The new 15,000-sq. ft. clubhouse comes after a six-year wait, during which the Long Valley, N.J. course has been operating out of two temporary buildings. A new platform tennis court and putting green are also part of the plans. Black Oak GC also reports that it is the first New Jersey property to be designated as the first Certified Signature Sanctuary under the Audobon International Signature program.
Black Oak Golf Club in Long Valley, N.J., has received approval from Washington Township to proceed with an expansion project for a nearly 15,000-sq. ft. clubhouse, reported LongValleyPatch.com
The clubhouse was originally sought six years ago when the course was designed, LongValleyPatch reported, but to date the private club’s clubhouse and restaurant have consisted of two temporary buildings that house small offices, a pro shop, kitchen and dining room.
Those two adjoined buildings will now be removed and likely replaced with a putting green, LongValleyPatch reported, which will lead to a new, permanent clubhouse with full pro shop, restaurant, men’s and women’s locker rooms, and possibly some extras, according to the course’s designer and PGA member David Glenz. In addition to the new clubhouse, the club will also be installing a platform tennis court just below the main parking lot, LongValleyPatch reported.
Construction of the new clubhouse is expected to begin before the end of November, Glenz said.
Glenz, who now gives lessons at the Club, told LongValleyPatch that he was excited about the coming changes. “[The new clubhouse] will bring in more players and complete this vision,” Glenz said. “A lot of people were waiting on the clubhouse to be built to make a full commitment.”
A total of 215 members now call Black Oak their home golf course, with 120 of them fully vested, Glenz told LongValleyPatch.
Once the club reaches 200 fully vested members, Glenz said, he’d love to see a vote on additional amenities, such as a teaching building for winter-time instruction, and a fitness club.
Black Oak GC also reported that it has recently been designated as the first Certified Signature Sanctuary in the state of New Jersey, after completing requirements and meeting the environmental criteria of the Audubon International Signature Program.
To become certified, Signature Program members must implement management of the property according to a site-specific Natural Resource Management Plan (NRMP) that addressed wildlife conservation and habitat enhancement, water quality monitoring and management, integrated pest management, water conservation, energy efficiency, waste reduction and management, and green building products and procedures. Receiving designation as a Certified Signature Sanctuary is contingent upon the quality and completeness of the NRMP and its implementation.
“Black Oak Golf Club is excited to be a part of the Audubon International family,” said Joe Hays, the club’s founder. “Their Signature Program gave us guidelines for successfully focusing on preservation, conservation, and sustainability during construction.
“We take our responsibility to care for the resources here very seriously and are looking forward to a long partnership with Audubon International as we move forward,” Hays added.
The project included these environmental highlights, the club reported, that helped lead to its designation as a Certified Sanctuary:
- Construction – The course was built three holes at a time, leaving less soil surface exposed to the elements, which can lead to erosion and reworking of the holes.
- Tree Salvaging – Specimen trees were identified and transplanted to an on-site nursery for use in landscaping.
- Water Monitoring – To ensure that on-site wetlands, streams, and the Raritan River are not degraded from construction or long-term use of the property, a water-quality monitoring program was implemented and continues in the operational phase of the project.
- Drainage – No drainage from the golf course flows into any water body or wetland area without appropriate filtration before entering, or upon exiting, the drainage pipe.
- BMPs – Best Management Practice (BMP) ‘Trains,’ where separate BMPs are ‘cars’ of the train, are used throughout Black Oak. This maximizes the filtration and reduces the release of storm water from the property.
- Vegetative Buffers – Tall, native grasses along the edge of the numerous water bodies help to filter the water and prevent erosion. A 25-foot “no-spray zone” ensures that pesticides will be absorbed before they reach these water bodies.
- Landscaping – Using xeriscaping as a landscaping practice means planting species that are drought-tolerant, making for efficient irrigation practices and reduced maintenance.
- Wildlife Corridors – Corridors of forested acreage and dense understory surround most of the golf holes, providing cover and habitat for species such as deer and wild turkey to move unobserved throughout the property.
“The completion of this golf course has been a while in coming, but it is certainly worth the wait,” said Nancy Richardson, Audubon’s Signature Program Director. “Black Oak is representative of a sustainable approach to development with a special focus on water-quality protection and wildlife habitat preservation, and it will serve as a model for other projects in the northeast.”