Cranford Golf Club
In May 1899 a group from Cranford organized a 9-hole golf club at Lincoln Ave./South Union Ave. in Cranford (this is the forerunner to Echo Lake C.C.). Willie Dunn, designer of Shinnecock Hills, designed the course. Three young men from that club went on to fame --- Max Marston won the National Amateur Golf Association Championship, Eddie Wild won the golf club championship seven times, and Dean Mathey won the National Clay Court Tennis Doubles Championship twice.
This club, after 13 years of operation, bought the Harper Farm on Springfield Ave., Westfield, engaged Donald Ross (the most famous golf course designer of the time) to design the course and had a clubhouse built where it is today on a high bluff overlooking the lake. The course was completed in 1913 (6247 yards. Par 72.) A group of members teed up at the Lincoln Ave. site and played three miles through farms and town to the 18th green of ELCC.
In 1919 golf architect Bob White was engaged to design a longer and better back nine. Six new holes – the 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th were constructed.
Westfield Golf Club
In September 1900 a group of Westfielders organized a golf club at Jerusalem Road, Scotch Plains. The farmhouse on the property was converted to a clubhouse and the members themselves designed a nine-hole course. In 1910, the club lengthened the course to 3312 yards, which was called “the best 9 hole course in the eastern states”.
But, by the end of WWI, the membership had slipped off and the club decided to merge with the Cranford Golf Club at Echo Lake to achieve a full membership and to have 18-holes.
Echo Lake Country Club
The Cranford Golf Club and the Westfield Golf Club merged on April 5, 1921 and became the Echo Lake Country Club, reflecting the site and the fact that it was to be a country club with broad activities, not just a club for golf. Bob Crane was elected as the first president of Echo Lake Country Club.
In 1922-23 the club made two major property transactions --- one a buy and one a sale of about 32 acres each. The club bought 32 acres in the area of the current 6th, 7th and 9th holes and practice range. The club also sold 32 acres, from the stream and lake in Echo Lake to the current boundary of the property, to the Union County Park Commission for cash and the right to take water from the lake for the golf course.
In 1928 three new holes were designed by Willard Wilkinson: the 6th, 7th and 9th --- and the present practice range was opened. The course has been played for 75 years as it was after those three holes were completed. In summary, the present course is Donald Ross (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 10, 17 and 18), Wilkinson (6, 7 and 9) and Bob White 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16).
Echo Lake has hosted eleven important national and state championships.
||F. Paul Anderson
|NJ Women's Amateur
||Eugene "Bud" Zachary
|USGA Junior Amateur
||Frank Esposito, Jr.
|USGA Girls' Junior Amateur