Shady Rest Golf & Country Club: The 1st Black-owned golf clubhouse

New Jersey

SCOTCH PLAINS, N.J. — Shady Rest Golf and Country Club is the first Black-owned golf clubhouse.

Located in Scotch Plains, New Jersey, the golf and country club is a nine-hole, 33-acre oasis that was home to John Shippen, the first African-American professional golfer.

When segregation banned black people from playing golf, a group of men built the club that far exceeded anyone’s dreams.

The club played host to some of the era’s most prominent musicians such as Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Billie Holiday and many others.

Shady Rest is a symbol of what was, how far we’ve come and what else we have to do.

Ben Aaron had the chance to visit the golf course and country club and learn more about its history. 

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