Call it a reinvention. Fiddler’s Elbow Country Club in Bedminster, New Jersey best known as one of the country’s original corporate clubs for the exclusive use by the state’s movers and shakers, is now a thriving year-round blend of families and business types.
The club recently completed a multi million-dollar renovation of the entire property. Says General Manager Tom Hurley, “The results may be seen in the complete makeover of our beautiful mansion clubhouse that now consists of an exquisite ballroom, meeting rooms, men’s and ladies’ locker rooms, wine cellar, 55th Hole Grill Room with outdoor patio and kitchen, and brand new Elbow Room Bar and fine dining restaurant with outdoor terrace seating. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.”
Today, Fiddler’s Elbow boasts a brand new Sports & Leisure complex with incredible pools, poolside dining, a fitness boutique, and brand new tennis and paddle tennis courts. Says Hurley, “A major part of our strategic plan was to become not just family friendly, but to become a year-round escape for our members. We aim to wow them 365 days a year, not just in the warmer months. What other club offers ice skating, fly fishing, equestrian and cross country skiing as regular activities?”
The New Jersey PGA selected the club for its new headquarters that includes a state-of-the-art indoor academy utilized both by Fiddler’s members and the NJPGA. It’s also home to the NJ Golf Foundation and the NJPGA Hall of Fame.
All three championship caliber courses have undergone facelifts and, in the case of the Meadow Course, many holes have been redesigned by architect Stephen Kay. The new practice range and short game areas have been rated among the finest in the country.
“We have left no stone unturned and the results have been nothing short of spectacular,” says Hurley. “In addition to the physical renovations, I am not aware of any other club that hosts the type of events that we do, including nationally renowned performersArt Garfunkel, Second City Comedy Troupe, and the Midtown Men. Our membership is extremely satisfied with the ‘new’ Fiddler’s. And, as our Trustees like to say, perhaps the most important investment has been in our human capital. We have a most incredible team.”
Is it the facilities, the staff, the golf, or the special events that have spearheaded the club’s renaissance? Says GM Hurley, “Many believe it’s our food and beverage department. Our real star is our chef, Michael Weisshaupt.”
Chef Weisshaupt is perhaps best known for introducing members to Sea to Table and Farm to Table freshness and quality. Says member Dr. Nick Molinaro, “Chef Michael completely transformed the meals offered at the club. His dishes are so creative and fresh, that we no longer have to travel to Manhattan to experience real fine dining. I can’t think of a finer restaurant option in the entire state.”
The club’s wine dinners and cooking classes always sell out. Says Hurley, “Chef is simply the finest chef I have ever been associated with. The real foodies know that Michael is one in a million. You can find traditional country club offerings in our Grill Room, but it’s a visit to our Elbow Room that is always unique and memorable.”
Says member Joel Taylor, “I often hear the cliché, ‘My club is my home away from home.’ It’s true, but I can’t get a five-star meal at my home like we routinely experience from Chef Michael!”