Basking Ridge Country Club opened as Pennbrook Golf Club on July 2, 1926. The golf course was designed by Alexander Findlay on the grounds of William Bancker’s Willmary Farm, a property which was originally U.S. Senator John Spooner’s estate.
According to Mr. Bancker, who owned the club when it first opened, “the links are intended to be used as a community course and open to those of modest means,” as he was quoted in the July 23, 1925 edition of the BERNARDSVILLE NEWS. At that time, club membership was limited, but anyone could play “upon paying a reasonable charge.” When Bancker died in 1940, the club ownership passed on to his two sons. Two years later when World War II brought on gas rationing, Pennbrook was closed and turned into a cow pasture-cornfield.
Pennbrook was reopened in May, 1953 by Edward V. Murray. It remained open to the public until November 1977, when Murray’s nephew sold the club to a group of businessmen. The new owner, Robert McCabe, oversaw the construction of a new club house. Despite efforts to revitalize Pennbrook, it unfortunately went bankrupt in 1982.
In 1986, the Mahan family purchased the club at public auction. They then changed its name to Basking Ridge Country Club, and spent millions to upgrade the facility and golf course with additional bunkers, trees and drainage improvements and began offering annual memberships.
Today, the course has developed into a challenging, beautifully landscaped haven, while the country club offers customized memberships designed to meet each individual’s needs. Over the past few years, more money has been invested and the course has gained 700 yards, 36 new sand traps and many more trees and plantings.
With progressive memberships, a superb restaurant and newly renovated clubhouse that overlooks the club’s pristine fairways and the rolling Somerset Hills, Basking Ridge Country Club is truly a dynamic environment for all to enjoy.
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