Essex County to modernize Francis A. Byrne Golf Course in West Orange

Photo Courtesy of Essex County
Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo Jr., 11th from left, is joined by county leaders and others as he announces a project that is underway to modernize Francis A. Byrne Golf Course in West Orange.

WEST ORANGE, NJ — Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo Jr. announced on Friday, Sept. 30, that a project to modernize Francis A. Byrne Golf Course in West Orange was underway. 

“Essex County Francis Byrne Golf Course is known for its historic features and beautiful vistas. The work we are doing will address long-standing issues affecting the course, modernize drainage and irrigation systems, and improve playing conditions,” DiVincenzo said.

“Projects such as these bring our community together for a personal experience. They unite our diverse community and help cross lines and break down barriers,” Commissioner Brendan Gill said. 

“The county’s public courses remain a great deal for Essex residents and they will be even better when this project is completed,” Sheriff Armando Fontoura said.

“Our courses have become so popular,” Essex County golf director Tim Christ said, referring to recent improvements made to Hendricks Field Golf Course in Belleville and Weequahic Golf Course in Newark. “With these improvements, Francis Byrne is going to be spectacular,” he said, adding the number of rounds projected to be played at Essex County’s three golf courses is on pace to surpass 100,000 rounds in 2022.

The project includes rebuilding sand bunkers, reconstructing and enlarging tee areas, reconstructing greens, installing new sod or enhancing existing grassy areas, repairing cart paths, and updating drainage and irrigation systems. Work to remove dead and decaying trees started in early September. Nine holes will remain open at Francis Byrne during construction.

Kay Golf Course Design from Galloway Township received a professional services contract for $285,000 to design the improvements to the golf course. Turco Golf Inc. from Pompton Lakes was awarded a publicly bid contract for $6,837,631 to perform the construction. Essex County entered into a project labor agreement to ensure unionized labor was hired for the golf course improvements. The project is being funded through the Essex County capital budget and a grant from the Essex County Recreation and Open Space Trust Fund advisory board. Work is scheduled to be completed by April 2023.

Francis Byrne Golf Course was a private golf club before the county acquired the property in 1978. It is named after Francis Byrne, a West Orange community leader and 15-year township commissioner.