Union County Freeholder Board, KemperSports and the New Jersey State Golf Association announced that Galloping Hill Golf Course in Kenilworth, N.J. will host the 2016 New Jersey State Open Golf Championship. This will mark the first time in the tournament’s 91-year history that the New Jersey State Open will be played at a public golf course. The New Jersey State Open, which was first played in 1921, is hosted by the New Jersey State Golf Association (NJSGA) and is open to both professional and amateur golfers.
“It is our pleasure and honor to host this prestigious statewide event,” said Alexander Mirabella, Chairman of the Union County Freeholder Board. “This is an example of the public-private partnership we have built that has transformed our golf operations into a state leader. The 2016 New Jersey State Open will bring great prominence and attention to our golf operations, and will raise awareness of Galloping Hill Golf Course.”
In preparation for the upcoming Championship, Union County has contracted world renowned golf course architect Rees Jones to update Galloping Hill Golf Course. Jones has been famously nicknamed “The Open Doctor” for his work on prominent U.S. Open courses, such as Bethpage State Park’s Black Course. Jones will make minor adjustments to the golf course design, including improvements to the greens, bunkers and tee boxes.
Galloping Hill is managed by KemperSports, a leading golf course management company based in Northbrook, Ill., 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 applaud the selection of Galloping Hill Golf Course as the host site of the New Jersey State Open,” said Steve Skinner, CEO of KemperSports. “The course will prove to be a stern test for the state’s best players, and this selection is fitting given Union County’s commitment to promoting and improving public golf in New Jersey.”
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 Steve Foehl, Executive Director of the NJSGA. “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.”
Designed by Willard Wilkinson, Galloping Hill Golf Course opened in 1928 and represents one of 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.
For more information about Galloping Hill Golf Course, visit http://gallopinghillgolfcourse.com/.
About Union County
For more information on any Union County press release, please contact Sebastian D’Elia, Communications Director for the County of Union at 908-527-4419. Please join the County of Union online at www.ucnj.org, on Facebook at www.ucnj.org/facebook and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/countyofunionnj.
Northbrook, Ill.-based KemperSports operates golf facilities as well as athletic clubs, lodging venues and major sporting events, including nationally ranked courses and tournament venues such as Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, The Glen Club, Desert Willow Golf Resort and Chambers Bay, host of the 2010 U.S. Amateur and the 2015 U.S. Open. For more information about KemperSports, visit http://www.kempersports.com.
About the New Jersey State Golf Association
The New Jersey State Golf Association is a non-profit organization of member clubs and courses dedicated to the service of golf in New Jersey. Founded in 1900, the Association was formed for the purpose of promoting and conserving the true spirit of the game throughout New Jersey. Now in its 108th year, the NJSGA has continued to grow and serves over 275 clubs, courses and organizations representing over 100,000 golfers throughout the State.