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Steve_ Shaffer

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Springdale GC(1895, Flynn in 1926) in Princeton , NJ Reno
« on: October 28, 2023, 08:48:41 PM »
Princeton’s longest tenured private club improving historically significant golf course, embrace designer William Flynn’s intent, while preserving course for future generationsPRINCETON, NEW JERSEY (October 26, 2023) – Springdale Golf Club in Princeton, New Jersey is proudly underway with a course renovation project of its historic William Flynn-designed golf course. Renowned golf course architect and restoration specialist, Ian Andrew, is leading the project. Crews recently began work on the course’s bunkers and the surrounding areas, with work continuing on the course’s irrigation system throughout the fall. Work is expected to be completed by the end of 2023. 
The project marks Springdale’s most ambitious golf course renovation project to date and is expected to deliver a more fun and challenging course, while embracing the design philosophy of legendary architect William Flynn. The 6,380 yard, par-71 course dates back to 1895 and is located adjacent to the Princeton University campus.

Wayne S. Morrison, co-author of The Nature Faker - William S. Flynn, Golf Course Architect, the most comprehensive study of Flynn and his work in golf, recently remarked, “the collection of 17 superb and original Flynn putting greens makes Springdale a unique, significant destination for the study of classic golf course architecture. It’s great to see that Springdale Golf Club is taking the necessary steps to ensure the preservation of this walkable and enjoyably challenging masterpiece for future generations.”
Springdale commissioned the course renovation during a historic boom in golf participation. According to the National Golf Foundation, rounds played in 2021 were up 19 percent over pre-pandemic levels, with growth continuing through 2022 and 2023. The club and its leadership see this surge in new players as an opportunity to grow the game of golf and welcome new members with a best-in-area course and club experience.

Read more:
https://www.firstcallgolf.com/industry-news/release/2023-10-26/springdale-golf-club-in-the-midst-of-course-renovation-project

"Some of us worship in churches, some in synagogues, some on golf courses ... "  Adlai Stevenson
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John Blain

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Re: Springdale GC(1895, Flynn in 1926) in Princeton , NJ Reno
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2023, 01:18:59 PM »
Princeton’s longest tenured private club improving historically significant golf course, embrace designer William Flynn’s intent, while preserving course for future generationsPRINCETON, NEW JERSEY (October 26, 2023) – Springdale Golf Club in Princeton, New Jersey is proudly underway with a course renovation project of its historic William Flynn-designed golf course. Renowned golf course architect and restoration specialist, Ian Andrew, is leading the project. Crews recently began work on the course’s bunkers and the surrounding areas, with work continuing on the course’s irrigation system throughout the fall. Work is expected to be completed by the end of 2023. 
The project marks Springdale’s most ambitious golf course renovation project to date and is expected to deliver a more fun and challenging course, while embracing the design philosophy of legendary architect William Flynn. The 6,380 yard, par-71 course dates back to 1895 and is located adjacent to the Princeton University campus.

Wayne S. Morrison, co-author of The Nature Faker - William S. Flynn, Golf Course Architect, the most comprehensive study of Flynn and his work in golf, recently remarked, “the collection of 17 superb and original Flynn putting greens makes Springdale a unique, significant destination for the study of classic golf course architecture. It’s great to see that Springdale Golf Club is taking the necessary steps to ensure the preservation of this walkable and enjoyably challenging masterpiece for future generations.”
Springdale commissioned the course renovation during a historic boom in golf participation. According to the National Golf Foundation, rounds played in 2021 were up 19 percent over pre-pandemic levels, with growth continuing through 2022 and 2023. The club and its leadership see this surge in new players as an opportunity to grow the game of golf and welcome new members with a best-in-area course and club experience.

Read more:
https://www.firstcallgolf.com/industry-news/release/2023-10-26/springdale-golf-club-in-the-midst-of-course-renovation-project
Springdale GC looks like a very cool and well thought of golf course and club. I wonder why it is rarely mentioned as one the best college golf courses in America. I can't ever recall when it has been top 25? It looks a lot better than some of the courses on those ranking lists.

Bill Crane

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Re: Springdale GC(1895, Flynn in 1926) in Princeton , NJ Reno
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2023, 02:05:27 PM »
Friends;


It was a certainty that at soon as the PR release of our bunker renovations was issued that Steve Shaffer would be posting the news on GCA!    I was not aware that the release had been issued.


A member  of  SGC since my parents joined in 1967, this project is essentially the execution of the Long Range Plan that I suggested and helped to initiate in 2015 as Chair of the Long Range Plan Committee  when I served on the Board of Governors.   I continue to be involved with the project and have been serving the club on the BRI  Committee - Bunker Restoration Initiative. 


A brief note, Ian Andrew has been super to work with and was receptive to Wayne Morrison's input as Historical Consultant in preparing the original plan. Wayne has also provided the club helpful input on the plan revision done by Ian and getting us all ready to go into the ground.


Springdale was founded separate and distinct from Princeton University by Alumni and local residents.  Key members and Founders purchased 240+ acres of land which was later donated to the University well after the course was moved to it's current site and constructed.    We remain a Private Club that is a distinct entity from the University with our own Board and Governance and membership practices.


Because the club is separate from the University we have never been considered for inclusion in ratings of University course such as Yale, Colgate, Bucknell, Ohio Scarlet where the University owns and manages the club.


We continue to be the home venue for the PU teams and PU Invitationals for women are held each fall and for men in the Spring.    We have a cordial relationship with our Landlord but it does present unusual issues.


With my interest in GCA this has been a labor of love getting to this point and there were setbacks along the way. With roughly 80% of the bunker work complete on the front nine and work done on the back nine the results seem excellent.


I will posting more information progressively over the next month or so as I have time.


Bill Crane


 
« Last Edit: October 29, 2023, 02:10:10 PM by Bill Crane »
_________________________________________________________________
( s k a Wm Flynnfan }

David Davis

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Re: Springdale GC(1895, Flynn in 1926) in Princeton , NJ Reno
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2023, 02:14:24 PM »
As fate would have it, on my first international flight without my golf clubs in about 20 years I ended up taking my daughter, who I was visiting at Princeton, for a lovely afternoon walk around Springdale together with Bill Crane and Wayne Morrison. The last time she caddied for me I had my sole "hole in 1". Clearly I dropped the ball not bringing the clubs but that' not the point.

What a great little country town course in a golf rich area of the world. Springdale is clearly a second shot course and has wonderful green complexes and a solid routing on what feels like a really small property. Ian and team indeed seem to be doing a wonderful job there so far, removing trees, updating mowing lines, fairway width, angles and renovating nearly all bunkers with a few new ones thrown in. Also as mentioned a fair bit of drainage work, but tough for a layman to evaluate until you are playing in the rain with a lack of puddles and wet areas.  The front 9 is all but finished with work to start on the back soon.

I look forward to seeing it upon completion and hopefully bringing my clubs along for the ride. (sorry boys, I won't make the same mistake twice.)
Sharing the greatest experiences in golf.

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www.lockharttravelclub.com

mike_malone

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Re: Springdale GC(1895, Flynn in 1926) in Princeton , NJ Reno
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2023, 03:50:40 PM »
If they address the trees it will be sensational.
AKA Mayday

MCirba

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Re: Springdale GC(1895, Flynn in 1926) in Princeton , NJ Reno
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2023, 10:50:05 AM »
Springdale has a terrific set of original Flynn greens and I'm really looking forward to seeing Ian Andrew's work.


Incidentally, when William Flynn got the commission in the 1920s he said that he was building the golf course as a tribute to his mentor, and Princeton U grad Hugh I. Wilson, who had passed just a few years prior.
"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent" - Calvin Coolidge

https://cobbscreek.org/

Michael Morandi

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Re: Springdale GC(1895, Flynn in 1926) in Princeton , NJ Reno
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2023, 11:26:41 AM »
Bill Crane and a few of his fellow members deserve credit for getting the club to recognize the William Flynn jewel that they have. Not too long ago, the club turned its back on Ian Andrew’s extensive plan and let a non-architect come in and reconfigure (without drawings)  some green complexes. The results were non-sensical.  I was a member at the time and could not believe that a club situated in an historical setting would turn its back on its own history. Bill and company have righted this wrong and the clubhouse now glorifies its architectural past with an abundance of old drawings and photographs. Well done, Bill.

MCirba

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Re: Springdale GC(1895, Flynn in 1926) in Princeton , NJ Reno
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2023, 12:19:44 PM »
Bill Crane and a few of his fellow members deserve credit for getting the club to recognize the William Flynn jewel that they have. Not too long ago, the club turned its back on Ian Andrew’s extensive plan and let a non-architect come in and reconfigure (without drawings)  some green complexes. The results were non-sensical.  I was a member at the time and could not believe that a club situated in an historical setting would turn its back on its own history. Bill and company have righted this wrong and the clubhouse now glorifies its architectural past with an abundance of old drawings and photographs. Well done, Bill.


+1000
"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent" - Calvin Coolidge

https://cobbscreek.org/

Bill Crane

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Re: Springdale GC(1895, Flynn in 1926) in Princeton , NJ Reno
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2023, 01:23:19 PM »
Bill Crane and a few of his fellow members deserve credit for getting the club to recognize the William Flynn jewel that they have. Not too long ago, the club turned its back on Ian Andrew’s extensive plan and let a non-architect come in and reconfigure (without drawings)  some green complexes. The results were non-sensical.  I was a member at the time and could not believe that a club situated in an historical setting would turn its back on its own history. Bill and company have righted this wrong and the clubhouse now glorifies its architectural past with an abundance of old drawings and photographs. Well done, Bill.

+1000

Mike Morandi and Mike Cirba:   
Thanks so much for those positive comments.   It has been a labor of love but worth it, and those of us involved are simply excited about the results and the prospects for the club in the future.    The club will be proud to host folks next year when we open.
Morandi and I had some interesting discussions over several years (using my best power of discretion here).
Credit should be given to the current Board for recognizing the need for execution of the bunker project and taking the initiative to generate funds to pay for the work and associated fees.

Thanks  again.
_________________________________________________________________
( s k a Wm Flynnfan }

Bill Crane

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Re: Springdale GC(1895, Flynn in 1926) in Princeton , NJ Reno
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2023, 01:28:35 PM »
Springdale has a terrific set of original Flynn greens and I'm really looking forward to seeing Ian Andrew's work.


Incidentally, when William Flynn got the commission in the 1920s he said that he was building the golf course as a tribute to his mentor, and Princeton U grad Hugh I. Wilson, who had passed just a few years prior.
Mr. Cirba will also point out that Hugh Wilson joined our greens committee around 1900 when the course was moved from it's original site a little over half a mile away.
Likely that Wilson met Willie Dunn Jr.  who laid out the original course at our current site, and it is interesting to speculate how that experience may have facilitated the choice to select him to be involved with the design and construction of Merion.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2023, 01:31:05 PM by Bill Crane »
_________________________________________________________________
( s k a Wm Flynnfan }

Pat Burke

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Re: Springdale GC(1895, Flynn in 1926) in Princeton , NJ Reno
« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2023, 05:07:01 PM »
Good to hear they’re proceeding this way.
Growing up on the shore, Springdale always seemed to fly under the radar, but was a really good course as a high school kid!!


Looking forward to seeing what they do!

John Blain

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Re: Springdale GC(1895, Flynn in 1926) in Princeton , NJ Reno
« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2023, 03:20:08 PM »
Never having played or even seen Springdale GC, is it overgrown like so many Golden Age courses that haven't been restored? If so, will tree removal be an issue with some of the people at Princeton?
The reason I ask is that I play at a university-owned course where tree removal is frowned upon by some at the school, none of whom play golf.

Bruce Katona

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Re: Springdale GC(1895, Flynn in 1926) in Princeton , NJ Reno
« Reply #12 on: October 31, 2023, 04:43:57 PM »
John:

We here in the northeast have this season called winter, where the precipitation can take on various solid forms (ice, sleet, hail, frozen rain, slain (Cornell grads know this term) & snow.  Deciduous tree limbs have a tendency to crack & break under the weight of frozen precipitation, especially during a thaw.


Trees are lost annually, even some that we wish would have survived.

Tim_Weiman

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Re: Springdale GC(1895, Flynn in 1926) in Princeton , NJ Reno
« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2023, 09:22:04 PM »
Friends;


It was a certainty that at soon as the PR release of our bunker renovations was issued that Steve Shaffer would be posting the news on GCA!    I was not aware that the release had been issued.


A member  of  SGC since my parents joined in 1967, this project is essentially the execution of the Long Range Plan that I suggested and helped to initiate in 2015 as Chair of the Long Range Plan Committee  when I served on the Board of Governors.   I continue to be involved with the project and have been serving the club on the BRI  Committee - Bunker Restoration Initiative. 


A brief note, Ian Andrew has been super to work with and was receptive to Wayne Morrison's input as Historical Consultant in preparing the original plan. Wayne has also provided the club helpful input on the plan revision done by Ian and getting us all ready to go into the ground.


Springdale was founded separate and distinct from Princeton University by Alumni and local residents.  Key members and Founders purchased 240+ acres of land which was later donated to the University well after the course was moved to it's current site and constructed.    We remain a Private Club that is a distinct entity from the University with our own Board and Governance and membership practices.


Because the club is separate from the University we have never been considered for inclusion in ratings of University course such as Yale, Colgate, Bucknell, Ohio Scarlet where the University owns and manages the club.


We continue to be the home venue for the PU teams and PU Invitationals for women are held each fall and for men in the Spring.    We have a cordial relationship with our Landlord but it does present unusual issues.


With my interest in GCA this has been a labor of love getting to this point and there were setbacks along the way. With roughly 80% of the bunker work complete on the front nine and work done on the back nine the results seem excellent.


I will posting more information progressively over the next month or so as I have time.


Bill Crane


Bill,


I can’t quite explain why I never played Springdale since it is basically right on campus. But, during a reunion I did talk to Ernie Ransome about it and he spoke very highly of the course.


Thanks for your post.
Tim Weiman

Ian Andrew

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Re: Springdale GC(1895, Flynn in 1926) in Princeton , NJ Reno
« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2023, 10:24:32 PM »
I'm lucky to be working on this project.

This was the only image I took last time I was on site. Thought it would provide some context.
I've included the before, so you get a sense of what was there the week before.
For those who are not familiar with the hole it's 128 yards and the green is small and well contoured.

The 13th During Construction


The 13th Before



Just figured out how to expand images.... :)
« Last Edit: November 04, 2023, 04:52:44 PM by Ian Andrew »
Change is good.

mike_malone

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Re: Springdale GC(1895, Flynn in 1926) in Princeton , NJ Reno
« Reply #15 on: November 05, 2023, 03:42:18 PM »
The bunkers will be all the way across the front of the green. How does that relate to the original idea?
« Last Edit: November 05, 2023, 08:10:33 PM by mike_malone »
AKA Mayday

Doug Braunsdorf

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Re: Springdale GC(1895, Flynn in 1926) in Princeton , NJ Reno
« Reply #16 on: November 07, 2023, 10:16:20 AM »
The bunkers will be all the way across the front of the green. How does that relate to the original idea?
@Mike- check out Historic Aerials.  And come down the shore, with your clubs sometime-

he 1931 aerial, which is the earliest available, appears to be two large bunkers in the same location.  The photo is blurry however. 
There is a blurry aerial from 1931 and I can't tell if there are four bunkers or two large ones. 

The earliest clear photo is 1940 and there are four bunkers from roughly 9:00 to 4:00 across the front of the green. 


Moving ahead in time, the bunkers appear to be shrinking in size.


The 2019 aerial shows 2 flanking bunkers; so I am led to believe that two were taken out, and the apron in front of the green created in the 2017-2019 time frame.


@Ian and @Bill Crane, this is very exciting and I hope to be able to see this in person.  I've passed this on Alexander Road countless times in 25 years+now. 
 
« Last Edit: November 07, 2023, 12:06:40 PM by Doug Braunsdorf »
"Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the rear, or a fool from any direction."

mike_malone

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Re: Springdale GC(1895, Flynn in 1926) in Princeton , NJ Reno
« Reply #17 on: November 07, 2023, 10:40:12 AM »
The bunkers will be all the way across the front of the green. How does that relate to the original idea?
@Mike- check out Historic Aerials.  And come down the shore, with your clubs sometime-


The 1931 aerial, which is the earliest available, appears to be two large bunkers in the same location.  The photo is blurry however. 


The earliest clear photo is 1940 and there are four bunkers from roughly 9:00 to 4:00 across the front of the green. 


Moving ahead in time, the bunkers appear to be shrinking in size.


The 2019 aerial shows 2 flanking bunkers.


I don't recall who did work here in the interim. 


@Ian and @Bill Crane, this is very exciting and I hope to be able to see this in person.  I've passed this on Alexander Road countless times in 25 years+now. 
 


Doug,


Let’s do that sometime. I received the aerial from the ultimate Flynn source so see it.
AKA Mayday

Ian Andrew

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Re: Springdale GC(1895, Flynn in 1926) in Princeton , NJ Reno
« Reply #18 on: November 07, 2023, 09:32:45 PM »
The bunkers will be all the way across the front of the green. How does that relate to the original idea?
Sorry for the slow reply. I was travelling till tonight.
The plan had four bunkers and the earliest aerial from 1931 has four bunkers.

Some more images ...

Here's the 6th



Closer to the green
« Last Edit: November 07, 2023, 09:34:32 PM by Ian Andrew »
Change is good.

Bill Crane

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Re: Springdale GC(1895, Flynn in 1926) in Princeton , NJ Reno
« Reply #19 on: November 08, 2023, 01:16:53 PM »
Friends;

It was a certainty that at soon as the PR release of our bunker renovations was issued that Steve Shaffer would be posting the news on GCA!    I was not aware that the release had been issued.

A member  of  SGC since my parents joined in 1967, this project is essentially the execution of the Long Range Plan that I suggested and helped to initiate in 2015 as Chair of the Long Range Plan Committee  when I served on the Board of Governors.   I continue to be involved with the project and have been serving the club on the BRI  Committee - Bunker Restoration Initiative. 

A brief note, Ian Andrew has been super to work with and was receptive to Wayne Morrison's input as Historical Consultant in preparing the original plan. Wayne has also provided the club helpful input on the plan revision done by Ian and getting us all ready to go into the ground.

Springdale was founded separate and distinct from Princeton University by Alumni and local residents.  Key members and Founders purchased 240+ acres of land which was later donated to the University well after the course was moved to it's current site and constructed.    We remain a Private Club that is a distinct entity from the University with our own Board and Governance and membership practices.

Because the club is separate from the University we have never been considered for inclusion in ratings of University course such as Yale, Colgate, Bucknell, Ohio Scarlet where the University owns and manages the club.

We continue to be the home venue for the PU teams and PU Invitationals for women are held each fall and for men in the Spring.    We have a cordial relationship with our Landlord but it does present unusual issues.

With my interest in GCA this has been a labor of love getting to this point and there were setbacks along the way. With roughly 80% of the bunker work complete on the front nine and work done on the back nine the results seem excellent.

I will posting more information progressively over the next month or so as I have time.

Bill Crane


Bill,


I can’t quite explain why I never played Springdale since it is basically right on campus. But, during a reunion I did talk to Ernie Ransome about it and he spoke very highly of the course.

Thanks for your post.


Tim;   please do not hesitate to PM me next time you are in the area, happy to host if I am at all available.
Ironically, I got to know Ernie Ransom a bit at Chechessee Creek Cl where he was  a member.   What a character.  Former PV Pres I believe and PU Alum, he was very friendly with and played much golf with our former longest running member and club Champion who I caddied for in 1973 when he won for the second time.   Oddly, Ernie's grandson was an acquiantance of my son at Denison in Ohio.   Ernie played a lot of golf at SGC and anecdotally I heard he was involved in the founding of Spring Island and C3.
_________________________________________________________________
( s k a Wm Flynnfan }

Bill Crane

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Re: Springdale GC(1895, Flynn in 1926) in Princeton , NJ Reno
« Reply #20 on: November 08, 2023, 01:36:26 PM »
Ian -   Thanks for posting those photos, they were on my list to add here at some point.

Background Info:
In 2013 I was serving on the SGC Board of Governors as VP and Membership Chair and based on the state of our Bunkers, Trees and other issues began to promote the idea of developing a Long Range Plan.  While the idea of re-doing the Bunkers had been tossed around no concrete plans had previously emerged.  I believe that the bunkers had been last done in 1990 and were really beginning to show their age.  That previous project was done in very 1980s style, not remotely suggestive of a Flynn or even golden age course.  Our greens are wonderful, very interesting and this project had features such as artificial looking mounding on periphery of each green.  Some bunkers were removed where trees encroached and artificial mounding added there as well.

The President at the time came around to the idea of a plan and we formed a Long Range Plan committee for that purpose.  I served the club as Chair and began to look for golf architects, which was a fun endeavor.


MORE to follow as time permits. 

« Last Edit: November 16, 2023, 06:51:35 PM by Bill Crane »
_________________________________________________________________
( s k a Wm Flynnfan }

Ian Andrew

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Re: Springdale GC(1895, Flynn in 1926) in Princeton , NJ Reno
« Reply #21 on: November 12, 2023, 12:29:55 PM »
A few more from last week ....

The opening green
 
Yes the island was originally there.
Yes I'd like to see the trees go and that is the long-term plan


Approach to 2nd green
Cleveland Tower in the background



Club has lots of good drone images ... I'll ask if I can share a few
« Last Edit: November 12, 2023, 12:34:35 PM by Ian Andrew »
Change is good.

Michael Morandi

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Re: Springdale GC(1895, Flynn in 1926) in Princeton , NJ Reno
« Reply #22 on: November 12, 2023, 12:42:56 PM »
Looking good, Ian. Glad you are back on the job.

Joe Bausch

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Re: Springdale GC(1895, Flynn in 1926) in Princeton , NJ Reno
« Reply #23 on: November 12, 2023, 07:02:44 PM »
I will be watching this work with interest. Springdale is a nice piece of land.
@jwbausch (for new photo albums)
The site for the Cobb's Creek project:  https://cobbscreek.org/
Nearly all Delaware Valley golf courses in photo albums: Bausch Collection

Malcolm Mckinnon

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Re: Springdale GC(1895, Flynn in 1926) in Princeton , NJ Reno
« Reply #24 on: November 13, 2023, 11:05:07 PM »
Ok, I'm late to the party, another Springdale member.


Joe Bausch and Mike Cirba and perhaps others here will remember my hosting a GCA outing at Springdale years ago.


Ian and Wayne are finally bringing the Flynn Architectural style back to our golf course as Bill Crane and I envisioned years ago. Bill Crane must take the credit for seeing it through! As Bill implied in an earlier post the whole plan was almost sent down into the ash heap of history. To see it all turned around and implemented today as we hoped is, words fail me, a wonderful achievement.


Let's plan on another GCA outing next year. I'm pretty sure you will come away impressed as seeing Springdale as a wonderful William Flynn spawn of Merion Golf Club.






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