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MOUNTAIN RIDGE C OU N T R Y

C LU B

T he First One Hundred Years

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Published for the members of Mountain Ridge Country Club on the occasion of their 100th anniversary Limited Edition Copyright 2012 Mountain Ridge Country Club 713 Passaic Avenue West Caldwell, New Jersey 07006 (973) 575-8200 Text copyright Mountain Ridge Country Club and Jeff Neuman All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced in any form without permission of Mountain Ridge Country Club. Produced by Hasak, Inc. 3141 Fortune Way, Suite 15 Wellington, Florida 33414 (561) 670-2813 www.hasak.com Design by Larry Hasak Many of the photographs in this book have been reproduced from the following sources: – Mountain Ridge Country Club Archive – Newark Historical Society – Newark Public Library – Photographs submitted by members of the Mountain Ridge Country Club – Russell Kirk: page 184


To the members of

Mountain Ridge Country Club: those who blazed the trail, and those who picked up the torch.


MOUNTAIN RIDGE COUNTRY CLUB W E S T

C A L D W E L L ,

N E W

J E R S E Y

The First One Hundred Years 1912 - 2012

J

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F

F

N

E

U

M

A

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COURSE AND CLUBHOUSE PHOTOGRAPHY BY L.C. LAMBRECHT


CONTENTS

Foreword

9

Preface

11

Chapter 1: From Newark to West Orange

12

Chapter 2: Settling In, Moving Out

36

Chapter 3: Two Architects

43

Chapter 4: Making It Through

70


Chapter 5: The Pool

82

Chapter 6: Club Life

94

Chapter 7: The Golf Course

110

Chapter 8: Like Family

150

Chapter 9: Modern Times

162

Appendices

186

The ninth green and fairway late on a summer afternoon. Previous pages: From the first tee, a blanket of fall colors frames the western view of the welcoming fairway.


9

FOREWORD IT IS AN HONOR and my very great privilege to serve as President of

members of all ages to come and enjoy, with live entertainment and great

Mountain Ridge in 2012, its centennial year.

surprises. I believe the Gala will be the most important night in the history

Mountain Ridge is a special place. It was created by some of the outstanding leaders of their community—of any community. They believed

of Mountain Ridge, a wonderful way to send us forward into the next hundred years.

in making the world a better place, that their lives were enriched most by

I am also very excited about a third great event, which will take place

what they did for others. At the same time, they were men and women like

at the end of September into the beginning of October. We are hosting

anyone else and enjoyed the fruits of their affluence and labors.

our first United States Golf Association national event, the USGA Senior

The Club we know today is a legacy of their efforts. It is a place of

Amateur Championship. Very few country clubs ever get to stage a national

tradition and elegance, of old-world charm and values. It is bigger than

event, and not many are held in the New York metropolitan area. We are

any of us. But tradition does not mean that nothing changes; it means that

very proud and pleased that the USGA recognized the place our Club

changes are undertaken with thought and care, keeping

holds in the community and the quality of our golf

the character of earlier times alive by bringing it into the

course, and chose us for this terrific event.

modern age.

Hosting the Senior Amateur is very prestigious for

Our hundredth anniversary year is a very exciting

Mountain Ridge. It will be a lot of work for us, with 125

time. We are celebrating our history while looking to

volunteers from our Club alone, but it’s a rare opportunity

the future with a number of special events and projects

to show our wonderful course and Club to the best senior

in 2012.

amateur golfers in the world. The tournament committee

One important part of this is the renovation of the clubhouse, completed this year. Historically the Club had done

is hard at work, coordinating all the efforts as we put our best foot forward for all to see.

bits and pieces of upgrades, but had never done a full, top-to-bottom

The fourth and final exciting development this year is the beautiful

renovation before. We did extensive work to every part of the interior

centennial book you hold in your hands. We were fortunate to have Jeff

with the exception of the Men’s Locker Room. The results are just

Neuman to be our writer and historian. He has spent several years research-

spectacular, a mix of grandeur and comfort we’ll enjoy for a long time.

ing our past, exploring our present, and pulling it all together for us to read

The exterior work was just as remarkable. We redid the patio and

and keep. This is the first written history of Mountain Ridge. Jeff did a great

pool areas, and built a natural stone wall to create an attractive staging area

job unearthing a wealth of information, especially about our founders and

for golfers and caddies by the first tee. We also turned the storage area off

the early years, and his stylish writing brought it all to life.

the Men’s Locker Room into a brand-new Sports Pub, with multiple video screens and outdoor seating for casual drinks and dining. A second exciting event is the Anniversary Gala we will hold at the Club on Saturday, June 30. It will be a black-tie affair, a celebration for

I am grateful I’ve had the opportunity to serve Mountain Ridge and its members, and I wish all of us the health and opportunity to enjoy our Club for many, many years to come. My best. —Bruce Schonbraun, President, April 2012


11

PREFACE LET’S GO FOR A DRIVE. We’ll start at 131 Market Street downtown Newark, New Jersey, where men in top hats and high collars and women in flowered hats and long dresses leave their carriages to enter the towering new temple of commerce—a department store where floorwalkers and salespeople in white gloves and tails are eager to help. Heading out of the city, we’ll pass through Fairmount and Lower

to the living room, where the half-timbering draws attention to the scale of

Roseville, and drive northwest for about seven and a half miles until we

the place, while the glass doors onto the patio let in copious light. Another

come to a hilly tract bounded by Prospect and Mount Pleasant Avenues.

set of arched doors—once the outer edge of the dining room—now lead to

At a high point on the property is a house bristling with pointed arches

the wide mixed grille, a setting that oozes fellowship and conviviality.

and gables, a turret, and a widow’s walk—a Bates Motel nightmare of a

Step out onto the patio, the scene of barbecues attended by half a

building. On the grounds around it, men in jackets and ties are trailed by

thousand or more, a setting for concerts and parties and cocktails, where

boys toting canvas bags over their shoulders; presently a lad hands his man

the sun slipping behind the mountains to the west provides an incremental

a wooden-shafted stick, and the elder swats an object into the air with it.

nightly light show that always thrills.

Another seven or eight miles to the north—up Prospect, a zig onto

The atmosphere of Mountain Ridge speaks of serenity and grace, of

Eagle Rock, a zag where Harrison hits Passaic Avenue—a simple wooden

ease and escape, of an oasis apart from the tumult of modern life—and it has

sign marks an almost hidden entrance. (Coming from the north, past the

done so since “modern” meant the advent of wireless radio and talking pictures.

airport, the sign itself is all but impossible to see until you’re on top of it, and

More than a magnificent golf course—but, surely, a magnificent golf

a fire hydrant is the best landmark.) No public street gives a view inside; you

course—Mountain Ridge has offered a gathering place and community

could live in the area for years and never know what lurks behind the trees.

for generations of Jewish leaders of New Jersey, first from Newark, then

Up a little slope, around a curve, past the tennis courts, and suddenly

increasingly from suburban towns to the west and north. Born from an act

the grand and elegant clubhouse looms. Follow the circle, where the flag-

of exclusion, the club embraced its special character and found purpose

pole and memorial sundial stand, to the front door with its leaded glass.

and meaning as a Place of Our Own.

Walk into the entry foyer, noting the stairway’s wrought-iron railings that

A century has passed since a group of Newark businessmen declared

were restored in the 1980s. Stop at the front desk, where the wooden plank-

its intention to establish a social and athletic enterprise for their enjoyment

ing in the display case provides the only hint of its past life as a humidor.

and edification. Mountain Ridge endures, thrives, and has no doubt sur-

Look up at the spacious verticality; pass through the open archway

passed its founders’ grandest hopes.

Opposite: The original clubhouse in West Orange was a residence already on the property when the club was founded in 1912.


12

C h a p t e r

O n e

FROM NEWARK to WEST ORANGE ON APRIL 17, 1912, six men appeared before a Master in Chancery for Essex County. They were there to sign, seal, and deliver a legal document. The six—Moses Plaut, Leo A. Lissner, William M. Sommer, Dr. Harry B. Epstein, Gustav Steinhardt, and Nathan Goldsmith—all resided in Newark, New Jersey, and all were listed in the document as Charter Members of the proposed corporation, whose purpose was “the promotion of physical culture and sociability among its members, and the participation in various branches of athletics such as golf, baseball, tennis and kindred games.” With the filing of this Certificate of Incorporation, received in the County Clerk’s office the next day and filed and recorded by the Secretary of State on April 29, Mountain Ridge Country Club was born. According to the certificate, the corporation would conduct its principal business in the Township of Caldwell. There were twenty-five Charter Members listed, and twenty-one Trustees; all but two of the Trustees were from Newark, the exceptions being South Orange residents Felix Fuld and Louis Bamberger. THE FuLL LIST oF CHARTER MEMbERS AS IT APPEARED oN THE CERTIFICATE oF INCoRPoRATIoN:

Felix Fuld

Julius D. Straus

William M. Sommer

David Holzner

Louis Schlesinger

Moses Plaut

Nathaniel King

Gustav Steinhardt

Jacob L. Newman

Meyer Kussy

Louis Bamberger

Charles Hood

Abe Feist

Abraham Rothschild

William E. Lehman

Maurice Kaufherr

Joseph Meyer

Solomon Foster

Mortimer Lowy

Frank Liveright

Burnet W. Straus

Harry B. Epstein

Leo A. Lissner

Arthur Phillips

Lewis Straus

They were, as described in The New York Times a year later, “some of the most prominent business and professional men of Newark and the outlying New Jersey districts.” They were also, nearly all of them, members of the Progress Club of Newark. This was no accident. The founding of Mountain Ridge, with those roots in the Progress Club, reflected the growth and stature of Newark’s German Jewish community.

Opposite: The Progress Club’s building at 37 Fulton Street.


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The city of Newark was founded in 1666 at the Four Corners—the

The city became a significant industrial center as the factory age took

intersection of Broad and Market Streets—by a group of Puritans led by

hold. The Passaic River provided easy passage to the busiest network of

Robert Treat. They had come from Connecticut to establish a more

canals and rivers in the east and enabled incoming ships to avoid the

religiously pure society; they chose the name Newark, because a pastor

hustle-bustle of New York’s harbor.

among them, Abraham Pierson, had preached in England at Newark-on-

German-born Jews began to arrive in America in significant numbers

Trent. Their city would be the last of the Puritan theocracies in the

in 1836, and the community grew throughout the century. Newark, with its

colonies; by 1776, people of all religions were free to worship there, though

established German Christian population, offered less of a language barrier

only Protestants were eligible for public office. That rule continued in

than the polyglot metropolis across the Hudson River, yet it was near enough

Newark until the mid-nineteenth century.

to New York’s Jewish communities to allow for easy movement to and fro.

Above: A demographic map of Newark in 1911. Opposite: The intersection of Broad and Market Streets, c. 1900.


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Isaac S. Cohen, one of Newark’s few prominent non-German Jewish

that was not the name selected at the start. In the 1870s it was common for

immigrants in the mid-century, came from England in 1847 and organized

members of social organizations to attend affairs and functions as a group,

Newark’s first congregation, B’nai Jeshurun; its services were initially held

with badges or rosettes on their lapels indicating the club to which the indi-

in the attic of Cohen’s home. The incorporation papers for Congregation

vidual belonged and his office within it. Froehlich and friends wore badges

B’nai Jeshurun were signed and filed in 1848; three of the five signatories

bearing the letters “N.N.C.” and nothing else. When asked for the meaning

were the brothers Abraham, Solomon, and Isaac Newman. (Abraham’s

of these letters, the members would demur and change the subject. New re-

grandson, Jacob L. Newman, was a Charter

cruits had to vow that they would not reveal the

Member of Mountain Ridge.) As sometimes

name behind the initials, nor would they divulge

happens, Isaac Cohen, who served as president

who its officers were or what was discussed at

and provided B’nai Jeshurun with its Torah, got

meetings. Members had to be unmarried men

into a dispute with the congregation, according

under age thirty, and they paid an initiation fee

to William B. Helmreich’s history of the Jews

of five dollars to join.

of Newark and MetroWest, The Enduring

The secrecy was all part of Froehlich’s plan

Community. He responded by taking his scrolls

to create an aura of intrigue and desirability

and moving to New York. A delegation went to

around the club. It certainly caused talk, much of

see him to urge him to come back; he eventually

it involving very rude interpretations of the words

relented, but demanded in return that the

behind the initials. According to The Jewish

congregation never change its name.

Chronicle in 1922, one of the original members

By the 1870s, a growing number of the

resigned because his parents heard speculation

German-Jewish immigrants and their children

about what those words might be, and he was

had made the transition from peddler to store

bound by oath not to tell them the truth. We can

owner to manufacturer or professional. Social organizations were an important

only imagine the disappointment that eager initiates felt upon learning that

part of the developing community, and Samuel Froehlich decided to create a

the group’s formal name was the No Name Club.

new one for his friends and associates, a group of whom gathered at his home

Their first club room was at 259 Washington Street in Newark; the

on January 27, 1872, to start “an organization for mutual improvement in

monthly rent was ten dollars, and they pooled their money and bought fur-

sociable and mental edification in pursuit of which object we desire to exhibit

niture for twenty-seven dollars. Meetings were held weekly, and special

a due consideration for the opinions and feelings of others.”

meetings were called at the slightest provocation. Froehlich, as president,

Froehlich’s group would eventually be known as the Progress Club, but

kept the club’s treasury flush by imposing fines pretty much at whim. Vice

Above: Samuel Froelich. Opposite: Froelich and clubmates on an excursion in August of 1886.


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president Jacob Holzner was fined five cents at one meeting for leaving his seat without the president’s permission; three members were fined ten cents each for failing to bring their committee reports with them. From such humble beginnings, the Progress Club—a name adopted in 1886, two years after the meaning of N.N.C. became public knowledge—evolved from a club organized for social amusements into one of the largest, most prominent, and most active civic associations in New Jersey. In its early years, it sponsored picnics and dances, and balls for Purim and Simchat Torah, with the proceeds going to charities it deemed worthy. Among the recipients in those early years were the Ladies’ Benevolent Sewing Circle, the Young Men’s Benevolent Society, the Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum Society, Russian Refugees, Johnstown Sufferers (the Johnstown Flood took place in 1889), St. Michaels, the German Hospitals, and many others. At its silver anniversary, Froehlich wrote an appreciation of the club and its role that is a model for such associations. It read, in part: The young man finds congenial mates and forms his associations, finds pleasures that are encouraged, is kindly advised when erring and meets with his elders in respectful condition and loaded with ceremony and through intercourse of friendly nature profits by older experience. The middle-aged active man finds relaxation from the strain of commercial or professional mind... While his interest lies in the direction of a home, the club is an auxiliary where friendships are cemented and minds relieved whether through cards, social intercourse or [exchanges of ] views… The diversion means rest and comfort. The old man values the sentiment for he readily understands that should he withdraw from society, society soon would withdraw from him and his pleasure in the company of young associates leads him to forget age.

When Froehlich wrote those words, in 1897, Newark was a mature and booming city. In the U.S. census of 1900, it ranked sixteenth among urban areas, with a population of nearly two hundred and fifty thousand—just 10 percent fewer than the census figure a hundred years later in the year 2000. The Jewish community was an important part of the vitality of


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Newark life. As noted in John T. Cunningham’s book Newark, the shops

store until 1923, when they sold it for seventeen million dollars to Sebastian

of the 1860s and ’70s were becoming big businesses. L.S. Plaut’s depart-

Kresge. Hahne’s, the oldest of Newark’s “Big 3” department stores, began

ment store, also known as “The Bee Hive,” was founded beside the Morris

as a birdcage shop in 1858 and expanded to general merchandise in the

Canal in 1870 by L. Simon Plaut; when he died in 1886, the business

1870s. By the time it opened its new downtown building in 1901, it catered

passed into the hands of his brothers, Louis and Moses. They operated the

to many of the wealthiest families in Newark, who arrived at the store in

A boxing match at the Progress Club, November 1917.


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elegant carriages. Bamberger’s, which opened in 1892, expanded the prime

members or guests. Corroborating such a story is all but impossible without

shopping district to Market Street, adopting Plaut’s fixed-price policy and

the words of one of the participants; such restrictions were commonplace

giving the store a classy air with salesladies in long black aprons and floor

at the time, and neither man was the sort to dwell on a personal slight when

walkers in Prince Albert coats.

there was action to be taken. Like many before them—at such clubs as

The Progress Club reflected the prosperity and importance of the

Long Island’s Inwood, Chicago’s Ravisloe, and Cincinnati’s Losantiville—

community’s leaders. “Men prominent in the business world, in local and

Dimond and Bamberger decided that if the existing clubs wouldn’t have

state politics, in philanthropy, in the legal and

them, they would form one of their own.

medical professions, and many other lines of

(This version varies from the one related

endeavor are among the club’s members,” wrote

by Albert Rachlin in Mountain Ridge: The

The Jewish Chronicle, “New Jersey’s Jewish

Movie, prepared by Jim Lazarus for the Club’s

Home Publication,” on the occasion of the

seventy-fifth anniversary in 1987. Rachlin says,

club’s 50th anniversary jubilee. “Some of the

“My father was the first Secretary of MRCC.

members of the club who now occupy a place

He and Mr. Plaut and Abe Dimond, after

of prominence in the life of the city indirectly

they had a tennis court on Rose Terrace in

owe their success to the fact that the Progress

Newark, decided that suddenly there was need

Club early in their career extended a helping

for a golfing activity. And they got Mr. Fuld

hand to them by employing them as waiters

and Mr. Bamberger, his brother-in-law, to

and stewards enabling them to earn a livelihood

purchase this tract of land in West Orange,

under pleasant circumstances… On several

which was at the top of the hill which today

occasions during the life of the club a fund was

is Essex Green.” Rachlin’s account—here

established to send a young waiter or steward

and in some unquoted portions—differs from

abroad or to college to complete his education.”

the historical record in small details, so his omission of the exclusion

The members may have held leadership roles in the business world,

story neither proves nor disproves it.)

but this did not mean that social channels were open to them in equal measure. A.J. Dimond and Louis Bamberger learned this when they set

IT IS NOT SURPRISING that A.J. Dimond would play a pivotal role in

out to find a place where they could play a little golf.

Mountain Ridge history. He was a natural leader, one who took the reins

In the legend of Mountain Ridge’s creation, Dimond and Bamberger

of nearly every endeavor he was involved in.

approached one of New Jersey’s most prominent country clubs—the club

Abraham Julius Dimond was born in Honesdale, Pennsylvania, on

differs in various accounts—and were told that Jews were not welcome as

March 22, 1880. He was a founding partner in the New York company

A.J. Dimond.


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Neumeyer & Dimond, a business that began by dealing in steel and wire,

efforts on behalf of his real passions: charitable work and Mountain Ridge.

and eventually became America’s leading supplier of specialty equipment

His philanthropic endeavors were often but not exclusively focused on

for dock and harbor construction. As agent for the German firm Deutsche

Jewish charities. He was president of the Progress Club from 1916-18;

Machinenfabrik, Dimond’s company was responsible for the manufacture

organizer and president of Newark’s Conference of Jewish Charities;

of two floating hoists—the largest ever built—that were essential to the

chairman of the committees that raised the funds to build Newark Beth Israel

creation of the Panama Canal. The firm, located at 82 Beaver Street in

Hospital and the YM/YWHA building in Newark; vice president of Newark’s

Manhattan, was internationally known for its cranes, loading and conveying

Community Chest; Treasurer of the Selective Service Welfare League, which

plants, and other machinery used in shipyards, mines, and mills. It also

aided soldiers after their discharge from the service; president of the Holly-

dealt in steel cutlery; its knives and straight razors, some bearing the trade

wood (Florida) Federated Charities; president of the Hollywood Chamber

names Velox (Latin for “swift”) or Sphinx, can still be found in antique

of Commerce; and chairman for the Hollywood Open golf tournament. After

shops and auction houses today.

his term at the helm of the Progress Club, he headed the Dimond Board, an

In addition to the steel company, Dimond (“Skipper” to his friends)

executive advisory group formed by the club to keep him in a leadership role.

was president of West Side Real Estate Company and treasurer of Neumeyer

“He was brilliant. He was absolutely grand,” his grandson Donnie

Realty Company, but these were virtually hobbies compared to his tireless

Rubenoff recalls. “Everything was always very upbeat with him. He was

The Dimond Board en route to Allentown, Pennsylvania, September 26, 1925. This advisory council of the Progress Club was formed to utilize Dimond’s expertise beyond his term as the club’s President.


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tough and he ran things with an iron hand, but he was really a pussycat, and

of the twenty-five Charter Members belonged to the Progress Club. Once

he always treated his friends and the people who worked for him like family.”

the incorporation papers were filed, the members set out to buy what they

Dimond was not among the twenty-five Charter Members listed

considered an ideal property in the country—that is, anywhere beyond

at the time of incorporation, though by the opening date he was on the

Newark’s narrow city limits—for their club and clubhouse.

Board of Trustees. His many contributions to the life of Mountain Ridge

They purchased a tract on a hilly site in West Orange, at the corner

have been commemorated with a substantial plaque honoring him in

of Prospect and Mount Pleasant Avenues, extending to the north towards

the entrance hall of the Club—a rare tribute at a club that does not rush

Eagle Rock Avenue. The property had a two-and-a-half story building on

to slap memorials and dedications on

it that could be remodeled to suit the

every door and wall.

Club’s needs. A letter was sent out in January 1913 over the signature of Dr. I.J.

IN THE AUTUMN OF 1911, the first

Rachlin, Secretary, on plain paper, inform-

stages of the birth of Mountain Ridge

ing the recipients that the Mountain

were underway, as reflected in a letter

Ridge Country Club’s Board of Governors

sent on the stationery of L. Bamberger

had called a general meeting at the Board

& Co. to Rabbi Solomon Foster of B’nai

of Trade in Newark for all interested

Jeshurun. Dated November 9, 1911, the

parties. “I am glad to announce that we

letter from Frank I. Liveright invited the

have acquired a beautiful tract of land

rabbi “to meet a number of gentlemen

suitable for a country club,” Rachlin wrote,

who are interested in the formation of a

“and we are now ready to proceed with the

Country Club, and who have for the past year inspected a number of

organization of the club and the laying out of the grounds.

available sites… . It is hoped that you will attend, as your cooperation is essential in enlisting others in this worthy movement.”

“It is earnestly requested that you attend this meeting and take part in the organization, and you are asked to bring any friends who may be

Rabbi Foster replied, four days later, “I wish to acknowledge receipt

interested in the club.”

of your very kind letter… As you may know, the project is one which

The meeting drew a suitable turnout, but since few of those involved

strongly appeals to me, and I shall take pleasure in aiding its materialization

had much experience with the game of golf, they brought in professional

to the best of my ability.”

help to get the golf course underway. Robert Gourley, formerly of the

With the Progress Club and B’nai Jeshurun providing links to a host

Suburban Golf Club in Elizabeth, was hired to be the Golf Professional.

of potential club members, the idea moved from notion to reality. Nineteen

David Hunter, professional at the nearby Essex County Country Club,

Felix Fuld.


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laid out the initial nine holes. “The club’s grounds are situated on that por-

dynamic man whose life philosophy could be summed up with the phrase,

tion of the Orange Mountains between the Essex County Country Club

“Do something!”—Felix Fuld.

and the Montclair Golf Club,” The New York Times observed on April 12,

Fuld was born in Frankfurt-on-Main, Germany, and came to the

1913. “Eighty men are now employed in clearing the wooded section so as

U.S., when he was fourteen. His father, Ludwig S. Fuld, was a partner in

to make playing possible by the latter part of May. It is planned ultimately

the New York banking house Sternberger, Fuld & Sinn. Felix worked as a

to have an eighteen-hole course.”

rubber goods salesman until his early twenties, and in his travels he met a

The formal opening of the Club in West Orange took place on May

young man from Baltimore who had started out sweeping floors and

30, 1913. The New York Sun noted that the planned festivities included

running errands in a thrift store for four dollars a week, found some success

several speeches, a flag raising, and a ceremonial first drive from the

as a wholesaler, but had his sights set on creating a store of his own.

location of the opening tee. That first shot was hit by the man who would

That fellow was Louis Bamberger, and the two became lifelong

be President of Mountain Ridge through the Club’s first decade, a

friends who would be closely linked in the business and personal spheres,

Temple B’nai Jeshurun, 1940.


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and as civic benefactors whose gifts still resonate in Newark and beyond. Fuld was the more energetic and effusive one, while Bamberger was more sedate but no less passionate in his views. Both men were routinely described as kindly, modest, honest, and fair in all their dealings. Each was quick to share credit with others; both recognized that no one is successful by his actions alone. Fuld believed that honesty was not merely the proper course but the only practical one in business; the only way to develop relationships worthy of the trust put in them. “You’ll lose the idea that you know it all—if you ever had it—because no honest man can hold that idea,” Fuld said. “You’ll have to be amenable to the ideas of other people; they know something, too. If you’re honest, you’re going to admit that knowledge. You’ll have to learn from everybody all the time.” Bamberger believed that the three essential components for starting a business were “capital, a location, and people to work with me,” he told American Magazine in 1923, “the last being as essential as the two others.” Once he had access to capital and had selected his two partners—his brotherin-law Louis M. Frank, as well as Fuld—he spent two years looking and waiting for the right opportunity. “I didn’t like waiting, but I had seen too many men fail because they would not wait for capital, for a location, or for that most important thing of all, business associates who could be trusted.” One day, Fuld found a calling card on his hall table from Bamberger, with a note that read, “See me at 147 Market Street, Newark.” Bamberger had left the card on a Friday, two days earlier, but Fuld’s maid didn’t give it to him, and he didn’t notice it until Sunday. He told American Magazine, “I didn’t know what was going on at 147 Market Street, Newark, or why Mr. Bamberger wanted me there. From Friday to Sunday was a long step but somebody might be over there Sunday, so I took the first train to Newark, found Mr. Bamberger in his shirt sleeves marking stock, and joined

Opposite: Felix Fuld and Louis Bamberger. Above: The original “Bam’s,” on Market Street, 1892.


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him. You can’t grasp an opportunity too quickly; the seizing of it the very

sales clerk—there were no “employees” at Bamberger’s, only “co-workers”—

minute it presents itself is often the hair line between success and failure.”

to take back the goods without question, and to give the woman her money

Bamberger had been watching a location on Market Street, one block

back. “Nothing has helped to build the store more than this policy,” Bam-

over from the main shopping district. When it first became available, Bam-

berger told American Magazine. “I adopted it because I wanted to be fair

berger didn’t have his full financing in place, so he let it go by. Another dry

with the customer, and this seemed to me the only way to convince the

goods shop, Hill & Craig, opened on the site, and four months later it went

customer that I intended to be fair.” Sure enough, the woman left the store,

bankrupt. This time Bamberger was ready to buy. He had the financing he

told her friends, and she and they came back often.

needed and the associates he trusted, and the right spot, too. L. Bamberger & Company opened on December 13, 1892, sold out Hill & Craig’s inventory, and quickly acquired stock of its own. Its business

By 1898, the store had taken over all six floors of its building and also part of an adjacent one. In 1912, Bamberger’s put up a new store at Washington and Market, where it remained for generations.

philosophy was simple: deal honestly and fairly, and people will come back.

The success of the department store made Fuld and Bamberger

During the early days of the store, a woman walked in with an armful of

wealthy men. Like A.J. Dimond, they believed that from those to whom

goods and said they were not what she had wanted. Bamberger told the

much is given, much is expected in return. Fuld liked to conduct his

Mountain Ridge golfers, in ties and plus fours, at the course in West Orange.


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charitable efforts away from public view; many of his substantial gifts were

private and unrecorded benevolence can be imagined only by observing the

given anonymously. He and his wife—Bamberger’s sister Caroline, who

thousands of eyes that fill with tears at the mention of his name.”

married Fuld three years after the death of her husband, their other partner

The same could be said for Caroline Bamberger Fuld and her brother

Louis Frank—gave two hundred and fifty thousand dollars to the fund to

Louis. Only their largest acts of generosity are known, and then usually

create Beth Israel Hospital in Newark; when the hospital realized it would

at the insistence of the recipients. In 1927, she donated more than two

need two million dollars more, he put up another two hundred and fifty

thousand Japanese cherry trees to be planted in Branch Brook Park,

thousand dollars. In 1927, he and Bamberger, along with a few others, gave

creating an explosion of color each spring and giving rise to Newark’s

the Essex County Boy Scouts a summer vacation camp consisting of 1,735

annual Cherry Blossom Festival, with more trees and more varieties than

acres in Warren County. (Years earlier, he came upon some customers at

Washington, D.C.’s famous display. She was a generous contributor to

the store who were buying a large quantity of blankets to take some boys

Newark Beth Israel Hospital, the Newark Community Chest, Hadassah,

on a summer camping trip. Fuld asked why they were buying so many, and

the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, and many other charitable

when they told him, he instructed the saleswoman to forget about the

agencies. She was a national director of the National Council of Jewish

money and to send him the bill.)

Women, taking particular interest in its vocational guidance and employ-

Fuld was New Jersey chairman of the American Jewish Relief

ment programs. The Jewish Day Nursery and Neighborhood House in

Committee after the first World War, president of the New Jersey YMHA,

Newark was renamed the Fuld Neighborhood House in her honor after

and donor to countless causes of every denomination. When he chaired the

she donated two buildings to the institution.

drive to raise money for Jewish war sufferers in Eastern and Central Europe,

Besides the cherry trees, her most enduring legacy (in tandem

a writer from The Jewish Chronicle asked him why he does such things.

with Louis Bamberger) is probably the Institute for Advanced Study in

He replied with characteristic modesty, “I suppose I do them because they’ve

Princeton. It was founded in 1930, thanks to a five million dollar gift from

got to be done,” then quickly shifted the conversation to the contributions

the pair; its main building on campus is Fuld Hall, named for their late

of others. Irving Lehman, president of the Jewish Welfare Board, told

spouse and friend. The Institute has an internationally renowned faculty,

The New York Times, “[Fuld’s] love for his fellows and his urgent desire to

but no students; it exists so that brilliant theoreticians in the fields of math,

serve, perhaps even more than his high sense of duty, dictated his activities.

natural sciences, social science, and history can pursue their inquiries without

What others might consider as sacrifice he regarded as a privilege and joy.”

pressure or demands.

Fuld and his wife were patrons of the New York Philharmonic Society,

The Institute’s most famous faculty member was Albert Einstein, who

and their interest in sculpture and painting led them to present many modern

found a haven there from 1933 until his death in 1955. Founding director

works to the Newark Museum. He was New Jersey’s first Parks Commis-

Abraham Flexner met Einstein by chance at Cal Tech in early 1932 and

sioner. On his death in 1929, Solomon Foster noted, “The magnitude of his

was soon in serious negotiations to bring Einstein to Princeton for six


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months each year. Einstein had two conditions: He wanted Dr. Walther

Among his other rare holdings were autographs (handwritten letters)

Mayer as his assistant, and he wanted a salary of three thousand dollars per

from everyone who signed the Declaration of Independence. The collection,

year, asking, “Could I live on less?” Flexner told him, “You couldn’t live on

described in a 1925 newspaper article about the hobby, took him more than

that. Let Mrs. Einstein and me arrange it.” Einstein’s salary would be sixteen

twenty years to assemble. He gave the collection to the New Jersey Historical

thousand dollars a year, and his half-year residency became full time once

Society, which moved into a building donated by Bamberger in 1931.

Hitler rose to power.

He also owned a leaf from the first Guten-

Bamberger’s own largesse was the stuff of legend. He donated the building

berg Bible printed between 1450 and 1455; he donated it to the Newark Museum.

that has housed the Newark Museum

Bamberger owned and established

since 1926, and like Dimond and Fuld

radio station WOR, broadcasting from a

was one of the major contributors to the

studio on the sixth floor of the department

creation of Beth Israel Hospital. In 1927,

store. He viewed the station as an outlet for

he gave the Jewish Theological Seminary

cultural programming, even as it was a canny

a collection of manuscripts ranging

way to help sell radios. He gave radio

from the thirteenth to the eighteenth

receivers to the public schools in Newark so

centuries. They included a minute book

students whose families could not afford one

of the Jewish community at Finale,

were able to hear the music and music-

Italy, from 1660 to 1693, giving extraor-

appreciation programs. He also endowed

dinary detail about the economic and

Bamberger Music Scholarships for Newark

social conditions of the time. “A few of

high school students and funded nine

the manuscripts are beautifully illumi-

full-tuition scholarships in memory of Felix

nated—a rare thing in Jewish books,”

Fuld to the Newark College of Engineering.

The New York Times reported. “An

The death of Felix Fuld in early 1929

especially fine specimen is a ltitle [sic]

affected Bamberger greatly. Bamberger was

prayer book written in Austria in 1300. There is also a hitherto unknown

seventy-three, thirteen years older than his late partner and brother-in-law. He

outline of Aristotle’s logic in Hebrew and a number of medical works in

had never married; he lived with his sister and Fuld at their thirty-five-acre

Hebrew, including a translation of the Aphorisms of Hippocrates by Shem

estate (today the site of the East Orange VA Medical Center). He decided the

Tob ben Isaac of Tortoso [who] was born in 1197.”

time had come to scale back his involvement in the store. R.H. Macy &

Above: L. Bamberger & Co., 1912. Opposite: Bamberger breaks ground for the Newark Museum, 1925.


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Company made an offer to buy Bamberger’s,

one opted for cash. He cautioned his employees

which was by then the fourth-largest chain of

to watch out for hustlers and get-rich-quick

department stores in the country; he quietly

schemes; even banks, however, proved risky after

negotiated the purchase for a total of approxi-

the stock market crashed just five weeks later.

mately twenty-five million dollars through

In October 1932, he was asked to be-

Lehman Brothers. Bamberger became a member

come chair of the New Jersey State Republican

of the Board of Directors of Macy’s, which con-

businessmen’s committee, part of the effort to

tinued to use the Bamberger’s name until 1986.

re-elect Herbert Hoover in the early years of

Once the sale had officially gone

the Depression. He was active in state and

through, Bamberger took one million dollars

national political committees as a Republican.

of his own money and distributed it to all the

He was later named one of fourteen honorary

men and women who had worked for the com-

chairmen for the United Jewish Appeal for

pany for more than fifteen years. Bamberger

Refugees and Overseas Needs, a nationwide

personally handed out the money, as reported

campaign on behalf of oppressed and homeless

in The New York Times,

Jews in Central and Eastern Europe. He was a

to porters, salesmen and saleswomen, executives, drivers and scrub women, the sums ranging from $1,000 to $20,000… “I am doing something today I felt I should do,” [Bamberger said.] “This business has been a great success and you people have helped to make it what it is. I would not be able to do what I am doing today if it had not been for the loyalty, cooperation and industry of my friends

member of the Executive Board of the American Jewish Historical Society and honorary president of the New Jersey YM-YWHA. Louis Bamberger and Caroline Bamberger Fuld died within months of each other, he in March 1944 at the estate in South Orange, she in July at her summer home in Lake Placid, New York. Twelve hundred people attended his memorial service at B’nai Jeshurun; Newark’s City Hall was draped in black for the occasion, and flags were flown at half mast for three days.

assembled here… “This is one of the happiest occasions of my life and I want to thank you all sincerely for your loyal service.”

These three men—Bamberger, Dimond, and Fuld—were the founding lights of Mountain Ridge. They set a high standard for the club’s members in terms of personal accomplishment and community mindedness. That spirit

To put the gifts into perspective, the annual per capita income in the

of philanthropy—the sense that what a man does for others is at least as

U.S. in 1929 was seven hundred and fifty dollars. Bamberger offered each

important as what he has done for himself—has been an integral part of the

worker the opportunity to receive the payment as an insured annuity; every-

life of Mountain Ridge from the very start.

Above: Felix Fuld, Caroline Bamberger Fuld, and Louis Bamberger. Opposite: Albert Einstein in front of Fuld Hall at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, circa 1950.


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C h a p t e r

T w o

SETTLING IN, MOVING OUT WITH THE CLUB AT LAST ESTABLISHED, Mountain Ridge’s leaders turned their attention to the refinement of the golf course. Their initial nine-hole course—on ground so hilly that “when one is

came into being; the oldest surviving club in the U.S., the Saint Andrew’s

not playing uphill he is pretty sure to be playing down,” according to

Golf Club—originally in Yonkers, now located in Hastings-on-Hudson—

The Philadelphia Record—stretched for 2,880 yards, a respectable length

is just twenty-five years older than Mountain Ridge. The United States

in hickory-shaft days. The card for those nine holes shows great variety in

Golf Association, formed in 1894 to promote national championships and

the distances, no doubt reflecting the elevation changes:

promulgate the official rules, was not yet twenty years old. The Professional

Hole No. 1 .........400

Hole No. 4......... 275

Hole No. 7......... 300

Hole No. 2......... 130

Hole No. 5........ 480

Hole No. 8......... 200

Hole No. 3......... 275

Hole No. 6......... 500

Hole No. 9......... 320

Golfers Association did not yet exist. As golf took hold and began to spread throughout the country— aided by the unlikely 1913 U.S. Open triumph of twenty-year-old Francis Ouimet over the British greats Harry Vardon and Ted Ray—some of these

There was nothing unusual about the course having been laid out by

professionals developed a reputation for skill in designing a golf course.

the professional from Essex County Country Club; a golf pro’s job in those

Familiarity with the great courses of Scotland was considered a major asset.

days went far beyond giving lessons and overseeing tournaments. A pro

Donald Ross, born in Dornoch in the Scottish Highlands, is one prominent

might be a club maker and repairer, hole designer and greenkeeper, teacher

example; starting in Pinehurst, North Carolina, where he was in charge of

and salesman; the development of the mass-produced wound golf ball at

all golf operations including course design, he eventually created hundreds

the turn of the century meant that his tasks no longer included stuffing

of courses in thirty-two states.

and sewing feather-filled balls or boiling gutta-percha resin and shaping it in a golf-ball mold.

Others became what we now call golf architects by being passionate amateurs. Charles Blair MacDonald used his knowledge of great golf holes

The game in America was still quite young when Mountain Ridge

from his travels abroad to design National Golf Links of America, the

Opposite: The original Mountain Ridge crest.


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the game: writing, reporting, advocating public golf, photographing golf scenes, organizing tournaments, playing on a high level. He got his first opportunity in golf design when he was thirty-six. A wealthy friend asked him to lay out a course in Shawnee-on-Delaware, Pennsylvania; the resulting course hosted the PGA Championship in 1938. Tillinghast was finding his way in the course-building business in the mid1910s, creating Aronimink in 1915 (since replaced); Brackenridge Park (San Antonio) and Shackamaxon (Westfield, New Jersey) in 1916, and Somerset Hills (Bernardsville, New Jersey) in 1917. In the five years after his work for Mountain Ridge, Tillinghast designed Upper Montclair, San Francisco Golf Club, Newport, Quaker Ridge, and thirty-six holes each for Winged Foot and Baltusrol. The New York Tribune reported that Tillinghast had staked off nine holes to create a course “which will be up to date, very sporty and much larger than the old course… all natural hazards have been taken advantage of, including the water hazards.” This area of the property was not as hilly as the original nine, and likely was an improvement over the initial effort. The holes totaled 3,060 yards, distributed as follows:

Course at Yale, Chicago Golf Club, the Creek Club, and Mid-Ocean. Another was Albert Warren Tillinghast, who spent part of 1916-17

Hole No. 1 .........450

Hole No. 4......... 125

Hole No. 7......... 410

Hole No. 2......... 320

Hole No. 5......... 500

Hole No. 8......... 435

Hole No. 3......... 375

Hole No. 6......... 130

Hole No. 9......... 315

designing a new nine holes for Mountain Ridge’s West Orange property. Tillinghast was born into a wealthy Philadelphia family and

The difference from the original nine was less than two hundred yards,

approached life like a character in an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel. He drank

but it’s easy to see how it would play much longer. The older nine had four

heavily, partied heartily, left a series of schools without graduating, dressed

holes between 275 and 320 yards, only one longer par four (400 yards), and

sharp, talked big, and traveled widely. He fell in love with golf at a young age,

par fives of 480 and 500 yards. The Tillinghast distances look more normal

making many trips to St. Andrews where he often played the Old Course

to the modern eye, with short and long par fours (315, 320, 375, 410, 435),

with Old Tom Morris. He threw himself into a broad range of activities in

two short par threes, and two long holes (450 and 500).

A.W. Tillinghast.


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Tillinghast liked to find his courses “in the dirt,” spending time on

two dollars per day on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. The Club’s

site and directing the workmen based on his inspiration of the moment. He

Professional was listed as Harry Avery beginning in 1917; the 1920 edition

was one of the first to apply the principles of landscape architecture to golf

cites George Langdon as the pro, though in 1921 it names Avery again,

holes, creating beauty as well as playability and

and he remains in the post until leaving for

challenge. His efforts at Mountain Ridge’s West

Wildwood Golf and Country Club in 1926.

Orange site caught the eye of the club across Mt.

In 1921 the Club acquired a fifty-five-acre

Pleasant Avenue and led directly to his commis-

parcel of land fronting Mt. Pleasant Avenue, with

sion at Essex County Country Club. And the

the intention of building a new clubhouse on part

strongly positive reaction to his work at Essex

of the property. The new building was expected to

County may well have tipped the scales at Bal-

cost one hundred and fifty thousand dollars at the

tusrol, according to Philip Young’s book Tilling-

time. Rather than erecting the clubhouse and plan-

hast: Creator of Courses: “Certainly it enabled them

ning any golf course expansion around it, the offi-

to give serious consideration to Tilly’s idea that

cers recognized it would make more sense to work

they should plow up the existing championship

on the golf course first, and then site the cubhouse

course and construct two new courses instead of

accordingly. This would also be easier on the Club’s

merely adding a second 18. This idea may have

treasury, which was a definite consideration.

been among the most innovatively bold ever pre-

Despite—or perhaps because of—Tilling-

sented by an architect to a potential client.” Bold

hast’s growing reputation and the demand for his

indeed, considering Baltusrol’s existing course

time, MRCC turned to Herbert Strong to create

had already hosted two U.S. Opens and U.S.

a full eighteen. Strong was born in Kent,

Women’s Amateurs and one U.S. Amateur!

England, and was the pro at Royal St. George’s

Newspaper reports indicate that Mountain

in Sandwich before coming to the United States.

Ridge always intended to have an eighteen-hole

As the professional at Inwood Country Club—

golf course eventually, and Tillinghast’s nine did

another traditionally Jewish club—he redesigned

not encroach on the original nine holes, giving the Club the option of keep-

the golf course into a layout formidable enough to host the 1921 PGA

ing both nines in operation. It does not appear to have done so. As late as

Championship and the 1923 U.S. Open. He also designed Engineers Golf

1923, the American Annual Golf Guide and Year Book listed Mountain Ridge

Club on Long Island (site of the 1919 PGA and 1920 U.S. Amateur),

as a nine-hole course, with guest charges of one dollar per day on weekdays,

the Old Course at Saucon Valley in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and

The New York Tribune, May 16, 1918.


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Canterbury Golf Club outside Cleveland (1940 and ’46 U.S. Opens, 1973

was the failure to agree on where the new clubhouse might go. The drawing

PGA, 1979 U.S. Amateur, and 1996 U.S. Senior Open).

from Strong dated October 30, 1923, contains three different numberings

Strong’s courses were known for their striking visuals and boldly con-

for the holes, depending on where the course was supposed to start.

toured greens—and their great difficulty, as with the short par-three 14th at

Nonetheless, construction proceeded through 1924, hampered by

Engineers that falls off in all directions from the narrow green, giving it the

frost that continued into the early spring. The target date for completion

moniker “2 or 20.” At Engineers he worked with a very hilly property and

of the eighteen was July 1, 1924; while Strong’s construction work was

built holes that ran up, down, across, athwart, and alongside the pitch of the

evidently finished by then, much still needed to be done by Course Super-

land. This made him a natural choice for Mountain Ridge’s West Orange

intendent A.D. Burton—recently hired away from Strong’s staff—who was

location, but by most accounts he was un-

still trying to get two holes into playable

able to overcome the site’s terrain.

shape in October.

The map of the course reveals

The expansion of the course put a

numerous oddities in the design. Moving

strain on the Club’s finances. Construc-

from the 2nd green to the 3rd tee involves

tion work for the eighteen holes ran

slipping between the 4th green and 5th

more than thirty-seven thousand dollars

tee; going from the 3rd green to the 4th

over budget, the banks informed the

tee requires circling behind the 17th green.

Club its accounts were overdrawn, and

That 17th hole runs up against an inverted

total indebtedness was approaching one

L-shaped border of the property and is a

hundred thousand dollars. It’s unlikely

double-dogleg that heads first directly at

that Mountain Ridge’s wealthiest Mem-

the long part of the L, swings sharply left along the border, then right-angles

bers would ever have let the club go under, but it was unquestionably feeling

right to reach the green. The 6th hole is a long dogleg right, at the end of

a pinch, with questions about the Clubhouse still to be addressed.

which one takes a further right-angle turn to the putting surface. Nine, 10,

At the annual meeting in January 1925, the Members (eighty of the

and 11 are shoehorned into a small box near the northeast corner along

161 regular members attended) voted to authorize raising three hundred

Prospect Avenue: 9, a par four of 319 yards, heads south then bends sharply

thousand dollars by selling general mortgage bonds—non-interest bearing

left; 10, a long one-shotter, heads diagonally west to a green near the 9th and

for seven years at the Club’s option—to the Membership. The figure, which

11th tees; and 11 follows the property line east and then sharply south,

had been put forward by A.J. Dimond at the December Board meeting,

completing the square with a green next to the 9th green and 10th tee.

was intended to pay for the construction of the clubhouse and pay off all

One difficulty for the course, in addition to the problem of the hills,

floating and bonded debt owed by the Club. Dues also were raised from

From The New York Times, September 4, 1921, front page of the Real Estate section. The proposed clubhouse became a major point of contention.


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one hundred and twenty dollars to two hundred dollars per year.

The Officers of the Club had been essentially unchanged from the

To put these figures in perspective, consider that the monthly payroll

time of its founding: Felix Fuld was President, Harry Epstein was Vice

for the Club’s operations amounted to a little over three thousand dollars.

President, Moses Plaut was Treasurer, and I.J. Rachlin was Secretary. Sensing

The Financial Secretary, John Schroeder—equivalent to the Club Man-

disaster looming around the corner, Abe Dimond decided the time had

ager—was paid two hundred dollars a month. The House Stewards

come to act, and to act decisively.

received a total of three hundred dollars monthly; the Chef earned one

In September 1925 Dimond addressed the Board about his view of

hundred and seventy-five dollars; and a full-time Waiter sixty dollars. As

the proper site for the Clubhouse. He had serious doubts that the building

Golf Professional, Harry Avery received eighty dollars a month and a house

could be brought in at or under budget, doubts reinforced by the architect’s

rent-free, but no meals; he also kept the profits from the sale of golf supplies

letter to the Board. The Board nonetheless voted to go ahead with final

and whatever he was paid for lessons. The Caddy Master got one hundred

plans and to procure estimates and bids for approval, with costs not to exceed

dollars a month, the Superintendent was paid two hundred dollars, and the

one hundred and seventy-five thousand dollars, excluding the changes to

laborers who worked on the course varied according to need, but on average

the golf course. Dimond’s was the sole vote against.

there were four men earning sixty-five cents an hour and twelve to fifteen

At the October Board meeting, Fuld announced that he would not

earning fifty-five cents, for a monthly total of about one thousand and eight

accept renomination as President. In November all four Officers of the

hundred dollars.

Board resigned, effective immediately. There was no question who was now

The arguments about the proposed clubhouse that raged through

in charge: Abe Dimond was elected President to serve the unexpired term,

1925 were the most important events in shaping the Mountain Ridge

and Nathan Bilder was chosen as Vice President. At Dimond’s urging, the

Country Club that exists today. How much? Paid for how? Placed where?

office of Honorary President was created for Felix Fuld. Two weeks later, at a

On recommendation from the Building Committee, the Board of

special meeting of the Board, Herbert Hannoch was elected Secretary, and

Directors had selected William E. Lehman as architect for the clubhouse.

Henry Puder became Treasurer. Four new Board Members were elected to

In August, the Board voted to go ahead with the building program, including

replace those who also had resigned in the shift to new leadership.

furnishings, roadway, landscaping, dormitory, and help quarters on the site

Dimond now redirected the terms of the discussion. Put aside the

suggested by Lehman—midway between the second green and third tee—

issue of the clubhouse; was the golf course good enough for Mountain Ridge

with the cost not to exceed one hundred and seventy-five thousand dollars.

to commit to staying at this site for the indefinite future? Few of the Mem-

This vote was taken even though the architect had written to the Board in-

bers may have had much experience with golf when the Club was looking

dicating that the proposed site could not be built for less than two hundred

for sites in 1912, but that was no longer true. They were in the midst of

and thirty thousand dollars, and that placing the clubhouse there would re-

what is now called the Golden Age of golf course architecture and were

quire shuffling of the course routing and some alteration of the holes.

looking at a place that Jane Wallerstein recalls as “a terrible golf course.


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It had no trees, practically; it was scrawny; my grandfather belonged to

lars to create, but they were very familiar with the course through their

Jumping Brook down on the shore, and I knew enough as a child of ten,

work at Essex County. According to the Greens Committee, Raynor and

eleven, to know it was no golf course at all.”

Banks stated “it is their opinion that an expenditure of at least seventy-five

Dimond engaged the golf course architects Seth Raynor and Charles

thousand dollars would be necessary in order to complete the construction

Banks to evaluate the course for a fee of two hundred dollars in January

of the course. It is their opinion that even with this expenditure the course

1926. They reported back that they could not do a complete analysis of the

was of such a nature that it could never be made a satisfactory course.”

course without a topographical map, which would cost one thousand dol-

In the meantime the Building Committee had received updated

The only surviving map of Herbert Strong’s routing for the West Orange course.


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estimates for the clubhouse averaging between one hundred and seventy-

course, make recommendations for its improvement, and advise the Club

five to two hundred thousand dollars, not counting the cost of furnishings.

as to whether it should bother to do anything at all or simply scrap the

The Board decided to present all these findings to the Membership at the

course and move on.

annual meeting in January 1926, with a recommendation that the plans

Travis was ultimately called in and paid a fee of $250 to confirm what

to build a clubhouse be abandoned, and

the Board had already heard: There was no

instead the Board be authorized to sell the

possibility of creating a first-class golf course

present golf course and purchase a new

on the property, no matter what alterations

location for a better one.

were made to the course they already had. (In

At the same meeting, the Board

the modern world, where a dead-flat site can

reported the hiring of a new Golf Profes-

be altered into a dunes-strewn setting remi-

sional, James E. Taylor, who had formerly

niscent of the Irish coast, it’s important to re-

been the pro at Norwood Golf Club.

member that the only shaping equipment

The Members generally approved of the

available then was a plow or scraper pulled by

Board’s proposal, though there was some con-

mule or horse.) Accordingly, on April 27, 1926,

cern about costs and financing. The Club’s

the Board resolved “that in view of the reports

total debt at the time was two hundred and

made by Messers. Raynor and Banks and Wal-

twenty-five thousand dollars, including bonds

ter J. Travis, respecting the condition of the

held by the Members and issued for the pur-

Golf Course, and the impossibility of its im-

pose of financing the West Orange clubhouse.

provement, no further steps be taken by the

Some believed they should not be asked to pay

Board for either erecting the new Club House,

off the bonds in full until there was a firm plan

nor making extensive improvements to the

for going forward; others felt the debt should be eliminated through an

present club house.”

equal assessment on all Members. After a thorough and lively discussion,

By year’s end no offers had been received. Nonetheless the Board be-

the Members voted to alter the bond agreement and permit the Board to

lieved it should not wait until an offer was in hand to start looking at prop-

pursue a sale and purchase.

erties to buy. Accordingly it put a resolution before the members at the

Before going forward, the Board decided to get a second opinion on

February 8, 1927, annual meeting, authorizing the Board to:

the West Orange course from another prominent golf course architect, and

(1) Sell the land owned by the Club, with no sale to be approved

resolved to retain either Donald Ross or Walter Travis to visit, examine the

or final until a new course is built;

James E. Taylor, Head Golf Professional at Mountain Ridge from 1926 to 1960.


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(2) Purchase land and build a new eighteen-hole course at a total

offer to approximately five hundred thousand dollars in cash, with the Club

cost not to exceed five hundred thousand dollars;

retaining possession until a new site was acquired and developed (not more

(3) Arrange financing of the course, in-

than four years). The Special Committee recom-

cluding mortgaging the present Club

mended two weeks later that the Club pursue an

property if necessary.

asking price of five hundred and fifty thousand

(4) Regarding financing and mortgaging,

dollars net; the board decided to reject an offer it

the Board was not to act until a Special

had received of less than five hundred thousand

Committee of ten active Members

dollars (one hundred and fifty thousand dollars

(appointed by the President) approved the

cash), no interest, and use of the existing property

sale as to price, terms, and time of surren-

for three years.

dering possession; approved the purchase

In August the Special Committee reported

of new property after all the Committee

it had investigated a site for purchase in West

Members personally inspected the property

Caldwell: 200 acres at a price of two hundred

and received written opinion from two

thousand dollars. The Committee Chair, Ferd

experts that the land was suitable and

Kaufman, didn’t think that the property, on Fair-

desirable for an eighteen-hole course;

field Avenue, was worth the money, even though

approve plans to build a clubhouse; approve

it had been approved by both Charles Banks and

terms of bonds and mortgages for any

Donald Ross. The Board voted to purchase the

purpose.

property, at a price not to exceed two hundred

All these approvals were to be by major-

thousand dollars.

ity vote of the Special Committee.

Four months later, the Committee informed

The resolution passed, 44-4.

the Board that the Fairfield Avenue purchase had

At the end of May, the Special Commit-

fallen through, because it turned out that the seller

tee of Ten indicated it was ready to negotiate

did not have as much land as first indicated. At this

the sale and wanted full authority to do so.

point, Abram Feist told the Board that the pro-

Abram Feist objected, wanting it noted for the record that his real estate firm

posed purchaser behind the offer he had submitted was a subsidiary of the

(Feist & Feist) had received an offer to purchase the Club’s property for three

Public Service Corporation, which wanted to use a portion of the land in

hundred and eighty thousand dollars net; further negotiations increased the

connection with its proposed high power distribution facilities. This pre-

Walter Travis, champion golfer and course designer, who evaluated the West Orange site and found it wanting.


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sented both a complication and an opportunity, since the PSC had the power

top to pay for upgrading and expansion of the Locker Room, shower,

to condemn the property for its use and indicated it would do so if it could

and bath facilities in the West Orange clubhouse, the Club now had

not reach an amicable arrangement with the Club. That effectively eliminated

three hundred and seventy thousand dollars in its Capital Account to

other potential purchasers, but also shifted the

use in finding a new home.

economic grounding of the possible offer, since

By September 1928, the Board was con-

the buyer would not be looking to turn a profit

sidering two new site choices. One, in Short

on the property.

Hills, consisted of 184 acres for which the price

At a special Board meeting on December

would be two hundred and sixty thousand

21, 1927, the Board passed a resolution to put

dollars. The other was in West Caldwell, 284

the West Orange property on the market im-

acres (though the Club would only be able to

mediately, even though no new site had yet

use 163 of them), at a price of two hundred and

been found, at a price of thirty-five hundred

ninety thousand dollars.

dollars per acre net, with the right to keep pos-

On January 20, 1929, Felix Fuld passed

session of the property for at least three and a

away. At the next Board meeting, Dimond

half years at an annual rent of sixteen thousand

offered a resolution in Fuld’s honor, declaring

dollars, and the right to vacate sooner on ninety

that “the Mountain Ridge Country Club has

days notice.

lost a member whose advice and guidance

And so the original site of Mountain

was of inestimable value… the membership

Ridge Country Club in West Orange was sold

of the Club have by such death lost a friend

to The Holland Company, a subsidiary of

who was ever ready to be of assistance and

New Jersey’s Public Service Corporation, for

cheer to them.”

a price of $618,625, payable half in cash and

He reported at the same meeting that

half by bond and mortgage at six percent in-

Mountain Ridge had entered into an agreement

terest, payable three-and-a-half years later.

to buy approximately 282 acres of land in West

The contract was dated January 13, 1928. The

Caldwell for two hundred and eighty-five thou-

Board was formally empowered to enter into the contract and to satisfy

sand dollars; the final figures, once the sale was completed in all particulars,

and pay off all liens and debts of the Club, including its mortgage, with

would be 253.501 acres for $285,719.18.

the proceeds. With its full debt repaid and an allocation taken off the

The new site was set. All it needed was a golf course and a clubhouse.

From The New York Times, January 17, 1928.


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TWO ARCHITECTS FOR ALL THE GOLDEN AGE architectural talent that had been involved in creating or reviewing Mountain Ridge’s West Orange golf course—Tillinghast, Raynor, Banks, Strong, Travis—there is no indication that anyone other than Donald Ross was considered for the task of laying out eighteen holes on the new property in West Caldwell. Ross was almost certainly the most prominent course designer in

out a nine-hole course; six years later he returned to create a full-fledged

America in the first third of the twentieth century. He was responsible for

eighteen. The resulting course, with a few modifications over the years, has

literally hundreds of courses, with a particular concentration in the north-

long been considered one of the finest links in the world. It is located too

east, North Carolina, and Florida. In the years from 1919 and 1926, six of

far from major population centers to host a British Open, but this has

the eight U.S. Opens were held on courses he designed.

hardly harmed its reputation. Pete Dye, then identified merely as “a young

Donald J. Ross was born in Dornoch in 1872. There were few better

golf architect from Indianapolis,” told Herbert Warren Wind in 1964 that

places to absorb the principles of great golf holes than in his home town,

Dornoch was the finest natural links he had ever seen. “No other links has

on the tumbling ground that links land to sea. The Dornoch Golf Club

quite the ageless aura Dornoch does,” Dye said. Tom Watson visited it in

was founded in 1877, though golf had been played on the land as early as

1981, intending to play eighteen holes while preparing to defend his Open

1616. According to Bradley S. Klein’s book Discovering Donald Ross, the

title, and wound up playing three rounds that he described as “the most

young man left school at fourteen to work for a local carpenter whose

fun I’ve ever had on a golf course.”

projects included the boxes that sat on the club’s teeing grounds, holding sand that the golfers molded into “tees.”

A year after Morris’s second visit, the now twenty-year-old Ross went down to St. Andrews at the urging of Dornoch’s club secretary to be

In 1886 the club engaged Old Tom Morris, four-time Open cham-

Morris’s apprentice. Ross learned about club-making and the principles

pion, greenkeeper and professional at St. Andrews, to come north and lay

of creating golf courses, spending a year at St. Andrews and another in

Opposite: Donald Ross.


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Carnoustie before returning to Dornoch as professional, a job that entailed

that golf was taking hold in America, and there was a great opportunity

making equipment and tending the grounds, as well as giving lessons to

for someone with knowledge of the game and experience as a professional.

the membership.

He offered Ross a job as pro at the Oakley Golf Club near Boston at a

Ross’s carpentry skills were a club-making asset in the days of hickory

salary of sixty dollars a month and fifty cents per hour for lessons—roughly

shafts and wooden heads, but he was less thrilled with some of the other

triple what Ross was earning in Dornoch. Now age twenty-seven, Ross

duties. “I also became the greenkeeper, although we didn’t dignify it by any

decided to make the great leap across the Atlantic.

such title,” he wrote (Ross’s commentaries on the game were assembled

At Oakley he found a snowy landscape and wondered how he would

and edited by Ron Whitten for a 1996 book, Golf Has Never Failed Me).

ever make a golf course out of it. “But I went to work on it with fifty men,”

“What I really did was to go out in overalls and get down on my hands

he wrote, “and that year I sent two thousand dollars home to my mother

and knees, and care for the turf and the bunkers and the greens. And how

in Dornoch.”

I used to hate it. But, as it turned out, that was the best training I could have had for what turned out to be my future.”

While transforming Oakley into a suitable place for the game, Ross came to the attention of James Walker Tufts, a soda fountain magnate who

All that time on the ground gave Ross a thorough education in the

had recently built a resort village in a sandy region of North Carolina. Tufts

character of the links. Wind, writing in a New Yorker piece entitled “North

named the place Pinehurst, and he invited Ross to come south as profes-

to the Links of Dornoch,” described the course:

sional, course designer, and general director of golf. (Decades later, it was

Unlike the Old Course [at St. Andrews], where a good deal of the trouble is hidden from view, Dornoch presents its hazards frankly, and there are few blind shots…. Dornoch’s greens are comparatively small and sit atop mesalike rises with unusually steep banks…. These Dornoch greens demand a good deal of finesse on the approach, for the pitch-and-run shot the Scots customarily play to their unwatered greens will as often as not kick awry off the contours and bounce on over one side or the back of the green…. (B)ecause he is so seldom confronted with a routine chip back to the flag when he misses a green, the Dornoch golfer learns how to improvise delicate little lob-and-run shots.

Tufts’ grandson Richard whose enthusiasm for the place inspired Herb Wind to make his visit to Dornoch.) Pinehurst became Ross’s main base of operations for the remainder of his life, working from a house near the third green of the resort’s #2 course. Ross’s reputation grew through the first decade of the twentieth century, as he laid out courses at Pinehurst and throughout New England. By 1910 he was a full-time course designer; by 1920, according to Whitten in his introduction to Ross’s book, he was America’s first full-fledged golf superstar. “Granted, he did not have the glittery array of medals that Bobby Jones collected, or the swashbuckling charm that Walter Hagen exuded, or the youthful showmanship that Gene

In 1898 Ross met a Harvard professor named Robert Willson, who

Sarazen displayed,” Whitten wrote, “but at a time when Hagen and

had come to Dornoch on a golf trip through Scotland. Willson told Ross

Sarazen were playing for total purses of just one thousand dollars, Donald


Ross was making thirty thousand dollars a year designing golf courses.”

in New Jersey. He remodeled Deal Golf & Country Club in 1915 and

Ross was the first to employ a team of associates to do field work on

Englewood Country Club in 1916; he designed twenty-seven holes for

his many projects. They would visit a site, return with a topographical map,

Montclair Golf Club in 1919, and eighteens for Plainfield Country Club

confer with Ross, and then carry out his design on the property. There are

in 1921 and Crestmont Country Club in 1923.

many Donald Ross courses on which he never set foot. Mountain Ridge is definitely not one of these.

In April 1929, the MRCC Board authorized a surveyor to prepare a “typographical map” (at least, that’s how it appears in the minutes) of the

The Membership of Mountain Ridge would have known the Ross

newly acquired property in West Caldwell. In May Club Vice President

name from his nationally prominent courses, but also from his local work

Nathan Bilder reported that Ross would be hired to design the course for

An aerial view of the Club in the 1930s, from the east, before Passaic Avenue was paved.


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a fee of twenty-five hundred dollars, “which was to include services in

architectural services, 3½ percent of the construction budget of one hun-

preparing plans and specifications for the golf course, staking out the holes,

dred and seventy-five thousand dollars, in addition to one thousand two

landscaping, locating Club house and roads, and such other matters as

hundred dollars for various clubhouse alterations and repairs in West

might be agreed upon between Mr. Ross and Mr. Bilder.” Donald J. Ross

Orange during the previous year. The payment was made with the under-

Associates, Inc., would supervise the construction of the course for a flat

standing that there would be no obligation to use Lehman to design or

fee of fourteen thousand dollars. The cost of construction was expected to

build the clubhouse in West Caldwell. In July Lehman submitted a claim

be approximately two hundred thousand dollars.

for an additional $875, stating that the proper percentage was 4 percent

That construction was actually underway by the end of May 1929 and proceeded swiftly, even as the Club continued to figure out how to finance it. The tandem sale and purchase put the Club in position to own the land free and clear of any mortgages or encumbrances, other than bonds held by

of the budget, and also requesting $1,050 in interest dating back to December 1926. It was decided to pay the $875 so long as it was abundantly clear that this amount would take care of all club obligations to Lehman, who was evidently not a favorite of the Club President.

the Members. The Board sought three hundred

In November 1929 the course was com-

and fifty thousand dollars in bond subscriptions to

pleted, at a cost of one hundred and eighty-six

cover construction of the course and clubhouse,

thousand dollars. “Visitors who had seen the new

with Dimond and F.B. Kaufman agreeing to under-

course had declared it one of the finest in the

write any shortfall. By July only thirty-two thousand dollars had been received, though pledges totaled nearly two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. The Board decided to accelerate the three-year timetable for bond purchases to half that time.

Metropolitan District,” the Board noted. Though it was expected to be ready for play by June, the Club intended to keep the West Orange property for golf until December 1930, just in case.

The water system had been installed for the course by August, and seed-

After reviewing the credentials of a number of candidates, the

ing began on August 25, 1929. By September all major work on the course

construction committee selected Clifford C. Wendehack as architect for the

was completed, except for the placing of one or two tees that would depend

new clubhouse. Wendehack would receive 6 percent as his fee, along with

on the exact location of the clubhouse, which was still to be determined.

$150 for incidentals. He would also supervise furnishings at 4 percent of cost.

Oh, yes, the clubhouse. William Lehman had been engaged to

Though far less remembered today, Wendehack was nearly as promi-

design the new clubhouse for the West Orange site, a project that was

nent in his field as Donald Ross was in his. In the subspecialty of country

never started. In April 1929, the Board agreed to pay Lehman his fee for

clubhouse architecture, Wendehack literally wrote the book.

Above: Clifford C. Wendehack. Opposite: Members enjoying the original back patio of the clubhouse.


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Wendehack was born in New York in 1885, and at age seventeen he

magazine, The Delineator, launched the Better Homes Movement, featur-

began working in the firm of famed architect Donn Barber, who was one

ing plans and ideas for home improvement, modernization, and

of the first American students to graduate from the Beaux Arts in Paris.

beautification. Architects competed by designing model homes incorpo-

After nine years learning from Barber, Wendehack went abroad to study

rating the latest in labor-saving devices and artistic design and furnishings;

in France, Italy, and England. On his return, he settled in Upper Montclair,

gold medals were awarded to the winners, one of whom was Clifford

with offices there and in the Architects Building in New York.

Wendehack in 1922 for a house built in Montclair, described in The

In the years following World War I, there was a distinct shortage of houses in America for the growing middle class. A prominent women’s

Delineator as “The House that Lives.� The Better Homes campaign was embraced nationally by President

The approach to the clubhouse in the 1950s.


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Warren G. Harding and Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover. In 1934

of people waited on line to walk through the building on its opening day.

Eleanor Roosevelt toured “America’s Little House,” a Georgian-style model

Wendehack wrote many articles for trade and general magazines about

home built on the northeast corner of Park Avenue and 39th Street in

architecture; both The Delineator and The New York Times carried his pieces

Manhattan and designed by Wendehack and Roger H. Bullard. The house

about modern homes aimed at making ownership practical and affordable.

was fully furnished, The New York Times reported, “to demonstrate the type

Delineator readers could obtain a blueprint and complete specifications with

of dwelling which the family of moderate means might acquire,” everything

the cost of materials and equipment for Wendehack’s model houses.

from the kitchen appliances, books suggested for a home library, and basement

His most lasting contributions are the clubhouses he designed for

playroom, all put together on a two thousand dollar budget. Thousands

Winged Foot, Ridgewood, North Jersey, Penn Hills, Bethpage, Caracas

The Entrance Hall, leading through the archway to the Dining Room.


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rooms and golf club storage; the quality and importance of a course were rarely reflected in the architectural value of the clubhouse. This held sway, he wrote, until those clubs began to follow the American custom.) In the book, he described many aspects of clubhouse design that are easy to overlook but contribute vitally to the experience the club provides. Location: “Placing the club house too far away from the road should be avoided both as a matter of economy of road construction and accessibility in winter. This accessibility will have a decided effect upon the revenue of the club, and the tendency seems to be growing to utilize the club house the year round…. (T)ake care to set the club house back sufficiently within the property to give the approach a sense of dignity and privacy and a feeling of being well within our own domain after having reached the building.” Human traffic flow: “Keeping in mind the fact that the professional shop and the entrance to the locker room is the focus point or the neck through which the out-going and incoming flow of players pass, it is readily seen that the relation of these parts of the club house should be such as to make them not only easily accessible to the first tee but also to the ninth and eighteenth holes…. (A)void the necessity of players passing in front of the (Venezuela), and Mountain Ridge, generally in the Tudor Revival style. He

main entrance from the dining room or living room porches, going to and

wrote regularly for Golf Illustrated on issues of clubhouse architecture and

from these points…”

was the centerpiece of a special issue of Architecture Forum on the subject.

Room Arrangements: “Probably the most important factor in the operation

In 1929, shortly before beginning his work at Mountain Ridge, he

of the Club is the Office and its proper location should be carefully consid-

published Golf and Country Clubs: A Survey of the Requirement of Planning,

ered. This should be located immediately adjacent to the Main Entrance of

Construction, and Equipment of the Modern Club House, the first book to treat

the building with direct communication with the Kitchen, Service Entrance,

the subject as a distinct discipline. Wendehack considered the clubhouse to

Coat Room, Stairs to Second Floor and Telephone Booths…. “It would be

be one of just two distinctive American forms of architecture that was not

well to add in a club house of 300 active members, several small Card Rooms.

based on a European model; the skyscraper was the other. (European clubs

They would be ideally located between the Grill and main portion of the

did have houses, but they were relatively simple buildings providing changing

Club, so that they may act as soundproof units….

Above: Unveiling the sundial in memory of Felix Fuld. From left: Jack Augenblick, Caroline Bamberger Fuld, Nathan Bilder, A.J. Dimond, Louis Bamberger, Louis Schlesinger. Opposite: A.J. Dimond takes a ceremonial first swing on Opening Day. From left: Jack Augenblick, Milton Weingarten, Benjamin Kassewitz, Kerry S. Puder, Milton M. Adler, Louis Schlesinger, Nathan Bilder, Dimond (swinging), Jim Taylor, Donald Ross, Sol Silver, Ferdinand Kaufman.


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“It will be necessary to provide a small Women’s Lounge, in con-

arrangement, aisles should not be over twelve feet deep and preferably ten

junction with Women’s Locker Room, showers and toilet facilities. The

feet. Aisle widths vary from six to nine feet, but seven feet will be found

Women’s Quarters are usually placed on the Second Floor, although if

perfectly satisfactory unless an unusual amount of comfort is desired. The

space and funds permit, it is much more desirable to place these quarters

larger size, however, will increase the costliness of the room considerably.

on the ground floor with a separate entrance from

Aisle widths should also be governed by the size and

the course…. (I)n a Club of 300 active members

type of locker to be used and the width of benches

there will be a definite need for 30 to 40 lockers

which should never be less than eighteen inches

for women; as at all times there are emergencies

wide or more than knee space will allow…”

arising requiring accommodations for the wives of

Cost and Value: “The thrifty golfer is often heard

members and guests. Clubs neglecting to provide

to ask these days, where and how far he is being

these accommodations, will find sooner or later

led with his incessant quest for elaborate club

complaints and handicaps arising therefrom….

building. What help can beautiful, rich interiors

“The relation of the professional shop to the

possibly be to him? It does not straighten out his

locker room is very important… The most popular

drive, nor increase the accuracy of his approach

location with the members, is in a direct line from

shots… (A) large portion of the responsibility for

the locker room entrance to the first tee and many

the increasing club house elaborateness can be laid

sales are made daily from the suggestiveness of their

directly at the door of the average golfer himself.

display. Probably the most convenient arrangement

The slogan, ‘What the other fellow has in comforts

is to have a covered loggia or porch separating the

is none too good for us’ has had its effect on many

professional shop from the locker room so that con-

building programs… (A)s long as the monies

nection can be had between the two without any

expended be expressed with good taste and do not

loss of time. Care must be taken however, to have

exceed the club’s ability to maintain and finance its

the professional shop entrance sufficiently out of

building, the more style and distinction obtained,

view of the locker room, so that free intercourse

in both interior and exterior, the more sound

with the professional by men, women and children

the investment.”

does not interfere with the privacy of the locker room.”

Nearly everything contained in these passages can be seen in his work

Lockers: “All things considered, the straight aisles with lockers back to

at Mountain Ridge, right down to the inevitability of complaints about the

back has proven the most satisfactory in the majority of cases. With this

women’s accommodations.

Newspaper report on Opening Day, June 20, 1931.


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The comfortable, expansive clubhouse was formally dedicated on

Felix Fuld was unveiled on the grass circle in front of the main entrance to

June 20, 1931. Its distinctive brick and stone exterior, with a steeply sloped

the Clubhouse. Louis Bamberger raised a large American flag, along with a

multicolored slate roof characteristic of Tudor Revival, is as handsome

smaller Club banner. The evening’s festivities included a dinner dance for

today as on the day it opened. The stucco locker room wing features a

Members “and their ladies,” as the Board of Governors noted, at a cost of five

cathedral ceiling in the Main Room, giving an open and airy feel to the

dollars per person (two dollars for children if accompanied by an escort).

place. The original Dining Room had large, arched window areas looking

The (Caldwell) Progress noted that much of the brick for the club-

out onto the back Patio; their placement can still be seen on the brick wall

house came from old houses that had been on the property; Wendehack

of what is now the Grill Room. (The current Grill Room was created when

had similarly built the Winged Foot clubhouse with stone excavated during

this part of the Patio was enclosed in the 1970s.)

that course’s construction. The Progress judged the building to be in the

Louis Schlesinger served as Master of Ceremonies for the dedication, which was attended by luminaries including Donald Ross. A sundial honoring

French Provincial style, with the Lounge featuring “a replica of the Caen fireplace in the Chateau of Blois.”

Newspaper clipping about the upcoming opening of Mountain Ridge in West Caldwell.


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street by the entrance to press their case, but a few of the younger ones came in to work, and play was not seriously affected. There was one last bit of business with Donald Ross. In June 1930, when construction of the Course was at a point where Mountain Ridge’s Superintendent A.D. Burton could take over from Ross’s firm, it was understood that Ross would continue to oversee any necessary remaining work “for some time to come” (as described in the Board minutes). Accordingly, Ross submitted a bill in December 1931 for services ($150) and expenses ($22.70) related to his most recent visit. Acting for the Greens Committee, Benjamin Kassewitz wrote back, stating, “We are somewhat surprised to receive your bill of December 15, 1931, for services in the amount of $150.00, as we were under the opinion that this amount was included in your original contract. Also in as much as the first green was defective, we did not complain about the extra expense Another newspaper account, under the headline SUMPTUOUS NEW HOME OF THE MOUNTAIN RIDGE GOLF CLUB (sic), noted,

charge…. Please let us know what you intend to do about the above matter, and with kind personal regards…” Ross replied promptly: “Answering your letter of January 10th, the

The eighteen-hole course, which spreads out from the club-house… is one of the finest in Northern New Jersey. It was built by Norman Ross (sic) and stretched 6,594 yards over the pine-covered North Caldwell hills. And for tournament play, if the occasion requires, it can easily be stretched to 7,000 yards…

bill which I sent you for my services on my last visit, is, I think, a very fair one. During the development of the course I made a number of visits for which I made no charge but I feel my last visit was made in an advisory capacity in connection with the maintenance of the course which I am sure you will agree had no connection with the architecture of the course.

Another feature of the layout is that it is piped throughout, which enables the club to guards its fairways against the ravages of dry weather. And as a convenience there are drinking fountains at every other hole. The clubhouse itself has ten private rooms with baths, in addition to an extra dormitory for men… The day also saw a strike by the majority of the Club’s caddies, in protest of the Club’s recent ruling abolishing tips. They gathered on the

“I cannot agree with you that #1 green [currently the #10 green] was defective in construction. “I hope that you and all my friends are all well and with my cordial regards. “Yours very truly,…” The bill, presumably, was paid. There is no record of Ross making any further visits to Mountain Ridge.

Above: A scorecard from the 1930s, after the nines had been reversed from Ross’s original layout. Opposite: The full golf course, as prepared by Donald Ross & Associates.


THE CLUBHOUSE Clifford Wendehack’s elegant clubhouse is the centerpiece of the Mountain Ridge experience. In the winter of 2011-12, it was renovated from top to bottom, enhancing its comforts while maintaining its character.

The Clubhouse, detail. Inset: The cornerstone.


Above: Entrance Hall. Below left: Detail of railing uncovered in the 1980s. Below right: Carving of the original club emblem above the front door.


Previous pages, above and opposite: The Living Room after renovation. Above: Half-timbering and the vaulted ceiling, visible above the new chandelier.


Above: Detail of the former observation balcony. Below left: Mantle detail. Below right: Stained glass in the gabled windows.


Above: The Mixed Grille and bar. Opposite above: The Mixed Grille, looking out onto the golf course. Opposite below: The wine cabinet in the Dining Room.


Above and opposite: The renovated Dining Room, with the new banquette seating in front of the wine cabinet.


Above and opposite: The Men’s Locker Room.


The Women’s Locker Room.


JUD’S COKE BAR the tennis courts and all, I just thought it was special. Number three, I thought that this clubhouse, while it’s wonderful, it’s also somewhat limited in terms of its space and build-ability. And number four, I always remembered Jud’s Coke Bar. And it really bothered me that this room wasn’t in use. “So as Plant and Equipment Chair, my first mission and my overriding mission was to change that, and we did, and that’s what we’re sitting in now. And that’s one of the things I feel really good about having done, that really contributed to the betterment of the Club and the clubhouse—a nice room for people to use, and personally it was just a nice thing, because it kind of was a little bit about my roots. Bringing this back—it was very meaningful to me. Jud’s Coke Bar.”

THE SUN ROOM—recently made into a Women’s Card Room— has served a number of purposes through the years. Judson Stein, President from 2002 to 2005, had a very personal connection to it. “When I was bar mitzvahed here, [this room] was where, during the cocktail hour, the kids were put to gather and have a little entertainment. And there was a sign that said, ‘Jud’s Coke Bar,’ which at the time of course meant Coke in the innocent way. Over the years after that, this room fell out of use and became a storage room. And when I first got on the Board of Governors, I became Plant and Equipment Chair. The room was awful; there wasn’t much on the inside, it looked horrible from the outside through the windows, and it really always bothered me for a few reasons. One of which was, there was really no place other than when you’re sitting down at a meal for men and women to just gather together and hang out. In the Men’s Locker Room there’s the 19th hole, there’s the Women’s Locker Room, there was no place to gather together. I thought we needed that. On top of that, I thought that the way this room is situated—looking out, with the golf course there and


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MAKING IT THROUGH AS A CLUB, Mountain Ridge survived the Great Depression with relative ease. In 1938 MRCC Vice President Nat Bilder said at the annual Membership meeting, “Mountain Ridge is about the only club in the state whose affairs are in such splendid order.” For one of the few times in Mountain Ridge history, the count of

Kartofel—Pfankuchen, Gartenhous und Tanzen!!” for two dollars per person.

active, full-dues-paying Members fell below one hundred in 1935. The Club

Movie nights promised “an excellent program of First Run Talkies.”

tried to help out throughout the decade, allowing Members who had

Lectures by Broadway playwrights, professors, and news commentators and

purchased bond subscriptions in the boom times to

analysts provided a dash of culture and enlightenment.

charge dues and assessments against their bonds with

“The Greatest Evening’s Entertainment Ever Attempted

approval of the Board of Governors.

by Our Club” heralded an appearance by the wildly

A membership drive brought in thirty new limited (non-proprietary) Members, who would not be

popular crooner and star of radio, record, and screen, Rudy Vallee.

charged assessments nor given Membership certifi-

A more rough-edged brand of fun was on the

cates for a three-year period; many of them converted

docket for the Annual Stag Day. “The clubhouse and

to full Membership when given the opportunity.

grounds on this day will be given over for the

By 1938 the total was back up to 117, with just over

exclusive use or abuse of active, associate and male

three hundred Members in all categories.

family members over 21 years of age. NO GUESTS

The handsome clubhouse hosted a constant swirl

PERMITTED. Wives, sweethearts, daughters,

of events: dances, dinners, lectures, gatherings. Ethnically

sisters, aunts or grandmothers, in fact anything commonly known as

themed dinners were popular. A flyer for Die Münchner Nacht auf dem

female of the specie (sic), will be excluded from club property after

Berges-Gipfel Landverein (Munich Night at Mountain Ridge Country

2:00 p.m. for the balance of the day.” Festivities included an eighteen-hole

Club) in November 1931 promised “Yodling, Shuhplatting, Sauerbraten mit

tournament conducted under the rules of the P.G.A. “(Professional

Above: Flyer for a performance by Rudy Vallee. Opposite page: A chorus line performs in the Mountain Ridge Review of 1931. From left: Pauline Lewis, Marion Goldberg, Helen Mosheim, Ruth Kritch, Rosalind Stern. Below: Jerome Lewis and Pauline (Mrs. Stephen) Lewis, golf champions in 1938.


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Guzzlers Assn.),” a beefsteak dinner, and a program of wrestling and box-

The announcement of an “old-fashioned Baltimore crab feast”

ing matches, as well as an appearance by “the Mysterious MADAM ‘X.’ ”

noted, “If you are Kosher and don’t eat crabs, come anyway—we will give

The reply card for this event stated, over the Member’s signature,

you herring.” Members paid ninety cents for a sandwich lunch, one dollar

“Gentlemen: Being a male member, 92% American, brunette, semitic and

and twenty-five cents for an entrée lunch, one dollar and seventy-five

over 21 years of age, kindly enter my name in the following Stag-Day

cents for Sunday dinner. Needless to say, the house staff was well com-

Activities and debit my account in the amount of $2.50…”

pensated for providing such fine service. The Chef pulled down a princely

Caddy Christmas Party, 1938.


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$150 a month, and waiters were paid five

running at the Rainbow Room—Hotel Biltmore—Radio City

dollars a day.

Music Hall.” One special featured event was a Turtle Race: “Bring

In 1932 the Club marked its twenti-

your turtle along. Cash prizes for the fastest and slowest turtles.”

eth anniversary with a Decoration Day

(Throughout Mountain Ridge history, anniversaries vacillated

dance. More elaborate plans were made for

between recognizing 1912 as the founding date based on the

the twenty-fifth anniversary, celebrated in

incorporation papers, and 1913 in honor of the opening of the

1938. A stag dinner was held honoring the

original Club. Even though the twentieth had been

Club’s Charter Members. A Silver Jubilee

observed in 1932, there is no evidence that anyone

team match was held on the Sunday before

considered 1937 to be the twenty-fifth. The fortieth

Decoration Day, with teams captained by the

and fiftieth were based on the 1912 date; a celebratory

Club President and Vice President; the losing team Mem-

“Mountain Ridge Review” in 1993 wished America a

bers were required to buy three Silver Jubilee golf balls for

happy 217th birthday and MRCC a happy eightieth.

the Members of the winning team. That evening, a formal

There were also plans in 1941 for a party commemo-

dinner dance featured an orchestra and floor show includ-

rating the tenth anniversary of the West Caldwell

ing “Arthur Murray Apple Dancers and acts currently

clubhouse, but it was canceled.)

Above: An interested gallery watches the annual Silver Putter Tournament in 1934.


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The committee that planned the twenty-fifth anniversary event con-

could be financed without further hardship to the Members. The Terrace

sisted of the Members who had belonged to the Club since it opened in West

was completed, the first refreshment stand was built on the course to be

Orange: Louis Bamberger (Chairman), A.J. Dimond, Nathan Bilder, Leo

operated by the Club and run by the Caddie Master, and after years of

Goldsmith, Morton Stern, Martin Goldsmith, Harry Lowy, Louis Schlesinger,

discussion, the first two tennis courts were built. He personally met with

Edgar Bamberger, Harry Epstein, Joseph Kaltenbacher, A.H. Rachlin, William

Members who were tendering their resignations, hoping to persuade them

Sommer, Philip Krimke, Rabbi Solomon Foster, Max Haas, Ary Kaufman,

to stay on if possible.

Jacob Newman, Selig Mindes, David Sacks, and Dr. Edwin Steiner.

Dimond’s grandson Donnie Rubenoff said that during the Depression,

At the stag dinner honoring “the Class of 1913”—all dressed in

Dimond “would tell every Member of the Board how much to

cap and gown—Abe Dimond stated publicly his intention to resign

ante up at the end of the year to make everything [for the Club]

as President. It was not the first time

come out even. God knows how

he had done so. In 1931 having shep-

much my grandfather was putting

herded the Club through the move to

up. And they all gave him checks,

West Caldwell and the clubhouse

and he sat on the checks for three,

construction, he agreed to remain in

four years. Never cashed any of

office if the Board enacted some

them. He ran the Club out of his

changes he sought, including a ban

checkbook.”

on Board Members doing business

This claim is impossible

with the Club. His life was increas-

to verify, but it is certainly true

ingly centered on his home in

that the Club’s largest and most

Hollywood, Florida. He had bought a great deal of property there, as well

important bond holders—Dimond, Bamberger, and the Fuld estate—

as the Hollywood Beach Hotel. He tendered his resignation as President

accommodated Mountain Ridge repeatedly through the years by agreeing

in 1932, ’36, ’37, and ’38, and each time the Board refused to accept it.

to defer payments due them or forego them altogether. Whenever

Despite his apparent reluctance, Dimond’s leadership through the ’30s kept the Club moving forward. They took out a six-figure mortgage

pledges for a program he supported fell short, Dimond would help make up the difference.

on the property to consolidate the Club’s remaining debt and obtained a

At last, in response to an urgent plea by letter from Florida, the

favorable rate that was adjusted downward through negotiation during its

Mountain Ridge Board of Governors voted to accept Dimond’s resignation

term. He pushed for improvements to the clubhouse, wanting to add a

as President in February 1939. In light of this momentous change, Nathan

Cocktail Bar and a dance floor to the south end, but waiting until they

Bilder suggested the entire Board resign, so the Membership could choose a

A.J. Dimond Bronze.


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new and fresh set of Directors for the Club. A Nominating Committee

Championship. The event was the first of ten statewide professional or

recommended twenty-one names, most of whom were previous Board

amateur championships to be held at Mountain Ridge, in addition to eleven

Members, all of whom were elected by acclimation. Bilder was elected

Metropolitan Golf Association championships.

President, Herbert Hannoch Vice President. Bilder promptly named

One of Dimond’s late accomplishments, the construction of the

Dimond to the position of Honorary President, as Dimond had done for

tennis courts, proved to be a big hit, and also fulfilled the declaration in

Felix Fuld in 1925. A testimonial dinner at Mountain Ridge was held

the Club’s original charter that it would promote “participation in various

honoring Dimond on September 10, 1940. The plaque that stands in the

branches of athletics such as golf, baseball, tennis and kindred games.” At

entryway of the clubhouse was unveiled that evening.

the annual Membership meeting in February 1940, President Nat Bilder

Mountain Ridge’s golf course received an endorsement of note in

noted that there was more Club activity involving young people than ever

1938, when it was chosen to host the New Jersey Amateur Best-Ball

before, and plans were underway to build a tennis pavilion with a pro shop

The “Class of ‘13” at the 1938 Silver Anniversary Celebration. Top (left to right): Edgar Bamberger, Dr. Edwin Steiner, Martin Goldsmith, Harry Lowy, Morton Stern, Joe Kaltenbacher, Phil Krimke, Abe Rachlin, David Sacks, Selig Mindes, Ary Kaufman. Bottom (left to right): Dr. Harry B. Epstein, Nat Bilder, Rabbi Solomon Foster, Leonard Dreyfus, A.J. Dimond, Louis Schlesinger, Leo Goldsmith, William Sommers, Jacob L. Newman.


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and room where the young folks

There will be a new ground rule on the 15th hole.

could gather, “making a separate

Tee shots hit in the direction of the 13th green may face an

Club life for them to keep them

out of bounds penalty. Stakes will be set up properly showing

away from the card-playing and the

the boundary. This is to prevent accidents where some players

bar.” The overall project included re-

intentionally hit tee shots over the trees

inforcing and resurfacing two courts

toward the 13th green. These stakes will

(a third court was added in 1939) to

not be out of bound markers for any shot

protect them from water damage. Clifford Wendehack

played on the 13th hole.

designed the pavilion.

There is another new ground rule

In 1940 the Greens Committee offered several

which should not affect more than a few

suggestions in addition to the formally issued rules gov-

of our members. Tee shots hit on the 13th

erning golf activities. (Those official rules included:

and 15th holes that reach the brook can

“Players looking for a lost ball must at once signal players following to pass.

be lifted without penalty. This rule does not apply to the brook dividing

Having given such signal they must stand aside and cease play until these

the 12th and 13th fairways.

players have passed and are out of range”; “Caddies are to receive 75 [cents] for nine holes and $1.25 for eighteen consecutive holes. Caddy master

The first hint of events to come was in a resolution declaring that all

should be paid for caddy fees before player enters Locker room. Tipping of

dues would be suspended for any Members drafted into military service.

any character is strictly prohibited”; “Local Rules: 1. Ball out of bounds—

The resolution was adopted on January 26, 1941.

loss of distance only.”) Among the suggestions:

In late November, a card was sent to all Members to see if there was interest in having a New Year’s Eve party at the clubhouse. Two weeks later,

We have given the caddies distinctive yellow identification cards

a second card went out, stating simply:

outlining their duties. It would be a helpful thing if the members will pick up those caddies waving such cards [on the street] on their way to

There will be *NO

the clubhouse.

New Year’s Eve

After playing a trap shot, please smooth out the foot prints and walk out the rear of the trap…. Members cannot expect a perfect lie in a trap, which is a hazard, but a greater care by our members will make

PARTY at Mountain Ridge C.C. this year *for obvious reasons

the traps more playable at all times.

Opposite: MRCC golfers and caddies in the 1940s.


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There was, despite the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and America’s

certainly far more troublesome than can possibly now be planned.” Those

entry into World War II, a Christmas Tea Dance from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.,

words came from a resolution put forward by J.K. Lasser, newly elected to

featuring—as did many, many Mountain Ridge events—Bennie Krueger and

the Board and one of the nation’s leading tax experts, creator of the income

his Orchestra. It was the last event for several months; the clubhouse was shut

tax workbooks and guides that still bear his name.

for the winter, with heating and sprinkler lines drained, the boiler fires drawn,

Lasser also suggested, “Every possible inducement to facilitate golf

and no employees coming to the clubhouse except a day and night watchman.

should be organized so as to attract members, particularly: preparation of a

The Pro Shop was kept open on weekends when the weather permitted, in

plan showing all possible bus and train and taxi methods to get to the club;

case anyone wanted to play golf.

arrangement for periodic bus and taxi trips already scheduled by New York

The Club took immediate steps to dramatically reduce expenses, rec-

clubs; designation of club employees to handle the telephone at given hours

ognizing that “the existence of the organization in a war era (since all of our

so as to load fully any cars going to the club—a plan working splendidly in

hours, our income, our capital, and particularly our peacetime luxuries are

New York; intelligent planning for overnight stays at the club and any other

subject to draft or rationing) will grow more difficult as the year moves on—

promotional efforts found useful in a detailed study to be undertaken by the Board of plans for survival accepted by other clubs.” As spring arrived, the golf course was readied for play, but with a reduced maintenance crew. Traps were raked once a week, with Members


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…Above all, don’t be a defeatist about Mountain Ridge. Don’t take stock in malicious rumors. Most that have cropped up in the past have been either false or grossly exaggerated. Any plans that we may work out with economy in mind will be put into effect taking into consideration your comforts and conveniences. We have a wonderful Club so let’s unite to fight for it with the determination that we have something so worth keeping.

A more unusual letter was sent to all Members announcing a War Bond party on November 7, 1942. The letter—with obviously humorous intent—purported to be from the field headquarters of Adolph Hitler expected to smooth out their footprints on exit. Clubhouse menus were sim-

(“Plenty Behind the Russian Front”), and urged all Mountain Ridge

plified. Dances still took place, and the occasions were often benefits, for the

Members not to attend the party.

USO, or United China Relief (“plus A Great Dinner complete with Chinese Food and Delicacies”), or Russian Relief. Men in uniform were usually admitted to these events at no charge. A letter from the newly elected Club President, Morton Stern, expressed the mood of the times. It read, in part: We all know that we and other Country Clubs are facing unusual times and it is hard indeed to figure out just what may be ahead of us… Most of us have plenty of business headaches these days and some of us, more serious heartaches, brought upon us by this terrible War. Where is there a better place to forget our troubles than our Club? Let us think of it as a second home, a necessary place for recreation, healthful exercise, and good fellowship. If we all work together and not against each other, and fight for the preservation of Mountain Ridge, we are bound to come through on top.


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“Do you realize what such a party can mean to the Third Reich … and

of heart. In a meeting held at the Suburban Hotel in East Orange—a meet-

ME (HEIL HITLER) … and to HIROHITO, and to my stooge pal

ing intended to be “of a social nature primarily”—Morton Stern brought

MUSSOLINI? ... (T)hey tell ME (HEIL HITLER) that everybody who

up some newspaper articles in which Paul V. McNutt, chairman of the War

comes has to buy a WAR BOND and that you can

Manpower Commission, and I.B. Grainger of the

even bring GUEST couples if you want to, but that

Metropolitan Golf Association gave the go-ahead

they too each have to buy a WAR BOND … and

for golf, as long as transportation privileges weren’t

that the WAR BONDS will be sold right there that

abused. While big-time tournaments were sus-

night! Why, it’s abom… It’s AWFUL! I (HEIL

pended for the duration, noted Joe Dey, secretary of

HITLER) tell you it can’t go on!” The final notation

the USGA, “The game has now gone back to the

under the signature was “Dictated but not read.

ordinary player. In the interest of economy, clubs are

(Who can read?)”

not going to be as particular about courses as before, but will concentrate on maintaining courses to play.”

The bond drive exceeded expectations so far

Stern recommended to the Membership that

in advance of the party that there was no need for a

Mountain Ridge re-open in a modest way that would

further sales effort at the event, and those who had

allow men who could get there to “have some little

not already made their reservations were admitted

comforts.” He proposed rehiring the Steward, Samuel

for just the two dollars and fifty cents charge for

Weinfeld, and locker-room man Alex Henry, both of

dinner and dancing.

whom had been let go recently, on a month-to-month

At the start of 1943, it was apparent that

basis, along with a sandwich man to provide simple

Lasser’s earlier warnings about the troubles to come

lunches. By a formal vote, the Members cheerfully

were correct. Further reductions were necessary, and

rescinded their January decision to close the Club.

one that was undertaken was for Jim Taylor, the Golf

Fund-raising efforts continued on behalf of

Professional since 1926, and his wife to move into the clubhouse, eliminating

the war effort; when the Red Cross of West Caldwell sought a donation,

the need to pay a night or day watchman. Circumstances were dire enough

it was informed that Mountain Ridge could not send money right away,

that at an emergency meeting in January, the seventy-nine Members in

but would designate the proceeds from one or more of its social events.

attendance voted unanimously to close the Club but maintain it for the coming

The grounds of Mountain Ridge were used by the New Jersey State Guard

year, with all Members not in the military continuing to pay their dues.

for maneuvers in May 1943.

Between January and April, however, there was a collective change

By 1944 the war’s restrictions had become a new kind of normal.

Young Bob Fenster in action.


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There was no talk of suspending operations; the difficulty was getting to

Instead of donating all proceeds, however, the Club decided it could hang

Mountain Ridge under the tight gasoline rules in effect. Bus schedules were

on to its profits from liquor, as indicated by a hand-written notation in the

printed onto cards and sent out to all the Members. “Getting here was

Board of Governors’ minutes: “excl Bar.” The time of sacrifice was nearing

difficult—nobody lived near here, they mostly

an end. Still, at least until the end of the year,

lived in the Oranges or Maplewood,” recalls

men in uniform were admitted to these affairs

Elaine Lieb. “My father [Max Lazarus] was

free of charge.

lucky: the man who lived next door to us,

The war in the Pacific ended with

Bobby Jacobson, he needed to get to work at a

Japan’s surrender on August 14. Already the

war factory right next door to the Club, so he

people at home were resuming their old

usually drove my father and a few others up

patterns; so many were traveling in the

here on Saturdays and Sundays.”

summer that guest restrictions on weekends

The clubhouse got an internal facelift,

were eased for the months of July and

with fresh paint for the Living Room, Locker

August. (The Board had voted in March

Room, Drawing Room and stairway; rebuilt

that only out-of-town guests were permit-

furniture in the Living Room and Ladies

ted on Sundays and holidays, noting explic-

Lounge; and new drapes and covers for the beds

itly that residents of Essex, Bergen, Union,

in the Sleeping Rooms. There was even a new

Hudson, or Passaic counties in New Jersey

dance floor, for the monthly affairs that were

were not out-of-town guests.) Parties were

now filling the Mountain Ridge Country Club

planned that had no particularly patriotic

War Fund, whose proceeds were distributed to

purpose. A New Year’s Eve dance where

various charities and support groups at the end

“the cork pops at 10 p.m. and the fun lasts

of the season.

… as long as you do!” offered hors d’oeuvres,

For the first time, the Membership rolls

a midnight snack, breakfast at 2 a.m., and

were officially closed and a waiting list established; enough new Members

dancing ’til 3. In the winter, the tennis courts were flooded for ice skating.

had been accepted over the previous two years that the clubhouse could not

Families had lost children, brothers, cousins, fathers. The Jewish

accommodate any more. Another dinner-dance to aid the War Fund was held on May 26, 1945, almost three weeks after V-E Day, the end of the war in Europe.

communities of Europe had been decimated. It had been a devastating decade and a half, but Mountain Ridge had survived, and there was a powerful sense of certainty that better times were just around the corner.


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THE POOL THE SWIMMING POOL at Mountain Ridge opened in 1953. The discussion about building the pool began in 1930. How can it possibly take twenty-three years to build a pool? It can’t: It took a few months to build the pool and twenty-two years to decide to build it. When the Club drew up its plans back in 1929 for the new location in West Caldwell, it set aside an area where a pool could go, but there was no budget for it and it was not included in the construction planning for the site. A.J. Dimond promised to bring up the question at the annual Membership meeting in January 1931, and if the Members wanted one, it would be built. Dimond did raise the topic as promised, and he also declared that he couldn’t see spending money that hadn’t been budgeted in the midst of all the clubhouse expenditures and asked for suggestions about financing. Herbert Hannoch took up the challenge, saying it would be easier to sell memberships if the Club had a pool, and that other clubs had seen their


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restaurant income increase by 25-50 percent after installing one. A com-

other improvements had been voted on and approved, while every effort

mittee was appointed to investigate financing options and to report back

was being made to sidetrack this one project.

at a special meeting; Hannoch was one of the five selected for the panel.

Augenblick was absolutely right. Dimond was adamantly opposed to

After some study and deliberation, the Pool Committee recom-

building a swimming pool and was doing everything he could to prevent it.

mended in May that nothing be done for now, since the financing question

At a contentious Membership meeting in May 1938, Augenblick

was bound up with the as-yet unresolved issue of a potential mortgage.

brought the conflict to a head by nominating an alternate slate of

And with that, the matter was put to rest for nearly six years.

candidates for the Board. This had never happened before in the twenty-

When it was next raised for discussion in 1937, a committee headed

five-year history of the Club; the Members had always unanimously

by Ferd Kaufman sent out 141 questionnaires to the Members; of the 114

accepted the recommendations of the Board’s Nominating Committee.

replies it received, eighty-seven were in favor of a pool and twenty-seven were

Dimond stated that this could only reflect

opposed. Dimond, still President,

badly on the Board and the Club’s confi-

declared he would not take respon-

dence in it, and suggested that if that’s how

sibility for building a pool without

the Members felt, the entire Board should

checking personally with other clubs

withdraw its names from consideration.

that have put in pools, a process he

After considerable discussion, they

estimated would take him thirty to

took a recess to let things simmer down.

forty-five days.

Following the break, Herbert Hannoch

There was no further action for

recommended that the pool be held in

eight months. In February 1938, the Pool

abeyance; construction of the first two tennis courts, also under discussion at this time, would go

Committee again tried to get things moving forward. It asked for three hun-

ahead. This motion was carried with just four dissenting votes from the

dred dollars to complete the plans and specs, with authorization to build

floor. Augenblick then withdrew his nominations, asking that the Board

the pool as soon as economic conditions allowed. Funding would come from

keep in mind for the future that the Members would like to see some

voluntary contributions in the form of an interest-free loan to the Club, and

younger men on the Board.

construction would not begin until all the necessary money had been collected and put in the bank. Once again: nothing. At this point Jack Augenblick, a Board Member since 1925, wrote a letter objecting to how the pool project had been handled. He noted that

At the Silver Jubilee stag dinner just nine days after this meeting, those in attendance sang a few ditties with lyrics altered to fit the occasion. One of those numbers, to the tune of the popular ballad “Smilin’ Through,” took affectionate aim at the battle:


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When the weather is hot

Have your Rabbi or Deacon

If you’re wilted or not,

Pray that A.J. will weaken.

And you yearn for a pool in the sun,

Say a prayer or two, that he’ll come through with one.

Don’t lose faith in the “Skipper” Say a prayer each Yom-Kippur Say a prayer or two, that he’ll come through with one.

When Dimond was elected President again at the next Board meeting, Augenblick, Hannoch, and Kaufman all walked out, and subsequently resigned from the Board. The following year, when

When the night shadows fall

Dimond submitted his resignation as President once again in February,

Near the Club’s outer wall,

it was at last accepted.

When our toll of the daytime is done,

And with that, the pool was put off for another eight years.

The empty pool was a common sight in the 1970s and ‘80s, a rare one in the twenty-first century.


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WHY WAS DIMOND so opposed to a pool? There were financial factors, to be sure, but other capital projects went ahead despite the Depression.

At a special meeting to discuss the pool, the Members voted overwhelmingly to approve a proposal to build the pool at an approximate cost

Dimond understood that a pool would change the nature of the Club.

of seventy-five thousand dollars, financed by loans from all Members who

There were dances and dinners and special events at Mountain Ridge before

wished to put up the money. Construction would only begin once all the

the war, of course, but as a day-to-day club it existed primarily for the men

needed money had been raised.

who gathered to play golf and cards, smoke cigars, and drink cocktails in

Some Members still shared the old guard’s view of the pool. Accord-

the Men’s Grill. Dimond’s daughter, Billy, told her son

ing to Bobby Blum, Herb Hannoch approached Jacob Kopstein during the

that she remembers perhaps coming to the Club once

fund-raising phase to ask him to contribute.

for dinner. A pool would inevitably draw wives and

“Kopstein says, ‘I’ll tell you what, I’ll give you

children, two groups that many well-to-do business-

ten thousand dollars,’ ” Blum said. “Herb figured,

men before World War II believed should be neither

great, that’s a huge chunk of it right there. Jake

seen nor heard.

says, ‘I’ve just got one condition.’ Sure, anything

After the war, the swimming pool was one of several projects discussed, with architectural

you want, Herb says. And Jake says, ‘Build it in the Catskills.’ ”

plans undertaken and presented to the Member-

“There was a cartoon that used to be

ship: a proposed Pro Shop near the 10th hole,

around the Club,” recalled Abner Benisch. “It was

alterations to the present Pro Shop, an addition

Herb Hannoch with a hose, filling a hole in the

to the Grill Room, and the pool. (By this time,

ground.”

Hannoch and Augenblick had rejoined the

Two years passed. The voluntary financing

Board; Hannoch was elected President in 1946.)

plan was abandoned. Still estimating that the pool

The Board approved the plans, 80 percent of

could be built for seventy-five thousand dollars, the

the Members indicated they wanted it, and a resolution was passed to

Board recommended a three hundred dollar assessment for all Proprietary

build it to be ready for use in 1948.

Members and proportional assessment for other classifications. This was

This proved impossible, because there were still government restric-

approved by a Membership vote at the annual meeting in October 1951.

tions on building of any kind, carried over from the war. The Club was in

There was never any question where the pool would go: straddling

good financial shape, membership had grown significantly—there were

the northwest corner of the parking lot and the adjoining grass plot, just

now a total of 409 Members, 186 of them in the Active category—and

north of the clubhouse. By the time everything was approved, planned, and

the rolls had been closed.

built in 1953—the pool, pool lockers, sanitary facilities, electrical and sewage

Opposite: Generations of Mountain Ridge families—young and young-at-heart—at the pool.


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work, and kitchen facilities for the snack bar—the total cost was $153,100.

There were fashion shows, diving exhibitions, official starters from the

The pool originally had two ten-foot diving boards, one of them a meter

Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), cotton-candy machines, and the aroma of

high, the other three meters; it was a less litigious time. There was no heating for the pool when it opened, and the water that day was a frigid fifty-seven

the evening’s barbecue wafting over everything. Local coaching legend Clary Anderson was in charge of the pool

degrees. There was no deck yet, just stones. The

during the 1960s. Anderson had been an

first swim meet was held that year, on Labor Day

All-America football player at Colgate in

weekend, as it has been every year since.

1932 and ’33, coached baseball and football at

It had been a long and exhausting strug-

Montclair High School, and was later head

gle, but at long last, Mountain Ridge had a

football coach at Montclair State University.

swimming pool. Everything Dimond had

Some experts consider it a toss-up whether

expected pretty much came about, as the Club

Anderson or Vince Lombardi was the greatest

became more of a family place, and less a men’s

high school football coach in New Jersey his-

refuge from the wife and kids. He accepted

tory. He also was a baseball scout and signed

that, and in the last three years of his life he

Craig Biggio for the Houston Astros.

would come to the swim meet and sit in a chair

Stephen Wolsky, Mountain Ridge’s

under a tree, drinking the scotch and water

current General Manager, got his start at the

that longtime Locker Room Attendant Alec

Club at poolside, when he was about fifteen

Henry would bring him, and watch the various

years old. It was a summer job, and during the

races. He was the embodiment of an earlier

summer most of the kids who used the Pool

era, but the Club now belonged to a different

were either away at camp or on teen tours, so the

generation that would shape it for its own

responsibilities consisted mostly of checking the

wishes and needs.

chemical balance in the water, keeping an eye on things, and playing a lot of Ping Pong in the

THE SWIM MEET on the Sunday before Labor Day was popular right from

screened-in area at the end of the pool.

the start. There were races in all age groups: father-son and mother-daughter

“The Club Manager, Terry Hadash, would certainly come down and

relays, grandparents and grandchildren, all conducted in a boisterous atmos-

yell at us,” Wolsky recalls, “but he didn’t have much to yell at, because the

phere. Donnie Rubenoff does the organizing, and Jim Lazarus has served as

place was always clean and well-maintained. There was really not much

Master of Ceremonies and color commentator for more than fifty years.

else for us to do.”

Above: Jim Lazarus and Stephen Wolsky at the Labor Day Swim Meet, 2011. Opposite: Scenes from the 2011 Swim Meet. Following pages: Enjoying the pool on Labor Day, 2011.


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The pool was closed to children after 2 or 3 o’clock, to allow adult golfers to come and take a dip after their rounds—which they rarely did. It was still difficult for young families who had some children who were old enough to come to the Club but one who wasn’t. One solution was to join a municipal pool with no such restrictions. When Harry Engel III’s children were very small, he came to Mountain Ridge to play golf, and his wife joined the town pool. In the summer of 1974, James Rothschild, Jr., wrote to the Board of Governors on behalf of a group of parents, spelling out the problem: Simply building the pool didn’t mean there wouldn’t be arguments about it, of course. Who could use it, and when?

Gentlemen:

At first, children under six were not permitted. (“We told them, once

Several of us have discovered, in the last few years, that our use of

they got close, ‘Just tell ’em you’re six,’ ” Harry Engel, Jr., said.) That con-

the Club’s facilities has been greatly hampered by the rules against allow-

tinued until 1959, when the age was reduced to four. Most Members from

ing infants on the premises. In particular, we have been unable to play

those days can tell a story about asking an overprepared young child what

tennis or sit at the pool nearly as frequently as we would otherwise…

his name was, and hearing him blurt out, “I’m five!”

(M)any of us have questioned whether continued membership is worth-

In order to use the pool, however, the child had to be registered for a

while in light of the minimal use we now enjoy, and several of our friends

Pool Membership, which cost twenty-five dollars per year at first, soon raised

have indicated that the rule at issue has been a factor in their decisions

to forty dollars. Canny parents realized that if the kids were only going to

not to seek membership in the Club.

come to the Club once in a while, they would do better by obtaining guest

…(C)ertain relatively minor changes in the rules could alleviate

passes on a daily basis rather than springing for the membership cost. This

our problems, while at the same time not interfering with the rights and

loophole was closed in 1964; a Member’s immediate family could no longer

pleasures of the other members. Specifically, the suggestion has been made

use guest passes, and the Member could obtain a Family Membership that

that infants should be allowed at all times in the tennis court area and at

covered all children under twenty-one at a cost of one hundred dollars per

a designated section near the swimming pool. Allowance of infants near

year (forty dollars per year if no child was older than six).

the tennis courts would be in conformity with the practice at the great

Once the kids were there, what were they going to do? There was no

bulk of private tennis clubs in this part of the State, and to our knowledge,

ball-playing allowed; eventually, a fenced-in area was established near the

this practice has presented no problems at the tennis clubs. Allowance of

snack bar for kids to toss or kick a ball around and generally act like kids.

infants in a specified section near the pool would also seem logical and


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would promote greater use of that facility… of course, we do not suggest

pool, the kind you can find at Toys “R” Us; the pool staff had to blow it up

that infants under the age of three (3) be allowed in the pool at any time.

every day and dump it out at night. He later got a slightly more involved

We recognize that the suggested changes do modify certain tradi-

version, one that sat partly below the ground and came with a water filter.

tions, but respectfully urge that adoption of these changes would increase

He scrapped the ban on infants and toddlers by the pool.

the attractiveness of the Club to a relatively large group of members and

Lehman made these changes over the objections of a large contingent

potential members without detracting from the benefits currently enjoyed

of Members. The circumstance was a reverse image of Dimond’s opposition

by other members. If you wish to discuss these proposed changes with any

to the original pool: While Dimond used his strong presidency to prevent

of us, we would, of course, be happy to oblige at your convenience.

a change much of the Membership wanted, Lehman used his to bring about a change he felt strongly would be beneficial to all—including the

Very truly yours,

many who opposed it. He is still waiting for a response.

Ten years later, Abner Benisch put in the in-ground pool for kids.

When Tom Lehman, Sr., became President in 1980, he decided it was

There was still opposition, but he acceded to the wishes of a group that

time to take these families’ needs into account and make Mountain Ridge

had signed a petition trying to get him to do it. One of the signers was

more appealing to younger people. He first bought a simple inflatable kiddie

his daughter-in-law.

GOLDSTEIN’S FOLLY George Goldstein was President of

according to various versions of the story, was somewhere

Mountain Ridge twice: from 1948-

between fifty-five thousand and ninety thousand dollars. (The fig-

55, and 1963-64. “King George,”

ure mentioned most often is seventy-five thousand dollars.)

said Donald Schlenger, “did something that singlehandedly changed what the Club is today.” Goldstein was a very promi-

Goldstein turned it down. “We’re a country club, not a real estate company,” he declared. “It was a great price,” said Frank Schlesinger. “He didn’t want to buy it, period.”

nent real estate appraiser, and he

“That would have changed the whole history if we had

ran the Club as though it were his

bought that,” said Arthur Straussberg. “The economics—that

own. During his presidency, Mountain Ridge was approached by the owners of Ferncliff, the public golf course next door that bordered the 4th hole. The property was for sale; the asking price,

place now is a big industrial park.” “We’d be getting checks instead of mailing them,” said Bobby Blum.


94

C h a p t e r

S i x

CLUB LIFE “THE BULK OF OUR SOCIAL LIFE was at Mountain Ridge.” “In my parents’ time, this was the social place for all those people—they didn’t do anything else but come to Mountain Ridge, for lunch, for dinner, for parties. It was all socially around here.” “We have many friends here, and that really has been the basis of our social life, for fifty-two years.”

dirty place people went to for work—and own a house with a lawn and a fence and a dog and 2.2 children. The suburbs were considered the height of

“Back in the day, a large part of the Membership’s social life revolved

sophistication, where men donned suits and ties to attend parties and drink

around the Club… As young marrieds, this is where we hung out, this was

martinis with their stylish wives in dresses and pearls, while the children

the meeting ground. And that was true

stayed home with the maid or a sitter.

of my parents’ generation, grandpar-

“If you had a yen to belong to a

ents’ generation, this was the hub of

country club, and your friends were

their social life.”

there, Mountain Ridge was a place to

Those reminiscences—from Ab-

try to get in,” recalled Abner Benisch.

ner Benisch, Sandy Augenblick, and

“And it was not easy to get in. The year

Ricky Schlenger—tell the story of

I went in was 1961, and they opened up

Mountain Ridge from the post-war

for six Members—and there were forty

era through the childhoods of the

on the list… There were two Members

Baby Boomers. For so many couples,

who sponsored their own brothers, and

Club life was their social life; they were

the brothers didn’t get in on that

privileged, they were lucky, and they

go-around. Can you imagine the upset?”

knew it and appreciated it.

“I’ve found over the years, there was always a certain panache about

The image of suburban life was very different than it is today. The

being at Mountain Ridge,” said Tom Meier. “I think maybe because so

American Dream was to get away from the city—that crowded, hot, and

many of the leaders of the Jewish community were Members there, it had

Opposite: Cecil Lichtman, Caroline Meier, Pat Grad, and Joe Schiffenhouse at the Club in the early 1960s.


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as the 1940s; holding annual UJA nights beginning in 1950; and raising more than $3.5 million in emergency donations in the first few months after a very high standard of membership of whom they would accept. And maybe because of that it had a certain social status in the community.”

the 1973 war. The membership rolls at Mountain Ridge included many nationally

It was expected that Members would not merely be successful in their

prominent people in a number of fields: Joseph Weintraub, Chief Justice of

own businesses, but give time and money to charitable endeavors—most

the New Jersey Supreme Court; Frank Lautenberg, longtime U.S. Senator

often Jewish causes, which at that time meant support for the fledgling state

from New Jersey; Alan Sagner, commissioner of the New Jersey Department

of Israel. World War II and the Holocaust were not distant, historical events;

of Transportation under Governor Brendan Byrne, later president of the Port

they were recent and personal and had touched every Jewish family.

Authority of New York and New Jersey, and also chairman of the board of

The birth of Israel and its struggle for survival—most dramatically in the

the Corporation for Public Broadcasting; Dr. Henry Kessler, founder of the

Six-Day War and then the Yom Kippur invasion six years later—drove home

Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation in West Orange in 1948, still one of the

the importance of protecting and aiding the nascent Jewish homeland.

finest such facilities in the country; among others. Jack Dreyfus, founder of

Mountain Ridge was in the forefront of the effort in MetroWest, organizing

the Dreyfus Fund and a pioneer in both mutual funds and the modern

and coordinating Member donations to the United Jewish Appeal as early

marketing of investment companies, was the Club Champion in the 1930s.

The Mountain Ridge rule book, 1950.


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Weintraub was one of the most influential of all justices nationwide

Labor Day, and New Year’s Eve—were black-tie affairs. Jacket and tie were

below the level of the U.S. Supreme Court. That didn’t necessary earn him

good enough for the lesser occasions, and they were required for dinner at

any deference in conversations on the golf course, as Abner Benisch noted:

the Club under all circumstances anyway.

“I was playing in a team match with my usual partner, Leon Marantz, who

“We put a tent over the Patio; the tent could hold about two

was an attorney. The other two fellows were Bill Tobias, who had gradu-

hundred people,” recalled Jim Lazarus. “We’d bring in an orchestra, and

ated law school but was in the box business, and the Chief Justice. I had

the younger people would dance, and the older people would sit and watch the young people.”

gone to a movie the night before that involved black people in the South in the older days, and there were

They danced to the big band music of Tony

some issues involving the law in the movie, and I

Cabot and his orchestra, or local favorites Milton

wondered if the movie got it right. We were sitting

Davidson and Marty Ames, or Lester Lanin, the

at a tee, things were backed up, and I turned to

“society bandleader” who played at Grace Kelly’s

Weintraub, who I knew well, and said, ‘Joe, I saw

engagement party, Prince Charles and Lady Diana’s

this movie last night, and et cetera, et cetera, could

wedding, Queen Elizabeth’s sixtieth birthday, and the

that be done in the law?’ And before he could say a

inaugurations of seven U.S. presidents. Their teenage

word, the two other players—neither of whom prac-

kids attended their own dances, with music provided

ticed law—jumped in and gave their answers, and

by Jim Lazarus and his “Starlighters” Orchestra, or

went on about it. Finally I said, ‘Aren’t you guys

perhaps Jim Lazarus and his Dixielanders. “When I was fifteen, I had a boyfriend who

ashamed of yourselves? We’ve got the Chief Justice

belonged here, and he invited me to a tea dance here at Christmastime,”

right here.’ True story.” “I was going to play in a best-ball against Weintraub, whose partner

Margie Davis said. “There were Christmas decorations, and a tea dance—

was Milton Zucker, my cousin,” said Arthur Straussberg. “I went to my

such a thing! It didn’t go over that well; there weren’t that many people who

cousin and said, ‘What do I call the Chief Justice on the golf course? Do I

came. It was only for young people— they were trying to get young people

call him Joe, do I call him Your Honor, do I call him Mr. Weintraub?’ And

involved in things.”

Milton goes, ‘It all depends on whether you’re winning or losing.’ ”

While the young people were on their best behavior at such affairs, the same was not always true for the adults at theirs. “One New Year’s Eve we

MOUNTAIN RIDGE put its Old World elegance on display at frequent

were all in tuxedos—Artie Straussberg, Billy Leeds, Dave Bernheim, Marty

events, parties, concerts, dances, movie nights, and more. The four biggest

Silvers, and myself,” Bobby Blum said, “and for some reason we all found

dates on the calendar—Opening Weekend (Memorial Day), Fourth of July,

ourselves down in the bathroom in the Men’s Locker Room at the same time.

Joseph Weintraub, Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court.


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How it happened I don’t know, but a talcum powder fight broke out. We went down in black and came back in white.” The evenings worked a kind of magic spell. Blum recalls being in the Locker Room with Albert Rachlin, whose back was so stiff he needed help putting on his dinner jacket. Two hours later, Rachlin was out on the dance floor. There were Tanglewood Nights, with the New Jersey Pops or Long Island Pops playing, and the audience seated on picnic blankets behind the clubhouse. Off-Broadway revues, performers from Broadway shows, comedians, cabaret singers—in later years people like Ray Romano and the Capitol Steps—all were featured in shows at the Club. Nationally known

bridge teachers gave lessons. Many of these activities are still carried on today. Christmas and Easter parties were part of the calendar. Chanukah and Passover were not. The Members were Jewish, and it was important that they were Jewish, but it wasn’t important to observe the holidays or many Jewish traditions. There were more than a few Juniors, putting aside the usual practice of not naming children after the living. It is only in recent years that a Rosh Hashanah meal has become a big draw at Mountain Ridge, as even Reform Jews have become marginally more observant while most external barriers for Jews in the world have lessened. Wednesday was the big day for bringing guests. Members of a certain


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age will remember it was impossible to find a doctor on Wednesdays

other waitress who’d been caring for Mountain Ridge Members for decades.

because they were all out on their favorite golf courses. Guests would come

There were parties for holidays, theme parties, parties thrown by

for a round of golf, then stay for dinner, because Wednesday was Rib Night.

ndividual couples. At a “Baby Party” held in 1950, the invitation declared,

After cocktails on the Patio, watching the sunset over the mountains, every-

“no one admitted without costume… Come in anything but your Birthday

one would head inside to where the chefs were carving prime rib from a

Clothes… All diapers must have large safety pins.” For the “Tacky Party,”

hundred-pound steamship round on a rolling trolley, making their way

those attending wore trashy or outmoded clothing, and nibbled on crackers

around the room to be sure everyone had their slab of beef and plenty of

with Cheez Whiz and other unlikely edibles. At Allen Bildner’s birthday

sour cream for the baked potatoes. Lobster Nights were popular, too (and

party, a live tiger prowled in a cage by the Patio. Football parties on some

still are), with fresh-fried potato chips alongside the succulent red

Saturday evenings catered to those who were attending Princeton home

crustaceans, a bib tied carefully around your neck by Vera or Rose or some

games (tickets and transportation included).

Mountain Ridge members Harold Grotta, Arthur Phillips, Albert Rachlin, and Max Lazarus in 1955.


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One of the most popular places to hang out was the area that has

from the Living Room, there’s what looks like an opening with a gate,” said

since been enclosed to create the Sun Room. “It was an open porch and a

Meg Jacobs. “I don’t think you can get out there any more, but at one time

bar—just a bar and bar stools,” said Bev Rothschild. “That’s where you

you could stand there and look down onto the Living Room, and I remem-

headed if you were dressed early and the party hadn’t started. That’s where

ber getting ready for my wedding, standing there and looking down as my

everybody congregated.”

husband-to-be had just come off the golf course, where it was pouring rain;

The clubhouse was a magnificent setting for weddings. The chupah

he was drenched, and, you know, he was sort of pacing all around, and I

went by the fireplace in the Living Room, and tables were set up in the

was gulping. But the sun came out just in time for cocktails and hors d’oeu-

Dining Room. But for many brides-to-be, the little detail that made it

vres outside so it was really quite lovely. And I came down the stairs in the

special was the tiny balcony overlooking the Living Room. “If you look up

Front Hall, which is such a beautiful area—I love the architecture of this

Father-daughter foursome in 1960: Max Lazarus and his daughter Elaine Lieb, Genie Eichler and her father Leon Kranztohr.


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many families. Mountain Ridge has had an extraordinary history of continuity in its Membership. Founding families, and others that joined in the 1920s or ’30s, saw their children grow, marked significant events together at the Club, and then watched as succeeding generations did the same. Judson Stein’s parents and grandparents were Members; he had his bar mitzvah at the Club, he was married there, his children’s bar mitzvahs were there, and his daughter was married there. “An important part of Mountain Ridge is that intergenerational aspect of the Club,” he said. “I worked very hard so that our children and grandchildren can be part of the Club. I don’t have a second home where my family might gather together as my children get older—I have Mountain Ridge. My kids come up to spend the day, we hang out—this is the place for us, and I’m sure for a lot of families, to gather and spend time together. When I first became a Member, I spent a lot of time playing golf with my father. It was very important to me. My two daughters, they’re not golfers, but I’ve spent a lot of time around here with them, and maybe they’ll become golfers, maybe their husbands or their children. It’ll be an opportunity to spend time together we wouldn’t otherwise have.” Ned Steiner’s grandfather, an original Member of the Club, was a surgeon in Newark when Ned was growing up. “He used to pick me up at school around three o’clock when he was done working, and we’d come to Mountain Ridge and play golf. I never saw him play without him having a tie and a white club—my dad greeted me at the bottom of the steps, and he took my arm

shirt on. He would roll up his sleeves and tuck in his tie and we’d go play.”

and he said as a joke, ‘If you want to get out of it now, before you get started,

“I was able to play golf with my grandfather Fred Samuels when I

we can just keep walking and we can walk out onto the Patio and leave

was younger,” said John Fanburg. “He was very proud of how far I’d hit it—

everyone there.’ But I chose not to do that.”

even though it went deep into the woods, he kept showing off to his friends:

Weddings, bar and bat mitzvah parties, birthday parties, other events

‘Hit it again! Hit it again!’ I became friendly with his friends, who were

with friends and family—these all helped build a strong tie to the Club for

always very nice to me, and with their children and grandchildren, some of


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his sons’ bar mitzvahs were at the Club. His sons played golf with their grandfather on Father’s Day and other occasions. Meg Jacobs’s grandfather (William Harris) and father (Ray Reitman) were Members; her daughters are now, and her grandsons are taking golf and tennis lessons and swim often. “The tradition is continuing in my family,” she said. The names Augenblick, Jacobs, Lasser, Lazarus, Meyer, Grotta, Straussberg, Hannoch, Rachlin, Puder, Rothschild, Schlesinger, and others whom I’m still very close with today: Bobby Blum was one; Emily Friend

have resonated throughout the history of Mountain Ridge. The continuity

Sutton, whose mother, Jo Ann Carr, has been part of the club her whole

that comes from such multigenerational families helps keep the Club stable,

life—her great-uncle Mortimer Lowy was one of the founding Members.”

in contact with its roots.

Fanburg’s parents were married at Mountain Ridge in 1956. Both

“I was warned when I first joined that I should never talk about a

Above: Another Mountain Ridge Revue: (left to right) Barrie Straussberg, Bunny Steinhardt, Pam Schlenger, Carol Davimos, Billie Zavelland, and (unidentified).


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Member,” said Jay Blumenfeld, “because no matter who you talked to, there

“My mother really didn’t want my dad [Thomas Sr.,] to join the

was a good chance that they were a relative. I’ve been there for thirty-five

Club,” said Cathy Lehman Gursha. “She loved the family time at home,

years, and I still don’t know all the relationships of cousins and aunts and

that was her thing, she was very family-oriented, and she didn’t want to be

uncles and in-laws and all the rest.”

in the kind of environment that she thought would not be part of that. It

Mountain Ridge families all knew each other, all came from the same community, went to the same high schools, had all their friends from the

was really a big deal for them. I don’t remember if she cried over it, but she ended up coming here and she loved it.”

same group of people. James Rothschild, Jr., said, “I once asked Bob and

“I remember I didn’t like coming up here when I was seven or eight,”

Marian Fenster if they had Member-Guest tournaments when they were

Judy Lehman Weiniger added. “I used to cry, ‘Don’t take me there!’ You

younger, and they said, very seriously, not in a joking manner, ‘No—whom

really didn’t feel welcome.”

would we invite?’ ”

For kids, it was a place of rules and restrictions. If they were under

When Thomas Lehman, Sr., joined Mountain Ridge, it was a return

six, they couldn’t come at all. Under eight, they had to be accompanied by

of sorts for his branch of a family that had belonged to the Club when it was founded. His father, David J. Lehman, was the brother of William Lehman, a Charter Member listed on the original certificate of incorporation in 1912. His mother, May Stern Lehman, was the sister of Morton “Buck” Stern, another original Member and Mountain Ridge President through World War II. William and David Lehman were both architects; along with their sons William Jr., Thomas C., and John E., and David’s grandson Thomas Jr., the Lehman firm—now in its 116th year—designed more than five thousand buildings, mostly industrial and commercial. The brothers resigned from the Club with their families in 1930 when the Board decided to hire Clifford Wendehack to design the clubhouse in West Caldwell, rather than following through with the Lehmans, as had been planned for the revisions in West Orange. At some point—the Board minutes are not clear—William Lehman, Jr., rejoined the Club along with his wife, Emily. William Jr., served on the Board beginning in 1957. Tom Lehman, Sr., was his first cousin and decided to bring his family back into the Mountain Ridge fold in 1969.

The Entrance Hall in the early 1960s.


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a parent or guardian at all times around the pool. You were not allowed to

they could play if approved by the Greens Committee, but then only before

wear a bathing suit entering or leaving the Club and had to change in the

9 a.m. on weekdays, or after 3 p.m., if accompanied by a golfing Member.

Pool House. Playing cards by the pool was strictly forbidden; so were most

(Though these were the rules, there were exceptions made in unusual

forms of horseplay and noise-making.

cases—as when a young teenager could play to a two handicap.)

“I actually remember the very first day I went to Mountain Ridge,” said

Ned Steiner remembers playing in the afternoons with a friend

Ray Blau, recalling when his family joined

who also belonged to Mountain Ridge,

the Club in 1956. “My two older brothers,

“and it probably took us three hours

Julian and Bobby, were both competitive

to play nine because we had to let

swimmers, and of course whatever they did,

EVERYBODY through—that was the

I did. We had bought Speedo bathing suits

deal. You’d get halfway down the hole,

to wear, and so we went into the locker area

and if someone was coming, you just

and changed into our bathing suits, and we

stepped aside.”

were outside by the pool, playing poker with

It was only a little better for the

each other, and my mother came over and

mothers who played golf. Rule Number

observed us and said, ‘Boys—put those cards

One under the general rules for the golf

away! What are you doing? And those

course in the 1950s stated, “Should a

bathing suits—they’re so risqué!’ Maybe she

caddie shortage arise, women who have

didn’t use the word risqué, but she made

started play may be called off the course

it clear to us that we were never to come to

at the end of nine holes.” Their starting

the pool in Speedo bathing suits again.”

times were restricted on Wednesdays, Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays: before

IT WASN’T ANY EASIER on the golf

8:30 a.m. and after 2:15 p.m. on Saturdays,

course. Children under twelve were not allowed to play or even go onto the

before 8:30 a.m. and after 1:30 p.m. on Sundays and holidays; and before

course “under any conditions.” They could take lessons and use the practice

9:15 a.m. and after 2:15 p.m. on Wednesdays.

tee and putting green until noon on weekdays; after noon and on Saturdays,

The best players from Mountain Ridge took part in an annual four-

Sundays, and holidays children under twelve were “not permitted in the vicin-

cornered match with Woodmere Country Club and Inwood Country Club

ity of the practice tee, the putting green, or the golf shop for any reason or

on Long Island, and Philmont near Philadelphia. “We would go to each of

under any circumstances whatsoever.” Between ages twelve and seventeen,

the clubs—A teams—I think it was sixteen golfers,” Bob Fenster recalled.

Davis Love, Jr., Assistant Pro at Mountain Ridge, 1960-61.


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“We’d compete in a tournament that switched among the four clubs. Inwood

an honorary Membership, with the added provision that all his meals would

was tough because it was right by Idlewild Airport [now JFK], and when

be paid for (in retirement, if not in his working life). After he died in 1982,

one of those jets came you’d have to stop swinging because it was so noisy.”

payments continued to his widow until she passed away a year later.

The Head Pro at the Club, as he had been since

The selection of the next Head Professional

the mid-1920s, was Jim Taylor, with assistance from

did more to bring public attention to Mountain

his brother Jack. The two were Scots, and today would

Ridge than almost anything else in the Club’s history.

be described as the personification of old-school. Jim

Wes Ellis, Jr., was an outstanding player, winner of

Taylor wore a dress shirt and tie at all times, in the

three titles on the PGA Tour: the 1957 Canadian

Shop, on the course, and on the lesson tee, even in Au-

Open, 1959 Texas Open, and 1965 San Diego Open.

gust heat. He and his wife lived in rooms provided for

He played in the Masters ten times between 1957

them by the Club, at first above the Pro Shop, later in

and ’68, making the cut six times, with his best finish

a trailer located behind the tennis courts.

being a tie for fifteenth in 1965. He also played in a

The Pro’s income came primarily from lessons,

dozen U.S. Opens with two top tens, including an

and to a lesser extent from the operation of the Pro

eighth-place finish in 1966.

Shop. When Jim Taylor was first hired, he was paid one

Ellis clearly had the game to be on Tour,

hundred dollars a month and given a room, but had to

but the purses then were so small that all but the

pay for his meals. By the late 1940s, the salary was

most famous pros looked at tournaments as a

increased to twenty-four hundred dollars per year, but

stepping stone to a good club job. Ellis’s wife was

he was earning enough through teaching that the Club

from New Jersey, and she wanted to settle down,

could guarantee three thousand dollars a year to his

so he spent several years at Edgewood and then

brother Jack, with the money to come out of Jim’s

took the Mountain Ridge job at age twenty-eight.

proceeds from the Members. (Mike Wyman, the

He dominated state and regional events, winning

Caddy Master, earned forty dollars a week, with a one

the New Jersey PGA Championship four straight

hundred dollar bonus on Labor Day if his work was

times, the New Jersey Open twice in a row,

deemed satisfactory.)

and the Metropolitan Open three times, with a clean

Taylor retired as Head Pro in 1959. He was immediately named Pro

sweep of the three in 1963.

Emeritus for five years at his full three thousand dollar salary, with a pen-

He took Ned Steiner under his wing when Steiner was in his teens,

sion to pay him the same figure for the rest of his life. He also was given

teaching him in an unorthodox manner. “I would come up here and we would

Scorecard from 1958.


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play every day,” he said. “I never practiced. Wes hit a lot of balls, but with me

Davis Love, Jr. It was Love’s first teaching job after some years playing on

he’d always say, ‘Let’s play. I want you to keep playing.’ I never learned to

Tour, and he was genuinely concerned that he wouldn’t know how to do

practice; I really don’t know how to practice.

it. He asked his own teacher, Harvey Penick, for advice; Harvey seemed

“The best thing he ever taught me about golf, and I still do it to this

to ignore the question, and told Love he should learn to play a musical

day—we would get up to a hole, and he said, ‘I don’t

instrument. Love thought this was an odd

want you to look where you want to hit it; where

suggestion, but he trusted Harvey, and so he

don’t you want to hit it? Then I want you to control

made an appointment for a lesson.

the ball so you don’t hit it there.’ Take our first hole.

As he was walking up to the teacher’s door,

If the pin is in the front left corner, the one place you

he found he was nervous. Would he be able to

don’t want to hit it is left, into the bunker. I very

understand a whole new vocabulary? Would he

rarely hit that shot left—I may hit it way right, but

make a fool of himself ? Would the teacher think

I know I have a chance to make four from there.

less of him if he struggled at this new thing? And

Lenny Siter [the current Mountain Ridge Head

in that moment, he knew why Harvey had made

Professional] says to me, ‘You never short-side

the suggestion: This is how his students would be

yourself. You never do it.’ And that’s because of what

thinking as they came to him for golf lessons, and

Wes taught me.”

he should always keep that feeling in mind. He

It was a point of pride for the golfers at Moun-

went on to become one of the outstanding teach-

tain Ridge that their pro was winning so many events,

ing professionals in the nation, before losing his

that they could open the newspaper and see “Wes

life in a plane crash in 1988.

Ellis, Mountain Ridge” in the tournament results, that

Ellis’s path took a very different kind of

they could watch him play on television at some of

tragic turn. After he left Mountain Ridge early

the big events. He’d take a threesome of Members to

in 1967 to go to Westchester Country Club,

a local pro-am event and win by a comfortable margin;

according to Steiner, he fell in with a hard-drink-

naturally, Members lined up to go with him. Some

ing crowd. (Steiner said he never saw Ellis take a

became his gallery when he played in the big New Jersey tournaments, and

drink the whole time he was at Mountain Ridge.) He got caught up in a

he took Ned Steiner with him to the 1961 U.S. Open at Oakland Hills to

cheating scandal while playing the pro circuit, his drinking intensified,

show him what a USGA championship was like.

and he wound up passing away from kidney disease at age fifty-two.

During his first two years, Ellis’s Assistant Pro was a fellow Texan,

Ellis’s assistant Bert Berdick was made Acting Head Golf

Wes Ellis, Head Professional from 1960 to 1967.


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Professional for the ’67 season; he held the full position until 1971. Frank Schlesinger remembered him as “the best gin player the club ever had”—

UNHAPPY LANDINGS

a potentially dangerous attribute for any Club employee, much less the

NOT LONG AFTER the 1929 opening of Essex County Air-

Head Pro. One of his enumerated duties was to play golf with as many Members as possible, both at Mountain Ridge and in pro-am events;

port—then known as Marvin Airport, named for the head of the group that established it—the Mountain Ridge Board of Governors discussed whether the Club should purchase insurance

Burdick was a fine player, but Ellis had set a high standard that was tough

to cover any damage caused by a grounded airplane. Since the

for any pro to live up to.

Club’s general insurance policies did not cover such an event

The next Mountain Ridge Pro was Gary Head (New Jersey PGA champion in 1975), followed by Ed Justa (runner-up in the Eastern Amateur to Deane Beman in 1961), who was replaced in November 1986 by Mike Burke, Jr.

at the time, they purchased twenty-five thousand dollars worth of coverage for three years at a cost of seventy-five dollars. Forty-one years later, on July 24, 1976, a single engine Cessna crashed near the 10th tee shortly before 3 p.m. Both people on board—student pilot Colin Riley, 23, who had been

Burke’s father, Mike Sr., was

practicing takeoffs and landings at

a former New Jersey PGA cham-

the nearby airport, and his instructor,

pion and professional at Deal Golf

Joseph Grippo, 56—were killed. According to the Caldwell Progress,

& Country Club for sixteen years

“A group of golfers ran to the crash

before taking a similar job at Hill-

site seconds after the accident, and

crest Country Club in Hollywood,

Jack Freundlich of South Orange

Florida. Mike Jr., was an assistant

reportedly turned off the plane’s

pro at Edgewood when he was hired as Head Pro at Mountain Ridge, where

ignition switch.” Police, firefighters, and emergency rescue

he amassed an enviable playing record of his own. He won the New Jersey

personnel from the West Essex First Aid Squad quickly arrived

PGA three times (1992, 1999, 2001), was runner-up in the New Jersey Open twice (1990, 1994), won the Met Open in 1997, and was named New Jersey PGA Player of the Year a record six times.

on the scene. I have found no independent confirmation of the story that a group of golfers asked the fire chief if they could play through. On June 6, 1993, a Cessna 150 piloted by Robert Chal-

His tenure as Head Professional—fifteen years—was the second-

lice made an emergency landing on the 11th fairway just after

longest in the Club’s history. In addition to his own accomplishments, he made

9 p.m., when its engine failed shortly after takeoff. Mr. Challice

a significant long-term contribution to Mountain Ridge when he brought in

was not injured; his plane suffered minor damage to the

Len Siter as an Assistant in 1990. Siter was still an amateur when he began working at Mountain

wings, propeller, and landing gear; and the course needed no repairs other than replacement of a broken flagstick.


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Siter was named Teacher of the Year by the New Jersey PGA in 2007 and was given its Horton Smith Award for outstanding and ongoing contributions to golf education in 2009. In the course of a day of teaching, he may encounter a wide variety of swings, flaws, and capabilities, and guides each student to improvement with instruction and tone tailored to the needs of the individual. He might gently encourage one student, lavishly praise another, crack the whip on a third—or do all three at different times, depending on what he believes will be most effective. In Chodorcoff ’s words, Siter does treat everybody the same—by treating them as singular personalities and using every method and technique at his disposal to bring out the best in them.

FOR ALL THEIR AFFECTION for their Pro, the Members have not yet paid Siter the honor of immortalizing him in song, as they did with one of his predecessors (“Wes Ellis Made a Hero Out of Me”). A longtime (and now bygone) tradition at Mountain Ridge was putting on a show—an original musical lampooning the people and traditions that made the place what it is. It was no quickie process; it took a year or more to come up with the ideas, write the songs, choose the performers, rehearse, and finally put Ridge. He was a three-time NCAA qualifier and an all-American in his

on the show for a usually delighted audience of Members and staff.

senior year at Montclair State. In 1997 he left to become the head pro at

A raised stage was built on the patio; professional stage lighting was

Colonia Country Club. At the end of 2001, with Mountain Ridge looking

brought in, as well as a sound system, with all performers miked; there was

to replace Burke as pro—Burke became the head pro at Montammy Golf

seating for 250 under the tent set up for the occasion. The songs were

Club in Alpine, New Jersey—Siter applied for the job, and he has held it

written by Jimmy Fagas, Frank Hannoch, Arthur Straussberg, Tom

ever since, much to the satisfaction of the Membership.

Lehman, Carol Schlesinger, Carol Miller, and others; the performers in the

“Lenny is first and foremost a superb teacher,” said Mike Chodorcoff,

various shows included Ellie Lazarus, Pam Schlenger, Barrie Straussberg,

who was Club President when Siter was hired. “He is a warm, friendly

Harold Goldberg, Jr., Frank Schlesinger, Carol Kindler, and others too

person, very even-balanced, treats everybody the same.”

numerous to mention. Jim Lazarus was the producer and director.

Len Siter, Head Professional since 2001.


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At “The Very, Very Last Mountain Ridge Show”—that was the actual name—in 1994, the songs included verses and choruses like these:

RuLES SoNg (to the tune of “Let’s Get Away From it All”) Don’t park your car on the circle

MEMbERSHIP DRIvE

Don’t throw your club in the air

(to the tune of “76 Trombones”)

Don’t tip the caddie, Steve, Burt or Mattie

Seventy-six Sol Cohens want to join the club

Care for the clothes that you wear.

And a hundred and ten fine men named Levine; They are followed by rows and rows,

Don’t go nude to the shower

‘Cause the membership’s not closed

Always wear a chemise

They’ve applied, and now they must be screened….

Keep carts off fringes, no drunken binges Make sure to pay your guest fees.

Now that we’ve checked you out very carefully Your wife and your great grandma must be seen;

We’ve traveled ’round the whole wide world

And if your check don’t bounce,

We are nobody’s fools

We can then announce

Even West Point Plebes, we hear,

That you are our lucky new Levine!

Haven’t got half of our rules… So—remember, no men on Tuesday

SHACKAMAxoN, bALTuSRoL, ETC. (to the tune of “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”)

No girls on Sunday ’til one, No table-hopping and no wife swapping Just you relax and have fun

CHORUS:

Just you relax and have fun.

Shackamaxon, Baltusrol and Cedar Hill and Preakness; All those other country clubs have one outstanding weakness; Members there are models of indifference and bleakness Shackamaxon, Baltusrol and Cedar Hill and Preakness. The members here at Mountain Ridge—a friendly group of guys, The meaning of fraternity they all epitomize

“The men and women who wrote these songs, they were very talented writers, very clever,” Jim Lazarus recalled, “and the audience loved it no matter what you did, because it was about them.” “No matter who you are and what you’ve accomplished in life,” said

The rumor that we’re snobbish here we wish to put to rest;

Bruce Schonbraun, “when you make that turn into the driveway and you

But you must be here fifteen years to even be addressed

see those trees, and the ambience and feeling, every single person at Moun-

REPEAT CHORUS…

tain Ridge understands that they’re lucky to be a Member of the Club.”


110

C h a p t e r

S e v e n

THE GOLF COURSE MOUNTAIN RIDGE has been exceedingly fortunate in the course of its

corridors have never changed, and the flow of each nine was never altered.

history. Donald Ross built a magnificent golf course, and nobody messed

The greens and their surrounding terrain have never been softened

it up through the years.

or rethought. The strategies and subtleties that Ross built into them are still

This was not necessarily the result of

in play; he might be amazed by the speed of

genius on the part of its leaders. It was more a

the surfaces, but he would certainly recognize

matter of benign satisfaction. They had a good

the contours. A certain amount of rounding at

golf course, they knew it, and they never felt

the edges was inevitable through the years to

the need to “modernize” by having a famous

make maintenance easier, but a thoughtful

architect revise it for major events—a fate that

restoration guided by Ross specialist Ron

befell such Ross courses as Aronimink and

Prichard has brought back the sharper corners.

Oakland Hills.

“A lot of people think you’re making the

No one ever changed the routing.

course easier when you expand the putting

The nines have been swapped three times.

surfaces, because the surface is bigger,”

The more northerly nine came first in Ross’s

Prichard said. “But what it does is it allows you

drawings; the order was switched after just a

to put the pin closer to the edge of the fill pad,

year of play, in 1932. It was switched back to

or if you reestablish the original putting sur-

the original in the 1950s, then was changed

face closer to a bunker, you can tuck the pin

again to the current configuration in 1968,

behind it. When the surfaces were smaller, you

according to the Board of Governors minutes.

couldn’t really hide the pin.”

(In each of the last two changes in order, the given reason was to speed

Changes were made, but they were not changes that irrevocably

up play. Judson Stein recalled that the older members who only

modified the character of the course. In the late 1960s, again with the intent

played nine holes may have lobbied for the current order, because this

of “speeding play,” there was a program of bunker removal; many of those

front nine requires no carries over water.) Despite these shifts, the hole

bunkers have been restored.

Donald Ross’s final list of the yardages for the holes to be constructed.


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A more significant matter was the aggressive planting of trees that

Failed Me, “As beautiful as trees are and as fond as you and I are of them,

had the effect of giving each hole a sense of isolation and privacy. Through-

we still must not lose sight of the fact that there is a limited place for them

out the club’s history, there have been periods of planting trees for a variety

in golf. We must not allow our sentiments to crowd out the real intent of

of reasons: to protect the fourth tee from errant shots on the third hole; to

a golf course, that of providing fair playing conditions. If it in any way in-

provide shade by the putting green; to replace trees that had deteriorated.

terferes with a properly played stroke, I think that tree is an unfair hazard

This trend accelerated in the 1970s, with the establishment of a tree nursery

and should not be allowed to stand.�

containing 1,500 trees, many of which found their way onto the golf course.

Tree removal is rarely popular, but it has major benefits for the health

Ross was no fan of such vertical hazards. He wrote in Golf Has Never

of the turfgrasses. Trees and grass compete for sunlight, air, water, and

A "big, beautiful back lawn," in the words of Donald Ross biographer Bradley S. Klein, viewed from the patio.


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nutrients, and trees have the twin competitive advantages of being larger

and named “Club of the Year” by the New Jersey PGA in 1994, but the

and occupying the higher ground. “For years, the 16th green was

membership seemed to cherish the “hidden” part as much as the “gem.”

surrounded with trees,” said Ned Steiner. “Some members would say, ‘That

Writers looking to include Mountain Ridge in their stories were told the

green is dead, it’s dead, it’s dead,’ and to the USGA’s credit, [Dave Oatis,

club wasn’t interested. Raters hoping to evaluate the course for possible

USGA agronomist] said in 1999, ‘That green’s

inclusion in national “Top 100” lists were denied

not dead—where the sunlight comes down in

access. Though Mountain Ridge has always

the morning, if you take all those trees down,

held some outside outings, especially for

this green’ll be fine.’ Lo and behold, within

charitable purposes, the perception was that the

one year it was one of our best greens.”

club didn’t need or want them.

Oatis’s report is quite emphatic: “This

That insularity is changing. In its cen-

green [16] receives very little direct light and

tennial year of 2012, Mountain Ridge will

this environment is really more conducive to

stage its first United States Golf Association

growing fungi than good turfgrass… Interest-

national championship, the Senior Amateur

ingly, this is another example of where the trees

for players fifty-five and older. In anticipation

are competing with trees. Had seventy-five

of the autumn event, the Metropolitan Golf

percent of the trees been removed thirty-forty

Writers Association was invited to play the

years ago, some of the remaining trees would

course in September 2011. Superintendent

probably be quite desirable… Currently, the

Cliff Moore and his grounds staff keep the

bunker to the back right of the green never dries out. This is simply because

course in exceptional condition on an everyday basis; no doubt they will

it does not receive any sunlight.”

ensure that the nation’s top senior players see it at its best.

Opening the corridors for light and air also enhances the visual

Hiding no more, Mountain Ridge’s golf course is poised for recog-

appeal of what Bradley S. Klein, Ross biographer, described as “this big,

nition as one of the country’s finest, and one of the purest representations

beautiful back lawn you’ve got here.” The sweep of the golf course view

of the genius of Donald Ross.

from the back patio is grander than ever, and the beautiful clubhouse can be seen from more places around the course.

On the following pages, the golf course is presented hole by hole, with historical notes and observations about Ross’s design principles, copies

In tandem with the more open golf course is a greater openness to the

of Ross’s own field sketches for the holes, and commentary (in italics) by

outside world. Mountain Ridge has long been considered one of the metro-

head professional Len Siter about aspects of the play of the holes gleaned

politan area’s hidden gems, site of several state and regional championships,

from his twenty years at Mountain Ridge.

Cliff Moore, Superintendent since 2003.


114

HOLE No. 1 par 4 441 yards FROM THE HIGH TEES below and beside the practice green, the full sweep of the hole is in view, the fairway wiggling invitingly down to the green. Though the brain knows the hole is mostly straight, the eyes say otherwise. The short hitter has to be conscious of the bunker to the left; the longer hitter must avoid the bunker right. Ross’s fairway bunkering generally presents diagonal options; they are staggered rather than parallel and pinching. A drive that flirts with the right side is rewarded with a better approach to the green, which angles away to the left. The greenside bunker to the left is one of the longest on the golf course. “When Ross did his field sketching,” Ron Prichard said, “and he took a couple of days to do it on site, he actually sketched every bunker.” Ross’s instructions here were to raise the whole green not less than three feet, and dig the bunker to a depth of four feet. The ramp up to the green at front is described in the field sketch as “a sharp terrace.”

TOUGH START “George Goldstein, who was a very tough president of the club, was walking down to the first tee one day,” said Richard Davis, “and there’s a guy on the women’s tee. And Goldstein says, ‘Sir, excuse me, you’re on the ladies’ tee.’ He looks at him, and the guy takes his club and is about to take a swing, and—‘I just told you before, you’re on the women’s tee. You don’t belong there.’ “The guy turns around and says, ‘I know that. This is my second shot.’ ”

Len Siter: On the approach shot, the player should play short of the middle of the green, because there’s a large swale that deflects the ball; if you come in too long and slightly right of center, the ball will roll into the chipping area. The green has the appearance of being downhill from back to front, but it’s a bit of an illusion. The fastest greens on the course are the ones that slope downhill away from the clubhouse; the first green slopes into the hill and is actually pretty flat.


HOLE No. 2 par 4 470 yards A BLIND TEE SHOT to a generous fairway starts this long hole that plays shorter than its measured distance. A bunker to the left, about 150 yards from the tee, frames the shot; a smaller bunker, opposite it on the right, does not appear on Ross’s drawing but was there for many years. Once across the fairway ridge, the hole runs downhill to a wide green opening that will accept a run-up to most pin locations. A bunker with a four-foot high ridged face, about fifty yards short of the green, guards the approach from the left side. In Ross’s time, fairways were more likely seventy-five yards wide rather than today’s thirty or forty. Such latitude suited a hole like this one, giving the player room to swing freely, while rewarding those who mix power and precision with a more open approach shot.

Len Siter: The best tee shots should stay slightly left of center, since everything slopes to the right. You must avoid the front right bunker, but since the balls tend to run left to right as they approach the green, sometimes that’s hard to do. The green is large and has very subtle breaks.

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HOLE No. 3 par 4 361 yards A FINE SHORT HOLE that has been through many changes. Until the 1960s, the straight path to the green was unencumbered. Around 1970, two willows were planted, encroaching on the left side of the fairway at about 210-230 yards. A big oak on the right impeded the approach shot from that side. In Ron Prichard’s renovation, the willows and the oak were removed, a set of bunkers now pinch the left side, and a stream was brought into play on the right with the fairway running up to it. The plateau green is perched above deep bunkers at the front left and right; it is one of the few putting surfaces on the course where the ball must arrive through the air.

Len Siter: At all costs, you have to avoid the bunkers left off the tee. The shot to the slightly elevated green plays a half-club longer. Getting the right yardage there is important: if your ball doesn’t get ten paces on, you can spin it right off. And if it gets fifteen paces on, past the middle, the ball will roll to the back. Once on the green, it’s a flat, very difficult green to read, because you can’t see any of the breaks. There’s some sort of spine in that green that you really can’t see. Anything that’s short on the front of that green tends to break toward the front, and anything past the middle of the green breaks toward the back.


HOLE No. 4 par 3 229 yards UPHILL SHOTS of more than 200 yards might well have called for a driver in the 1930s—for the handicap player if not the pro. The bunkers short of the green must be avoided; a large bunker to the right of the green, not on Ross’s sketch, was removed in the late 1990s. The putting surface has multiple contours to navigate if the player and pin are in different quadrants. Until the 1950s, the far right side of this hole abutted Ferncliff, a public golf course. One player went out with a new caddy, hit the ball way right past the few trees that divided the courses, saw a green in the distance, and played to it. He continued his round and ended up at the Ferncliff clubhouse, where they noticed he had no day pass on his bag. Pro shop personnel called Mountain Ridge to come and get him.

Len Siter: The 4th hole is one of the most difficult holes on the golf course, not just for its length, but also by the green. It plays a good half-club longer; any ball that doesn’t reach the putting surface will roll back off the false front. When the pin is in the middle or short, I like to play just a few paces past the front yardage, so I have an uphill putt. When that pin is anywhere from the middle of the green to the back, the hole plays a good half-shot harder. The back part of the green rolls to the back; in the front part it rolls forward. Arguably the best par three on the course.

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HOLE No. 5 par 4 418 yards FROM THE FIFTH TEE, a wide fairway presents an invitation to swing freely with the driver—but staggered bunkers right and left make the effective safe zone a little smaller. The bunker on the left was moved back and pushed into the fairway in the mid 2000s. In the most recent renovation, the ground just short of the bunkers on both sides was re-contoured and the grass cut mostly to fairway height, making errant drives more likely to run into them. The green slopes from back to front away from the clubhouse, so it is essential to keep your ball below the hole. It also features a false front, and bunkers left, right, and well short. “Ross didn’t generally stick a false front on holes where the putting surface is clearly visible from the fairway,” Prichard said. “His inclination was to put one on an uphill hole— like #6, for example, where the surface is really hidden. On holes where you can see the base of the pin, it wasn’t something he did very often. But I like this one.”

Len Siter: There’s a right-left slope in the fairway, so if you want to grab a couple of extra yards, you can hit it down the right side and the ball will carom left, leaving the approach shot on a much better angle. The ball has to get about ten paces onto the green to avoid the false front. You can run the ball in, but there’s about a thirty-five-yard bunker on the right that you have to avoid coming in; it’s unplayable. This green, from back to front, is one of the fastest greens on the golf course, and one of the slowest from front to back.


HOLE No. 6 par 5 507 yards ROSS NEVER put a par number on a hole. He would not be concerned that long hitters can routinely reach this green in two; this is one of the many “par four-and-a-half ” holes on the course, and the green provides all the defense anyone could ask for. The original tee was slightly shorter and to the left; today’s tee draws the player away from the fairway bunkers on the right. The cross-bunkers in the ridge 100 yards from the green force a decision: go for it or lay up? The green slopes severely from left to right—away from the clubhouse in a different direction than the others—and is actually larger from front to back than it is from side to side. A bunker left of the green was removed in the 1990s, and a pot bunker front right was merged with the larger one near it at the same time.

Len Siter: A birdie hole. Longer hitters can definitely reach the green by going up the left side, leaving a long-iron or fairway wood shot straight uphill into a green that’s kind of pitched towards you. Shorter hitters should lay up at 100-110 yards, even though the third shot will be blind; there’s no reason to take on the cross-bunkers unless you can put it on the green. It’s one of the most demanding greens on the golf course, severely sloped from back to front and from left to right. Putts from the left side to the right side are some of the fastest on the golf course with the most amount of break. Difficult hole locations like the back left and back right can be used, adding a half a shot of difficulty to the hole.

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HOLE No. 7 par 3 173 yards THIS UPHILL PAR THREE is the most controversial hole on the course. “The green doesn’t in any way match [Ross’s] drawing,” said Prichard. “It shows a much bigger green that extends way back on the left. It doesn’t show it as being a punchbowl.” Ross’s diagram shows a notch that was never put in at the top of the green, with undulations two-and-a-half feet high. A bunker on the right of the green pin-high was added in the 1960s, possibly to keep shots from running down to the maintenance sheds. It was removed early in Prichard’s restoration, when he also put in a mid-green bunker on the left that Ross had indicated but was never built. A cross-bunker in the ridge 100 yards from the tee was removed in the ’60s.

1928 To the right of the green on 7 are several storage sheds that were among the first buildings to go up when the property was being cleared. One of them has attractive tile work above the entrance, with the date “1928.” During the winter, when Caldwell police wish to take a coffee break, they pull off Passaic Avenue, and park near the sheds with their beverages. They radio in a code phrase to indicate they’re taking their break: “We’ll be 1928 for about twenty minutes…”

Len Siter: An uphill tee shot, the ball must carry onto the green, and it plays a good half a club longer. Players who struggle with trajectory or the height of their shots have a problem holding this green.


HOLE No. 8 par 5 486 yards AN EPIC VIEW GREETS YOU as you complete the climb from the 7th green. The fairway tosses and tumbles far below, and the entire property seems to stretch out before you. The roll of the generous fairway hides the landing area, but there is little danger as the left bunkers are well out of reach. Those, and the bunkers to the right that are 70-100 yards short of the green, pinch the approach shot visually, but there is ample room to run the ball in. The front greenside bunkering has been through a lot of changes. Ross sketched an amoeba at the front left corner, and a paramecium to the right running half the depth of the green, but the entrance itself was wide open. A large bunker closed off the entryway during a 1965-66 renovation, and the hole was changed to a par five. A pond briefly guarded the front around the same time, but just for a few years. The left bunker always ran along the green, parallel to the right; when the front bunker and pond were removed, a small pit was placed at the corner. Prichard’s restoration efforts finally gave the hole the bunkering Ross intended.

Len Siter: Spectacular tee shot. Left-center is ideal. On the approach shot you can either carry the ball onto the green or run it up; it gives you plenty of options. The green is slightly right to left, but there’s a spine across the middle that leads to the upper plateau. It’s truly a great par four because you can move the tee up and put the pin up front on the left to leave a shorter iron in for the longer hitter, or it can play almost like a par five when you put the pin in the back right, as it’s almost impossible to get the ball back there. One of the strongest holes on the front nine.

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HOLE No. 9 par 5 501 yards ANOTHER PAR FOUR-AND-A-HALF with ample room off the tee; there was a small bunker on the left side until the 1970s, closer to the tee than the one built in the 2000s. Fescue left will catch a wayward hook. The hill on the right side about 130 yards from the green, with two bunkers set in it, dictates the second shot: fly past it up the right side and the slope will feed the ball left to the green. Shorter hitters must play carefully into the bottleneck left of the hill, then face a blind approach to a green perched well above them. Ross recognized a natural saucer at the top of the hill where he placed the green. The fairway bleeds smoothly into the front of the putting surface, but the slope is steep and shots hit short will roll several yards back down. A chipping area left of the green replaced a bunker that got little play.

Len Siter: The uphill par five plays slightly longer than the yardage. The tee shot must avoid the bunker and mounds on the left. At all costs, the second shot has to avoid the bunkers on the right: they make hitting the third shot to the green virtually impossible. At the green, there’s a false front so the ball must carry at least three or four paces on to keep from rolling back down. This is another green that slopes away from the clubhouse, one of the fastest on the course from back to front. Left to right downhill putts here are some of the most difficult putts on the golf course.


HOLE No. 10 par 4 440 yards ORIGINALLY THE FIRST HOLE, this is a brother of the current opener. The tee, like that at the 1st, was once bordered by hedges. The inviting fairway is in full view from the elevated tee. The bunker left is mostly a visual hazard; the bunkers on the right are 300 yards from the championship tee, giving long hitters something to think about from the member tees. “The bunkering on a Ross course is always sort of perpendicular to the line of play,” said Prichard. “It’s not long and linear where a player can escape easily. In a sense what he built was a bunch of catcher’s mitts rising from the fairway level, and when people beat a ball into the hazard they’re penalized with a loss of distance. For the most part, they can’t reach the putting surface from a fairway bunker.” The approach is downhill, playing half a club shorter than the distance. A small trough in front will slow the running shot and also serves to keep water from running down the fairway to the green.

Len Siter: Most golfers can run the ball up to this green. Once on the green, it’s pretty flat. It slopes from back to front, against a fairway that slopes down, so the hills kind of counterbalance each other. Even though you feel like you’re putting downhill, you’re really not, because you’re actually putting up to the high part of the property. Those are the nuances that I like on these greens that I think some people who’ve been members for eighty years may not realize.

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HOLE No. 11 par 4 443 yards MEMBERS DELIGHT in not telling first-time visitors about the pond 100 yards ahead of the tee on the blind drive; it was a narrow ditch until the 1960s. The fairway slopes left to right; the bunker on the right side helps guard the 14th green from errant drives. The approach is one of the most strategic on the course. The fairway slope is more pronounced in front of the green, sending shots to the right, but a large left bunker at the high point short of the green will catch a shot pulled too far. The ideal shot would be a draw, taking the front right bunker out of play, but it must be hit from a fairway lie with the ball below your feet. The green is one of the most contoured on the course. A new chipping area to the right collects approaches that run too hard from the left. No putt on the green is easy.

THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY Burt Carr’s friends knew he could never pass a water hazard without looking for balls. One day Kenny Goldman decided to have a little fun with him. “I ordered a dozen Titleists with ‘Burt Carr’ printed on them,” Goldman said. “The professional went out just ahead of us, and he put eleven balls in the pond near the path on 11. Burt stopped, saw these nice shiny balls, and he took one out, then another. Around the fourth ball, he noticed his name was on them, and he realized it was a prank.” Goldman told Carr there were a dozen balls in the water; Carr looked and looked, “and he could only find eleven. That drove him a little bats.” Finally, they had to move on. They hit their approach shots, and when Carr putted out, he found the missing ball where Goldman told the pro to leave it—at the bottom of the cup.

Len Siter: The approach shot is arguably the most difficult on the golf course. Ideal placement off the tee is down the right side; if you hit it left-center, it usually runs to the right. From there, you’re approaching the green away from the front-right bunker, which must be avoided. I always play front-to-middle yardage into this green, slightly left of center, regardless of the pin. Front right and middle-to-back left hole locations are treacherous. The green breaks in a variety of directions: from front to middle, the ball will break to the right; past the middle of the green, it tends to break left, which nobody can see. In my opinion it’s the best green on the golf course.


HOLE No. 12 par 4 375 yards THREE PINE TREES AT THE INSIDE CORNER of this short dogleg right defined the hole from the 1970s to 2011, but they were not part of the original design. They were planted at a point that marked the right edge of the wide fairway, forcing the tee shot to the left. Yet the left side was always the superior side for the approach, along the longest axis of the green and avoiding the pond to the right. Removing these trees was one of the more controversial aspects of Prichard’s restoration, but doing so eliminated a hazard that was penal rather than strategic, and out of character for Ross. At the same time, the stream between 12 and 13 was extended towards the inside corner of the dogleg, a framing bunker was placed at the outside, and a bunker in the ridge at the start of the fairway was returned to where it had been until the 1960s. The leading edge by the pond also was lowered to make the hazard visible from the fairway.

Len Siter: One of the tightest driving holes on the golf course. In playing down the left side, you must avoid the two fairway bunkers. A tee shot that goes too far to the right will go into the stream. The green is very deep from front to back, going on a slight catty-cornered angle away from the fairway to the right. When playing to a back hole location, you need to be exact in your yardage, because anything left will go long. Even though it’s a short hole, it’s got very tough hole locations.

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HOLE No. 13 par 4 462 yards HOLES 12, 13, AND 3 are on the flattest part of the property, with few interesting landforms for Ross to work with. He met the challenge here primarily with length; 13 is another par four-and-a-half hole, 466 yards in the original layout. For the 2012 season, significant changes were made. The old brook that ran straight across the fairway was piped and covered; the stream from the 12th hole now enters the 13th fairway from the right and snakes through the center and on to the 15th hole. The fairway itself, already wide, was expanded by fifteen-to-twenty-five yards, giving golfers of all lengths enough room to hit driver and skirt the hazard. For many years, there was a tin cup on a chain alongside the brook feeding the pond in front of the tee. Golfers walking past could dip the cup into the cool, clear water, and take a drink. Those days, sadly, are long gone. The cup has been preserved as a memento of simpler, cleaner times.

Len Siter: One of the few tee shots on the course where a decision must be made: How will you take on the creek running through the middle of the fairway? The longer hitter can challenge the center-to-left side to create a better angle in to the green; the shorter hitter should be able to carry the right side of the creek where the fairway is more generous. The green will accept a run-up; there’s a little bit of a false front, but no problems running the ball onto this long hole. The green is somewhat flat, with a slight plateau on the right; putts can be made. Avoid the front right bunker. There aren’t a lot of subtleties to the hole. I think the 11th hole plays harder in competition than the 13th.


HOLE No. 14 par 3 184 yards IF 10 AND 1 ARE BROTHERS, 7 and 14 are at least cousins. Both are uphill par threes of similar length, with pinching bunkers in front. Ross’s sketch indicates that the 14th green was a “natural green on knoll,” and he marked no interior contouring for the shapers to add. The teeing ground was shown as an irregular shape, one of the few on the course. “Ross never imagined red, white, and blue markers for separate tees,” Prichard said. “In his day everyone played from the same set of blocks. In general, what Ross did was build tees, greens, and bunkers. For fairways, he generally just cleared out the existing topography and planted the turfgrasses.” With the removal of trees behind the green, the back edge of the putting surface, visible in its full width from the tee, has the look of an infinity pool. A new championship tee added for 2012 gives a little bit of an angle to what had been a straightaway hole.

Len Siter: The thirty-yard bunker on the right must be avoided at all costs. The hole plays a half-club longer than the distance and has a big, big green. It’s very quick from right to left and back to front, again due to the influence of the main slope down from the clubhouse. Putts from right to left tend to break more.

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HOLE No. 15 par 4 411 yards THE ORIGINAL TEE ON 15 was just steps away from the 14th green, where the drinking water is now. This would make for a ninety-degree dogleg today, but the corner was gentler before the tree-planting binge of the late 1960s. “It was an iron shot, a 1-iron, 2-iron,” Ned Steiner said. “It was hard for women, because there was only one tee and they couldn’t get around the dogleg.” Aerial photos from 1931 show two bunkers at the inner corner of the dogleg, even though none appear on Ross’s sketches. For 2012, the left-hand bunker was moved twenty-five yards farther from the tee. The tall pin oak that stood on the corner of the dogleg was taken down, offering longer hitters a chance to carry the left bunker and leave themselves a much shorter approach shot. The wide green is raised three feet in the front and five and a half feet at the rear. “Ross draped the collars right over the edge of the fill pad [the full area raised so the putting surface will drain]—that’s beautiful,” said Prichard. “Nothing’s going to hold the ball; if it’s still got momentum after climbing and it wants to get over the back of the green, it’s released.”

Len Siter: The hole looks as if you should hit a draw around the corner, but if you draw it too much it will find the bunker down the left side. The shot into the green plays pretty straightforward; the green slopes from back to front, with a mound in the center-back that makes putting from side to side difficult. It’s a good birdie hole needing two good shots but not a lot of length.


HOLE No. 16 par 3 181 yards THE SHORTEST PAR-THREE on the course has always required a short-iron over water to a large and undulating green. Until the 1960s, three bunkers guarded the green at front left, front right, and on the side to the right. Additional bunkers left the increasingly rounded putting surface surrounded by parentheses of sand. The original green was over 110 feet from side to side. Much of that width has been restored by Prichard, who took out the extraneous bunkers and added a chipping area on the left side. “Chipping areas are not necessarily characteristic of Ross’s time,” Prichard said, “but the courses in Scotland that influenced him had the equivalent of chipping areas all over because of the tight fescue turf. So I feel it’s appropriate in that sense.”

A LESSON LEARNED Donald Schlenger had a distinctive golf swing that could produce some remarkable shots that veered violently from right to left. One day he was playing the 16th hole, taking a few practice swings, while his friend Bill Rothschild was coming up the 15th fairway. Rothschild, needling, hollered out, “That’s got to be the ugliest @(*#$!&* golf swing I ever saw!” Schlenger promptly stepped up and hit a shot far to the right. The trees to the right of the pond were just saplings at the time, and his ball cleared the top of them, curved decisively left, flew over the bunker, landed on the green, and rolled right into the hole for an ace. Rothschild made a vow that day: “I’ll never say anything about anybody’s golf swing again.”

Len Siter: The water really should not come into play. The green is well-protected with bunkers and a large run-off area to the left. Club selection is very important, since the green has many great hole locations. If the pin is back left, avoid going long or left because of the run-off area; better to play away from the hole than to face a chip up to the green with the flagstick close and the green running away from you.

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HOLE No. 17 par 5 551 yards “A PRETTY UNCOMFORTABLE tee shot, isn’t it?” said Ron Prichard. It certainly looks uncomfortable. With two bunkers and trees to the right and the boundary woods on the left, the shot looks much harder than it actually is. The bunkers are easy to carry, and the long grasses in the distance are well out of play and run parallel to the hole, not perpendicular as they appear. The mostly covered ditch 190 yards from the green used to run all the way across, forcing short hitters to cross it or lay up short of where they could reach the green. The last 150 yards are distinctly uphill, there’s a bunker thirty yards short of the green from which a good result is improbable, and the putting surface is undulating in addition to its natural back-to-front tilt. The chipping area over the green is fraught with danger, because of how the green runs away. “The second half of this hole is as good as it gets,” Prichard said.

DO I HAVE TO THINK OF EVERYTHING? Arthur Straussberg’s favorite memory of playing the 17th hole: “I hit a hook into the woods. I had this caddy, a guy named Whitey, he goes running into the woods. After about two or three minutes I have to hit a provisional ball, so I’m standing by the fence, and he says, ‘I found it, I found it!’ I said, ‘OK, bring it out.’ He says, ‘I can’t find the bag.’ ”

Len Siter: A good three-shot par five for most. The tee shot must hug the right tree line, setting up a long lay-up with a fairway wood or long iron that stays short of the bunker sixty yards from the green on the left. The longer hitter should hit a big towering driver with a slight draw, if he wants to reach the green in two; his second shot has to get past the bunker that is out in front of the green on the right. The uphill green is protected by bunkers on both sides and a runoff area that starts on the left past the bunker and continues around most of the green; it also has a false front, and three quarters of the way back on the left side it runs away from the golfer. There is also a small shelf that sits over the bunker on the back right; this pin placement makes the hole play a good half-shot harder.


HOLE No. 18 par 4 433 yards “GREEN IS NATURAL—very slight grading required to finish the surface on 2 levels.” Donald Ross wrote that. Of course, he couldn’t imagine modern green speeds or mowing heights. “I told [Cliff Moore], ‘Just mow it with a different mower, don’t worry about it,’ ” said Prichard. The final green, in all its severe glory, is the green Ross intended for the hole. It is difficult, but there are several places to put a cup; it’s always been that way, it has a great deal of character, and at least members know what to expect from it. Yet another par four-and-a-half hole, the 18th rises from tee to green. The signature oak at the corner is identified in Ross’s sketch. It is sometimes referred to as Zinsheimer’s tree, named for Ben Zinsheimer, a member who was so bedeviled by the tree that he offered the club several thousand dollars to take it down. It will remain in place, even as a number of the other trees are removed as part of the overall effort to enhance the golf course.

Len Siter: My favorite hole on the course. Many accomplished golfers say this is the most demanding finishing hole in New Jersey; others say it’s just plain unfair. It starts with the hardest tee shot on the course—brush and out of bounds down the left, a large oak on the right, and a good drive must be on the left side of the fairway—the longer the better. A 250-yard uphill tee shot down the left side will leave 150 yards to the green from the member tee—and any approach that’s longer will have to negotiate the oak tree on the right with a long low shot over a fairway bunker into a very demanding green. The second shot plays a full club longer. The green has tremendous pitch from back to front; it helps to know which of the two tiers the hole is located on. Par is always a good score here on any level of competition!

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C h a p t e r

E i g h t

LIKE FAMILY MIKE WYMAN was the Caddy Master and Starter at Mountain Ridge for over sixty years. Michel Chalupt was the Chef for forty years. Alec Henry was the Locker Room Attendant for more than forty years. A.D. Burton was hired as Superintendent in 1924 in West Orange; his son George joined him in 1927, became the Greenskeeper after his father died in 1947, and was still Superintendent in the mid-1960s. Jim Taylor was the Golf Pro from 1926 to 1959. One word comes up repeatedly when Members describe the people who work at Mountain Ridge: Family. It’s a common sentiment when wellto-do people talk about the folks who take care of them and make their lives more leisurely. Yet the bonds formed at Mountain Ridge are genuine on both sides; why else would so many staff people have stayed there so long? “The professional staff is really like family,” Bruce Schonbraun said. “You know everybody’s name, they know yours, you know what’s going on in their families and vice versa—there’s a great deal of respect here for the staff, and it’s part of what makes it a special place.”

Opposite: Golfers and caddies. Mike Wyman is the man in the white shirt, not holding a club or carrying bags.


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ing to network to get them a good job, or writing a letter to help someone

UP FROM THE RANKS “Mike Wyman was the Caddy Master. We used to have to

get into college—they’re always very helpful to the staff, even if it’s just sitting down and talking to somebody and giving advice about an industry the

hang out inside the bag room, as opposed to today when

Member happens to be a leader in. Those are the kind of things that set us

the caddies wait for their loops outside, sitting on the carts.

apart from the other clubs in the area—the way the Members and the staff

We did have a bench inside the driveway near the kitchen

treat each other. They really take care of their own.”

area, where the trucks go. It was fenced off—it was like the caddy pen. So my first impression was this magnificent, beautiful clubhouse and golf course. And I said, you know what, some day I’d love to become a Member here.

“They treat us like kings and queens,” Tom Meier said. “We feel very close to them, and I think they feel close to us.” “All the Members were so good to me,” said Roberta “Bert” Stasiak,

“I started as a one-bagger, then worked my way up to

who was a waitress at the Club for forty years. “If I went to them and needed

a double, which was great, I think the caddy fee back then

help, they would have helped me, and they were wonderful when my husband

was four dollars, and I would take that money and some-

passed away—I got so many letters from them, they all paid their respects.

times I’d bring my own golf bag with my clubs, and we would go through the back way off of the 7th hole to Ferncliff, the public course next door. We’d walk across the

They really were my second family.” “I just took my son to college, and I remember when I had him I didn’t

golf course to the pro shop and pay the two dollars or four

have a babysitter right away,” said Head Tennis Pro Kathy Mueller, who has

dollars, whatever it was. So I came home with no money,

been at Mountain Ridge for twenty-eight years. “So I brought him here, and

but that’s how I learned to play golf—from watching the

he’d sleep in a swing in the Tennis House while I ran tournaments and clinics.

Members whom I caddied for, and then taking what I

It’s just a great place to work, and people are mindful of the fact that you do

observed and trying to apply it over at Ferncliff. “I came back to the community in ’73, and in 1978 joined the Club, and that was important to me because it

have a family. I really do feel like, when I come in here, I feel like I’m at home.” Mike Wyman started working at the West Orange location in 1926

had a long history and a great golf course, and it had the

and continued to send golfers on their way until he passed away in 1987.

kind of people that I wanted to become part of.”

Longtime Members recall his omnipresent cigar—everybody always gave him cigars—and his big wad of cash, and describe him as “an absolutely

“The members of this Club are very loyal to the staff,” said Stephen

perfect gentleman from the old school.” Bill Beveridge, who holds the job

Wolsky. “They like to know that Maria the waitress has two little boys and

today, takes on a tone of awe when he talks about him: “He was tremendous.

is married to Juan in the kitchen; when one of the waitresses has a baby there

He taught me everything.”

are hundreds of gifts that come their way. The Members are willing to help

Wyman knew everybody’s idiosyncrasies, knew which people to put to-

the staff, whether it’s someone working here or who used to work here, help-

gether and which to keep apart, and was a confidante to countless men and


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A HELPING HAND Dr. Milton Zucker (right) was President of Mountain Ridge from 1955 to 1959, and Chairman of the Committee for the Fiftieth Anniversary celebration in 1962. When he died in 1965, the Club established the Milton Zucker Memorial Fund, to assist caddies and former caddies with money for higher education: tuition, board, lodging. The first disbursements were made in 1967 and continue to this day. The Fund was originally set up with donations and proceeds from a tournament and today is replenished as part of the Club’s operating budget.

women at the Club through the years. He and his brother Danny were both

barber shop in one of the neighboring towns, and every Sunday he would

fine golfers in their own right. His most famous quotable comment was, “The

come to Mountain Ridge and cut the hair of the Members who put their

only rule they never break up here is ‘No Tipping.’ ”

names on the board in the Men’s Locker Room. “Joe was a fixture for a long,

Alex (Alec) Henry got his longtime job because

long time,” said Michael Chodorcoff. “When we’d come

of that rule. He had been working on the construction

in from playing golf, those of us who used to play early in

of the Empire State Building in 1930, and he went to

the morning, Joe would be standing outside, watching

visit a friend who was the Locker Room Man at the

people come up from the 18th hole, hanging out and

old Mountain Ridge in West Orange. The Club was

being friendly.” He was there well into his nineties, and

in the process of moving and needed help hauling the

his chair still sits in the Locker Room, a quiet tribute to

original metal lockers, which are still in use. When that

a well-liked man and a bygone custom.

task was done, he became the Front-Hall Page, greet-

Bert Stasiak started working at Mountain Ridge

ing Members and hanging their coats in the Coat

part-time in 1960, just doing parties, then when her

Room. Once the no-tipping policy was put in effect in

children went to school, she started serving lunches and

1931, his friend decided to seek employment elsewhere,

coming in for longer hours—thirty to forty hours even

and Henry took over the Locker Room, where he

when she was working just three days a week. “Martha

remained for more than forty years.

Stegmeier—she was a waitress, a great German woman,

Henry was a Scotsman who unselfconsciously took care of the Mem-

and she taught me,” Stasiak said. “Martha was the toughest, she taught you

bers’ needs, whether that meant bringing a second martini to a guy who

well, and if you learned from her, you really knew what you were doing. There

hollered his name so loudly it rattled the lockers, or helping elderly Mem-

was Martha, there was Midge, there was Dolores—all the old-timers.”

bers get dressed. Joe Palmer—known to everyone as Joe the Barber—had a

Training for the waitresses was serious business. “When I first went

Joe the Barber—Joe Palmer.


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there, we did white gloves. It was very elegant,” she said. “With dinners it

Florida, and he was working in the kitchens of the Plaza Hotel and the

was basically all French service and white gloves. It was a very elegant

Cattleman Restaurant in Manhattan when he heard about a country club in

country club.

New Jersey that was looking for a sous chef. He met with the Chef, Leslie

“I was there to serve them, and I did my job. Once you’d been there a long time, you knew what they drank, and you knew what they wanted, so when they walked in, we had their drink ready for them. The same

Silver, who hired him; a year later Silver decided to leave, and Chalupt took over and stayed for forty years. The days were long; if lunch and dinner were being served, he and the

with food—we knew what they

staff would arrive at eight or eight-

liked. They didn’t have to say any-

thirty in the morning, and wouldn’t be

thing.”

finished until ten at night or later—as

Merely mentioning the food

late as one in the morning if there was

at Mountain Ridge brings back a

a special event in the evening. There

flood of memories for longtime

was not much air circulation in the

Members. Not just the Rib Nights,

basement where the food was pre-

but Beef Wellington, Eggs Benedict,

pared, and it got very hot and humid.

corned beef hash, German apple

The kitchen was starting to show its

pancakes, toasted pound cake, bouil-

age when Chalupt began there, and it

labaisse, rack of lamb, Dover sole—

wasn’t

“On a Friday or Saturday night, a la

2010-11.

redone until the winter of

carte, more than 50 percent of the

There was great camaraderie

people either ordered Dover sole or

among the kitchen staff and the wait-

rack of lamb,” Eric Edelstein said.

ers and waitresses, many of whom were

When the current Chef, Marc Bolch, was being interviewed, his test dish

there for decades. “After work we used to stop at a little place past the Club

was to prepare Dover sole in the hope of satisfying Members who’d spent

called the Airport Rest,” Chalupt said. “We used to go there after work, have

decades enjoying Michel Chalupt’s version.

a couple of drinks, and play shuffleboards for a little while and then head

Chef Chalupt came to Mountain Ridge in 1967. He grew up in the hospitality business; his parents owned a pension de famille in Bordeaux with

home.” Midge Wiltshire, the Hostess, became a close friend and was godmother to Chalupt’s children.

a restaurant and five bedrooms, and he was helping them out from the time

Besides the perennial favorites, the Chef tried to introduce some new

he was eleven years old. He worked in France, Canada, the Bahamas, and

dishes when different ingredients became available, but the primary job

Marc Bolch, Chef since 2009.


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was to please the Members, and not everyone was willing to embrace the unfamiliar. “One of the most popular choices for weddings and bar mitzvahs was the Chilean sea bass with honey glaze,” Chalupt said. “The first time I tried to serve that fish thirty-five years ago, some of the Members

MICHEL CHALUPT’S CHILEAN SEA BASS WITH HONEY GLAZE

said, ‘That’s fishbait. You’re giving us fishbait—don’t give us that any more.’

Serves six to eight

Then thirty years later, you couldn’t keep up with the demand for it.”

6-8 six-ounce pieces of Chilean sea bass, bones removed

It may have been the longtime Bartender Paul Driscoll who came up

6 tablespoons honey

with the Club’s beverage of choice, the Flamingo, a blend of orange juice,

¼ cup cilantro, chopped very fine

pineapple juice, grenadine, and a dash of sour mix that was an addictive pick-

1 ½ tablespoons grated ginger

me-up for youngsters and a tropical libation for grown-ups with the addition

½ tablespoon chipotle pepper, minced

of rum. The drink is a variation on a cocktail devised in the 1920s in Havana

1 tablespoon brown sugar

called the Mary Pickford; that version used fresh pineapple juice, rum, and

¼ cup hoisin sauce

grenadine. “We’d drink one, and then we’d have to drink three more,” Cathy Gursha said of the virgin Flamingo. Today, Braulio Coelho carries on the tradition, preparing Flamingoes and other concoctions with his own personal blend of warmth and care.

1. Combine the six ingredients for the glaze a day ahead of when you intend to use it. Refrigerate overnight. (The glaze will be good for several weeks if you wish to make a larger quantity.) 2. Three to four hours before cooking, brush the glaze generously over the top of the fish fillets. Refrigerate.

MICHEL CHALUPT worked closely through the years with Terry Hadash, who was the Club Manager from 1963 to 1975, and then again from 1980 until 1997. The Club Manager is responsible for all aspects of the Club’s operation outside of the golf course. It’s a position that didn’t exist in its present

3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet. Place the fillets on the baking sheet, glazed side up, and roast for 15-20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the pieces. Serve.

form until 1960. In the early days, the administrative staff consisted of a Financial

keeper was hired in 1931. The term “Manager” applied mostly to the Steward,

Secretary (the position was also referred to as “Clerk”) named John Schroeder,

and both terms were used to describe Herbert Kurtz, who was hired in 1954

and the part-time services of Mrs. Gertrude E. Goldenberg, stenographer in

after the previous Steward, Felix Kirschner, died suddenly.

Dr. Abraham Rachlin’s office. Schroeder was paid fifty dollars a week, and

Gordon McCarthy, who had been handling the Club’s accounting

Mrs. Goldenberg earned five dollars a month. The House Stewards were Mr.

through the 1950s, was named manager in 1960, but he wasn’t what the Club

and Mrs. Theodore Hansen, who lived on the premises. A full-time Book-

was looking for and was offered the job of Comptroller eight months later.


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A Search Committee met throughout 1961 and hired Leslie White as the

answers if they asked him to serve sandwiches down by the pool; he would

first true Club Manager in December. He lasted just one year as well.

not have had a nice, polite response—though he was always a gentleman. He

White’s replacement was Terry Hadash, who became one of the central

probably would have flipped off the handle and told them how crazy they

figures of Mountain Ridge in its second half-

were to even think of getting something like

century. Hadash brought the sensibilities of

that. ‘This is Mountain Ridge Country Club,

a country gentleman to the Club. He cut a

and we would never do something like that.’ ”

striking figure with his slicked-back red hair

He knew his Membership inside and

and handlebar mustache. He was an avid

out. When Jim Lazarus became House

outdoorsman who loved to hunt and fish and

Committee Chairman, Hadash told him

could be seen sometimes at the end of the

that he could guarantee two things that

day walking the grounds with a shotgun in

would happen nearly every night: someone

hand and his dog at his side.

will spill a drink, and someone will send back

“He cared for every flower that was

a meal because it was no good.

growing out there,” Jim Lazarus said. Len

“He’d say, ‘One of your Members

Siter likes to tell the story of one of his

tonight will order a drink, he’ll drink his

first days as an Assistant Pro, coming up

Scotch and water, and when it’s just about

to the Club, and noticing a fellow in a

down to the bottom the glass will acciden-

blazer and tie, bent over and picking at

tally fall over. Oh, my drink fell, these glasses

some weeds in the dirt. Len asked the

are unstable. Refill it, please—and don’t

Caddy Master, “Who the hell is that?” And the answer came back, “Oh,

charge me.’ Terry would come over to me in the middle of a meal and say,

that’s the General Manager.”

‘Jim, to your right, watch the drink go down.’ And pwush! down it went.”

Hadash ran the Club with an iron fist. He was very firm, very strict. It

Lazarus got a call from his mother after one of the first Saturday

was a formal time, and he had a very strong sense of propriety. “For a long

night events of his chairmanship. She told him she’d been at dinner with a

time when he was there, you needed to wear a tie at Mountain Ridge after 6

friend, who ate half her dinner, and then realized it wasn’t what she’d or-

o’clock, and any meal you came to you wore a jacket and tie,” said Stephen

dered. His mother wanted to make sure the meal wasn’t on the friend’s bill.

Wolsky. “You ate in the Dining Room, because that’s the proper place to eat,

“That was the other thing Terry told me. ‘Jim, look over to that table,

not in a lounge chair next to the pool because that’s not the proper place to

the third one in the corner… wait… in about five minutes I’ll be over there

eat. I don’t think today’s Members would have taken too well to some of his

taking the meal back.’ It happened all the time.”

Terry Hadash.


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After Hadash had been there for a few years, the Club decided to

“He was a sporting kind of person,” Bruce Schonbraun said. “He had

build a house for him and his family on the property. It was completed in

a shotgun, and occasionally during the winter there would be a dead fox or

1971, on time and within budget, at a cost of just under $23,500. The shift

some dead geese or deer—we don’t know if it came from the shotgun,

from having the Manager live on the second floor of the clubhouse to a

but there were always suspicions. He was a grand, old-world manager of a

residence of his own was the first step in a plan of alteration that ultimately

country club. Style and grace were everything to him.”

created the clubhouse as today’s Members know it, funded in part by the sale of Club-owned property on the east side of Passaic Avenue. First, the original outdoor patio was enclosed and converted into the Mixed Grille, additional patio space was created, and the prior Men’s Grill became the Trophy Room, though it was still men-only until 3 p.m. at first (no card-playing allowed until after 3). That was completed in 1973. Eventually the dormitories for live-in employees were moved from the second and third floors of the clubhouse to rooms built atop the cart storage house across the parking lot; laundry rooms were put in there as well in the 1980s. The second and third floors of the clubhouse were converted to hold the Accounting Office and to provide for an expanded and renovated Ladies Locker Room. (The improvements were provided for; some were not completed until the twenty-first century.) Shortly after the Mixed Grille project was finished, Hadash left Mountain Ridge for a few years, and Hans Wolfgang Plaumann was hired as Manager. In 1980, Plaumann departed to become manager of Westchester Country Club, and Hadash returned to his old position. Stephen Wolsky, who would become a protégé and successor to Hadash, described him as someone who “knew the best of everything, [he and his wife Marge] always went to the best restaurants in New York and always traveled very well. He was a classy, classy guy, always impeccably dressed, had the best clothes anyone could wear. He certainly looked the part of the Manager of a fine club like Mountain Ridge.”

Stephen Wolsky, General Manager since 1997.


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me to do that took me away from the pool, and I’d fill in for other people in different areas. I liked it, it got me experience in the Club, and I learned about the niche in the restaurant business of restaurants in country clubs.” Hadash soon brought Wolsky up to the clubhouse full time while he was going to college. He eventually became the Maitre D’, but once he was done with college, Wolsky felt he needed to spread his wings and see the world outside of West Caldwell. He went out to California, worked for a while there, played a lot of volleyball, but soon ran short of money at about the time that a friend back home needed help opening a restaurant in town. “I said to Terry, ‘I don’t want to step on anybody’s toes, I just need to make a little money, be a waiter, whatever you need,’ ” Wolsky said, “and he said fine. [My friend’s] restaurant was delayed opening—as most of the time they are—and Terry said, ‘Listen, I’m going to retire in the next couple of years, and I know you’re interested in this business. If you want to stick around here, we’ll make you the Assistant Manager, and we’ll kind of get you in shape to take over when I retire.’ I thought, why not?”

A DILLY OF A PROBLEM “Terry had a wonderful sense of humor,” Frank Schlesinger said. “One

FROM A LETTER to the Members by Thomas C. Lehman,

time, I was in the Trophy Room, looking at the boards. In 1967, Norman

President, dated December 22, 1982: “The most difficult

Schlesinger and I won the Four-Ball Best-Ball or whatever it was, but the

problem facing the members over the last several years

damned thing had faded, and you could hardly see my name anymore. And I said to Terry, ‘Isn’t there something you can do about making it look better?’ And he just said, ‘Well, win another tournament.’ ” Wolsky had been hired in 1983, when he was about fifteen, to work at the pool. “I guess Terry saw that I was a decent worker, and that I was interested in the [restaurant] business,” said Wolsky, “so he found little things for

has been the selection and purchase of pickles that satisfy everyone. Mr. Wiliam Leeds, a longtime member at Mountain Ridge, has volunteered to chair a pickle selection committee and any complaints, problems, or compliments in the future should be directed to him at his business phone: 201-345-4550.”


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They worked together for a couple of years and were nearing the time when the transition would start to take place. The plan was that Hadash would continue to live in the manager’s house and work on the fringes while Wolsky—who was just twenty-eight at the time—would slowly take over, but Hadash would be right across the street if they needed him. It would be an ideal way to smooth Wolsky into the job and Hadash into retirement. Unfortunately, in May 1997, Hadash suffered a sudden heart attack while on a fishing trip in Maine. He died instantly. He was staying in a cabin

went—the Chef and I, Michel had been here thirty years and was a good

in a remote area, but Wolsky was told that the attack was so massive he could

friend of Terry’s—we went over to Margie’s house and saw her, she was a

have been on a hospital’s doorstep in Manhattan, and it wouldn’t have made

wreck, it was such a total shock. Then we drove out to the golf course to find

any difference.

the Club President and tell him.”

“Stacey, his daughter, called me and told me,” Wolsky said. “So we

“I had just become President the previous October,” Norman Feinstein

Above left: Bartenders Rudy Hudak (left) and John Roberts. Right: Caddy AJ “Joe” Gambatese.


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said. “We were having our first tournament of the year, a qualifier for the

that there would not be any more funerals at Mountain Ridge.”

Member/Member. Steve drove down in a cart—I was on the 6th hole, there

Any questions about the Club’s plans for succession were resolved on

was a light drizzle, and he said, ‘Can I speak to you?’ And he came to it, and

the day Hadash died. “That very day, Norman said to me, ‘Okay, you’re going

he said Mr. Hadash had died. And I was in shock.”

to be the Manager,’ ” Wolsky said. “I was young, maybe not as experienced

Feinstein halted the tournament immediately, and Wolsky went around to the players to tell them what had happened. The sense of grief was over-

as I should be at the time, but the Club supported me 100 percent, the membership helped me along the way, and I’ve been here ever since.”

whelming. Hadash had been more than a

“Mountain Ridge got very lucky as a

Manager to the Members, he had people

Club,” Lazarus said. “Terry ran the place, and

over to his house for parties and birthdays,

then when he passed away, Steve was here,

he had given a significant portion of his life

and it was a seamless transition.

to Mountain Ridge.

“He was probably like the son Terry

Marge Hadash asked if the funeral

never had,” Ellie Lazarus added. “Terry really

could be held at Mountain Ridge. “Under-

groomed him to take over, he saw a lot of po-

stand, Mountain Ridge had never had a fu-

tential in him, and he worked well with him.”

neral here before,” Feinstein said. “But it

On August 31, 1997, the Sunday of

was only fitting, the man gave his whole life

Labor Day weekend, the Club dedicated a

here, to have the funeral at Mountain

memorial plaque to Terry Hadash, appro-

Ridge. We contacted a priest, and there

priately in the small garden area near the

were certain people who wanted to eulogize

Pro Shop, affixed to a stone taken from the

him, including myself, and we then had a

grounds of the Club. Mountain Ridge is not

beautiful service here attended by five hundred people. It was absolutely

a place that puts up memorials left and right; the only others are the plaque

beautiful.

commemorating A.J. Dimond in the front entranceway, and the sundial

“Soon after, I got a call about having a Member’s funeral at the Club.

honoring Felix Fuld in the circle. The fact that the three markers are for

The person said, ‘You did it for Mr. Hadash—it’s not going to be a real fu-

two of its primary founders and a longtime General Manager speaks vol-

neral, we’re just going to have a few people up and so forth.’ So I said okay,

umes about the regard with which the Club and its Members hold the peo-

and then we called an emergency meeting of the Board and passed a rule

ple who work there.

Above: The plaque honoring Terry Hadash in the garden spot near the Pro Shop. Opposite (clockwise from top left): Juan Vizcaino, locker room attendant; Braulio Coelho, bar manager; Ali Ali, cook; Amanda Brancato, receptionist and assistant bookkeeper; Mary Ann Peters, special events coordinator; Bill Beveridge, caddy master. Center: (top) Evelyn Tracy, bookkeeper; (bottom) Elizabeth Aracena, locker room attendant.


162

C h a p t e r

N i n e

MODERN TIMES THE MOUNTAIN RIDGE of today is the result of a number of social changes in the world at large, and the wisdom of the Club’s leaders in recognizing and accepting them. The status of women at Mountain Ridge has changed a great deal. Restrictions on when women may play golf have eased. There is no more Men’s Grill. The Trophy Room is open to all at all times. The former Men’s Card Room alongside their Locker Room, added in 1957-58, has been converted into a Sports Pub. Women have served on the Board of Governors since Joyce Dornfeld’s term during the early ’80s presidency of Thomas Lehman, Sr. Lehman pushed through a number of progressive measures during his four years as President, 1980-84. One of them was to give daughters the same rights of Membership that sons always had. Originally, sons of Members could join Mountain Ridge without paying an initiation fee. There was a special membership class for unmarried daughters over age twenty-one; sons of a similar age became Associate Members, and had to become full Members on turning thirty-five. If a daughter got married and wanted to join, the couple had to go through the membership approval process, pay the initiation, and then the husband was considered the Member. If the couple subsequently got divorced, the husband remained a Member and the daughter of a possibly long-time family of Members was out. Lehman put an end to the distinction. In the 1960s, after the Board decided to provide a pension to retiring Golf Pro Jim Taylor, it discussed the possibility of a full pension plan for employees. In 1965 a pension plan was described as “an absolute necessity,” and a committee was

Opposite: The Sports Pub.


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appointed to study the issue. Nineteen years later, in 1984, the newly created pension plan made its first payments. Lehman made it happen.

The Lehmans were a tennis family; Tommy Jr., won more than thirty club championships in singles and doubles, and his sister Judy Lehman

Members used to pay dues, and then were charged on a weekly or

Weiniger won nearly as many, pairing with, among others, her sister, her

monthly basis for shoe shining, locker storage, any number of small and

mother, and her father-in-law. Everyone in the family is on the Board in

routine things. “Tommy Lehman had the vision to say, c’mon, let’s stop all

the Tennis House, including mom and dad, Louise and Tom Sr., who won

that nonsense, let’s put it all together and put it in the

the mixed doubles together twice and each won dou-

dues,” said Abner Benisch.

bles titles with Tommy Jr. They’d play for hours, both

He put in the kiddie pool and made it possible

when court time was plentiful, and when tennis was

for parents to bring infants and toddlers to the Club.

booming, and you had to put your name on a chalk-

Younger Members no longer had to hire a sitter to

board and wait to get a court. Afterwards, they’d come

stay behind with the kids, if they wanted to play golf

up to the pool. “The Lehmans used to sit under the

or tennis or sit by the pool. The old ways created a

tree by the diving board,” Betty Rothschild said.

choice between Club time and family time. It was a

“There were always a lot of Lehmans there.”

choice the old-timers were happy to make in one

Tennis has been the perpetual little brother to

direction; that was part of the appeal of a club. But a

golf at Mountain Ridge; that changed for a while in

new generation, in which both spouses were more

the 1970s and ’80s, but it has been a long time since

likely to have careers, had less family time to give up.

anyone has had to reserve time on one of the seven Har-Tru courts. The orig-

Tom Lehman, Sr., certainly didn’t want to choose between the two.

inal courts were built to provide an activity for young people, but older folks

“On Saturday nights at the Club, while their peers were having dinner with

are a lot younger than they used to be, and the game proved to be a bridge

their friends, my father and mother were having dinner with us,” Tommy

across generations. “When we played in the tournaments, we would enjoy

Lehman, Jr., said. “It was always a family place for us, and he made that

being with the adults, they were considerably older than we were, and then

easier for others—bring the young people in for free, put the baby pool in,

we would come up and have lunch together,” said Cathy Lehman Gursha.

let the girls join just the same as the boys.”

“We’d all sit at one table and enjoy it. It was just a beautiful time.”

“Tommy took the presidency kind of reluctantly,” said Frank

The Schonbrauns have challenged the Lehmans for tennis

Hannoch, Jr., who was President immediately before him. “But once he

supremacy for thirty years, since Bruce Schonbraun joined the Club in

became President, he kind of ran it himself.” When someone said Lehman

1980. Schonbraun père won the men’s singles championship in his

may have been a bit of a dictator, Abner Benisch quickly responded, “Most

first two full years at the Club, and then two more twenty years later;

good presidents are.”

Schonbrauns f ils, David and Michael, won four straight in the 1990s,

Kathy Mueller, Tennis Professional since 1983.


with the brothers meeting in the club’s only intrafamilial singles finals in 1992-93.

“And I said, ‘You know what? If you really want to play me, you come at 9 in the morning, and we’ll play. And then if you beat me, you don’t have

Kathy Mueller was hired by Tom Lehman, Sr., who remembered her

to pay any more.’ They still had hard courts [on top of the hill]. I said, ‘You

from a USTA tournament where she thrashed his daughter Cathy. Mueller

pick: do you want to play on Har-Tru or on hard, whatever you want.’ He

teaches and runs tournaments and clinics, and along the way has come

picked hard courts. And that’s what I grew up on, hard courts. I beat him

upon some unusual challenges.

pretty easily. And he said, ‘Okay, I get your point.’ It was pretty funny.”

Early in her tenure, she dealt with a man who was very confident of his game. “This one guy came down here after I’d already taught six hours,

SINCE THE 1950S, whenever capital projects were envisioned, a major

and he wanted to play me,” Mueller said. “He was a really good player. And

renovation and expansion of the Ladies Locker Room facilities were part

he started drop-shotting and lobbing me, and he beat me. He said, ‘You

of the plan. Invariably, when the all- or mostly male Board made a final

know, I’m beating you, I don’t think I should have to pay for this lesson.’

decision on what parts of the plan to undertake, the 19th Hole and Grill

Action on two of the Har-Tru tennis courts.


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Room revisions were authorized and the Ladies Locker Room work was

to their mothers, sets that sat quietly in an attic for forty or fifty years.

diminished or deferred. (And, always, whenever something was needed to

When it was the Men’s Grill, women could not poke their heads in without

improve the golf course, they found the money to get it done.)

triggering an uproar; today, when men walk through it, they can feel the

In the mid-1990s women were barred outright from some blocks

Evil Eye on the backs of their necks.

of tee times, even if there were open times available. Many thought this

Getting to the Ladies Locker Room still means climbing stairs.

was foolish; they were not demanding complete equality, just the oppor-

There have been no serious efforts to address this, to provide women with

tunity to use such times if no men

locker space on the ground floor. As

wanted them. A large group of

the number of female Members

women gathered at a Member’s

grows, that may change; for now,

house. One person who attended

when the subject comes up, it is

was surprised at the vehemence of

treated with quiet grumbling.

some of the older Members; one

At least there are rest rooms

of them insisted that “we have the

at the Tee House, thanks to Abner

numbers—if you count all the

Benisch. He described it as one of

widows, there are more women

his proudest accomplishments as

than actual male Members.” At one point a “little sweet woman” stood

President: “There was never a place for the ladies to relieve themselves at

up and declared, “If they don’t listen, lock your bedroom doors!” It all

the turn; they had to walk up to the swimming pool locker or the Locker

ended peacefully, without resort to Lysistrata’s tactics.

Room upstairs and walk back down to the tee—it was ridiculous. We serve

The absence of a Women’s Card Room still rankles for some, though

sandwiches and food there, it had facilities for water and septic tanks, and

the elimination of the Men’s Card Room has evened the score. “I remember

I said, ‘Why can’t we add some lavatories?’ Well, you’d think I was trying

going into that room—there’d be five feet of cigar smoke up by the ceiling,

to build an office tower in New York. ‘Who wants to eat food where

and everyone was looking down at their cards,” said Stephen Wolsky.

there’s toilets?’ People actually said that. It was really a terrible struggle,

“Every table in the room was filled. There used to be big gin games, but

a two-year struggle, there were very powerful people who didn’t want to

now the men don’t really play cards any more. They’re starting to play poker

put the lavatories there, but I prevailed, and it was probably one of my

again, but they don’t play here.”

greatest achievements.”

The Trophy Room has become the Card Room, and nearly all the

The addition came a mere thirty-two years after construction of the

players are women. The games are mostly canasta, bridge and mah jongg,

Tee House. It was celebrated in song at the Very, Very Last Mountain

the latter a recent rediscovery; some of the women use tiles that belonged

Ridge Show, to the tune of “Prisoner of Love”:

Above: The Trophy Room rule prevailed for years after the room was converted from the Men’s Grill. Opposite: The Trophy Room after the 2012 renovation.


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When I walk off the ninth hole fairway/I envy men who do it their

each spring since 1947. The team was in Series 1, the top echelon, when it

way/We have no female debonair way/We need a Tee House Pisoir‌.

was led by Sybil Whitman in the 1980s and featured Whitman, Ruth

But now we have our new addition/ Our fervent dream has reached

Sagner, Lynn Schonbraun, Carol Miller, Joyce Dornfeld, and Bobbi Roth.

fruition/A small bidet the one omission/We have our Tee House Pisoir!

Mountain Ridge currently has two squads in the Met team competition, one in Series 4 and the other in Series 12.

A team from Mountain Ridge has competed for several decades in

Sybil Wolfensohn Whitman is the only Mountain Ridge golfer to

the Women’s Met Golf Association matches, an interclub ladder series held

win the New Jersey Amateur for men or women, having won the title in


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1986 at Shackamaxon. She also won six Stroke-Play championships of the

in a polo shirt and shorts. Into the 1990s, men were required to wear jackets

Garden State Women’s Golf Association; the most memorable may have

and ties in the clubhouse after 6 p.m., “except on Easy Sunday, Twi-Lite

been in 1989, at Mountain Ridge, when she won in an eighteen-hole playoff,

evenings and other evenings, as announced in the Club calendar or bulletins,”

rallying from one stroke back with an eagle three on the 17th hole, sinking

according to the house rules. It’s a more casual world today; people once

a 6-iron from 140 yards.

dressed up for air travel, or to see a Broadway show. Those days are gone.

Whitman won the Mountain Ridge women’s club championship

Children are both seen and heard. Their presence is not just tolerated

twenty-four times, including one streak of sixteen in a row and another of

but encouraged. “I certainly understand the people who want this to be the

six. She eclipsed the exceptional mark set by Ruth Sagner, who won fifteen

old Mountain Ridge,” Wolsky said. “But, you know, it’s funny how everybody

and finished second to Whitman seven times.

changes once they get grandkids. These guys who are so rough and tumble and fight it when things change—now they’re rolling on the floor of the

SOME CHANGES have been hard for many to accept. For older, longtime

Mixed Grille with their grandson or granddaughter, and they say, ‘You know,

Mountain Ridge Members, it is still a little startling to see someone at dinner

it’s not so bad if they come in here.’ When somebody complains, I have to resist the impulse to say, ‘When it’s your grandchild, your attitude will change a bit.’ ”

The program for “The Very, Very Last Mountain Ridge Show,” a title that has proved accurate—so far.


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Black-tie dining in what is now the Living Room again, under the old lighting fixtures.


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“We have dinner with our grandchildren here every single Sunday

When he was interviewed by the Membership Committee Chairman

night,” said Margie Davis. “I wouldn’t make a date with a friend on a

at Mountain Ridge, Bildner was asked, “Do you give, are you philanthropic

Sunday night for anything. This to us is completely special.”

at all, do you give some money away?” He was only twenty-nine, but he had

“We have a son who belongs, with two little children,” said Barrie

already begun donating to his college, Dartmouth, and to the American

Straussberg, “and there’s nothing better than when you can have your

Red Cross. The Chairman, Dick Diamond, said, “It’s not important how

children or your grandchildren here.”

much you give today, but you are giving, and we hope as you get older

“In the old days, it was a golf

you’ll give more, and you’ll also

club,” said Bruce Schonbraun. “The

begin to give to Jewish charities

man would go play golf on a

including the UJA.”

Saturday morning, have lunch with

Both Bildners have certainly

his friends, have a drink, go home,

come through on that front.

fall asleep, pat his kids on the head,

Together, they were the founding

and go back to the club for dinner

donors of the Bildner Center for

Saturday night, wake up Sunday,

the Study of Jewish Life at Rut-

and do the whole thing all over

gers; founders of the New Jersey

again. People don’t do that any

Campus Diversity Initiative; and

more.”

received

the

Martin

Luther

One very important thing

King, Jr., Social Justice Life-

has not changed: Mountain Ridge

time Achievement Award from

Members are still leaders in the

Dartmouth.

area’s Jewish community. The philanthropic example set by its founders

Joan L. Bildner was the founding co-chair of the N.J./Israel

has been followed throughout the Club’s history, and is still very much

Commission, appointed by Governor Tom Kean; in that capacity she led

alive today.

a delegation that included Governor Jim Florio and his wife Lucinda,

Allen and Joan Bildner joined Mountain Ridge in 1956. Allen’s

along with eighty New Jersey businessmen, scientists, and educators on

father was one of the pioneers of the supermarket business, first on Long

its first mission to Israel in 1992. She served for more than a decade on

Island, and then establishing Kings Supermarkets in 1936 in Summit,

the Board of Governors of Rutgers, and was a director of the Paper Mill

New Jersey. Allen went into the family business, eventually becoming

Playhouse of New Jersey and the Maltz Jupiter Theater in Florida.

chairman and CEO.

Allen is on the board of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center,

Snow White and friends on Halloween at Mountain Ridge.


THE HUSTLER’S VISIT IN A MATCH PLAYED at Mountain

his “free throw,” Riggs picked up his ball and tossed it onto the

Ridge sometime around 1990, ten-

green, where it rolled up and settled right next to the hole.

nis champion and gambler Bobby

Blumenfeld had hit a good shot in, but Riggs now had a tap-in for

Riggs took on Jay Blumenfeld,

his birdie—the throw didn’t count as a stroke—and Blumenfeld

one of the club’s finest amateur

needed to make his putt just to halve the hole.

golfers ever.

It turns out that Riggs was not just a Wimbledon champion

Riggs was seventy-two years

and a fine golfer when he was younger, but he was also an excellent

old at the time, and told Blumenfeld

bowler. He had set up his brothers with the financing to build bowl-

he was an eighteen handicap at La

ing alleys around the country, and had figured out a way to use his

Costa, but would play the match with-

skill rolling a ball on the golf course. He could spin it in any direc-

out strokes if he could get the follow-

tion, used the green contours to get it close, and displayed the

ing concessions: Blumenfeld would play from the championship tees; Riggs would play from the front of the men’s tees regardless of where the markers were; and Riggs would get one free throw per hole. “I’m trying to think it through, and I can’t figure out where the

touch of the outstanding tennis player he had been. On the fifth hole, he rolled his throw right in the hole. With his steady game, he always had a reasonable chance of giving himself a good birdie putt with his throw. They weren’t all tap-ins,

hustle is,” Blumenfeld recalled. “If he’s in-

but enough were that he won the front

vented this kind of gimmick, it’s probably

nine by four or five holes.

a good deal for him, and he’s not going

On the back nine, having seen the

to lose.” Blumenfeld was familiar enough

hustle in full operation, Blumenfeld

with “one throw” hustles to make sure

started playing really well and making

that Riggs was talking about throwing his

birdies. He was three or four under par,

own ball, not picking up his opponent’s

and on 18 he had a six-foot putt to finish

ball and throwing it out of bounds or into

the nine all square. “We had a fun, fun

a hazard. Still puzzled, he agreed to play

round—but I could feel him steaming,”

a $100 Nassau with no presses, figuring

Blumenfeld said. “I knocked in the putt,

he would lose at most $300 but get an

and we shook hands, but he was not

entertaining story out of it.

happy. It was like he’d lost one hundred

The angle became clear on the third hole. Riggs was a dependably

dollars because he only won two hundred when he expected to win three.”

straight hitter, able to put the ball 180

They went to the clubhouse, and

yards down the fairway time after time.

Riggs held court over lunch, regaling

Playing from the front of the men’s tees,

the members with stories of his famous

he could get the ball up near the green

match against Billie Jean King and

in regulation on almost any hole. On

other exploits. It was an entertaining

number three, he put his approach shot

day, and Blumenfeld had a story that

in one of the greenside bunkers. Using

was well worth the money spent.


M O U N T A I N

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180

and the Yankee Sports and Entertainment Network (YES); he was

cially UJA leaders, were Members there. The Reisen family, the Bildner

appointed by President Bill Clinton to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial

family, Stanley Strauss (who was president of the Federation)—people in

Council in 1995; and he was a member of the board of the Food Industry

the community whom we respected tremendously.”

Crusade Against Hunger, and Second Harvest, the National Food Bank

Leon Cooperman started Goldman Sachs’ asset management

Network. When he traveled to Israel in 1992, along with the N.J./Israel

division and served as its chairman and CEO until 1991. He left to

Commission, his badge read, “Joan Bildner’s Spouse.”

establish Omega Advisors, Inc., a multi-billion dollar hedge fund. In

Richard Kogan has been a Member of Mountain Ridge for twenty

December 2010 the Coopermans signed on to the “Giving Pledge” created

years. He was the CEO of Schering-Plough; is on the board of Colgate-

by Warren Buffet and Bill and Melinda Gates, vowing to give away

Palmolive and Bank of New York

the majority of their wealth during

Mellon; is a trustee of NYU; a

their lifetimes or in their estates. This

member of the Council on Foreign

was merely a public declaration of

Relations; and he has been involv-

something they were doing already,

ed with Saint Barnabas Medical

with gifts to Columbia University,

Center in Livingston, New Jersey,

the New Jersey Performing Arts

since 1983.

Center, and the Cancer Research

Kogan and his wife Susan

Fund of the Damon Runyon-Walter

established the Kogan Celiac

Winchell Foundation.

Center at Saint Barnabas and are

“When my son started nur-

also major contributors to the Kean

sery school at the JCC, I got

University Foundation, supporting

involved there,” said Toby, “and I’ve

the school where Susan taught for

been on the board for probably

twenty years.

thirty-five years. I work in a special

Saint Barnabas is just one of

education school, and I’ve been in-

the multitude of philanthropic endeavors supported by Leon and Toby

volved with Jewish Services with the developmentally disabled in the com-

Cooperman, who have been Members of Mountain Ridge for about twenty

munity.” The Coopermans recently established a permanent fund in

years. “Neither my husband nor I played golf when we joined,” said Toby

MetroWest to support Jewish overnight camps and Birthright Israel

Cooperman, “but I wanted to experience a country club, and I was very at-

through the Cooperman Family Fund for a Jewish Future. Toby added,

tracted to Mountain Ridge because many of the community leaders, espe-

“Our attitude is, if we don’t support the Jewish community, who will?”

Club Members celebrate during the Ninetieth Anniversary party.


M O D E R N

T I M E S

181

The senior major-gifts officer of Birthright Israel, which sends tens

Paula Saginaw began devoting her time to Federation efforts after

of thousands of young Jewish adults on free ten-day trips to Israel to help

returning from a trip to Israel with David and a group that included several

foster Jewish identity, is David Saginaw. When he and his wife Paula joined

Mountain Ridge Members, including their close friends Norman and

Mountain Ridge in 1994, their sponsor was Stanley Strauss, a chair of the

Marjorie Feinstein and Eric and Irene Edelstein. She took part in many

UJA campaign and later president of the Federation in MetroWest. It was

campaigns through the Federation’s women’s philanthropies, became

Strauss who had persuaded David to get involved with Federation affairs:

MetroWest’s president of women’s philanthropy and serves on the national

“Everybody has a couple of people in their life that you just can’t say no

board. She has been to Israel twenty-five times, to the former Soviet Union

to,” Saginaw said. Before long, David was the general campaign chair of

many times, to Ethiopia, Poland, Morocco, Spain, Hungary, and the Czech

MetroWest; ten years later, Paula held that position.

Republic, all on missions to visit the Jewish communities and see their

Past and present Club Presidents celebrate the 90th anniversary of Mountain Ridge on May 27, 2002 (above, left to right): Stanley Lesnick, Norman Schlesinger, Frank Hannoch, Jr., David Pogash, S. Robert Sientz, Abner Benisch, Norman Feinstein, A. Michael Chodorcoff.


M O U N T A I N

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182

welfare programs for kids, for the elderly, and for the special needs popula-

Main Event last year, our largest campaign event of the year,” she said. “And

tion. She practically glows when she talks about seeing the results of the

this year the Fiversons, Peter and Amanda, are co-chairs of the same event.

organization’s fundraising efforts.

We always look toward Mountain Ridge for young leadership; they really

“If you know the name Paula Saginaw,” said Toby Cooperman, “you know what makes me proud to be a Member of Mountain Ridge, to see the

lead the way, they’re getting more and more involved, and they’re really the future of our community.”

community leaders who are Members of the Club as well.” As Paula noted, Mountain Ridge is fortunate, too, to have younger

WHAT WAS ONCE an intricately linked membership in the 1950s and

Members who are up-and-coming leaders who have begun to take part in

’60s and ’70s, with roots in Newark and South Orange, has become more

the last few years. “The Polows, Suzie and Peter Jr., were co-chairs of our

diffuse. Children today are less likely to stay close to where they grew up.

The Sports Pub.


M O D E R N

T I M E S

183

Jewish families no longer face the restrictions—explicit or tacit—that once

grown. Of the thirty new Members accepted between 2010 and 2011,

dictated where they could live. Mountain Ridge’s population increasingly

roughly half were from North Caldwell.

came from West Orange, Millburn, Short Hills, Livingston, and Maple-

The Club also began to draw a group of new Members from

wood. By the turn of the twenty-first century, as the Club’s population was

Manhattan, who view Mountain Ridge as a getaway that’s just a half-hour

becoming even more affluent, it began to include more people living in the

drive from an early tee time. Since the 1980s, an increasing percentage of

communities closer to Mountain Ridge itself: Essex Fells, North Caldwell,

those joining the Club came from the worlds of Wall Street and finance.

even West Caldwell. Some recently built townhouse developments in

The Club once had been filled with doctors and lawyers and local busi-

North Caldwell and other places have proven ideal for couples looking to

nessmen from many fields, but by the 2000s the largest contingent of new-

downsize from their five- and six-bedroom houses once the kids were

comers were in the investment businesses—banking and trading and real

The patio area outside the Living Room.


NED AND JAY IF NED STEINER AND JAY BLUMENFELD are not the two best

nine Mid-Ams, and five Senior Ams). The two have combined forces

male Member-golfers in Mountain Ridge history, they are certainly

to win the Baltusrol Invitational and finish second in the Anderson

the two best to vie for Club Championships at the same time.

Memorial Four-Ball.

Steiner is the grandson of one of the Charter Members of the

For all the tournament golf the two have played, their fondest

Club, Dr. Edwin Steiner, who was a physician and surgeon in

memories have nothing to do with outside competition. “My most

Newark for more than half a century. “He used to pick me up at

memorable match was winning the Best-Ball tournament with my fa-

school around three o’clock when he was done working, and we’d

ther in 1961, when I was sixteen, winning in extra holes,” said Steiner.

go play,” Steiner said. “Playing golf with him here was a thrill that

“My best, best golf days are weekend mornings at Mountain

I’ll always be thankful for.”

Ridge, summer mornings, when the weather is beautiful, the golf

“Ned was as good an athlete as you’ll ever see,” James Roth-

course is perfect, and I’m playing with my friends,” said Blumenfeld.

schild, Jr., said. “Clary Anderson [legendary football, baseball, and track coach at Montclair High School] said his one regret was that Ned never went to his school.” Blumenfeld learned golf at East Orange’s municipal course and started playing tournaments soon after he took up the game. In 1977, when he and Ned Steiner were getting ready to play in the Maccabiah Games in Israel, Steiner suggested he join Mountain Ridge; by the end of the year, he was a Member. “My first year there, the first tournament in 1978, the FourBall, Lee Fishman was my partner, and we won,” said Blumenfeld. “One of the older Members came to me after that tournament and said, ‘Listen, it’s your first year here, I’d like to give you some advice.’ Sure, I said, what? He tells me, ‘Don’t win all the tournaments.’ I didn’t know what to say.” He didn’t win the Club Championship his first year, but he has won nineteen times since. Steiner, six years older, has won fourteen, and been runner-up sixteen times. The two have met in the finals fifteen times, most recently in 2011, with Blumenfeld winning twelve of the matchups. Their success has extended well beyond Passaic Avenue. Steiner has played in six USGA championships (four U.S. Amateurs and two Senior Ams) and seven R&A championships (four British Amateurs and three British Senior Ams). Blumenfeld has played in nine in the U.S. (one Amateur, six Mid-Ams, one Senior Am, and one U.S. Team Championship) as well as sixteen British (two Ams,

Jay Blumenfeld (standing) and Ned Steiner.


M O D E R N

T I M E S

185

estate—that had prospered during the boom times. They were the ones who could afford the initiation costs.

“The younger people who play golf, they care about the tennis facilities, they care about the pool facilities, they care about the Club being user-

The challenge for any club is to attract new members while retaining

friendly for families. Where in the old world there was more of an attitude

a feeling of comfort for the older ones. Mountain Ridge has made a con-

of, ‘This is the way it is, everybody’s lucky to be here, enjoy it,’ I think now

certed effort to do so, but not without a few jolts.

we look at the things that people want and try to fit those in.”

“The Membership is more demanding,” said Wolsky. “You see the

And some with a long view see a pattern they’ve seen before. Any

level of service at some resorts, you sit at the pool at the Ritz-Carlton or

group of people is naturally dynamic, not static. It ages, it changes, it ma-

the Four Seasons and somebody comes around and cleans your eyeglasses

tures, it reinvigorates itself. Social integration is a process, one that takes

and sprays you down with suntan lotion and brings you ice cream—people

time. It happened faster when the new Members were likely from the same

come here, and they’re paying a lot of money to belong here, and sometimes

neighborhoods as the old, went to the same schools and synagogues—but

they don’t understand why we don’t do that kind of thing here. And, quite

still, it happens. As children grow, as events are shared, as work means less

frankly, it’s because we’re not a resort, we’re a country club. But the expec-

and leisure more—it’s then that the pleasures of a country club are drawn

tations and needs are changing, and if we want to remain current we have

upon and savored to a greater degree.

to keep up, and that’s what we’re trying to do as best we can.”

It takes time to find one’s way into a community, no matter how

The idea of a club has changed. It’s less a community to be a part

welcoming that community may be. The process is cyclical, as the new be-

of, more a place to enjoy and use as a family unit. No couple in their

comes familiar while the familiar become fixtures, and the former fixtures

thirties or forties in 2012 is going to say that their whole social life is at a

make way for the next.

club any more—any club.

The new Members and new ways will invigorate the Club. And

“I never grew up in a country club, it’s not like it was in my blood-

the old ways and the values of the Club—that strong sense of family and

stream,” said Schonbraun. “As President, I take the tradition and culture

belonging, of being a part of something great and enduring, of being

very seriously. But at the same time, he who stands still goes backwards. In

lucky to be here—will change the newcomers too, whether they realize

order to maintain all the special things about Mountain Ridge, you need

it or not. That’s what happens, and how it’s been, for the last one

to make changes in order to go forward.

hundred years.


186

A p p e n d i x

O n e

THE PRESIDENTS OF MOUNTAIN RIDGE CC

FELIx FuLD 1912-25

A.J. DIMoND 1925-39

NATHAN bILDER 1939-42

MoRToN STERN 1942-46

HERbERT HANNoCH 1946-47

gEoRgE goLDSTEIN 1948-55, 1963-64

JACK AugENbLICK* 1955-56

DR. MILToN zuCKER 1955-59

S. RobERT SIENTz 1959-63

ALbERT RACHLIN 1964-67

bENJAMIN STERN 1967-71

DAvID PogASH 1971-73

gILbERT AugENbLICK 1974-76

FRANK HANNoCH, JR. 1977-80

ToM LEHMAN 1980-84

STANLEy “TIM” LESNIK 1984-87

NoRMAN SCHLESINgER 1987-89

AbNER bENISCH 1989-92

ALAN SAgNER 1992-95

NoRMAN FEINSTEIN 1995-99

A. MICHAEL CHoDoRCoFF 1999-2002

JuDSoN M. STEIN 2002-05

ERIC EDELSTEIN 2005-08

bRuCE SCHoNbRAuN 2008-

*Elected, never took office on doctor’s recommendation


187

A p p e n d i x

T w o

MEN’S CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP Year

Winner

Runner Up

Year

Winner

Runner Up

1931

Milton Lewis

George Goldstein

1972

Edwin Steiner 3rd

Robert Firtel

1932

Charles Simons

Milton Lewis

1973

Edwin Steiner 3rd

Robert Firtel

1933

Charles Simons

Jerome Lewis

1974

Edwin Steiner 3rd

Robert Firtel

1934

Charles Simons

Jack Dreyfuss

1975

Edwin Steiner 3rd

Robert Firtel

1935

Charles Simons

Stephen Lewis

1976

Edwin Steiner 3rd

Martin Rakowitz

1936

Jack Dreyfuss

Milton Lewis

1977

Edwin Steiner 3rd

Robert Firtel

1937

Jerome Lewis

Jack Dreyfuss

1978

Robert Firtel

John Kridel

1938

Jerome Lewis

Jack Dreyfuss

1979

Jay Blumenfeld

Edwin Steiner 3rd

1939

Jerome Lewis

Milton Lewis

1980

Jay Blumenfeld

Edwin Steiner 3rd

1940

Jerome Lewis

Ben Stern

1981

Edwin Steiner 3rd

Jay Blumenfeld

1941

Ira Kahn

Dr. Jack Rudnick

1982

Jay Blumenfeld

Edwin Steiner 3rd

1942

Robert J. Jacobson

Morton Stern

1943

No Tournament

1983

Jay Blumenfeld

Edwin Steiner 3rd

1984

Jay Blumenfeld

Edwin Steiner 3rd

1944

No Tournament

1985

Jay Blumenfeld

Edwin Steiner 3rd

1945

No Tournament

1986

Edwin Steiner 3rd

Jay Blumenfeld

1946

Ira Kahn

Myron Leeds

1987

Edwin Steiner 3rd

David Weiniger

1947

Dr. Jack Rudnick

Robert Fenster

1988

Edwin Steiner 3rd

David Weiniger

1948

Brock Sturz

Robert Sientz

1989

David Weiniger

Edwin Steiner 3rd

1949

Dr. Jack Rudnick

Ira Kahn

1990

David Weiniger

Jay Blumenfeld

1950

Dr. Jack Rudnick

Brock Sturz

1991

Edwin Steiner 3rd

David Weiniger

1951

Dr. Jack Rudnick

Ira Kahn

1992

Edwin Steiner 3rd

Jay Blumenfeld

1952

Ben Stern

Alvin Frieland

1993

Jay Blumenfeld

David Weiniger Edwin Steiner 3rd

1953

Harry Engel, Jr.

Dr. Jack Rudnick

1994

Jay Blumenfeld

1954

Ben Stern

Harry Engel, Jr.

1995

Garret Kramer

Edwin Steiner 3rd

1955

Dr. Jack Rudnick

Harry Engel Jr.

1996

Jay Blumenfeld

Edwin Steiner 3rd Jay Blumenfeld

1956

Dr. Jack Rudnick

Ira Kahn

1997

David Weiniger

1957

Myron Leeds

Morton Davis

1998

David Weiniger

Garret Kramer

1958

Dr. Jack Rudnick

Ira Kahn

1999

Garret Kramer

Joseph N. Bier Andrew Abramson

1959

Kenneth B. Goldman

Morton Spies

2000

David Weiniger

1960

Dr. Eugene Parsonnet

Kenneth B. Goldman

2001

Jay Blumenfeld

David Weiniger

1961

Kenneth B. Goldman

Peter Hanauer

2002

Jay Blumenfeld

David Weiniger

1962

Alan Flusser

Morton Davis

2003

Jay Blumenfeld

Garret Kramer

1963

Alan Flusser

Edwin Steiner 3rd

2004

Jay Blumenfeld

Edwin Steiner 3rd

1964

Kenneth B. Goldman

Alan Flusser

2005

Jay Blumenfeld

Edwin Steiner 3rd

1965

Kenneth B. Goldman

Alan Flusser

2006

Jay Blumenfeld

Edwin Steiner 3rd

1966

Edwin Steiner 3rd

Kenneth B. Goldman

2007

Jay Blumenfeld

Andrew Abramson

1967

Kenneth B. Goldman

Dr. Gerald I. Winokur

2008

Jay Blumenfeld

Michael Kopelman

1968

Kenneth B. Goldman

Donald London

2009

Jay Blumenfeld

Andrew Abramson

1969

William Leeds

Robert Firtel

2010

Robby Lobel

Jay Blumenfeld

1970

Robert Firtel

Edwin Steiner 3rd

2011

Jay Blumenfeld

Edwin Steiner 3rd

1971

Edwin Steiner 3rd

Robert Firtel


188

A p p e n d i x

T h r e e

SENIOR MEN’S CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP Year

Winner

Year

Winner

Year

Winner

1942

Dr. Edwin Steiner

1966

Elmer Klein

1990

Alan Mayer

1943

No Tournament

1967

William Rothschild

1991

Lee Fishman

1944

Harry Harris

1968

Alvin Frieland

1992

David Kopelman

1945

Harry Harris

1969

Edwin Steiner, Jr.

1993

Lee Fishman

1946

Philip Krimke

1970

Dr. Eugene Parsonnet

1994

David Kopelman

1947

Nathan Bilder

1971

Donald London

1995

Edwin Steiner 3rd

1948

Sigmund Dornbusch

1972

Dr. Milton Weg

1996

Edwin Steiner 3rd

1949

Dr. George Straussberg

1973

Clarence Reisen

1997

Edwin Steiner 3rd

1950

Dr. Milton Zucker

1974

Harry Engel, Jr.

1998

Edwin Steiner 3rd

1951

William Lewis

1975

Dr. Milton Weg

1999

Norman Feinstein

1952

George Goldstein

1976

Dr. Robert Straussberg

2000

Edwin Steiner 3rd

Dr. Benjamin Weiss

1977

Harry Engel, Jr.

2001

Edwin Steiner 3rd

Myron Leeds

1978

Richard Davimos

2002

Edwin Steiner 3rd

1953 1954 1955

Ira Kahn

1979

Clarence Reisen

2003

Jay Blumenfeld

1956

Charles Danzig

1980

Richard Davimos

2004

Jay Blumenfeld

1957

Arthur Shifman

1981

William Leeds

2005

Jay Blumenfeld

1958

William E. Lehman, Jr.

1982

Rakowitz/Krupnick (tie)

2006

Jay Blumenfeld

1959

J.J. Blumberg

1983

Martin Rakowitz

2007

Jay Blumenfeld

1960

Milton Lewis

1984

William Leeds

2008

David Weiniger

1961

Edwin Steiner, Jr.

1985

Martin Rakowitz

2009

Jay Blumenfeld

1962

Dr. Jack Rudnick

1986

Irwin Krupnick

2010

Eric Edelstein

1963

Dr. Eugene Parsonnet

1987

Irwin Krupnick

2011

Edwin Steiner 3rd

1964

Dr. Milton Weg

1988

Robert Fanburg

1965

Dr. Milton Weg

1989

Robert Fanburg


189

A p p e n d i x

F o u r

MEN’S FOUR BALL BETTER BALL Year

Winners

1944

Albert Mosheim

Harry Engel

1978

Jay Blumenfeld

1945

Myron Leeds

Milton Weingarten

1979

Hank Herzfeld

Mickey Mason

1946

Robert Sientz

Dr. Morey Parkes

1980

Leonard Gersten

Carl Fisch

1947

Brock Sturz

Albert Mosheim

1981

Dr. Milton Weg

Donald London

1948

Robert Sientz

Alvin Frieland

1982

No Tournament

1949

Arthur Shifman

Harry Engel, Jr.

1983

David Stolz

Dr. Robert Straussburg

1950

Robert Sientz

Alvin Frieland

1984

Robert Puder

William Rothschild

1951

Ira Kahn

Robert Sientz

1985

Harold Perl

Ned Weissberg

1952

Alvin Frieland

Seymour Frieland

1986

Leon Marantz

Abner Benisch Burt Carr

Year

Winners Lee Fishman

1953

Dr. Milton Weg

Herbert Ellend

1987

Julian Reichman

1954

Ira S. Kahn

Myron Leeds

1988

Errol Cook

Steve Shapiro

1955

Dr. Jack Rudnick

Emmanuel Terner

1989

Bruce Brener

Theodore Perl

1956

Arthur Shifman

Dr. Saul Firtel

1990

Edwin Steiner 3rd

Wallace Weiniger

1957

Richard Davimos

Dr. Robert Straussberg

1991

Thomas C. Lehman

Edwin Steiner 3rd

1958

William Leeds

Dr. Arthur Straussberg

1992

Murray Seltzer

Robert Fischbein

1959

Dr. Arthur Straussberg

William Leeds

1993

Edwin Steiner 3rd

Norman Feinstein

1960

Kenneth B. Goldman

Dr. Milton Weg

1994

Stanley Sommer

Donald London

1961

Edwin Steiner, Jr.

Edwin Steiner 3rd

1995

William Leeds

Robert Blum

1962

Richard Davimos

Dr. Robert Straussberg

1996

Andy Goldman

A. Paul Bernheim

1963

Donald Benjamin

Robert Fanburg

1997

Gary Goldring

Richard Davimos

1964

Robert Firtel

Burt Carr

1998

Myles Berg

Frank Langendorff

1965

Ned Weissberg

Morton Davis

1999

Joseph Bier

A. Paul Bernheim

1966

Morton Davis

Joseph Weisman

2000

Marty Sarver

Harry Engel III

1967

Norman Schlesinger

Frank Schlesinger

2001

A. Paul Bernheim

Andy Goldman

1968

Jerry Bess

Clarence Reisen

2002

Lee Fishman

Robert Fink

1969

Dr. Jack Rudnick

D. Beryl Manischewitz

2003

Peter Fiverson

Edward Hilzenrath

1970

Morris Zucker

Peter Hanauer

2004

Michael Kopelman

Jeffrey Kopelman

1971

John Bess

William Steinhardt

2005

Brett Perlmutter

Peter Polow, Jr.

1972

Leon Marantz

D. Beryl Manischewitz

2006

Larry Freundlich

David Lowenstein

1973

Donald London

Milton Sterngold

2007

Jonathan Goldstein

Mark Levey

1974

Howard Jacobs

Ronald Wiss

2008

Harry Engel III

Marty Sarver

1975

Julian Reichman

Morton Davis

2009

Eric Edelstein

David Saginaw

1976

Julian Reichman

Morton Davis

2010

Jamie Schachtel

Stephen Weinstein

1977

John Kridel

Doug Friedrich

2011

Jon Flusser

Jeffrey Kopelman


190

A p p e n d i x

F i v e

MEN’S GREENS COMMITTEE TROPHY Year

Winner

Year

Winner

Dr. Benjamin Weiss

1960

Raymond Reitman

1986

Jay Blumenfeld

Milton Weingarten

1961

Alvin Frieland

1987

David Weiniger

1936

Stephen Lewis

1962

Edwin Steiner, Jr.

1988

Lee Fishman

1937

Jerome Krimke

1963

Lou Robinson

1989

Jay Blumenfeld

1938

Stephen Lewis

1964

Edwin Steiner, Jr.

1990

Tom Meier

1939

Harry Lowy

1965

Charles Stern

1991

Jay Blumenfeld

1940

Dr. Richard Lowy

1966

Dr. Milton Weg

1992

Jay Blumenfeld

1941

George Goldstein

1967

Dr. Jack Rudnick

1993

Norman Feinstein

1942

Dr. Benjamin Weiss

1968

Kenneth B. Goldman

1994

Dr. Robert Fischbein

1943

No Tournament

1969

Dr. Milton Weg

1995

Burt Carr

1944

Leonard Snyder

1970

Dr. Milton Weg

1996

A. Paul Bernheim

Myron Leeds

1971

Dr. Milton Weg

1997

Stuart H. Green

1946

Herbert Spingarn

1972

Carl Fisch

1998

Edwin Steiner 3rd

Year

Winner

1934 1935

1945 1947

George Goldstein

1973

Robert Firtel

1999

Michael Kopelman

1948

Sam Donchi

1974

Leon Marantz

2000

Stuart H. Green

1949

George Goldstein

1975

Douglas Friedrich

2001

Andy Goldman

1950

Brock Sturz

1976

Leon Marantz

2002

Bill Fried

1951

Edwin Steiner, Jr.

1977

Lee Fishman

2003

Alan L. Saroff

1952

Ira Kahn

1978

Dr. Herbert Lieb

2004

Maurice Cohen

1953

Dr. Milton Weg

1979

Donald Rosenthal

2005

Eric Edelstein

1954

Don Roth

1980

Edwin Steiner 3rd

2006

Leonard Wilf

1955

Ira Kahn

1981

Arnold Singer

2007

David Cohen

1956

William Rothschild

1982

Irwin Krupnick

2008

Nathan Arnell

1957

Sanford Sobel

1983

William Leeds

2009

Michael Kopelman

1958

Morton Davis

1984

Edwin Steiner 3rd

2010

Andrew Horowitz

Morton Davis

1985

Lee Fishman

2011

Lee Fishman

1959


191

A p p e n d i x

S i x

MOUNTAIN RIDGE CUP Year

Winners

1984

Jack Kirsten

David Weiniger

1986

Ron Wiss

Lee Fishman

1987

David Weiniger

Alan Rosenzweig

1988

David Weiniger

Mike Chusid

1989

William Rakowitz

Alan Rosenzweig

1990

Andrew Abramson

Eric Edelstein

Lee Fishman

1991

Andrew Abramson

Eric Edelstein

Lee Fishman

Theodore Perl

1992

John Kessler

Peter Koplik

Gary Kramer

Andrew Lieb Ben Flusser

1985

Theodore Perl

1993

Norman Feinstein

Edwin Steiner 3rd

Michael Chodorcoff

1994

Robert Blum

William Leeds

Donald Benjamin

Garrett Whitman

1995

Harry Engel III

Judson Stein

David Muldberg

Jeffrey Rothbard

1996

Andy Goldman

Joseph Bier

David Weiniger

A. Paul Bernheim

1997

Marvin Cohen

Lawrence Freundlich

David Lowenstein

Gary Churgin

1998

Myles Berg

Scott Miller

Richard Meisner

William Rakowitz

1999

Gary Rose

Michael Chusid

David Rosenblatt

Thomas Schottland

2000

Gary Kramer

Joseph Bier

Andrew Goldman

A. Paul Bernheim

2001

John Gutman

Paul Sutton

John Fanburg

William Lipsey

2002

Jeffrey Kopelman

Michael Kopelman

Michael Goldman

Frank Langendorff

2003

Robert Blum

Michael Chodorcoff

Norman Feinstein

Ben Flusser

2004

A. Paul Bernheim

Joseph Bier

Andy Goldman

Garret Kramer

2005

Robert Davis

Richard Feinstein

David Rosenblatt

Bill Rosenblatt

2006

David Ball

John Kessler

Fred Roth

John Schupper

2007

Brahm Cramer

Jamie Schachtel

David Shorrock

William Wachtel

2008

David Ball

John Kessler

Fred Roth

John Schupper

2009

Andrew Abramson

Eric Edelstein

Pat Mucci, Jr.

David Saginaw

2010

Robert Blum

Norman Feinstein

Ben Flusser

Edwin Steiner 3rd

2011

Nathan Arnell

Jon Bick

Paul Lichtman

Jon Mann


192

A p p e n d i x

S e v e n

WOMEN’S CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP Year

Winner

Runner Up

Year

Winner

Runner Up

1940

Pauline Lewis

Adele Ehrlich

1976

Sybil Whitman

Barbara Aibel

1941

Jean Larkey

Pauline Lewis

1977

Sybil Whitman

Carol Miller

1942

No Tournament

1978

Sybil Whitman

Ruth Sagner

1943

No Tournament

1979

Sybil Whitman

Ruth Sagner

1944

No Tournament

1980

Sybil Whitman

Barbara Aibel

1945

No Tournament

1981

Sybil Whitman

Ruth Sagner

1946

Teresa Lasser

Pauline Lewis

1982

Sybil Whitman

Ruth Sagner

1947

Teresa Lasser

Pauline Lewis

1983

Sybil Whitman

Ruth Sagner

1948

Pauline Lewis

Doris Engel

1984

Sybil Whitman

Carol Miller

1949

Adele Ehrlich

Pauline Lewis

1985

Sybil Whitman

Bobbi Roth

1950

Adele Ehrlich

Helen Mosheim

1986

Sybil Whitman

Ruth Sagner

1951

Helen Peterzell

Carolyn Meier

1987

Sybil Whitman

Ruth Sagner

1952

Doris Marks

Jane Grotta

1988

Sybil Whitman

Ruth Sabin

1953

Doris Marks

Ruth Sagner

1989

Sybil Whitman

Carol Miller

1954

Ruth Sagner

Pauline Lewis

1990

Sybil Whitman

Lynn Schonbraun

1955

Doris Engel

Peggy Gross

1991

Sybil Whitman

Lynn Schonbraun

1956

Ruth Sagner

Pauline Lewis

1992

Bobbi Roth

Sybil Whitman

1957

Ruth Sagner

Adele Ehrlich

1993

Sybil Whitman

Bobbi Roth

1958

Ruth Sagner

Doris Marks

1994

Sybil Whitman

Lynn Schonbraun

1959

Doris Marks

Pauline Lewis

1995

Sybil Whitman

Lynn Schonbraun

1960

Ruth Sagner

Barbara Aibel

1996

Sybil Whitman

Lynn Schonbraun

1961

Ruth Sagner

Doris Engel

1997

Sybil Whitman

Diane Goldman

1962

Ruth Sagner

Adele Ehrlich

1998

Sybil Whitman

Diane Goldman

1963

Ruth Sagner

Helen Ackerman

1999

Diane Goldman

Sybil Whitman

1964

Adele Ehrlich

Barbara Aibel

2000

Sybil Whitman

Diane Goldman

1965

Barbara Aibel

Ruth Sagner

2001

Diane Goldman

Jessica Ball

Jane Sientz

2002

Sybil Whitman

Lynn Schonbraun Sybil Whitman

1966

Ruth Sagner

1967

Ruth Sagner

Adele Ehrlich

2003

Lynn Schonbraun

1968

Ruth Sagner

Carol Davimos

2004

Lynn Schonbraun

Jessica Ball

1969

Ruth Sagner

Carolyn Meier

2005

Laura Koplik

Sybil Whitman

1970

Ruth Sagner

Carol Davimos

2006

Laura Koplik

Kim Wachtel

1971

Carol Davimos

Joyce Dornfeld

2007

Laura Koplik

Amy Cohen

1972

Barbara Aibel

Carol Davimos

2008

Laura Koplik

Robyn Bier

1973

Ruth Sagner

Joyce Dornfeld

2009

Laura Koplik

Patti Katz

1974

Barbara Aibel

Doris Marks

2010

Patti Katz

Kim Wachtel

1975

Ruth Sagner

Carol Miller

2011

Robyn Bier

Kim Wachtel


193

A p p e n d i x

E i g h t

WOMEN’S GREENS COMMITTEE TOURNAMENT Year

Winner

Year

Winner

Year

Winner

1950

Peggy Mosheim

1971

Joyce Dornfeld

1992

Lisa Abramson

1951

Peggy Mosheim

1972

Barbara Aibel

1993

Patsy Perl

1952

Adele Ehrlich

1973

Joyce Dornfeld

1994

Lisa Abramson

1953

Adele Ehrlich

1974

Ruth Sagner

1995

Anita Hannoch

1954

Helen Mosheim

1975

Anita Hannoch

1996

Carol Miller

1955

Flossie Kahn

1976

Barbara Aibel

1997

Patti Katz

1956

Peggy Gross

1977

Anita Straussberg

1998

Mimi Puder

1957

Naomi Goodman

1978

Doris Marks

1999

Carol Billow

1958

Barbara Kaufman

1979

Lynn Schlenger

2000

Barbara Echikson

1959

Peggy Gross

1980

Anita Straussberg

2001

Patti Katz

1960

Margie Sommer

1981

Anita Schlenger

2002

Dorothy Abelson

Carol Davimos

1982

Sandy Hausman

2003

No Tournament

1962

Carol Davimos

1983

Claire Sobel

2004

Jan Ball

1961 1963

Mimi Puder

1984

Carol Miller

2005

Lucille Berg

1964

Carol Davimos

1985

Carol Miller

2006

Patti Katz

1965

Barbara Aibel

1986

Betty Perl

2007

Lucille Berg

1966

Maxine Ellend

1987

Carol Miller

2008

Lucille Berg

1967

Anita Epstein

1988

Barrie Straussberg

2009

Tammy Blau

1968

Barrie Straussberg

1989

Helen Mayer

2010

Judy Skillman

1969

Betty Perl

1990

Marion Fenster

2011

Ellen Goldstein

1970

Carol Davimos

1991

Jane Grotta


194

A p p e n d i x

N i n e

WOMEN’S MEMBER–MEMBER

WOMEN’S PRESIDENT’S CUP Year

Winners

Year

Winners

2000

Nancy Berkley

Trudy Sarver

2000

Judy Skillman

Barbara Hausman

2001

Lucille Berg

Lois Goldring

2001

Lisa Abramson

Lynn Schonbraun

2002

Abbey Aborn

Elba Rodburg

2002

Patti Katz

Barbara Eig

2003

Henni Kessler

Jan Ball

2003

2004

Barbara Hausman

Betty Rothschild

2004

Bunny Blum

Brenda Menker

2005

Wendy Fishman

Carol Pulver

2005

Ellen Goldstein

Betty Rothschild

2006

Amy Freundlich

Judy Skillman

2006

Ellen Goldstein

Betty Rothschild

2007

Nancy Berkley

Carol Miller

2007

Robyn Bier

Judy Skillman

2008

Julie Levey

Brenda Menker

2008

Ellen Goldstein

Carol Smith

2009

Julie Levey

Brenda Menker

2009

Ellen Goldstein

Carol Smith

2010

Robyn Bier

Susan Morganstein

2010

Marjorie Feinstein

Judy Skillman

2011

Barbara Hausman

Betty Rothschild

2011

Margie Davis

Barrie Straussberg

WOMEN’S MOUNTAIN RIDGE CUP Year

Winners

2001

Lynn Schonbraun

2002

Lisa Abramson

2003

Diane Goldman

2004

Susan Morganstein

2005

Sybil Whitman

2006

Diane Goldman

2007

Carol Miller

2008

Candy Blau

2009

Candy Blau

2010

Lois Goldring

2011

Betty Rothschild


195

A p p e n d i x

T e n

STATE AND REGIONAL GOLF CHAMPIONSHIPS New Jersey State Golf Association Four-Ball — 1938 NJSGA Juniors — 1948 Metropolitan Golf Association Senior Amateur — 1957, 1973, 2006 NJSGA Pre-Seniors — 1960 NJSGA Seniors — 1961 New Jersey Professional Golfers Association Championship — 1962, 1990, 2007, 2009 MGA Metropolitan Open — 1966, 1985, 2000 NJSGA Women’s Amateur — 1971 MGA Metropolitan Amateur — 1979, 1991 MGA Mixed Pinehurst Championship — 1982 MGA/Ligue de Paris French-American Challenge Matches — 1990 NJSGA Mid-Amateur — 1993 NJSGA Amateur — 2005 Compher Cup Matches — 2007 (teams of amateurs representing the NJSGA and the Golf Association of Philadelphia) MGA Ike Championship — 2007

NATIONAL GOLF CHAMPIONSHIPS US Senior Amateur Championship — 2012


196

A p p e n d i x

E l e v e n

WOMEN’S TENNIS SINGLES CHAMPIONS

MEN’S TENNIS SINGLES CHAMPIONS Runner Up

Year

Winner

Runner Up

1973

Mark Hanfling

Gary Goodman

1973

Lynn Manshel

Rita Wolf

1974

Lonnie Hanauer

Frank Goodman

1974

Nancy Kridel

Carol Siegler

1975

Thomas Lehman, Jr.

Gary Goodman

1975

Nancy Kridel

Barbara Hausman

1976

Richard Lieb

Thomas Lehman, Jr.

1976

Lynn Lasser

Cathy Lehman

1977

Richard Lieb

Thomas Lehman, Jr.

1977

Judy Lehman

Betty Rothschild

1978

Thomas Lehman, Jr.

Richard Lieb

1978

Judy Lehman

Cathi Hanauer

1979

Thomas Lehman, Jr.

Richard Lieb

1979

Judy Lehman

Cathi Hanauer

1980

Richard Lieb

James Rothschild, Jr.

1980

Judy Lehman

Cathi Hanauer

1981

Bruce Schonbraun

Gary Goodman

1981

Judy Lehman

Judy Hanauer

1982

Bruce Schonbraun

Gary Goodman

1982

Judy Lehman

Suzie Scher

1983

A. Paul Bernheim

Bruce Schonbraun

1983

Suzy Fischbein

Suzie Scher

1984

Thomas Lehman, Jr.

Tony Bernheim

1984

Judy Lehman

Suzie Scher

1985

Thomas Lehman, Jr.

Tony Bernheim

1985

Judy Lehman

Suzy Fischbein

Year

Winner

1986

Thomas Lehman, Jr.

Bruce Schonbraun

1986

Judy Weiniger

Barbara Hausman

1987

Thomas Lehman, Jr.

Anthony Bernheim

1987

Judy Weiniger

Barbara Hausman

1988

Thomas Lehman, Jr.

Bruce Schonbraun

1988

Judy Weiniger

Barbara Hausman

1989

Richard Lieb

Thomas Lehman, Jr.

1989

Judy Weiniger

Alison Berkley

1990

Richard Lieb

Thomas Lehman, Jr.

1990

Maria Fried

Barbara Hausman

1991

Michael Schonbraun

Richard Lieb

1991

Judy Weiniger

Barbara Hausman

1992

Michael Schonbraun

David Schonbraun

1992

Judy Weiniger

Maria Fried

1993

Michael Schonbraun

David Schonbraun

1993

Judy Weiniger

Maria Fried

1994

David Schonbraun

Thomas Lehman, Jr.

1994

Candy Blau

Nancy Roth

1995

Richard Lieb

Thomas Lehman, Jr.

1995

Judy Weiniger

Stacy Hausman

1996

Thomas Lehman, Jr.

Bruce Schonbraun

1996

Judy Weiniger

Stacy Hausman

1997

Thomas Lehman, Jr.

David Rothschild

1997

Stacy Hausman

Samantha Feinstein

1998

Thomas Lehman, Jr.

Bruce Schonbraun

1998

Stacy Hausman

Alicia Weinstein

1999

Thomas Lehman, Jr.

Bruce Schonbraun

1999

Judy Weiniger

Maria Fried

2000

Thomas Lehman, Jr.

2000

Judy Weiniger

Gail Cohen

2001

Bruce Schonbraun

David Rothschild

2001

Judy Weiniger

Maria Fried

2002

Thomas Lehman, Jr.

Bruce Schonbraun

2002

Judy Weiniger

Kim Goldfarb

2003

Bruce Schonbraun

Brian Roth

2003

Heather Adelman

Maria Fried

2004

Heath Freeman

Bruce Schonbraun

2004

Stacy Hausman

Dana Zucker

2005

Heath Freeman

Bruce Schonbraun

2005

Stacy Hausman

2006

Heath Freeman

Bruce Schonbraun

2006

Stacy Hausman

2007

Heath Freeman

Bruce Schonbraun

2007

Stacy Hausman

2008

Heath Freeman

2008

Stacy Hausman

2009

Heath Freeman

2009

Dana Zucker

Alexis Shaw

2010

Heath Freeman

Adam Lieb

2010

Dana Zucker

Kim Goldfarb

2011

Heath Freeman

Paul Sutton

2011

Tammy Blau

Dana Zucker


197

A p p e n d i x

T w e l v e

WOMEN’S TENNIS DOUBLES CHAMPIONS

MEN’S TENNIS DOUBLES CHAMPIONS Year

Winners

1973

Stanley Lesnik

Wallace Weiniger (TIE)

Year 1974

Winners Nancy Kridel

Lynn Manshel

James Rothschild, Jr.

R. Rothschild

1975

Nancy Kridel

Lynn Manshel

1974

Fred Bacher

James Rothschild, Jr.

1976

Lynn Lasser

Nancy Lasser

1975

Fred Bacher

James Rothschild, Jr.

1977

Lynn Lasser

Nancy Lasser

1976

Thomas Lehman, Sr.

Thomas Lehman, Jr.

1978

Merri Blumenfeld

Cindy Stein

1977

Richard Lieb

Bill Silbey

1979

Judy Lehman

Karen Lehman

1978

Thomas Lehman, Sr.

Thomas Lehman, Jr.

1980

Carol Siegler

Lois Herzfeld

1979

Richard Lieb

Andrew Lieb

1981

Louise Lehman

Judy Lehman

1980

Richard Lieb

Andrew Lieb

1982

Audree Krupnick

Geri Lindeman

1981

Thomas Lehman, Sr.

Thomas Lehman, Jr.

1983

Audree Krupnick

Geri Lindeman

1982

James Rothschild, Jr.

Bruce Schonbraun

1984

Geri Lindeman

Audree Krupnick Audree Krupnick

1983

A. Paul Bernheim

Richard Davimos

1985

Geri Lindeman

1984

Richard Davimos

A. Paul Bernheim

1986

Barbara Hausman

Betty Rothschild

1985

Thomas Lehman, Sr.

Thomas Lehman, Jr.

1987

Barbara Hausman

Candy Blau

1986

Thomas Lehman, Sr.

Thomas Lehman, Jr. (TIE)

1988

Barbara Hausman

Candy Blau

Andrew Lieb

Richard Lieb

1989

Candy Blau

Barbara Hausman

1987

A. Paul Bernheim

Richard Davimos

1990

Barbara Hausman

Candy Blau

1988

A. Paul Bernheim

Richard Davimos

1991

Barbara Hausman

Candy Blau

1989

Richard Lieb

Andrew Lieb

1992

Judy Weiniger

Karen Gurwin

1990

Richard Davimos

A. Paul Bernheim

1993

Judy Weiniger

Karen Gurwin

1991

David Schonbraun

Michael Schonbraun

1994

Candy Blau

Ruth Kramer

1992

Richard Lieb

A. Paul Bernheim

1995

Marie Fried

Denise Rakowitz

1993

A. Paul Bernheim

David Schonbraun

1996

Marie Fried

Denise Rakowitz

1994

Michael Schonbraun

David Schonbraun

1997

Stacy Hausman

Danielle Stein

1995

Bruce Schonbraun

Thomas Lehman, Jr.

1998

Stacy Hausman

Barbara Hausman

1996

Thomas Lehman, Jr.

Bruce Schonbraun

1999

Barbara Hausman

Stacey Hausman

1997

Thomas Lehman, Jr.

Bruce Schonbraun

1998

Thomas Lehman, Jr.

Bruce Schonbraun

1999

Thomas Lehman, Jr.

Bruce Schonbraun

2000

Thomas Lehman, Jr.

Bruce Schonbraun

2001

Thomas Lehman, Jr.

Bruce Schonbraun

2002

Bruce Schonbraun

Thomas Lehman, Jr.

2003

Bruce Schonbraun

Brian Roth

2004

Bruce Schonbraun

David Schonbraun

2005

Heath Freeman

Bruce Schonbraun

2006

Heath Freeman

Bruce Schonbraun

2007

Heath Freeman

Bruce Schonbraun

2008

Isaac Roth

Michael Roth

2009

Isaac Roth

Michael Roth

2010

Isaac Roth

William Roth

2011

Isaac Roth

William Roth


198

A p p e n d i x

T h i r t e e n

MIXED TENNIS DOUBLES CHAMPIONS Year

Winners

Year

Winners

1974

Louise Lehman

Thomas Lehman

1990

Denise Rakowitz

Anthony Bernheim

1975

Barbara Aibel

Gary Goodman

1991

James Rothschild, Jr.

Wendy Rothschild

Tony Bernheim

Nancy Roth

1976

Betty Rothschild

Jim Rothschild

1992

1977

Louise Lehman

Thomas Lehman

1993

Tony Bernheim

Denise Rakowitz

1978

Judy Lehman

Ben Kohl

1994

Richard Lieb

Denise Rakowitz

1979

Betty Rothschild

James Rothschild, Jr.

1995

Thomas Lehman, Jr.

Suzy Lehman

1980

Betty Rothschild

James Rothschild, Jr.

1996

Thomas Lehman, Jr.

Suzy Lehman

1981

Betty Rothschild

James Rothschild, Jr.

1997

David Rothschild

Danielle Stein

1982

Betty Rothschild

James Rothschild, Jr.

2000

Thomas Lehman, Jr.

Suzy Lehman

1983

James Rothschild, Jr.

Betty Rothschild

2001

Thomas Lehman, Jr.

Suzy Lehman

1984

Meg Jacobs

Tony Bernheim

2002

Thomas Lehman, Jr.

Suzy Lehman

1985

Tony Bernheim

Denise Rakowitz

2003

Frank Langendorf

Meg Jacobs

1986

Wally Weiniger

Judy Weiniger

2004

Heath Freeman

Stacy Hausman

1987

Anthony Bernheim

Denise Rakowitz

2006

Heather Adelman

Marc Adelman

1988

Thomas Lehman, Jr.

Louise Lehman

2007

Heath Freeman

Stacy Hausman

1989

Alison Berkley

David Schlenger


199

2012 BOARD OF GOVERNORS

Sitting (left to right): John Schupper, Treasurer; Bruce Schonbraun, President; John Fanburg, Vice President; Dr. Steven Fried, Secretary Standing (left to right): Peter Polow, Jr., Michael Chodorcoff, Norman Feinstein, Eric Edelstein, Joseph Bier, Richard Aborn, Judson Stein, Elsa Saroff From top of stairs down (left to right): Toby Cooperman, John Adelman (back), David Rosenblatt (forward), Paul Sutton (back), Warren Leeds, Michael Kopelman (back), Kim Wachtel (forward), John Rubenstein, Robert Lazarus, Larry Freundlich, Andrew Abramson


200

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

FOR THE LAST FOUR YEARS, I’ve had the pleasure of spending time

read the manuscript many times, pitched in with the proofreading, and

at Mountain Ridge Country Club and exploring its past. I learned a great

gave a big assist with photo selections, identifications and name checks.

deal from the experience, and I hope all who read the book will learn from

Debbie Falcone provided helpful copy-editing and proofed it as well.

my efforts as well.

The real star of the book is Larry Hasak, who was responsible for its

I would first like to thank the people who oversaw the project from

elegant look, inside and out. Larry doesn’t know the meaning of “no,” and

the start. The initial book committee of Steven Fried, Bobby Blum, and

he was a calm voice and a sympathetic ear throughout. He drew on the

Arthur Straussberg, and then-President Eric Edelstein, helped launch the

considerable talents of Larry Lambrecht, golf photographer extraordinaire,

project through some initially choppy waters. Their constant encourage-

for the beautiful images of the course and clubhouse.

ment was a great help to me.

Stephen Wolsky was invaluable in assisting and coordinating the

Its later stages were shaped by the firm hand of Bruce Schonbraun,

diverse pieces of the project. Len Siter provided his insights into the golf

who was very supportive and made the book better. He gave John Fanburg

course and was a great help in reviewing that chapter. Kathy Mueller gave

the task of guiding the project into its final form, with the significant aid

similar guidance for the tennis material. Jo Ann Hoebert did stellar work

of Jim Lazarus; it was a job that involved far more detailed effort than they

in setting up interviews; the entire staff of Mountain Ridge was unstint-

could possibly have imagined. They were both wonderful to work with,

ingly helpful, and Juan Vizcaino, Braulio Coelho, and Jesus Santos took

combining editorial judgment with an understanding of the big

especially great care of me.

picture. Only an editor can know what it’s like to read a work-in-progress

Finally, I would like to express my thanks to all the members who

for the sixth or seventh time. I’ve been on that side of the desk, and I hope

took the time to share their memories and reflections for this book. I con-

my authors felt as appreciative as I do.

ducted more than seventy interviews; many of you are named in the text,

Don and Margie Karp, Peter Polow, Sr., and Jud Stein gave early feedback on the manuscript that improved it considerably. Ellie Lazarus

others are not, but all of you had a hand in the final result. This is your history, and you have much to be proud of.

— Jeff Neuman


Mountain Ridge Country Club