By Melissa Sorge | Photography by Chris Shashaty
Perched amidst the rolling hills of Middletown, New Jersey, Navesink Country Club is a private retreat where members gather for social affairs and recreational activities. Overlooking the Navesink River, the club has long been a sanctuary for those who seek an escape from the monotony of their day-to-day. From mornings on the fairway to evenings spent dining with friends and family, a day spent at Navesink Country Club is one of both luxury and leisure. With extensive amenities and a rich New Jersey history, this gem in the heart of Monmouth County offers a timeless experience right on the Atlantic coast.
One of the oldest settlements in New Jersey, the sprawling acreage of Navesink Country Club dates all the way back to 1911. Samuel Riker (a descendant of the family that originally owned Riker’s Island, New York), purchased 17 acres of land from his brother-in-law, Amory L. Haskell, in the early 20th century. Riker would go on to build the property’s stately mansion which would later become the clubhouse, and focal point, of Navesink. Riker further developed the scenic grounds, adding lush gardens, a marble pool, and a tree-lined entrance extending from the road up to the club. For Riker, the crown jewel of the property was the mansion’s enclosed glass porch, where he and his guests enjoyed unobstructed views of the America’s Cup races that took place off the shores of Sandy Hook.
Over the years, Riker continued to expand the property, owning 69 acres by the time of his passing in 1936. Soon after, world-famous sailor Charles Lyons purchased the beautiful New Jersey property and expanded the grounds to 115 acres. In 1963, Lyons sold the estate to Navesink Country Club, where it remains a year-round fixture for family fun and leisure with premier amenities and breathtaking views.
Today, becoming a member of Navesink Country Club is appealing, as there are three tiers of membership, ensuring all families’ leisure and recreational needs are met. The most inclusive package is the Golf Membership. Members of this tier have full access to everything the club has to offer, including the 18-hole golf course, indoor and al fresco dining facilities, tennis courts, swimming pool, and all club events. For those who do not wish to golf but would still like to partake in other recreational activities and club events, there is a Sports Membership option. This tier of membership includes access to all tennis programs, pool amenities, and dining facilities. Alternatively, the final tier still affords members access to the club’s beautiful estate and dining facilities with a House Membership.
While many country clubs offer beautiful views and appealing membership packages, Navesink provides sports and leisure activities and premier amenities year-round. “Navesink Country Club is a four-season, family-oriented private golf course and country club. Our members enjoy a bounty of amenities including a Hal Purdy-designed golf course that previously hosted multiple LPGA events; year-round racquets operations with programs in tennis, platform tennis, and pickleball; an ice rink with figure skating and hockey programs for all ages; junior Olympic pool with diving well; and year-round dining options. As always, our club’s staff strives to exceed expectations,” says the club’s management. As we take a closer look at Navesink’s amenities, it is clear as to why this establishment has attracted distinguished members for over 50 years.
Dining: For those seeking a formal dining experience, members can dress to impress at the club’s Founder’s Room, while casual diners can enjoy a meal by the pool or in the club’s traditional dining room. Alternatively, the Men’s Lounge is the perfect place to share a meal with colleagues or to grab a cocktail and watch the game. Private parties can take advantage of wine pairings and personalized chef menus in the club’s Wine Room.
Golf: Golfers will delight in the 18-hole, Hal Purdy-designed championship golf course created in 2016. The club’s golf facilities include practice areas, two putting greens, a driving range, and a chipping green. Various golf tournaments take place throughout the year for both men and women, and for the club’s youngest members, golf lessons and a children’s Junior Golf League are available.
Tennis: Tennis is year-round at Navesink. Members can play from the spring through the fall on the club’s seven clay courts and throughout the winter on one of four heated courts. Competitive tennis and paddle teams are available for men, women and children, the club offers paddle lessons, special events, and Navesink’s Junior Interclub Tennis.
Swimming: During the summer months, members can take advantage of Navesink’s Olympic-sized pool. The club’s pool has something for everyone from lap lanes to diving boards, and even a giant water slide. Swim lessons are offered throughout the summer from the club’s certified swim instructors, and extra swim sessions are available to children as part of the club’s Junior Activities Program.
Ice Rink: Unique to Navesink Country Club is a private ice skating rink. The club’s rink hosts traveling hockey leagues for both children and adults, and provides a space for child and adult figure skating on-site. This rare amenity is a bonus for members, as Navesink is one of the only country clubs in the vicinity with an outdoor private hockey/skating rink.