American History on a Golf Course

GolfAt the sixth tee of the Split Rock Golf Course, in the New York City borough of the Bronx, there is a sign that commemorates the Battle of Pelham, a small but important battle in the American Revolution. The sign claims that the battle “saved the American Revolution.”

The battle took place on October 18, 1776. British troops had driven George Washington and his army to the northern tip of Manhattan. A force of 4,000 British troops set out to cut off Washington’s escape route. But the American colonel John Glover met the British troops with 750 men. His men hid behind the stone walls that lined the road the British were marching on. When the order was given the Americans opened fire.

Casualties were not high on either side, but the battle had the effect of slowing the British march to a crawl, fearful that American troops were crouched behind every wall that lined the roads. This allowed Washington and his army to escape from Manhattan.

Today the National Park Service leads walking tours of the site of the battle. The golf course has saved the site from the urban development that would have made a battlefield tour difficult in most areas of the city. The road and some portions of the stone wall still run down the middle of the golf course’s front nine holes.

Related Links

  • Ambush on the green
    News article from the Chicago Tribune on the walking tours that are offered at the site of the battle. Includes the story of the Battle of Pelham. (Source: Chicago Tribune, November 1, 2007)
  • The Battle for New York Walking Tour
    Describes the self-guided walking tour that readers can take of the Revolutionary War battle sites within the five boroughs of New York City. (Source:
  • Split Rock Road photos
    Two historic photos showing Split Rock Road, where the Battle of Pelham took place. (Source:

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