Redesign Of Galloping Hill For 2016 State Open Is Under Way
The transformation of Galloping Hill Golf Course by Rees Jones and his team in preparation for the 2016 NJSGA State Open is under way, the Union County Board of Freeholders and KemperSports have announced.
The golf course will be renovated over the course of the next six to eight months with the addition of at least 10 new championship tees, new drainage and two new green complexes on the fifth and sixteenth holes.
“It is an honor for Union County to have the opportunity to host the 2016 New Jersey State Open,” said Freeholder Chairman Linda Carter. “But in addition to our pride we are excited that these improvements will benefit those who choose to play at Galloping Hill for years to come.”
The New Jersey State Golf Association, the second oldest state golf association in the U.S., had long considered bringing the state’s biggest golf tournament to a public course.
“With the growth of public golf in recent years, and the popularity of national championships being held at public courses, we felt that we had a tremendous opportunity to work with Galloping Hill in 2016,” said executive director Steve Foehl. “With the anticipated improvements to the golf course by Rees Jones, and the vision of Union County and KemperSports, we will have a committed team of people to create a memorable and successful championship. The NJSGA is excited about the event.”
Beginning on October 15, the front nine of the 18-hole golf course is closed for renovations for the winter.
Golf course architect Rees Jones famously nicknamed “The Open Doctor” is renowned for his work on prominent U.S. Open and Major Championship courses, such as Bethpage State Park’s Black Course, Hazeltine National, Medinah Country Club, East Lake Country Club, and Congressional Country Club among others.
Jones’ redesign at Galloping Hill will stretch the existing 6,700-yard layout to nearly 7,000 yards while restoring some of the original shot values and sight lines from Willard Wilkinson’s initial plans.
Galloping Hill Golf Course opened in 1928 and represents one of Willard Wilkinson’s original designs. Early in his career, Wilkinson spent time working with legendary golf course architects A.W. Tillinghast and Donald Ross, known for their work on Major Championship golf courses, before establishing his own golf course design firm in 1924. Galloping Hill Golf Course has been characterized by its natural terrain of rolling hills and valleys, often referred to as “The Hill”, and has a reputation as one of the most challenging courses in its area. Galloping Hill’s 18-hole par 71 golf course spans 6,717 yards from the championship tees.
Galloping Hill is managed by KemperSports, a leading golf course management company based in Northbrook, Illinois, on behalf of Union County. Together, Union County and KemperSports have begun a multi-million dollar renovation project to Galloping Hill Golf Course, which includes a new 45,000 square-foot clubhouse, TaylorMade Performance Lab, a 50-stall driving range and a 40,000 square-foot practice facility featuring chipping greens, putting greens, practice bunkers and a 9-hole practice course. Under the management of KemperSports, Galloping Hill Golf Course has become known as the “Home of Public Golf in New Jersey.”
“We are proud to partner with Union County and Rees Jones Golf Design on the significant renovations that will take place at Galloping Hill Golf Course,” said KemperSports CEO Steve Skinner. “The renovations will improve the overall playability of the course while also bringing added shot values to the classic design.”