1975 was the eleventh anniversary of The Bedens Brook Club. This is a record of the early activities and leadership which resulted in the development of our fine Club. It is hoped that some of the historical and factual information may prove of interest to both current members and to members who may join the Club in the future.
History of the Bedens Brook Club
The history of The Bedens Brook Club may be said to have started one beautiful fall day in 1962 when Jack and Mary Murray were riding horseback through the woods and fields of farms adjacent to their Windy Hill Farm. Looking out over the Hopewell Valley, with the Sourland Mountains in the background, Jack turned to Mary and said, "Wouldn't this be a wonderful setting for a golf course?"
Shortly thereafter, the Bedens Brook Company was formed by Messrs. Murray, Bill Augustine, Larry Benson, Hugh Wise, Fred King and Atherton Hobler. This group assembled the tract of land in Montgomery Township, Somerset County, between Province Line and Bedens Brook Roads, which now comprises The Bedens Brook Club and the surrounding ground which is being developed into residential use. The land, consisting of approximately 360 acres, were farms owned by Atherton Hobler, who used the land for raising cattle; Bill Wellmeyer, a part of whose farm still exists behind the third hole; and Bill Doherty, who lived in the first house on the right on Rolling Hill Road (currently owned by Mr. DiBianca) and who used the land for a sheep farm. What is now the 1st, 9th and practice areas was solid with corn at the time of purchase.
In the spring of 1963, a new corporation, The Princeton Golf and Tennis Club, was formed as a non-profit organization chartered by the State of New Jersey. The purpose of its founders was to provide a new club facility in the Princeton area utilizing 160-170 acres of land offered by the Bedens Brook Company out of the 360 acres originally purchased.
The individuals forming the Princeton Golf and Tennis Club Corporation and attending the first meeting in May of 1963 were William W. Augustine, Lawrence E. Benson, Charles B. Gould, Roger B. Kirkpatrick, John P. Murray, Gibson Fuller Dailey, Thomas F. Huntington, Daniel T. Pierce and David B. Miller. All of the aforementioned persons were designated in the Certificate of Incorporation to serve on the original Board of Trustees. Also present by invitation was Albridge C. Smith III, attorney for the corporation. The following were elected the first officers of the Club:
- President: John P. Murray, Jr.
- Vice President: Charles Bruce Gould
- Vice President: David B. Miller
- Treasurer: Thomas. Huntington
- Secretary: Daniel T. Pierce
It was decided that 110 Charter Members, each subscribing $5000, would be needed to proceed with the construction of the golf course, clubhouse, pool, tennis courts, pro shop and purchase of the land. Between the first meeting on May 22 and September 4, 63 Charter Members had signed up.
During this same period, Dick Wilson, one of the country's leading golf course designers, had been hired to survey the land and submit a layout for the course. He was chosen over Robert Trent Jones, who was also considered but whose initial submissions were inferior to those of Dick Wilson. It is a tribute to his talent that only four changes have been made in the course since it was originally constructed:
- New, forward, men's and ladies' tees were built on the 3rd hole. Too few members were capable of driving over the brook from the original tee. Most players drove with an iron, then tried to thread a wood shot over the lake and through the gap in the trees separating the 3rd and 8th holes. The Golf Committee soon put a stop to this by erecting out-of-bounds stakes between the two holes and now, of course, the trees have grown together.
- A trap was placed to the right of the 1st hole. This was done to save the errant drives of members from going into ditch and weeds thereby slowing play and discouraging dreams of pars at the outset of the round.
- The back of the 6th green was built up and terraced. Originally this green was dead level and would not hold either a high or low well-hit shot.
- A back tee was built on the 12th hole. It was found that, during the summer when the course dried out, many of the long hitting members found this hole too short a par five.
The tees and greens were seeded with Penn-Cross bent grass and the fairways with a mixture of bent and blue grasses. To this day, these same grasses are used when re-seeding is needed.
Mr. Brooks Emeny was chosen as Chairman of the Building and Grounds Committee, and he proceeded with site plans for the clubhouse, pro shop, pool, parking area, tennis courts, practice green, driving range, sewage disposal plant and wells for the golf course and clubhouse area.
By April of 1964, Roger Kirkpatrick, Chairman of the Membership Commiteee, reported to the Trustees that he and his Committee had signed up 113 Charter Members and had received their contributions of $5000 each. By June of that year, construction began on the golf course. The actual building of the course was undertaken by the Robert H. Kraeger Company of Jenkintown, PA under a bid of $166,730 excluding bridges, roads, irrigation, ponds and wells. The Russell Daniels Co. of Athens, Georgia, was low bidder for the irrigation system, pumps and sprinkler system. The entire system of lakes, reservoirs, wells, the re-routing of Bedens Brook, and water usage was reviewed with the Stony Brook Millstone Watershed Committee to be certain that all of the natural water courses in the area would remain in a relatively natural condition.
About this time, a change in the original name was indicated as the Princeton Country Club, another golf course, was opened on Route #1 in Princeton. The Charter Members were polled and chose The Bedens Brook Club from a choice of three names, including Bedens Brook Golf Club and The Bedens Brook Country Club. It's curious to note that Springdale Golf Club also started out as the Princeton Golf Club and subsequently changed its name to separate it from association with the University.
During the summer of 1964, excellent progress was made on the golf course, the only problem of major proportions being the lack of water availability from Bedens Brook. As is well known, the brook usually dries up during the summer months. To remedy the water problem, tank trucks from the Walker Gordon farms hauled water from their farm pond to help the grass get started on greens, fairways and tees. Incidentally, the trucks delivered the water on a C.O.D. basis with each driver being paid before the truck left the area.
As work progressed, further changes were made. The original access road was to come in from The Great Road in accordance with an easement worked out with Mr. Hobler. This road proved to be too costly as it involved building an expensive bridge over Bedens Brook, so the current Rolling Hill Road entrance was constructed. The idea of indoor tennis courts was also given up following a poll of Charter Members which showed lack of sufficient interest.
Great headway was made during the fall and winter months. Contracts were let for the clubhouse, which was designed by architect Page Cross; the pool house and pro shop, to be built by Duncan Doyle and four tennis courts by Feise & Co. of Philadelphia under the supervision of John Conroy, The Princeton University tennis coach and first tennis professional at Bedens Brook. Joe Sarro was hired as the first golf professional to start on April 25, 1965. The golf course maintenance shop was enlarged by J. Balestrieri, who was later to be the builder for the enlargement of the original clubhouse. A water softener and pump house was constructed near the pro shop site to serve the clubhouse and pool, and truckload after truckload of white sand was brought from South Jersey to fill the traps on the golf course.
In the spring of 1965, builder Duncan Doyle commenced work on the clubhouse and pro shop, Infilco Co. began work on the sewage disposal plant, and O.E. Lewis completed the parking lot which the Township of Montegomery insisted must be large enough to accommodate 250 cars.
Ward Northrup, who had worked for Dick Wilson for many years and supervised the building of The Bedens Brook Club, was so enamored of the new club that he applied for and was hired as Manager/Superintendent with responsibility for all club personnel except the golf and tennis professionals. Later that summer, the superintendent's house, behind the 6th green, was enlarged by the addition of two bedrooms and bath, expanded kitchen and family room, plus a second furnace.
July 4, 1965 saw play begin on the first nine of the golf course with Jack Murray striking off the first ball followed by Knobby Rodgers, Dan Pierce and Bill Augustine. Murray shot 87, Rodgers 85, Pierce 96 and Augustine 88. (They played twice around.) The second nine was opened in August, a month later.
Originally each of the holes was named, a practice which was the custom at the famous old Scottish golf links:
- Play Away
- Tiny Mural
- The Narrows
- Stouts Rest
- Turn Around
- Pump House
- Long View
- Press Away
- Into the Woods
- The Charge
- Out of the Woods
- The Dick Wilson
- Final Test
Joe Sarro holds the course record with a 69 playing from the Blue Tees, including the back of the original tee on the 3rd hole. Jane Shaw held the course record for women for four years with a 76; Maxine Tyler ad Rowena Berkeley shot 75s in 1974. Their record stood for less than a year when Sue Blair, twice the Women's Club Champion, shot a remarkable round of 74 using only 22 putts and holing out twice for birdies from above the 9th green and from the trap to the left of the 16th green. Gerry Lauck, Art Schwartz and Bob Shaw, all Men's Club Champions, hold the record for members at 71. However, George Haines, a former New Jersey State Champion, shot a 70 during a Member-Guest in 1969 helping member Lee Moyer win the tournament.
When the course opened, both the clubhouse and pro shop were in a trailer parked on the site on the current practice tee. The phone company ran a temporary line in from Bedens Brook Road so that members who were doctors and were "on call" could be reached. Curiously enough, the phone company ran the line overground and, through a freak phenomenon, outgoing calls could only be made by throwing a bucket of water over the line at the point where it entered the trainer.
That summer saw the opening of the tennis courts with John Conroy, The Princeton University coach, as the teaching pro. Although tennis was originally conceived as playing no more than a supporting role to the golf program, it quickly became a major factor in Club activity from April through October.
A spirit of cooperation has existed almost from the start - and was best evidenced at an early Men's Member-Guest Golf Tournament when an errant approach shot of the 15th hole landed squarely on the tennis courts, narrowly missing the tennis professional. An alert tennis committeeman, George Ferguson, pounced on the intruding object and hurled it onto the green where it happened to land a few feet from the pin. The putt was sunk by a puzzled but unsuspecting team who finished the day in third place.
A few stalwart tennis players including Sydney Blaxill, Coley Donaldson and Mark Munn were instrumental in launching the tennis program by staging an exhibition match between Bobby Riggs and Al Doyle. It was one of the few occasions that Bobby Riggs ever lost a bet. From that point on, the tennis program has expanded yearly to where approximately 191 adults and 185 children played tennis in 1975.
In the early days, the only organized intra club events were the opening season Mixed Blind Draw Round Robin and the Club Championships. A few years later, Bill Burks and Bill Burchfield initiated the Men's Member-Guest weekend tournament with accompanying luncheons and a dinner dance to the tunes of a big band sound personally acquired by Harry Heher. This weekend is now a tradition and has been joined by a Women's Member-Guest Tournament, a Mixed-Member-Guest Tournament and various Club Round Robins that combine tennis and social get-togethers.
Under the tutelage of Bill Humes, our professional since 1970, the daily tennis program has gradually expanded to include classes, clinics, round robins and informal matches with other clubs, for every level of play from novice to expert. There is even a clinic for four and five year olds.
Formal competition with outside clubs has taken the form of an annual men's match with cross-town rival, Pretty Brook Tennis Club - a series which began back in 1966. The sterling silver trophy bowl awarded to the victor was won by Pretty Brook for the first five years but has been held by Bedens Brook since 1971. The swimming pool also opened to the delight of the children.
By the end of October, 1965, the Club had 188 members, including:
- 103 Charter Golf
- 10 Charter Associate
- 55 Regular Golf
- 30 Regular Associate
- and fourteen names posted for membership bringing the total at year end to 202.
Under the agreement with the Bedens Brook Company, the Club had an option to purchase, on or before April 30, 1967, the land upon which the Club has been built. The price was $1650 PER ACRE. The cost of the land, therefore, came to approximately $250,000 AFTER AN ADJUSTMENT BY WHICH THE Club shared half the cost of the Rolling Hill Road entrance with the Bedens Brook Company.
Capital Expenditures through the end of October were $644,198, consisting of the following:
- Golf Course Expenditures: $248,829
- Irrigation System, Wells and Water Conditioning Plant: 101,020
- Sewage Plant: 42,100
- Clubhouse, w/o Furnishings: 138,321
- Golf Pro Shop: 36,688
- Tennis Courts: 26,241
- Pool: 34,431
- Electric Service: 7,222
- Road & Parking Lot: 92,826
- Golf Course Equipment: 18,962
- Kitchen & Other Equipment: 12,842
- Additions to Existing Buildings: 19,692
- Site Work and Golf Course Bridge: 3,876
- TOTAL: $644,198
Additional unfinished contracts and organizational expenditures added another $154,377 to the total start-up cost of $798,575.
The Bedens Brook Club became a reality at a cost of approximately one million dollars. A real debt of gratitude is due to all those forward thinking members of the original Board of Trustees for their vision, perseverance, and judgment in sensing the need for this facility and working so hard to accomplish so much in such a short period of time.
The first annual meeting was held in the clubhouse on December 4, 1965. As plans got underway for the forthcoming first full year of operation, many new problems faced the newly elected officers and Trustees:
- President: John P. Murray, Jr.
- Vice President: Dr. David B. Miller
- Treasurer: C.R.P. Rodgers, Jr.
- Secretary: Daniel T. Pierce
- Asst. Secretary: Albridge C. Smith III
Amony the most pressing items on the agenda were the adoption of By-Laws, developing the first golf and tennis tournament schedules, plans to build the cabana behind the swimming pool, what to do about four eager members who wanted to hold parties in the clubhouse even before a staff was hired, and a liquor license or occupancy permit was issued by Montgomery Township.
During that winter, lockers were built and installed by Bill Augustine and contributions by the Trustees paid for the paneling and furniture in the Men's Grill Room. Freddie Millholand ordered furniture and fabrics from abroad for decorating and furnishing the clubhouse.
June 24th-26th saw the first Bedens Brook Invitational Golf Tournament, which was won by Whip Buck and his brother Mahlon, a member of Merion, on the first extra hole in a playoff of three teams.
Despite all the new Club facilities which had been built, a survey conducted that September showed that 25 percent of the members had never used the Club. A far cry from today when each summer day sees streams of cars pouring in and out of the parking lot. The need to publicize Club activities led to the start of the monthly Club Bulletin.
It was in 1966 that permanent trophies were donated in recognition of the two major Men's Golf Tournaments. Jack Murray donated the President's Trophy to be engraved with the name of the winner of the scratch Men's Club Championship and Knobby Rodgers donated the Golf Chairmen's Trophy for play for the Men's Handicap Champion.
By the end of 1966, the pool cabana had been completed, pool furniture purchased, the clubhouse completed and tastefully furnished and decorated inside and out. Excellent food and bar facilities were available and a staff had been trained to serve the membership six days a week. The golf and tennis pro shops were well stocked and, in essence, the Club was in full swing.
With the conclusion of the first full year of operation, the Board of Trustees agreed to take out a mortgage to purchase 170.83 acres from the Bedens Brook Company at $1650 per acre. Up to this time, the land had been rented at a total cost of $2500 per year. The land was officially transferred to the Club on May 1, 1967. The Bedens Brook Company agreed that all remaining land would be subject to these restrictions: 1. The Club has the right of first refusal on all land sales. 2. The Club has architectural approval rights on all houses to be built. 3. The Club has a restriction on the number of houses to be built.
By mid-June 1967, the membership had grown to 246 with two new classifications contributing to the total: Junior and Non-Resident - both recently authorized by the Board of Trustees. Jim Gilligan was hired as Greens Superintendent and N. Hammond as Clubhouse Manger.
In the fall of 1967, Fred Wierdsma offered the Club the use of two paddle tennis courts in his recreational park and that sport officially began for the members. Shortly thereafter, a group of members raised sufficient funds to proceed with the construction of two paddle courts on the Club property and a second group of members contributed money for the purchase of ten acres of land adjacent to the 1st and 10th holes for the building of a skeet range. The land was purchased from Atherton Hobler for $3200 per acre and then rented back to him for his use in the off season to raise hay for his cattle.
1968, the third year of operation, saw the Club operating under a new president and various committee chairmen appointed to head up expanding activities. Knobby Rodgers succeeded Jack Murray the founder and five-time president; Sandy Blodget became chairman of the Membership Committee, Gerry Lauck headed the Golf Committee, Bud Lyle ran the Pool Committee, George Ferguson managed Tennis, and Brooks Emeny and his wife Bobbie ran the House Committee. Princeton Food Management Associates had been hired to manage the restaurant, supervise the staff and handle the billing operations, replacing N. Hammond who was manager and had resigned. Lew Sarett, a Charter Member, built the first house on property adjoining the golf course behind the 16th green.
By 1969, the membership had grown to 292 and a Long Range Planning Committee, under the chairmanship of Sidney Blaxill, presented the Trustees with their thoughts of future needs of the Club including enlargement of the clubhouse to provide larger dining, party and locker facilities, additional tennis and paddle tennis courts, plus better paddle facilities including a warming hut. Bill Humes was hired as a tennis pro.
A major setback occurred when Mr. Lehman, who owned the farm below the skeet range, sued the Club because of the noise from the skeet range. The suit was amicably settled with our neighbor by abandoning the skeet shooting program. David Miller raised $1600 from among golfers which started the tree planting program along the 1st and 18th fairways. Subsequent contributions provided trees behind the 3rd and 8th and along the 1st, 17th and 18th fairways. Bill Sayen supervised the planting.
By the end of 1971, the membership had grown to 307. Bud Smith retired from the Trustees having helped found the Club and given his great legal counsel through all the formative years.
In 1972, the Club purchased its first golf carts, fifteen in number. Art Schwartz, then Club golf champion and partner in the architectural firm of Holt, Morgan and Schwartz, undertook preliminary studies of design and costs to implement the long-range plan for improving Club facilities that had been submitted some two years before by Sidney Blaxill and his Committee. Long time members will remember the trials and tribulations caused by the renting of tent structures to cover the western terrace during member-guest tournaments and private parties as insurance against rain (which always came accompanied by wind); the almost unendurable wait for drinks and food as the waitresses made the long trek from the bar and kitchen to the terrace dining area. Schwartz's plan was submitted to the Board of Trustees in September of 1972 and included a three-year plan of Capital Improvements which would include:
- Build an addition to the clubhouse which would reduce confusion by providing a dining room convenient to the kitchen and bar, and restricting use of the present living room to social purposes. The new dining room would eliminate the problems and costs of erecting tents for tournaments and parties and make the food service more attractive by reducing the difficulty of feeding people on the terrace which was so remote from the kitchen. By providing a new terrace on the eastern side of the clubhouse adjacent to the kitchen, food service for adults using the tennis courts and pool would be much easier. The addition to the clubhouse would also provide additional locker and storage space.
- Build an additional all-weather tennis court.
- Expand the cabana, enclose it with screening and improve the food service there for children and adults using the pool.
- Build a new bridge on the 3rd hole near the green to speed up play and convenience. Intrepid golfers will long remember the agility that was required to leap (with spiked shoes) from sunken oil drum to sunken oil drum which were used as stepping stones across the brook before the bridge was built.
- Rebuild the pond and flood contol program for the 13th holes. Not only was the dried-up lake an eye-sore, but erosion threatened the loss of the 13th green.
- Build another paddle tennis court and warming hut to cope with increased play during the winter.
The magnitude and cost of this Capital Improvement Program caused much heated discussion among the members and among members of the Board of Trustees. The controversy centered around the objective of the Club. Should it remain primarily a sporting facility or should facilities be provided for more convenient and greater capabilities for revenue-producing social functions - or both?
Throughout the fall and winter of 1972 and on into 1973, the Board of Trustees wrestled long and hard with these questions and the financial implications. In Feburary, the Board approved the expansion plans, and, in March, A.S. Blodget called a special meeting of the entire membership and put the plan to a vote. A majority of the members voted for the plan, and the Capital Improvement Program got underway.
The Capital Improvement Program was financed by inceasing the value of the equity of Golf and Associate Members by issuing Capital Improvement Certificates in the amount of $750, redeemable upon resignation from the Club. A charge of $250 per year was levied in 1973, 1974 and 1975. This approach did not encumber the Club for the future and normal capital expenditures for improvement of golf, tennis, pool and paddle facilities were not interrupted. New members joining the Club in the future would pay their share since the cost of certificates would be increased by $750 and $2250.
The year 1972 was one of progress and also of sadness. Jean Beckwith, wife of our current president, died suddenly, and the Ladies' Handicap Tournament was named the Jean Beckwith Memorial Tournament. The paths around the clubhouse and the path on the hill below the tee on the 16th hole were blacktopped thereby reducing dust on the former and danger on the latter. A group of senior members donated money for senior tee markers, and Dr. and Mrs. Miller raised $2300 for continuation of the tree program. An additional paddle tennis court was completed during the summer. The membership had increased to 310 compared to 307 the previous year.
During 1973, tennis facilities were enlarged by the addition of a fifth court, which was completed and put into play. This was the all-weather court. Bill Augustine, at cost, built the redwood deck viewing stand and moved the tennis shop to its present location. Extensive drainage work was completed on the 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th holes. The Board of Trustees approved the sale by the Bedens Brook Company to Mr. J. Seward Johnson of approximately 23 acres of land which stretched in a northeasterly direction toward Bedens Brook Road, beyond the ladies' 3rd tee. The Club retained the right of first refusal to purchase the land from Mr. Johnson in the event he wants to sell it in the future. Mr. Johnson also purchased a 1-1/2 acre plot of ground from the Club between the 5th green and Province Line Road with the restriction that no building would be erected on the land.
In the first inter-club golf matches, both the Bedens Brook men and ladies beat teams from Springdale in what have become annual competitions. Jane Shaw and Ethel Fruland donated the Hawland Cup (a combination of both the names) to be played for annually and awarded to the Better Ball of Partners Championship. A member, who wished to remain anonymous, donated three trees for the practice area so that our long-time pro, Joe Sarro, and his pupils could struggle in the shade rather than in the hot sun.
The number of members had increased by year-end to 316 from 310 the previous year. Sandy Blodget retired as the third President of The Bedens Brook Club, although remaining on the Board of Trustees, and was succeeded by Ed Beckwith. The new President wrote to the membership concerning Sandy's regime:
"Sandy did a remarkable job in a far more complex time than usual and did it with unfailing good humor, diligence and tact."
He reminded members that Sandy's pay scale for handling some truly inspired letters and phone calls from members was somewhat less than bountiful.
It was in 1974 that the newly expanded clubhouse constructed by Balestrieri and Pearson was completed. Mr. J. Seward Johnson, a member whose property is to the west of the 4th hole across Bedens Brook, gave a very generous gift toward the construction of the new permanent bridge below the 3rd green. The Club granted Mr. Johnson and his family the right to pass over Club property on the north side of Bedens Brook from the boundary of his property to the bridge. However, this right will terminate upon the sale of his property.
Jack Murray, one of the founders and first President of the Club, undertook and successfully supervised the restoration of the 13th hole including the rebuilding of the pond, a spillway for water overflow, and the redirection of the course of the feeder brook. Tennis members Miles Dumont, Geoff Nunes, Connie Fleming, Bill Burks, Sue Mould, Jill and Bill Burchfield painted and carpeted the tennis house (a real labor of love). Not to be outdone, a number of lady golfers, Josie Hall, Jane Lauck, Jane Bonthron, Libby Sayen, Betty Constable, Ruth Metcalf, Carroll King and Jane Shaw helped beautify an area near the clubhouse and path leading to the pro shop by planting a large bed of pachysandra.
Much to everyone's embarrassment it was discovered that, through an error in the original survey, Mr. J. Seward Johnson owned and planned on fencing in a good portion of the land used as the 3rd fairway. This problem was smoothly solved by trading Mr. Johnson some Club owned land to the west of Bedens Brook on the Bedens Brook Road side of the 4th hole.
For the first time, two women were elected to the Board of Trustees, Ethel Fruland and Martha McDougald. The pool had its busiest season, and the swim team, under Don Reed's constant attention, had its most successful record in competition with competitive swim club teams. From a modest beginning and with an informal schedule of swim meets against a few local clubs, the swim team program has grown up considerably at Bedens Brook. Our first coach, Tim Haigh, organized an invitational meet held at our pool which later became the spring board for the Princeton Area Swimming and Diving Association. PASDA was created in 1970 with twelve clubs, and has now grown to 20 teams with four division of five teams each. We swim at home and away meets against each club in our division, and we participate in an off year age meet at mid-summer. The culmination of the season is the PASDA championship held at Community Park Pool in Princeton. This meet is where Bedens Brook has made its reputation as a fine relay team with our young girls and boys finishing with golf or silver medals.
Our swim program is now divided into two parts. The pre-team youngsters under seven which take individual or group lessons from an instructor. The team members work out with our coach, currently Chuck Hector of the Princeton University Swim Team, from mid-June through Labor Day, on a daily basis. This year we had 60 team members of which ten were divers, and the rest, age group swimmers. We are proud of our achievements so far but look to the future so that we may train young girls and boys to compete, have fun and be involved in a team atmosphere at our Club. The economic climate had some effect on the membership roster and 308 members were listed at the end of the year.
The steady growth in activity and facilities that has marked the history of The Bedens Brook Club continues as we move through 1975. A third woman, Daphne Pontius, was added to the Board of Trustees (her husband was also a Trustee in 1972). Hunt and Augustine are working out plans for development of 250 acres lying along the 14th and 15th fairways eastward to the Great Road and wrapping around the 1st, 2nd and 10th holes. Included in their plans is a proposal to transfer to the Club about 80 acres under a long-term "right to use" lease and conveyance of title to an additional 30 acres. This 80 acres, together with ten acres contingent to this land already owned by the Club, makes available ground for future sports expansion.
Thirteen private parties were booked during the second quarter of the year. Construction was completed of a fourth paddle tennis court with aluminum flooring and a heating unit to eliminate the need for snow shoveling - at least on the one court. The members' interest in paddle grew far greater than expectations. In fact, it is probably fair to say that Paddle Tennis is what keeps Bedens Brook alive and well from late fall to early spring. Our intra-club activities have been many, and diverse enough to attract players at every level of ability. The season's opening Round-Robin Tournament and the Blind Draw Tournament afford the beginners an opportunity to mix it up with the Club's best, while the Member-Guest Tournaments and Club Championships offers a quality of play second to none. Recent successful additions to the schedule have included a Parent-Child Tournament and a Mixed Member-Guest.
Bedens Brook's name and fame grew throughout the paddle circuit due to the caliber of play and success of its league teams. Playing in the North Jersey Platform Tennis League against some of the best talent around, our teams have always acquitted themselves well. Frequently they have finished well enough within their own division. Our women's number one team now plays in the second series of the top division of its league, while the men's number one team plays in the second division of a nine division league. As the 1975-76 season opened, Bedens Brook was represented in the North Jersey League by three women's and three men's teams, a feat equaled by few, if any, other clubs.
Almost $3000 was contributed by golf members to continue the tree planting program on the 4th, 6th, 8th and 17th holes. The flowering trees to the right on the traps on the 17th were given by Mr. and Mrs. Henry Woods in memory of Ken Chorley, a Charter Member whose home borders the 17th. This new planting should just about complete the tree program on the first nine except for some border planting along Rolling Hill Road. There's a great feeling that much of the charm of The Bedens Brook Club is because of the wonderful open vistas of the rolling New Jersey farmland with the Sourland Mountains in the background as viewed from both the golf course and the tennis spectator area.
Further proof of the sound financial condition of the Club was indicated by the redemption of all outstanding certificates of resigned members through the first of the year. This was in accordance with the By-Laws which state that certificates will be redeemed as new members join and new certificates are issued to replacement members. Since the Club started, 185 certificates have been redeemed.
The Bedens Brook Club is indeed fortunate to have a modern athletic plant consisting of a fine golf course, excellent tennis and paddle tennis facilities, two good swimming pools and an up-to-date clubhouse. In addition, the Club is blessed with an experienced and dedicated staff of employees without whose help the Club could not function effectively. It is indeed a tribute to the Officers and Trustees, shown below who worked so hard and accomplished so much during the Club's early stages and first ten years of operations. The foundation upon which The Bedens Brook Club has been built is indeed a solid one.