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Entrance to the USGA Museum

Historic Profile

The United States Golf Association Headquarters & Museum

This elegant Georgian Colonial mansion, designed in 1919 by John Russell Pope, has been home to the USGA Museum since 1972.

General
Information

Museum Hours
Tuesday to Sunday
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Closed Monday and major holidays.

The USGA’s beautiful campus is located in the rolling countryside of Bernards Township, known as part of the Somerset Hills

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Headquarters & Museum Timeline
1894 USGA established
1919 Architect John Russell Pope hired by stockbroker Thomas Frothingham to build an estate on over 300 acres in what was then known as Bernards Township.
1921 Far Hills Boro succeeds from Bernards Twp thus changing only the mailing address of the Frothingham estate. The property is still actually part of Bernards Twp
1921-1926 Thomas Frothingham lives in the 300 acre Dogwood estate 6 years, finally declaring bankruptcy and forced out of the estate since it was "built with “ill gotten gains”.
1936 January - USGA Museum established (a year before Baseball Hall of Fame) First museum in the US dedicated to sport with over 5,000 artifacts. For the first 14 years of its existence, the museum had no formal home and artifacts were displayed throughout the USGA offices in New York City.
1926-1955 John Sloane (1893-1971) moved from Peapack. Renamed Dogwood to Pastureland. Daughter Grace Ellie married Cyrus Vance (Secretary of State for President Carter) there. Elsie died in 1947.
1938 The first significant donation to the Museum—Bob Jones’ legendary putter, Calamity Jane II
1950 "Golf House," located at 40 East 38th Street (Murray Hill section- Between Madison & Park) in New York City, becomes the Museum’s home (four blocks from Grand Central) dedicating two floors to golf artifacts.
1955 Pastureland is sold from the Sloane's w/ 62 acres to David Potter III. Pastureland is renamed Murmur.
1971, June 12 At the Executive Committee meeting on June 12, 1971 the Headquarters Committee authorized "to acquire an option to buy an estate near Pluckemin and Liberty Corner", New Jersey paying $4,500 for an option to buy the estate for $450,000
1971, June 16 Decision was announced publicly at the Merion Golf Club on Wednesday, June 16, 1971. USGA buys 62 acre estate in bankruptcy from David Potter III and renames Murmur to Golf House for $450,000.
1972, March 8 Move-in day. USGA and USGA Museum collections begin moving from New York City location
1972 Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
1985 USGA major renovation of Golf House expanding the museum to two floors and all new exhibits.
2002- Nov 18 The USGA purchase the Russian Team Room in NYC for $16 million
2003, June 23 USGA considers moving the museum to Russian Tea Room in NYC - http://www.usga.org/news/2003/june/museum.html
2004 USGA, after much debate, sells the Russian Tea Room for $20 million, deciding to keep the USGA museum in Bernards Township.
2004 Museum completed an extensive period of internal review, which led to plans for the Palmer Center. Designed to become the premier institution in the world for the study and education of golf history, the Palmer Center is a critical step toward strengthening the museum, its programs, and its role within the USGA.
2005 Golf House closes for a $19.7 million restoration and expansion. Farewell Mills Gatsch Architects, LLC, was founded in 1974 as Short and Ford, Architects. Based in Princeton, N.J., the firm, over its 34-year history, had become recognized nationally for both new design and historic preservation expertise. (Article update)
2008,
June 3
USGA museum reopens with the new Arnold Palmer Center for Golf History
2008 Sept

When The Pynes Putting Course – named to honor Percy and Evelyn Pyne, who resided on the grounds of the country estate now occupied by Golf House – opens on Sept. 23, visitors have an opportunity to take golf history into their own hands by using replicas of classic putters, including  Bob Jones’ Grand Slam-winning putter, Calamity Jane II, which has been called “the most famous golf club in the world.”

The new putting course provides visitors an opportunity to extend their visit beyond the exhibitions. Inspired by the Himalayas putting course at St. Andrews, visitors will be able to putt with replica antique clubs and balls, as well as modern equipment. Like the Himalayas at St. Andrews, this 16,000-square-foot green includes sizeable humps and swales designed to make the experience challenging and entertaining, as well as educational. See details

2008, Oct 11 The USGA museum participates for the first time in The Somerset County History Weekend - See details

 

 

 

 


 

Inside
the Brick Academy
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Street Address:
The Historical Society
of the Somerset Hills
15 West Oak Street,
Basking Ridge, NJ 07920
Telephone:
(908) 221-1770

Map/Directions
Click Here

Hours of Operation:
Museum Open
First Sunday
of each month
2-4pm
(except Summer
and Holidays)
Library/
Research Room

By Appointment Only

 

 

 

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