In 1895, the Princeton Golf Club was formed by alumni, faculty and undergraduates of Princeton University. Moses Taylor Pyne, Stephen Palmer and Cornelius C. Cuyler formed the Springdale Association and raised $25,000 to buy the old Stockton Farm of 240 acres, the site of the present Graduate College and Springdale Golf Club. Work started on a new nine-hole course that opened for play in March of 1902. The property was turned over to the University in 1909.

In 1911, Gerard B. Lambert had the property surveyed and made plans to enlarge the course to 18 holes which he laid out and completed in June of 1915.

The old clubhouse was originally a tenant-farmer house, 1860 then located behind the 2nd green. The class of 1886 purchased the house from the Springdale Association and deeded it to the University in 1903 with the provision that it be used for the reunions of the Class of 1886 and each member would be a life time member of the golf club. The old Clubhouse was moved to its present location because it was obstructing the view of the Cleveland Tower.

In the summer of 1922, the name of the club was changed to Springdale Golf Club.

Springdale’s new clubhouse was built in 2007. The golf course was rerouted for access from the new clubhouse. Springdale Golf Club is responsible for the operation of the course.

The course is 6,380 yards from the championship (blue) tees and 6,017 yards from the white tees, with par at 71 for each. From the red tees the course is 5,546 yards and is a par 72. In the past few years, the course has seen numerous renovations to the green-side and fairway bunkers. The practice area was upgraded in 2007 at the same time as the construction of the new clubhouse. Today, Springdale Golf Club enjoys a full-service Clubhouse, dining operations, professional golf shop, and a state-of-the-art practice facility that includes a short-game area and full-length driving range.

Course Architects

Gerard Barnes Lambert (1886-1967)

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Mr. Lambert graduated from Princeton University (his diploma signed by President Woodrow Wilson) and studied architecture at Columbia University. He fought in World War I and then joined his father’s firm Lambert Pharmacal Company. The firm later became Warner-Lambert Pharmaceutical Company.

Mr. Lambert was an American merchandiser and advertiser who marketed his father’s invention Listerine mouthwash by making bad breath a social disgrace. He became known as the “Father of Halitosis”. He also founded his own advertising company, Lambert & Feasley, which became a national agency with accounts such as LifeSavers, J.W. Dant, and Phillips Petroleum. Lambert also developed a formula for toothpaste and started advertising Listerine for sore throat and dandruff, and then used the appeal of after shaving.

In addition to his design and addition of the second nine-holes at Springdale Golf Club, Mr. Lambert built the stately Albemarle estate, now the home of the American Boy Choir School.

William Flynn, Hugh Wilson…and Springdale Golf Club

Of the many time-honored traditions for our members since Springdale Golf Club’s founding in 1895, none is more special than the connection of our historic golf course to noted architect, William S. Flynn. The original design for the current course was done by Willie Dunn, Jr and completed by Gerard Lambert, with Mr. Flynn performing a substantive re-design in 1927 at the mid-point of his storied career.

Golf was given a great gift on December 25, 1890 in Milton, MA with Mr. Flynn’s birth. His love for the game grew from his teenage friendship and competitions with Francis Quimet, the amateur who upset the professional field to win the 1913 U.S. Open. That improbable feat served as the inspiration for the book and movie, “The Greatest Game Ever Played”. Prior to Mr. Flynn’s untimely passing at 53 in Philadelphia, he left an indelible mark on golf.

The first project was the Kilkare golf club in Heartwellville, VT in 1909 followed by a collection of most notable designs or redesigns highlighted by Shinnecock Hills, Cherry Hills, the Cascades Course at the Homestead, Pocantico Hills, the reversible nine hole course at the Rockefeller Estate, and re-design work at Merion. In fact, Merion’s architect Hugh Wilson captained the Princeton University team and played college golf at Springdale. He joined our Greens Committee in 1900 when the Club planned its move to the current location. Hugh Wilson hired Flynn to help build Merion and it is likely that the Club found Flynn through our connection to Wilson. Flynn wanted his work at Springdale to be a testament to his mentor Hugh Wilson.

Flynn’s complete list covers more than 80 courses in 12 states and the District of Columbia. Other well-known favorites, some of which have hosted men’s and women’s major tournaments, include Lancaster Country Club - site of the 2015 Women’s Open, Kittansett, Huntingdon Valley, Philadelphia Country Club, the Primrose Nine at The Country Club, in Brookline, MA, Indian Creek, Fla, The Country Club, Ohio, Atlantic City Country Club and Rolling Green, PA. He also assisted other architect’s projects; including building the remaining four holes at Pine Valley after George Crumps death.

Equally interesting about Mr. Flynn was his respect for course conditioning and maintenance, shown by his roles as the construction manager and first greenskeeper for Merion Golf Club. Perhaps his most distinguishing architectural feature is his subtle, yet challenging green designs…the reason Springdale’s greens (almost always!) break away from the tower.

Springdale Golf Club is privileged to share this connection to Mr. Flynn and his famous works, and Hugh Wilson, which is why preserving and effectively maintaining our course is of the highest priority.

The Rulewich Group (2007 Routing, Range, and Practice Facilities)

Established in 1996, The Roger Rulewich Group, a golf course design and construction firm based in Bernardston, Massachusetts, is considered among the best in the industry. Roger and the Group have provided design and construction services worldwide, on more than 170 courses, including Adare Manor, Ireland; Celtic Manor, Wales; Playa Grande, Dominican Republic; Tuckers Point, Bermuda; Valderama, Spain; Metedeconk & Ballyowen, New Jersey; Saratoga National & Albany CC, New York; Bellerive, Missouri; Grand Dunes, South Carolina; The Robert Trent Jones Trail, Alabama.

Celebrating 125 Years: 1895-2020

In honor of the 125th Anniversary of the founding of Springdale Golf Club, the 2020 Springdale History Committee wrote and collected a series of articles regarding the history of the Club and its property.  Articles are listed below in order they were posted in 2020:

Springdale’s 125th Anniversary Year - History and Geo Quiz

Princeton Golf Club: The Early Years (1895-1899)

Princeton Golf Club: Sketch of the Stockton Woods Course (1897)

Princeton Golf Club: The Move from Stockton Woods to Stockton Farm (1899-1900)

Evolution of the Club and Grounds 1901-1912

The Trolley Line (1899-1931)

The End of the Line

Princeton Golf Club Becomes Springdale (1915-1928)

The Beginnings of Women's Golf at Springdale

Women's Golf at Springdale 1940-2012 - Article by Ruth Thornton

Betty Whelan - Watercolorist

The Story of Women's Golf at Princeton University - Courtesy of Elaine Armas

Looking Back at Princeton Women's Golf - Courtesy of The Daily Princetonian

Ten Year Reflection on Women's Varsity Golf 2010-2020 - by Coach Erika DeSanty

Springdale in the Revolution - The History of Our Land: Harold H. Heins, Sr. Article

Springdale in the Revolution - The History of Our Land: Cadwalader Spy Map

The Dunn Family: Golf Architects, Instructors and Clubmakers 

Hugh Wilson - Princeton University Class of 1902


(2020 Springdale History Project Committee: Dan Scheid (chair), Bill Crane, Malcolm McKinnon, Kristina Miller)