History of Copper Hill Country Club
Copper Hill Country Club – A Special Place
Since our humble beginnings in 1927, Copper Hill Country Club has been a special place for individuals to be with family and friends.
In the early 1900’s, Cortland Betts, a lawyer from the City of New York, visited the Flemington area. Falling in love with the rural, remote and provincial surroundings, Cortland dreamed of developing a country place to escape the quick pace of city life and entertain guests. He began purchasing property near the Copper Hill Village and soon began developing Hunterdon County’s first golf course. He enlisted design support from A.W. Tillinghast and, as announced on June 30, 1927 in the Hunterdon County Democrat, “Golf has made its appearance in Flemington,” Cortland’s dream was realized.
Local residents and selected New York City individuals were offered memberships, and membership to the Club rose to over 70 by August 1927 and Copper Hill’s first golf professional was hired. The Club flourished; by 1929 the 9-hole golf course was expanded to 18-holes and the Club quickly became a hub of social activity. Many of the “New Yorkers” escaped the city and spent weekends and vacations in Flemington and the surrounding area.
The Flemington area came into the world’s spotlight in the 1930s because of the Lindbergh kidnapping trial. Lloyd Fisher, the Assistant District Attorney, was a long-standing member of the Club. Reporters were lodged in the cottages and men’s locker room while covering the trial. Copper Hill’s role was small, but important. Like many golf clubs during this era, Copper Hill closed during World War II and re-opened in 1947 under a new ownership structure that still exists today, a member-owned country club.
Mike Amorelli was hired in 1951 as Copper Hill’s golf professional and was charged with developing the Club into a top golf facility. Mike’s role was key in the subsequent design and golf course expansion as well as instrumental in promoting the Club within the state golf community. For 33 years he served as head pro and, thereafter, was Director of Golf Emeritus until age 93. Mike Amorelli’s impact on the club goes far beyond the golf course. His presence is felt by many members who knew him and the countless junior members who benefited from his tutelage.
The golf course itself has been consistent through the years. Undergoing many improvements since the 1920s, with a 1992 update in consultation with Dr. Michael Hurdzan, the nationally renowned architect, Copper Hill Country Club has been rated as one of the most finely conditioned and better layouts of golf courses in the area.
Today we are fortunate to have Patrick Dolan, one of the finest golf course superintendents in the State, if not the country, leading golf course operations. His passion for Copper Hill Country Club is visible on a regular basis as Pat can be seen on any given day/evening overseeing or personally tending to maintenance of the golf course.