| Club History || |
(Formerly Meadowlands Country Club)
Though the idea of establishing a country club was not his. Sylvan M. Cohen, one of Philadelphia’s most respected attorneys, was the moving force behind the founding of Meadowlands. Forty-five years later, in a letter to Jay Friedman, the club’s current professional, he recalled the circumstances:
It was in late 1949 that one of my friends asked me if I would be interested in the formation of a new Country Club. At the time, they had in mind taking over a golf course in the Frankford area of Philadelphia, but it was found that this was not available.
Through one connection or another, I then met up with representatives of a woman who owned the property which currently forms Meadowlands Country Club and who was in the midst of winding up a divorce proceeding with her husband. She was interested in selling the property [on Pennllyn Pike in Blue Bell].
I negotiated with her representatives over a number of months .... During the course of negotiations she wanted to know just what people constituted the buyer, how many members were actually signed up for the Country Club, etc. Needless to say, I gave her very optimistic reports, since we were holding meetings almost weekly and inviting people to review our plans who were prospective members.
At any rate, through a whole series of negotiations, I finally wound up entering into a firm contract to buy the property, consisting of 130 acres plus the manor house, swimming pool, stables and other facilities for $130,000, or $1,000 per acre for the 130 acres
It was in spring of 1951 that we held the formal opening of Meadowlands Country Club in the then existing manor house before we expanded it over the years ....
The following men comprised the club’s first board of governors: Harry Blofstein, Morris Boehm, Alfred B. Carp, Sylvan M. Cohen, Sidney Cohn, Max E. Falik, Milton Gold, Samuel Green, Leonard Gross, Harold L. Landesberg, Ben F. Lieber, Jules Link, J. Leonard Schorr, Irvin Segal, Walter Seideman, Paul Silver, Myron B. Sloane, Edward Taxin, Howard Weiss, and Jack L. Wolgin. Sylvan Cohen was elected president. The other officers were Alfred Carp, secretary; Irvin Segal, treasurer; Jack Wolgin, vice president; Max Falik, vice president; and Harold Landesberg, vice president.
The stone manor that greeted the new members was a handsome and dignified structure, essentially Georgian in overall design, partially vine-clad, with tall, graceful chimneys punctuating the long roof line. The attendant buildings, which housed the locker rooms, the golf shop, and the caddie quarters, attractively complemented the great house itself. Framing the entire complex were flowering shrubs and mature hardwoods.
The golf course was built on open and very gently rolling land, where cattle and horses had grazed for years. The initial layout proved less interesting and challenging than the board and the golf committee had expected. Within a few years. Bill and Dave Gordon were called in. They developed a master plan to be implemented as funds permitted. They also made extensive revisions at that time to the original scheme. The result was a much more varied eighteen characterized by narrow fairways (average width 25 yards), enhanced shot values, and greater aesthetic appeal.
Over time, thousands of trees were planted in order to give better definition to the holes, and good use was made of the USGA Greens Section and the agronomy experts from Penn State in order to improve the condition of the turf.
In the mid-90s the Maryland-based firm of Ault, Clark and Associates would be brought in to make extensive changes to the Gordon layout. Seven new holes would be created then, a number of others would be revised (with broader fairways an important result), trees would be removed, and water would be brought into play as the par-71 Meadowlands course became a more contemporary and stimulating test of golf.