's really narrow.


That is the 15th and you are right.  Leading the member member last summer on the tee I put 3 OB right to take us out of it (back 9 was aggregate team score).  Need to work on the nerves!


No shame in that Mike. That hole is terrifying.
Title: Re: Alfred Williams | Maplewood Country Club (NJ)
Post by: Bret Lawrence on February 01, 2017, 10:51:07 AM
Mike,


Sven and I briefly discussed Alfred Williams in the Willie Park Jr. course listing thread.  It appears he did some construction work for a few of Parks designs including Woodway and Atlantic City CC, as well as some work on Herbert Strong designs.  Willie Park Jr. certainly had ties to Peterson, Sinclair and Miller.  Carters Tested Seeds consolidated with Peterson Sinclair and Miller in 1920 and they were responsible for a lot of golf course construction work in the East and Midwest in the early 20's.


I have an article from the Hartford Courant dated April 19, 1914 which introduces Al Williams as the new groundskeeper of the Hartford Golf Club.  A quote from the article states:


"Williams comes to the club highly recommended, having served his apprenticeship under Peter Lees of Mid-Surrey, England who is recognized as being one of the most capable keepers in England.  He came to the United States three years ago and entered the employ of Garden City Golf Club".


I don't have a lot of background info on Alfred Williams, but there are a few more articles in the Hartford Courant that I can search later when I get a little more time. 


Regarding your earlier post for Trumbull Country Club in Warren.  I think this course still exists in Ohio.  This listing is not under the CT section of the 1921 Annual Golf Guide.


Bret
Title: Re: Alfred Williams | Maplewood Country Club (NJ)
Post by: Mike Davidson on February 01, 2017, 11:02:04 AM
Thanks, Bret.  I did some light searching into Hartford Golf Club after seeing your posts in those threads but did not find much.  I am not sure if any of his design is still at Hartford but it was disappointing that I couldn't find his name anywhere on their current website.  I grew up outside of Hartford and this has hit closer to home than I expected as I am now in NJ!


My interest in Mr. Williams began in my search for history on Maplewood and once I obtain as much information as I can, I am going to try to put it out there on our club site and give him the credit he is due!


Mike
Title: Re: Alfred Williams | Maplewood Country Club (NJ)
Post by: Joe Schackman on February 01, 2017, 11:46:51 AM
Cool thread. I live right down the road from Maplewood CC but I have never played it.
Title: Re: Alfred Williams | Maplewood Country Club (NJ)
Post by: Mike Davidson on February 01, 2017, 12:43:50 PM
Here is a video I made of the first six holes this fall.  DISCLAIMER: I am am amateur with both the filming/editing and the sun/lighting was not ideal.  We had also aerated so the greens are sandy, but I was having fun with it.


https://youtu.be/j0eaaPWThcU



Title: Re: Alfred Williams | Maplewood Country Club (NJ)
Post by: Joe Bausch on February 01, 2017, 12:59:28 PM
From the April 22, 1919 New York Sun:

(http://xchem.villanova.edu/~bausch/images/Maplewood/Apr22_1919_NYSun.jpg)
Title: Re: Alfred Williams | Maplewood Country Club (NJ)
Post by: Phil Lipper on February 01, 2017, 01:51:23 PM

A Dr. Member of Maplewood invented the golf tee and they have a plaque in the grill room commemorating it. I got married in 2001 at Maplewood and all my golf buddies took pictures of themselves next to plaque and the wives thought everyone was nuts.
Title: Re: Alfred Williams | Maplewood Country Club (NJ)
Post by: Mike Davidson on February 01, 2017, 01:53:25 PM

A Dr. Member of Maplewood invented the golf tee and they have a plaque in the grill room commemorating it. I got married in 2001 at Maplewood and all my golf buddies took pictures of themselves next to plaque and the wives thought everyone was nuts.


Golf Illustrated November 1927:


(http://i.imgur.com/KJe9qse.jpg)
Title: Re: Alfred Williams | Maplewood Country Club (NJ)
Post by: Mike Davidson on February 01, 2017, 02:00:47 PM
Found a few more references to Alfred Williams.


Brooklyn NY Daily Eagle 1920:


(http://i.imgur.com/okVMQ4B.jpg)




Brooklyn NY Daily Eagle 1924:


(http://i.imgur.com/gw9upTT.jpg)
Title: Re: Alfred Williams | Maplewood Country Club (NJ)
Post by: Bret Lawrence on February 02, 2017, 10:23:32 PM
Mike,


Here is a nice write up on Alfred Williams and Jack Elphick from The Hartford Courant-July 23, 1916


(http://i1372.photobucket.com/albums/ag323/bretjlawrence/28E91580-9FA5-4EC2-961D-10DF068197BD_zps5iysikml.jpeg)


(http://i1372.photobucket.com/albums/ag323/bretjlawrence/5B223517-0943-4A71-81E2-0D686893DFEE_zpsbalxc8or.jpeg)
(http://i1372.photobucket.com/albums/ag323/bretjlawrence/C21EFDCE-107D-482F-954E-1E8EBB80DD62_zpsach6jvci.jpeg)
(http://i1372.photobucket.com/albums/ag323/bretjlawrence/F592486A-C023-4FB7-B8CF-47DADF2AA989_zpscutg6qb6.jpeg)
(http://i1372.photobucket.com/albums/ag323/bretjlawrence/1E2A2959-061C-4B2C-AEE5-A469DD08A0E4_zps3fyeham6.jpeg)

Title: Re: Alfred Williams | Maplewood Country Club (NJ)
Post by: Bret Lawrence on February 02, 2017, 10:53:26 PM
Here is another article discussing Williams at Hartford during construction. Some of the article may be tough to read.  This article is from the Hartford Courant-March 7, 1915:



(http://i1372.photobucket.com/albums/ag323/bretjlawrence/B27A36B7-3BAD-4904-A4BB-E7C6D8500634_zps9wmslusd.jpeg)
(http://i1372.photobucket.com/albums/ag323/bretjlawrence/84DDE31C-FB64-4128-AF38-43F8FCE2ABE9_zpso5nqgdqw.jpeg)


This article also goes into hole by hole detail of the new course (which I didn't include) and had this photograph of Alfred Williams:
(http://i1372.photobucket.com/albums/ag323/bretjlawrence/3658DAE0-86CD-4F5D-BCAF-046445E67395_zps3ufjiefm.jpeg)
Title: Re: Alfred Williams | Maplewood Country Club (NJ)
Post by: Mike Davidson on February 03, 2017, 07:23:43 AM
Thank you Bret.  It seems he was involved in several projects and certainly attempted to market himself given the ads he posted in 1917 and 1923. 


It is certain he built the first nine at Maplewood in 1919 and the second nine must have been built between 1919-1924 but I am still coming up blank on when and if it was Mr. Williams as well.  The brief club history on the Maplewood website that was written before I was there notes that land was purchased in 1919 and again in 1921 for the golf course.  An 18 hole match was noted in the NY Times in 1923 and an 18 hole scorecard was found for 1924 but other than that I am still searching.
Title: Re: Alfred Williams | Maplewood Country Club (NJ)
Post by: Bret Lawrence on February 03, 2017, 08:24:14 PM
Mike,


Regarding your earlier post, I think today's 4th, 5th, 6th and 14th holes at Hartford Golf Club continue to follow the routing Alfred Williams designed in 1915.  There is also a Par 3 similar to the one shown in Williams design. This Par 3 is no longer used in the routing, but is still maintained as a Par 3 practice hole.  This hole is located between holes 4 and 5 on the southernmost portion of the property.


The Hartford Golf Club layout from 1916 which you linked to in an earlier post shows Williams only built seven holes north of Albany Avenue.  The remainder of the course was to the south of Albany Avenue.  Today's Hartford GC consists of 27 holes all located north of Albany Avenue.  The holes you see to the north of Williams 1916 design are today located on the southern portion of the property.


Today the course is thought of as a Ross redesign of an Emmet course, but there may be some remnants of Williams design in the layout.  The first hole at Maplewood in your video is very reminiscent of the 4th hole at Hartford Golf Club.  The only difference is Hartford has a lot more room to miss on the left from the tee.


I wish I had more information for you on Maplewood,  I have never come across information on the course.  Do you have any record of when the current clubhouse was built?  I noticed in one of the articles posted they had a plan for nine more holes and a clubhouse. I just wonder if they changed the location of the clubhouse after 1919.  The layout appears to be the same from 1924 to 1937 to today.  The sequencing of the holes are different, but the course looks like it can be looped in many different ways.


Bret
Title: Re: Alfred Williams | Maplewood Country Club (NJ)
Post by: Bret Lawrence on February 03, 2017, 08:54:13 PM

Here is a side by side of Hartford Golf Club today and the Alfred Williams layout from 1916, as mentioned above.  The holes labeled 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 play very much like they did in 1916.  The exception being 7 which is no longer in play.  Obviously there has been some tweaking over the years by architects, but these holes seem to originate with Williams:

(http://i1372.photobucket.com/albums/ag323/bretjlawrence/D3931474-98D9-4F68-90F7-1C663E5E5F6F_zpscnvdbv93.jpeg)(http://i1372.photobucket.com/albums/ag323/bretjlawrence/5AA4F64A-0C43-4926-A439-DE3DF47AE749_zpsjrxammgb.png)
Title: Re: Alfred Williams | Maplewood Country Club (NJ)
Post by: Mike Davidson on February 04, 2017, 02:43:59 PM

I wish I had more information for you on Maplewood,  I have never come across information on the course.  Do you have any record of when the current clubhouse was built?  I noticed in one of the articles posted they had a plan for nine more holes and a clubhouse. I just wonder if they changed the location of the clubhouse after 1919.  The layout appears to be the same from 1924 to 1937 to today.  The sequencing of the holes are different, but the course looks like it can be looped in many different ways.


Bret


The current clubhouse was built around 1922.  It was at first opposed after being voted in in Feb 1922.  Interesting in that it notes in the NY Times article that the club was still only on 14 acres but had just acquired land to expand to 18 holes.  Also the clubhouse depicted below is the same today.


(http://i.imgur.com/7AGyflt.jpg) (http://i.imgur.com/7AGyflt.jpg)


American Architect Volume 120 July-December 1921:


(http://i.imgur.com/81x3GA8.jpg) (http://i.imgur.com/81x3GA8.jpg)
(http://i.imgur.com/IBgwcOw.jpg) (http://i.imgur.com/IBgwcOw.jpg)
Title: Re: Alfred Williams | Maplewood Country Club (NJ)
Post by: Mike Davidson on February 04, 2017, 03:07:01 PM
Also here are some aerials of Maplewood:


1931:
(http://i.imgur.com/z7LLshG.jpg) (http://i.imgur.com/z7LLshG.jpg)

1954:
(http://i.imgur.com/R3VCRZ0.jpg) (http://i.imgur.com/R3VCRZ0.jpg)

2012:
(http://i.imgur.com/t09xNif.jpg) (http://i.imgur.com/t09xNif.jpg)
Title: Re: Alfred Williams | Maplewood Country Club (NJ)
Post by: Mike Davidson on February 04, 2017, 03:07:57 PM
Apologies, some of the pictures are getting posted very large in here, I am not sure how to reduce them.
Title: Re: Alfred Williams | Maplewood Country Club (NJ)
Post by: Joe Bausch on February 04, 2017, 03:32:54 PM
Apologies, some of the pictures are getting posted very large in here, I am not sure how to reduce them.


Check your PMs Mike to learn how to make your big pictures 'fit' and have them be clickable to a big size.
Title: Re: Alfred Williams | Maplewood Country Club (NJ)
Post by: Joe Bausch on February 04, 2017, 03:49:53 PM
Like this Mike (hit reply to this message, click on the arrow icon with the red brackets, then study how I used the image tags).

(http://i.imgur.com/z7LLshG.jpg) (http://i.imgur.com/z7LLshG.jpg)

Title: Re: Alfred Williams | Maplewood Country Club (NJ)
Post by: Mike Davidson on February 04, 2017, 03:53:45 PM
Thanks Joe!  I got it, going to go back and fix everything now!
Title: Re: Alfred Williams | Maplewood Country Club (NJ)
Post by: Bret Lawrence on February 06, 2017, 11:10:09 AM
Mike,


The last article you posted mentions a present club house. Do you know the location of the original club house? 


I think the statement of the 14 acres the club now held title to was only to differentiate it from the land the golf course was located on. The land for the golf course may have been acquired by lease or mortgage? The article makes it sound like they had acquired enough land for an 18 hole course which was scheduled to open on Memorial Day 1922.


Sven cites his Al Williams article on the Willie Park Jr. thread from August 22, 1922.  Perhaps this article contains information on all 18 holes?  The article wasn't posted in the thread, so I don't know exactly what it says. 


Researching stories on Linwood Country Club may help your search too.  If Al Williams built a second nine holes at Maplewood, it most likely would have been around the same time or just after he worked at Linwood.  There was a quote of: "Harry W. Williams, who has been the pro at Galen Hall links, will go to the new Linwood Country Club at Linwood, near Atlantic City, after the first of the year" from The Evening Public Ledger-December 28, 1920.  Linwood opened their first five holes in March of 1921.  I wonder if this was Al's brother?  The story from Hartford mentioned he had a brother in the business.


Bret



Title: Re: Alfred Williams | Maplewood Country Club (NJ)
Post by: MCirba on February 06, 2017, 11:16:23 AM
Interestingly, I've seen Harry Williams co-credited with Alex Findlay as being responsible for the  first nine hole course at Galen Hall.
Title: Re: Alfred Williams | Maplewood Country Club (NJ)
Post by: Mike Davidson on December 06, 2017, 10:28:57 AM
Waking this thread back up.  I am still working towards finding more information on the club, specifically trying to find anything about when the second nine holes was built.