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Golf Australia Express : GA Express 204
T HERE’S something a little macabre about playing a major at a golf club named after a murder victim. Baltusrol Golf Club’s Lower course will host the US PGA Championship for the second time, having staged seven US Opens in a past life. ‘Life’, however, is a thorny term here. The venerable club in New Jersey takes its name from Baltus Roll, a 61-year-old farmer who was murdered in 1831 by two thieves looking for loot in the family homestead. The club began life in 1895 when publisher Louis Keller founded the club as a rural escape from New York City. Once golf began to grow in popularity, Keller had the perfect land to add a course. Thus Baltusrol was born, with Scotsman George Low penning what was known as the Old course before, in order to satisfy rising demand, the much-vaunted architect A.W. Tillinghast suggested separating the land into the Upper and Lower courses. And more than just create a pair of championship layouts in 1922, ‘Tillie’ set in place architectural standards that have stood for almost a century. “The 36 holes at Baltusrol are substantially intact as designed by Tillinghast, and display arguably more representations of his design principles than any of his other designs that are still in their original form today,” Rees Jones, the club’s current consulting architect, wrote recently. THE VENERABLE CLUB IN NEW JERSEY TAKES ITS NAME FROM BALTUS ROLL, A 61-YEAR-OLD FARMER WHO WAS MURDERED IN 1831 .
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