Tuesday, May 22, 2012

9 Hole Golf Course / The Gun Club

The 9 Hole Golf Course

This golf course was NOT the River Vale CC on North River Vale Road, nor was it the golf course that runs along Piermont Road on the old Kessler estate. It also was NOT the course on the south of town on the water company property. This course was a golf course that ran along Rockland and Cleveland Avenues. The course ran along Cleveland almost to River Vale Road and south on Rockland as far down as Central Avenue. The clubhouse for the place was on Cleveland Avenue about 100 feet east of Rockland. It still stands and was converted into a residential home many years ago, probably during World War II. Golf courses and any place that required automobile transportation were really hit hard during the war because gas was very hard to get and many people did not want to use it for nonessential purposes.

The place fell into disrepair and eventually just closed up, probably during the very early days of World War II. There was a nice golf course in Old Tappan that closed down about the same time, I suspect for the same reason. It was called Ripple Creek Country Club and ran all along Washington Avenue from Tappan Road into Norwood. One or two fellows who lived along Washington Avenue had airplanes and landed them on the remains of the old course and parked them in their back yards. This must have been in the late 1940's.

The Gun Club

One of the most exciting days of the year came sometime in the fall of the year when the annual clay bird shooting competition took place at the River Vale Gun Club. The gun club was on what is now Victory Place, about 100 feet in from Rockland Avenue. There was a clubhouse right on the dirt street and firing stations, facing north, all along the north side of the building. There was a little booth about 50 feet out from the house that launched these clay pigeons and the competitors would stand at the firing line and fire at these things to see how many of these lifeless "birds" they could hit. This went on all day and, boy, was that a great day! The day after, or the same evening we would go out in the bushes and find the "birds" that were missed and escaped unharmed. These were great treasures for us and we kept them until they inevitably got broken by some uncaring individual who didn't realize the great value of these things, or the family dog might sit on them and break them into small pieces, as happened to me one time! I remember many of the Westwood, Hillsdale, Old Tappan and River Vale sportsmen, dressed in their finery, coming together for this big event.

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