Any golfer, from novice to professional, will tell you the game can only be enjoyed with a certain amount of patience.
That patience has been key for the developers and partners of Black Oak Golf Club in Long Valley, who have received approval from the township to go ahead with an expansion that was originally sought when the course was designed.
The private course’s clubhouse and restaurant is currently built of two temporary buildings that house small offices, a pro shop, kitchen and dining room. Those structures, however, won’t be around much longer.
The two adjoined buildings will be removed and likely replaced with a putting green, which will lead to a brand new, permanent clubhouse with full pro shop, restaurant, men’s and women’s locker rooms, and possibly some extras, according to the course’s designer and Professional Golfer’s Association member David Glenz.
Glenz, now a teacher of the sport who gives lessons at the Club, is excited about the coming changes.
“(The new clubhouse) will bring in more players and complete this vision,” Glenz said. “A lot of people were waiting on the clubhouse to be built to make a full commitment.”
The new clubhouse, much like the course itself, will be majestic but still personal. The two-story building will span 14,723 square-feet. As part of the planning board’s approval for the construction, the clubhouse will tie in to the sewer line that runs along Bartley Road.
A total of 215 members call Black Oak their home golf course, with 120 of them fully vested, Glenz said. In addition to the new clubhouse, the Club will be installing a platform tennis court just below the main parking lot.
The six-year P.G.A. Tour member knows all about patience, and needed plenty of it during this process.
It took six years for the clubhouse approval to come through the township, he said. But it was well worth the wait.
“The process feels flawed,” he said. “It takes too long for something like this. But this is a lifetime dream for me. Our partners stuck it out even though our cost nearly doubled in the process.”
Once the club reaches 200 fully vested members, Glenz said he’d love to see a vote on additional amenities to the Club, such as a teaching building for winter time instruction and a fitness club.
Not Your Average Course
Stretching nearly 7,100 yards from the first tee to the back of the 18th green, Black Oak offers majestic views of Washington Township’s scenery and a backwoods, personal feel of a private course.
Cart paths weave through the course, crosses near Patriot’s Path, and even slips through the subdivision of Ridgeline Drive, with the only occasional obstacle being a slow-moving deer.. Maintenance workers can be seen manicuring every inch of the nearly 300 acres of land, making like quiet mice scurrying about as not to interrupt backswings.
“It provides a true golf atmosphere,” Glenz said.
The Club isn’t for the good ol’ boys, either. On a recent, sunny fall weekday, groups of women were scattered about, launching drives and sinking 11-footers.
Black Oak is also home to three of the state’s top-10 instructors, and recently had two of its teachers – Glenz and Mike Lopuszynski – named to Golf Magazine’s Top 100.
The Club hosts multiple fundraisers each year, including the annual Washington Township Police Benevolence Association Local 301 Golf Outing, and will be the home of the 2014 U.S. Amateur Qualifying tournament.
Construction of the new clubhouse is expected to begin before the end of November, Glenz said.