News Around the State

Linwood Country Club Turns 100

By Sean Fawcett

A hundred years is a major milestone, especially for golf courses. Founded in 1920, with its accompanying golf course opening in March 1921, historic Linwood Country Club remains one of the top, and most beautiful country clubs on the Jersey Shore. 

Designed by Herbert Bertman Strong, a British immigrant, Strong also built several courses in Florida and throughout the rest of the United States> He famously introduced the first "island" green and in many ways, golfers will find that Linwood Country Club is sort of a combination of Seaview Country Club's historic Bay Course and Pines Course. 

Measuring a fair, but challenging, 6,349 yards from the blue tees, the course's white tees are also very playable, and thoroughly satisfying, 6,019 yards.  Linwood features three front nine par 3s(#3, #6 and #8) and just three par 5s(#9, #12 and #17). 

Linwood has several holes that stand-out including the picturesque 8th hole, a 195-yard par-3 over water and sand, and the "S shaped" par five 9th hole can make for a dramatic and thrilling finish to the front nine,  The course's signature hole is the 520-yard dogleg 17th hole. The three-shot par 5 features about fifty yards of Oakmont-inspired "Church Pew bunkering" down the right rough, which makes a lay up to about 150 yards in the short grass an absolute necessity. 

Unfortunately some of the original history of Linwood Country Club was lost in a fire, but legend has it that the original 250 acres, which were made up from ten tracks, was purchased for around $300,000 in the early 1920s. However, Prohibition in the early 1920s, the Great Depression and World War II that followed, were not particularly conducive to the profitable operation of a country club. Subsequently, the club ended up in receivership and had to cease all operations even after a brief attempt to operate as a public course.

In December of 1943, a group of thirty-four men met at the Jewish Community Center on Virginia Avenue in Atlantic City and the club was rejuvenated. The group bought the club from receivership for $23,500. The club continued to grow with the return of World War II veterans and their families. Many of the improvements both to the clubhouse and golf course were realized during the post-war year, In the 1960s and 1970s with a driving range and several architectural enhancements to the clubhouse made in the 1990s and early 2000s.

In late 2017, Linwood Country Club ownership took another turn when the club was purchased by a small ownership group which included the Dougherty family. The Dougherty family understood the local area, as their great-great grandfather started Atlantic City's iconic Dock's Oyster House in 1897. Through their successful ownership of the Knife & Fork Inn and Harry's Oyster Bar, they understood the restaurant industry. Under Linwood's new ownership, the club has overseen a multitude of renovations to the clubhouse including the addition of a bridal suite, updates to the banquet room, and "the installation of a movable glass "wall" anchored by a double-sided fireplace and the creation of a dramatic two-story entry foyer."

According to the club's website, the Dougherty's vision is "to enhance the experience for existing members, attract new members and provide unparalleled event space to make Linwood Country Club, as it has been, one of the top country clubs and prized golf courses in the area."

"Linwood has a great history and great members," added Jeffrey Bonicky, Linwood's Director of Golf and PGA Golf Professional. "This is a family golf course with many member's families going back two and even three generations." The course hopes for many more generations to come in the future!