17 July 2019

Golf Land (1996 - 2002)

In the summer of 1995 Larken associates received Planning Board approval to build a driving range and miniature golf course on Hillsborough Road just east of Route 206 and the Conrail overpass. At that time the Hillsborough Township Committee was still promoting the idea of an expressway named Corporate Way through that section of the municipality, and Planning Board members liked the idea of a facility of this type in the area, with Board President Thomas Bates noting that a driving range might be an "incentive for corporations to move to Hillsborough."

5 May 1996 Courier News
Initial plans called for a 40-tee year-round driving range, a state-of-the-art miniature golf course - no windmills here - batting cages, a pro shop, and a snack bar. Shortly after ground was broken in the spring of 1996, PGA club pro Robert Mauer was brought on to direct the golf operations - which included setting up driving and miniature golf tournaments, conducting golf seminars and providing lessons.

1 August 1996 Courier News
Before the grand opening in July, it was announced that the recreation center would also include a pro shop and a snack bar. Freeholder Director Peter Biondi got a sneak peek at the facility a few days before opening when he beat out Thomas Bates and Mayor Ken Scherer in a driving competition by being the only player to land his ball on the green.

13 April 1997 Courier News

By the time Golf Land opened the snack bar had evolved into a separate concession called Cafe on the Greens owned and operated by Wayne and Dawn Blauth who also owned the Pennington Bagel Experience. The cafe, which received favorable reviews, was open every day early for breakfast and closed late at 10 or 11pm depending on crowds.

3 July 1997 Home News
In 1997 Golf Land expanded by adding a second tier of 20 stalls to its driving range. It was noted that all of the 40 stalls in the lower tier were lighted and heated for year-round use.

31 August 1997 Courier News

Robert Mauer used all of the latest late-90s technology in his lessons, including videotaping his students' swings. He also predicted that virtual reality was the future of teaching golf and was looking forward to bringing it to Hillsborough.

29 September 1997 Courier News

After the initial excitement of the first few years, Golf Land settled down to steady business at the range, mini-golf, and batting cages. It was a popular destination for parties and club activities.

13 June 2002 Courier News

In 2002, Golf Land was demolished and the land was purchased for the Route 206 Bypass project.

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