EXPEDITION REDISCOVERS LOST TILLINGHAST COURSE

POXONO CC


By Jim Hutchins and Rick Wolffe


Lost for nearly seventy years an expedition of Tillinghast Association members rediscovered the Poxono Country Club golf course. This Tillinghast designed golf course was constructed by Jeff Davis and first opened sometime in the spring of 1927. Poxono was conceived by A.W. Tillinghast to be an exclusive club solely for himself and a close circle of friends. And these friends were an influential lot — the likes of Bobby Jones, Grantland Rice, Paul Whiteman, Vincent Richards, Jerome D. Travers and Sir Harry Lauder. The Poxono grounds were on 400 acres in the scenic Delaware River Valley. W.G. Massarene, who designed the summer White House in the Adirondacks, designed the main clubhouse. There was also a landing field to accommodate air service from New York City.

The expedition confirms the green site of a unique
par 3 as show in the accompanying diagram.

The green is near the intersection of the

Delaware and Binniekill.

 Subsequent newspaper microfiche research by Jim Hutchins has fully confirmed the development of Tillie’s dream course of Poxono. As it becomes available more information will be forthcoming on this momentarily great course.

From right to left: Bob Trebus, Rick Wolffe, Brian Siplo and Steve Taggert.
Jim Hutchins is taking the picture.

Possibly due to the Depression, Poxono never reached its lofty goals and was soon forgotten. Forgotten to the point that many golf architecture historians believed that Poxono was merely a dream of Tillie and was never ever built.

However, through the recent literary research of Tillie’s writings by Stuart Wolffe, it became apparent that the Poxono golf course might have indeed been constructed after all. For Tillie described the design and construction of the course and wrote, "It is possible that I have given by imagination a trifle more freedom than usual in designing this course, for it is the first opportunity that I have had in twenty years to build entirely for myself and some of my friends. " He also wrote, "I made no effort to construct previously conceived holes but in every instance permitted the general terrain and natural features to suggest the proper type."

Stuart’s research begged the question — if Poxono was built where could Poxono be? But no one alive seemed to know or remember anything about Poxono. After careful study of the Tillinghast writings, Stuart’s brother Rick, determined that if it was built it was somewhere in the Delaware River Valley. After a careful examination of United States Geological Survey Maps, Rick identified a likely location on the Delaware River, not far from Tillie’s first course at the Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort.

With the support of Charlie Kirkwood and Pete Korba an expedition was organized. On August 19, 2000 a group of five men with great expectation set out by small boat on the Delaware River to verify the prospective location. These men were Jim Hutchins, Brian Siplo, Steve Taggert, Bob Trebus and Rick Wolffe. From the onset the expedition was plagued with problems. An engine breakdown almost kept them at the starting gate. Running out of gas and an encounter with roving rangers were additional distractions. Not to be denied, the expedition returned safely and reported complete success — the rediscovery of the golf course of Poxono Country Club.