Written by: Tim Hamilton AJGA Communications Intern
Country clubs can be unique in a number of different ways. The course conditions, greens, bunkers, food, tennis, or even the pools. The most unique part of Fiddler’s Elbow Country Club might be in the name. Fiddler’s Elbow rolls off the tongue and makes people think when they hear it. However the story of the name is nothing complex. In 1965 Ray Donovan and Ron Schiavone were up in a plane scouting land for a golf course that they wanted to start. While in the air the looked at a bend in the river on the land and said “that bend looks like a fiddler’s elbow.” When they touched down they decided two things. One the land was perfect for the golf course they were trying to build, and two fiddlers elbow would be a perfect name for a country club. In 1965 Donovan, who was the 17th United States Secretary of Labor under Ronald Reagan, and partner Schiavone put up 27 holes on what they would call Fiddler’s Elbow Country Club. In 1995 they added 18 more, and in 2013 the club has 54 holes and is under construction to put in a pool and tennis courts.
Three times the fun-
Fiddler’s Elbow Country Club is a unique course for more reasons than just their name. FECC has three courses at their club. There is the Meadow Course which hosted the PBE Qualifier – Bedminster. The River Course which hosted the Lessing’s AJGA Classic, the third is the Forest Course. Members have great options when looking to play a round of golf. At some country clubs it can be challenging getting a tee-time, but at FECC golfers can just move onto the next course. In total the grounds cover 650 acres. During member tournaments the club utilizes all courses, making their tournaments unique to their country club. Fiddler’s Elbow is a special country club and a great course for the Lessing’s AJGA Classic.
Lessing’s has a family tradition of catering fine food since 1890. They also have a tradition of sponsoring junior golf since 1999. This year marks the 15th anniversary of the Lessing’s AJGA Classic. This year’s event is the first time it has been at Fiddler’s Elbow Country Club. Past champions include PGA Championship winner Keegan Bradley and U.S. Women’s Open winner Paula Cremer. This year the tri-state area is well represented including 23 players from New Jersey. Last year James Park of Deerfield, Mass., won the Boys Division and Taylor Totland of Tinton Falls, N.J., won the Girls Division. The 2013 champions will be added to a long list of Lessing’s AJGA Classic winners, a list that hopefully will add its 30th members in another 15 years.