Forsgate Country Club in Monroe Township, New Jersey, has always prided itself on being the state’s best private club value. Now, with the addition of a new state-of-the-art sports complex, Forsgate can also claim to be a true family-friendly club.
The Sports Center compliments an stunning array of amenities that includes two, 18-hole championship golf courses, a top-notch practice facility, award-winning casual and fine dining rooms and banquet facilities that can accommodate anywhere from 50 to 500 guests.
The centerpiece of the Sports Complex is a junior Olympic-sized pool that is surrounded by a 6,000-square-foot deck with lounges, chairs and cabanas. Also on the main pool’s deck level are a children’s pool with interactive waterfalls and a full-service cabana café, featuring hot and cold fare as well as a health conscious menu.
The club’s owners believe the Sports Complex is a tremendous benefit to member families residing in the local area. Some 100 sports members were enrolled before the doors even opened. The club now delivers a family-friendly experience for area residents that goes far beyond its great golf courses.
Said Christopher Schiavone, chief executive officer of RDC Golf Group, Inc., which owns the facility, “The addition of the Sports Complex further distinguishes Forsgate Country Club as the best private club value in the state of New Jersey. Now, every member of the family may enjoy the services and amenities at Forsgate.”
The Complex’s upper level features the club’s fitness center containing high-tech exercise equipment. There are four, 37-inch HD Direct television monitors with headphones and one 60-inch HD plasma television located in the fitness center so that members can be entertained while they work out. There are also strength machines, free weights and a yoga/Pilates training studio on site with qualified personal trainers available for private and group sessions. Men’s and women’s locker rooms are also available for use by members.
Forsgate, recently named “Course of the Year” by the New Jersey Golf Course Owners Association, this year unveiled upgrades to its two outstanding courses, The Palmer and Banks layouts. The club has also added a new short game practice area adjacent to its existing facilities and has doubled the size of the club’s practice putting green.
Noted architect Stephen Kay supervised the course work, which included the reinstatement of an existing but not used par-three on the Palmer Course (originally designed in 1961 by Hal Purdy and 10 years later turned into an 18-hole track through a redesign by The Palmer Group), establishing it as the second hole of the golf course. In addition, the greens on the ninth hole (formerly the eighth) and the 18th hole were remodeled, with the end result being a large, two-tiered “double green.” Kay contoured the 18th green to resemble the Old Course at St. Andrews, Scotland’s infamous “Valley of Sin,”
In order to maintain the integrity of the 77-year old Banks Course’s original design, Kay added new championship tees on several holes of the layout. By adjusting the course’s yardage to accommodate for advances in today’s golf equipment, Kay was able to maintain the design relevance of certain fairway landing areas on the Banks Course.
New tee areas have been added to holes three, eight and 12, and a tee complex with three terraces has been remodeled on hole seven. With the new tees in place, the Banks Course increased 130 yards to a 6,850-yard, par 71.
In addition to lengthening the course, Kay set out to enhance Forsgate’s famous Biarritz hole (the 17th). Explained Kay, “Originally designed by Willie and Tom Dunn in 1888, a Biarritz hole is a par-three with a very long green that is divided into ‘thirds’ with the middle ‘third’ being a deep valley. Many facilities with Biarritz greens in the United States by architects C.B. McDonald, Seth Raynor and Charles Banks ended up converting the front and the valley portion of the green to fairway, leaving only the back portion of the green as the putting surface.”
Kay also built a new short game practice area that boasts two greens for pitch/chip shots, two bunkers (reminiscent of the design style of both courses), and a fairway to allow golfers to practice approach shots up to 60 yards. Finally, Kay added a new 3,000-square-foot putting surface connected to the existing putting green to provide a practice area nearly twice its original size.
With the improvements, Forsgate hopes to position itself as a host site for future professional golf tournaments.
Schiavone said, “The historic Banks Course and Forsgate Country Club, site of the LPGA Coca-Cola Classic in the 1970’s, is an ideal venue for a Tour event. Combining our location at the mid-point between New York City and Philadelphia and immediately adjacent to the New Jersey Turnpike, along with the exciting and dramatic design of the Banks Course, Forsgate provides the perfect geography and topography for an LPGA or a Champions Tour event.
“While our first priority has always been our members, we believe they would enthusiastically support the opportunity to showcase their great club and courses as hosts of a prestigious tournament. Tournament sponsors, players, and spectators would not find a friendlier group of hosts than the owners, staff and members of Forsgate Country Club.”
The property’s classic clubhouse, considered a landmark in Monroe Township, is the center of activity at Forsgate and features casual and fine dining facilities and elegantly appointed men’s and women’s locker rooms--all reserved for the private use of the club’s membership. In addition, members and non-member guests may reserve one of Forsgate’s seven meeting rooms, the multimillion-dollar Highlands Ballroom or the sun-infused Skye Atrium for special events and corporate functions.
Forsgate has won a number of accolades in addition it’s the recent honor bestowed upon it by the New Jersey Golf Course Owners Association. It regularly is credited with being one of the best private clubs in the state, as well as being a top venue for golf outings.
Forsgate, which had its name derived by combining the surnames of the property’s original owners--John Forster, and his wife, whose maiden name was Gatelin--is a non-equity club. Det Williams serves as general manager of the facility and Carol Rutherford its director of membership services. Rutherford may be contacted at 732-656-8914.
Monroe Township, NJ