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Top 10 Southeastern PA Public Courses


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#1 phiilsown

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 09:44 PM

Ok so I have not played a ton of courses, I usually stick to my usual and then play a new one here and there,  so I wont have the biggest best list, but I'm very curious to find out what everyones favorites are so I can get out and give them a try this season.. PUBLIC COURSES
1. Lederach - Plan on playing there tomorrow if it gets nice.
2. Ravens Claw - Limerick - Beautiful course..
3. Westover- Norristown
4. Hickory Valley- Gilbertsville
5. Arrowhead- Gilbertsville - When its well kept its a great course but sometimes they let the fairways and greens get too long. Has a few cool holes..
6.Center Square- Norristown.. I've only played it once and it was during the winter and it was still in great shape..
7. Pickering Valley- Phoenixville- If you like elevation changes this is a good course for you.. Just dont walk it..
8. Turtle Creek- Limerick- Good tough long course..
9.  Reading Country Club- Another I've only played in the winter, actually on New Years eve with snow on the course but cant wait to get back out there..
10. Kimberton- Phoenixville- Course I play all the time so had to put it in the top 10.. Fun course though

Honorable Mentions: Twin Ponds in douglasville, Skippack, Shannondell in Norristown, Cobbs Creek in Philly- If theyd get this course back in shape it would definately be one of my favorites. Spring Hollow in Spring City I'd say is number 11..

Well, Let me know what you guys think and your top 10s..


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#2 _MS22_

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 10:07 PM

The best public tracks in the southeast region of PA?

No mention of Glen Mills, Pilgrims, or Wyncote? Cause they'd likely be in my top 5!
Ravens and Led are solid picks though.
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#3 phiilsown

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 10:14 PM

View PostMS22, on 23 March 2011 - 10:07 PM, said:

The best public tracks in the southeast region of PA?

No mention of Glen Mills, Pilgrims, or Wyncote? Cause they'd likely be in my top 5!
Ravens and Led are solid picks though.

Yea I heard theyre great courses but like I said, I havnt played very many, have yet to play any of those you mentioned.. Just my top 10 out of what Ive played..

#4 Carolina Golfer 2

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Posted 24 March 2011 - 08:36 AM

View PostMS22, on 23 March 2011 - 10:07 PM, said:

The best public tracks in the southeast region of PA?

No mention of Glen Mills, Pilgrims, or Wyncote? Cause they'd likely be in my top 5!
Ravens and Led are solid picks though.
I agree with Pilgrims and Wyncote.  I've wanted to play Glen Mills but haven't made it yet.  I played the new course near Lancaster Royal Manchester last year shortly after it opened.

It had a great price and was OK.  I'm hoping it'll be in much better shape this year after being open a year.  I'd try it again.     Is Springwood in York still open.  About 10 years ago we used to play it weekly, then I heard it shut down, but someone told me recently it reopened.   What is the current situation there?
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#5 _MS22_

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Posted 24 March 2011 - 09:04 AM

Next time you get the chance definitely give G Mills a try -- worth the price of admission.

Springwood GC is back open again and was in very nice shape last year.  The people from Heritage Hills bought the property and brought it back to life making it their second course.  Both courses there were in great shape when I played them in May, I'll be back again the first weekend of May with the same outing.

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#6 phiilsown

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Posted 24 March 2011 - 07:05 PM

Definately want to get out and play Glen Mills, all I hear is good things about it.. Any one ever play Rivercrest in phoenixville? I heard its topnotch.. But super pricey



#7 spence

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Posted 24 March 2011 - 07:55 PM

bella vista is a great place too

#8 o_man

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Posted 24 March 2011 - 09:11 PM

My top ten. #3 - 10 can move up or down...
1. Glen Mills - My favorite in the area, always a treat playing here...most expensive as well
2. Wyncote - First high-end daily fee course in the area. Tough course when the wind's up. Walkable.
3. Lederach - Love the design. First time I played it, I stood on the first tee & couldn't figure out what club to hit. My friends b*tch about the undulations
4. Inniscrone - Opened as a private course, now a muni after changing hands multiple times. Jim Furyk's Excelon Invitational was here one year.Greens have taken a little bit of a beating.
5. Downingtown - Nice classic course, very walkable. A bit overpriced IMO
6. Honeybrook - Nice, solid course, good conditions. Always have fun playing here. I like Jim Blaukovitch designs (Bella Vista, Olde Homestead, Riverview, Golden Oaks, Island Green [closed for good])
7. Broad Run - Great views, lots of elevation changes and unwalkable (an understatement).
8. Pilgrims Oak
9. Bella Vista
10. Golden Oaks

A number of lists through the years include Raven's Claw. I'm not a big fan, especially the back nine.

Edited by o_man, 24 March 2011 - 09:14 PM.

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#9 o_man

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Posted 24 March 2011 - 09:16 PM

View Postphiilsown, on 24 March 2011 - 07:05 PM, said:

Definately want to get out and play Glen Mills, all I hear is good things about it.. Any one ever play Rivercrest in phoenixville? I heard its topnotch.. But super pricey


Played Rivercrest last year. I enjoyed it...nice course. It's private but they allow outings.
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#10 Slapshot45

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 06:37 PM

played most of those courses.....up near quakertown/allentown area are a few nice ones like Center Valley, and The club at Morgan Hill.   Right in jersey next to easton is the Architects club which i havent played but heard was a really nice track



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#11 C-Law

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 09:53 PM

Wow never thought i would see Westover in the top 10 for anything ;) .    My top 10 is based on courses that can be challanging if you want to play them long, but i can also play with buddies who shoot 100 and can have their fun from the shorter tees.  Only note is that i have not played Glen mills that is why its absent from my list.

1. Wyncote - In Great shape, and public courses that play tough and scretch to 7150 yrds. can be hard to find.

2. Broad Run - Love the layout and lots of great views throughout the course

3. Hershey East  - I think you have to be staying at the resort to play but i guess you can consider that public

4. Turtle Creek - Another public course that plays tough from the tips if you want a challange

5. Ravens Claw - Nothing really special about it but i feel like i always play good there so by default its got to be in the top 10

6. Morgan Hill - Not really SE PA, but it worth a drive to play it once, Huge elevation changes make it very scenic

7.  Innescrone

8. Bella Vista

9. Lederach

10. Woods! - Will be missed.......

Edited by C-Law, 10 May 2011 - 09:54 PM.


#12 golfguy15

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Posted 27 May 2011 - 06:54 PM

1. Marion east
2. Wyncote
3. Lederach
4. Aronimink
5. Oakmont
6. Broad run (formerly tattersall)
7. Innescrone
8. Glen mills
9. White clay creek
10. Pilgam's oak

Outside SE PA but worth a day trip (if possible)
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Baywood greens (prettiest course I've ever played in the spring)
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#13 C-Law

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 11:08 AM

View Postgolfguy15, on 27 May 2011 - 06:54 PM, said:

1. Marion east
2. Wyncote
3. Lederach
4. Aronimink
5. Oakmont
6. Broad run (formerly tattersall)
7. Innescrone
8. Glen mills
9. White clay creek
10. Pilgam's oak

Outside SE PA but worth a day trip (if possible)
Bulle rock
Trump national
Baywood greens (prettiest course I've ever played in the spring)
AC country club

I think he meant public courses, im sure we all would have had Merion and Arnonimik in our top 10s otherwise.  Interesting you have Oakmont in there for SE PA courses, even more interesting that it would come after Lederach haha.

#14 flyersfan25

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Posted 09 August 2011 - 12:58 AM

I know this is an old thread but I wanted to chime in.  I have a membership to Kimberton because it is right near my house, the price is really good and they keep it in decent shape.  

And I walked 18 at Pickering with my cousin a few weeks ago...never again.  Had a few people laughing at us on the course for even attempting it. My cousin looked like he wanted to cry when he realized he left his PW at the previous green.

Edited by flyersfan25, 09 August 2011 - 01:06 PM.


#15 RickG033

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Posted 14 October 2011 - 08:35 AM

View Postphiilsown, on 23 March 2011 - 09:44 PM, said:

Ok so I have not played a ton of courses, I usually stick to my usual and then play a new one here and there,  so I wont have the biggest best list, but I'm very curious to find out what everyones favorites are so I can get out and give them a try this season.. PUBLIC COURSES
1. Lederach - Plan on playing there tomorrow if it gets nice.
2. Ravens Claw - Limerick - Beautiful course..
3. Westover- Norristown
4. Hickory Valley- Gilbertsville
5. Arrowhead- Gilbertsville - When its well kept its a great course but sometimes they let the fairways and greens get too long. Has a few cool holes..
6.Center Square- Norristown.. I've only played it once and it was during the winter and it was still in great shape..
7. Pickering Valley- Phoenixville- If you like elevation changes this is a good course for you.. Just dont walk it..
8. Turtle Creek- Limerick- Good tough long course..
9.  Reading Country Club- Another I've only played in the winter, actually on New Years eve with snow on the course but cant wait to get back out there..
10. Kimberton- Phoenixville- Course I play all the time so had to put it in the top 10.. Fun course though

Honorable Mentions: Twin Ponds in douglasville, Skippack, Shannondell in Norristown, Cobbs Creek in Philly- If theyd get this course back in shape it would definately be one of my favorites. Spring Hollow in Spring City I'd say is number 11..

Well, Let me know what you guys think and your top 10s..

My dad just played Lederach and said it was great.

Haven't played Ravens Claw, despite living in Limerick Posted Image.  

Turtle Creek was our home course for high school golf.  They do a hell of a job of keeping it in good shape.  Very good course.

Rivercrest is members only, but have outings...  This is a great track.  Pretty tight and tough but obviously top notch.



#16 OzzDOA

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Posted 14 October 2011 - 10:43 AM

Played a lot of different courses this year so here is my list.

1. Wyncote - Just LOVED this course
2. Lederach - Great course with some really challenging greens
3. Broad Run - Challenging course with some great views
4. Glenn Mills - Awesome course, unfortunately played it in the off-season
5. Turtle Creek - Fun course, not too demanding.  Great 18th hole
6. Paxon Hollow - Don't know why but I just like the course
7. Jeffersonville - Good course over-all, #2 can be a bit of a pain
8. Five Ponds -  Pretty fun course, back 9 is a little tougher than the front
9. Limerick - Fairly easy but the greens were in great shape over the summer
10. Riverwinds - Not PA but close enough.  Fun, long course with some interesting holes.

Honorable mentions - Rock Manor, Skippack, Deerfield

Edited by OzzDOA, 14 October 2011 - 10:44 AM.

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#17 Duff_Duffington

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 12:33 PM

I second Wyncote and Glen Mills.  Pilgrims is pretty good, but in my opinoin not as high on the list as the other 2.

View Post_MS22_, on 23 March 2011 - 10:07 PM, said:

The best public tracks in the southeast region of PA?

No mention of Glen Mills, Pilgrims, or Wyncote? Cause they'd likely be in my top 5!
Ravens and Led are solid picks though.


#18 Duff_Duffington

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 12:34 PM

Broad Run...sorry I left out this little gem.  It is sprawled out over some great and vast hilly terrain.

#19 Chappie

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 01:14 AM

For the money, it's pretty much impossible to beat Jeffersonville's greens.  There are 2 (really 3, but two only bother me) that are out of place and really cheap you, but they all rolls exceedingly well, all are tough but fun and beyond that, the course is very well taken care of.

Best public courses is pretty subjective, but I'd break it more into groups like this:

Tier I - Wyncote/Broad Run/Glenn Mills Tier II - Hickory Valley/Gilbertsville/Jeffersonville/5 Ponds Tier III - Lederach/Turtle Creek/Skippack

Lederach will move up as the greens mature and push Jeff down.  Right now you might as well just use marble though, which isn't fun for me despite an awesome layout.

If Center Valley was still open I'd put it in front of Turtle Creek, but unfortunately it is gone.  :(  Haven't seen it in a good while but a friend played last season and I believe he said it was still in great condition in what was then probably late July.

Edited by Chappie, 04 March 2012 - 01:15 AM.


#20 Billy Pilgrim

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 03:52 PM

I'm new around here and haven't played enough courses in PA to have a top 10, but I had a good chuckle at the idea of Cobbs Creek ever coming back to form. Cobbs is where I learned to play in high school and I pass by every morning on the route 100 on the way to work. It's sad to see what terrible shape it's in. I've even seen a burned out car in the middle of a fairway there. I often play at Springfield CC and Paxon Hollow as my home courses. Both are cheap and generally in good shape. Paxon could use a few more rangers, though!


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#21 Chappie

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 12:22 AM

View PostBilly Pilgrim, on 06 March 2012 - 03:52 PM, said:

I'm new around here and haven't played enough courses in PA to have a top 10, but I had a good chuckle at the idea of Cobbs Creek ever coming back to form. Cobbs is where I learned to play in high school and I pass by every morning on the route 100 on the way to work. It's sad to see what terrible shape it's in. I've even seen a burned out car in the middle of a fairway there. I often play at Springfield CC and Paxon Hollow as my home courses. Both are cheap and generally in good shape. Paxon could use a few more rangers, though!

Have never played Springfield so I can't comment, but right on about Cobbs.  If someone bought it and put real money into it, which is going entail a pretty hefty renovation (especially drainage), it'd be an awesome course to play, but the conditions are just crap and the city wont put anymore money into then it already does (and really with it's financial situation, who can fault them?).

Incidentally, did you play for Roman?  Can't remember which Catholic League team played at Cobbs but I thought it was Roman.

#22 Billy Pilgrim

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 08:49 AM

View PostChappie, on 10 March 2012 - 12:22 AM, said:

View PostBilly Pilgrim, on 06 March 2012 - 03:52 PM, said:

I'm new around here and haven't played enough courses in PA to have a top 10, but I had a good chuckle at the idea of Cobbs Creek ever coming back to form. Cobbs is where I learned to play in high school and I pass by every morning on the route 100 on the way to work. It's sad to see what terrible shape it's in. I've even seen a burned out car in the middle of a fairway there. I often play at Springfield CC and Paxon Hollow as my home courses. Both are cheap and generally in good shape. Paxon could use a few more rangers, though!

Have never played Springfield so I can't comment, but right on about Cobbs.  If someone bought it and put real money into it, which is going entail a pretty hefty renovation (especially drainage), it'd be an awesome course to play, but the conditions are just crap and the city wont put anymore money into then it already does (and really with it's financial situation, who can fault them?).

Incidentally, did you play for Roman?  Can't remember which Catholic League team played at Cobbs but I thought it was Roman.

Yeah, it's a shame. I watched a few folks playing on the way home yesterday from the train window, and one guy was chipping in from a gully of rocks from all the erosion. I didn't think the city owned it anymore, though.

I didn't play for my high school team (I went to Haverford, class of 1996), but would play Cobbs from time to time since I could walk there from my house in Havertown.

Give Springfield a shot some day. It's good for a relatively inexpensive round on a course with decent conditions. It's not so scenic looking at the rear end of the Springfield Mall, though.

#23 Chappie

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 12:23 AM

View PostBilly Pilgrim, on 13 March 2012 - 08:49 AM, said:

View PostChappie, on 10 March 2012 - 12:22 AM, said:

View PostBilly Pilgrim, on 06 March 2012 - 03:52 PM, said:

I'm new around here and haven't played enough courses in PA to have a top 10, but I had a good chuckle at the idea of Cobbs Creek ever coming back to form. Cobbs is where I learned to play in high school and I pass by every morning on the route 100 on the way to work. It's sad to see what terrible shape it's in. I've even seen a burned out car in the middle of a fairway there. I often play at Springfield CC and Paxon Hollow as my home courses. Both are cheap and generally in good shape. Paxon could use a few more rangers, though!

Have never played Springfield so I can't comment, but right on about Cobbs.  If someone bought it and put real money into it, which is going entail a pretty hefty renovation (especially drainage), it'd be an awesome course to play, but the conditions are just crap and the city wont put anymore money into then it already does (and really with it's financial situation, who can fault them?).

Incidentally, did you play for Roman?  Can't remember which Catholic League team played at Cobbs but I thought it was Roman.

Yeah, it's a shame. I watched a few folks playing on the way home yesterday from the train window, and one guy was chipping in from a gully of rocks from all the erosion. I didn't think the city owned it anymore, though.

I didn't play for my high school team (I went to Haverford, class of 1996), but would play Cobbs from time to time since I could walk there from my house in Havertown.

Give Springfield a shot some day. It's good for a relatively inexpensive round on a course with decent conditions. It's not so scenic looking at the rear end of the Springfield Mall, though.

Hah, that's what I've heard.  I know a guy who used to coach the golf team at Haverford, but I believe he was there some time after you.  His name is Bob Thomas, really great dude and I believe head coach at Rosemont now.

#24 yankie23

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 08:50 PM

Here's my list...this isn't an overall top ten, but the top ten courses in SEPA that I have played and are also public....I must say I just joined Applecross CC and would easily rank that top my list, I love it.  SO with no further wait....

1. Reading Country Club ( live 2 minutes away and its a shotmakers course and challenges me every time)
2. Berkleigh Golf Club
3. Bella Vista
4. Ravens Claw
5. Hickory Valley Golf Club
6. Arrowhead Golf Club
7. Turtle Creek
8. Spring Hollow
9. Golden Oaks
10. Willow Hollow (this is my annual ego boost course, Whenever I go its a guaranteed sub80 round.)

Interested in feedback, this discussion is great.

#25 Philly Golf Guy

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 09:33 PM

Here is my list for public courses.  I've done detailed course reviews for most of these, but a few words about each:

1. Glen Mills - The setting, diversity of holes and challenges give you one of the better overall experiences.
2. Bulle Rock - I know it's not SEPA, but just as far as Wyncote.  One of Pete Dye's more complex designs.  
3. LuLu - Is now public; classic golf at a well known track that demands precise approach shots.

4. White Clay Creek - Difficult, but lots of interesting shots and holes where par is a great score and accomplishment most of the time.
5. Jeffersonville - One of the best values in the area.  Conditions much better over the last few years and routing is terrific.
6. Lederach  - Unique design where short game and putting are emphasized.
7. Pilgrim's Oak - A trek to get to, but worth it.  Bounding hills, sharp angles and forced carries give you one of the better rounds in the state.
8. Scotland Run - In Southern NJ; a lot of course architecture geekery, but many different ways to play each hole will keep you coming back.

9. Wyncote - The best heathland course in the state; punishing rough puts accuracy and recovery shots a premium.
10. Hershey CC West - A classic.  The green complexes have more character than a lot of courses in their entirety.
11. Bella Vista  - Definitely a great sleeper course.
12. Deerfield - Much tougher than it lets on, scenic and a staff that gets it.
13. Raven’s Claw - Lots of quirks in a good way.  The course will play differently every round.
14. Broad Run - Finally conditions are coming around.  Dramatic elevation changes and many tempting shots that can get you in trouble fast.  
15.
Inniscrone  - New ownership has turned this place around.  A love it or hate it course, I love that it takes a while before this place makes sense.
16. Olde Homestead - All different themes throughout the round, from wide open to hilly to narrow and confined, a scoreable course without being a pushover.
17. Downingtown GC - A great walking course, but overpriced and temperamental regulars during the weekend.
18. Five Ponds - Great design, a player's course, but usually very crowded.
19. Paxon Hollow - A fun course that rewards shotmakers.

20. Makefield Highlands  - A nice hilly layout that gives you a combination of links and parkland.
21. Deerwood - Carolina style golf with many forced carries and slightly levanted greens.
22. Rock Manor - A White Clay Creek lite; wetlands golf that's accessible to pretty much everyone.  Is crowded most of the time.


I recently played Iron Valley, but could only play 9 holes because they were aerating the back 9.  Although I haven't played the entire course, this place is gorgeous and an interesting play.  I'd probably rank it in the top 6 or 7 if the back 9 has any resemblance to the front.  I could see Inniscrone moving up some as well.  Wyncote is nice, but repeat play starts dulling the interest for me here.  Still an excellent course, just more of a subjective thing for me there.  Same with Turtle Creek, which a lot of people like.  I just don't get it.  Bella Vista and Raven's Claw are pretty close by, both of which cost less and I enjoy much more.  

My reviews and rankings are at:

http://bestphillygolf.blogspot.com/


#26 TKD24

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 10:29 PM

View PostPhilly Golf Guy, on 06 November 2012 - 09:33 PM, said:


3. LuLu - Is now public; classic golf at a well known track that demands precise approach shots.


LuLu is now public? Their website and FB page still detail dues and such for members. I'm only 15 minutes from there, so it'd be great to know if they were indeed public.
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#27 Philly Golf Guy

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 04:43 PM

View Postthekoreandart, on 26 November 2012 - 10:29 PM, said:

View PostPhilly Golf Guy, on 06 November 2012 - 09:33 PM, said:

3. LuLu - Is now public; classic golf at a well known track that demands precise approach shots.


LuLu is now public? Their website and FB page still detail dues and such for members. I'm only 15 minutes from there, so it'd be great to know if they were indeed public.

Yeah, they're semi private.  They have this program, member fore a day, which allows you to play the course up to 7 times a year.  I would go over there and check it out!

#28 TKD24

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 01:19 PM

View PostPhilly Golf Guy, on 29 November 2012 - 04:43 PM, said:

Yeah, they're semi private.  They have this program, member fore a day, which allows you to play the course up to 7 times a year.  I would go over there and check it out!

Actually going to play there with a buddy of mine tomorrow. It does sound like they are desperate for players.

Great blog by the way, keep it up! It's great to read an in depth perspective on courses in our area.

Edited by thekoreandart, 03 December 2012 - 04:13 PM.

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#29 Philly Golf Guy

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 08:43 PM

View Postthekoreandart, on 03 December 2012 - 01:19 PM, said:

View PostPhilly Golf Guy, on 29 November 2012 - 04:43 PM, said:

Yeah, they're semi private.  They have this program, member fore a day, which allows you to play the course up to 7 times a year.  I would go over there and check it out!

Actually going to play there with a buddy of mine tomorrow. It does sound like they are desperate for players.

Great blog by the way, keep it up! It's great to read an in depth perspective on courses in our area.

Thanks for the kind words!  Enjoy LuLu tomorrow.  More reviews are coming....

http://bestphillygolf.blogspot.com/

#30 TKD24

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 03:20 PM

View PostPhilly Golf Guy, on 03 December 2012 - 08:43 PM, said:


Thanks for the kind words!  Enjoy LuLu tomorrow.  More reviews are coming....

http://bestphillygolf.blogspot.com/

Just to report back, we had a great time at Lulu. It was definitely a thought provoking course with many different options off the tee. A few gripes though:

- The greens all had 3 holes but the other 2 didn't even have cups in it to put the flag up for the incoming group. I have no idea why they would do this other than laziness.
- Two holes basically shared one large tee box going at 90 degrees to one another (forget which holes they were).
- While on 14, a 2 some drove up and said the clubhouse told them they could just randomly hop on the course and "check it out." We were making good pace all morning while waiting for no one ahead and no one waiting behind, but suddenly these guys ask if they could hop ahead of us, we kindly decline (we were playing at a pretty nice rhythm and actually played on the faster side), and they proceed to creep up on us for the rest of the round.

Had a great time and would definitely play here again.

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