Golf Courses in Philadelphia

Not your typical golf getaway, Philadelphia actually has a lot to offer both the novice golfer and the die hard duffer. So next time the rest of your foursome talks about heading to Arizona or Florida for a round, suggest a trip to one of Philly’s great golf courses instead.

Cobbs Creek Golf Course

Cobbs Creek Golf Course carries the moniker of Sixty Best Municipal Golf Course in the United States from Golfweek Magazine. There are two 18 hole tracks at Cobbs Creek, Kara Kung and Olde Course. Cobbs Creek runs through the middle of the Olde Course coming in to play on seven holes, the first six giving golfers a great introduction to the water hazard. For an older course the length of the holes is a bit surprising and the 638-yard 14th hole is simply wicked. Built in 1916 by famed golf planner Hugh Wilson, Olde Course is a municipal course that goes that extra mile in making sure the public is treated to a really fantastic golf course. It’s sister course, Karakung is much newer having opened in 1989 but this course is just as challenging and long as the Olde Course.

Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) Golf Course

The Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) Golf Course in Philadelphia opened in 1940 and features a Florida style layout with wide open fairways and a basically flat terrain. At the FDR course it’s not the layout that’s the challenge but the winds. The course does run against some beautiful natural wetlands and has a canal that runs through the course and cross the signature 10th hole. Be prepared to lose a ball or two even though the fairways are wide and generous, 10 holes feature water hazards and one is apt to grab your ball.

Downingtown Country Club

Downingtown Country Club was designed by George Fazio and completed in 1967. Keeping to tradition when it comes to Philadelphia golf, Downingtown features subtle greens, interestingly shaped bunkers and open fairways with a rolling nature. At Downingtown it’s not about course trickery but rather about the pure athleticism of the golfer. This golf course is open to the public and the prices land in the mid range.

Hartefeld National Golf Course

The award winning Hartefeld National Golf Club was designed by noted course architect, Tom Fazio. Fazio included winding cart paths, breathtaking vistas, ferocious tree lines, terraced tee boxes, sculpted greens and dramatic elevations. Unfortunately, Hartefeld National Golf Club is not only one of the most challenging courses in the Philadelphia region it’s also one of the hardest courses to get on since it became completely private. If you want to play Hartefeld you’ll have to shell out some cash and become a member or find a member who will invite you along as a guest.

Bala Golf Club

A truly old golf course, Bala Golf Club was built in 1901 and has been giving duffers a good old fashioned challenge ever since. Designed by William S. Flynn the course is challenging and so mature it’s almost grandfatherly. Bala Golf Club is a premiere private golf course near downtown Philly, but only members and guests are allowed.

Island Green Country Club

Island Green Country Club is a public country club that not only is open to the public but welcomes everyone with open fairways. This 18 hole course was designed by Jim Blaukovitch and features an island green on the 11th hole. Established in 2001 this relatively new course is built in the links style with few trees but cleverly undulating greens. It’s a welcoming little challenge that everyone should enjoy.

Quartette Golf Club

If you’re anxious to get out on the links in Philadelphia but don’t have a lot of time, head over to Quartette Golf Club. This nine hole par three course is fairly easy offering few challenges but nicely aged and sure to satisfy that urgent need to get out and play a few holes before your next appointment.

Meadow Brook Golf Club

Meadow Brook Golf Club is one of the most popular clubs in the country for a nine hole course, and this nine hole course doesn’t think of itself as a lesser course. The fairways and greens are meticulously cared for by the greens crew, the bunkers give golfers a serious challenge and there are three par fives to challenge your long game. If you’re looking for a public golf course to hold an outing then Meadow Brook is a great place to start the search.

Bensalem Township Country Club

Bensalem Township Country Club was founded in 1960 and originally known as Cornwells Golf Club. Since then much has changed, the private club turned semi-private and then public, the property fell into disrepair, was considered for development and then saved and turned into a local public golf course. Today the 18 hole, par 70 course is open to the public year round and is a favorite for many locals.

Fairways Golf Club

Fairways Golf and Country Club is a public course that claims to have country club conditions. You’ll have to decide for your self, but this 18 hold public golf course is very popular and boasts bentgrass greens, tees, and fairways. Built in 1965 and designed by William Gordon the course features challenging bunkers and water hazards on 11 of their holes. Fairways Golf and Country Club is a great public course worthy of a closer look.

Laurel Creek Country Club

Laurel Creek Country Club offers the best in exclusive luxury where members get to experience a 71 par Arnold Palmer links style course featuring 14 lakes. In addition to the golf the Cabana Complex has a swimming pool, four Har-Tru tennis courts, a snack bar, there is a fitness center with personal trainer and the locker rooms come with steam and sauna. This is the cream of the crop when it comes to private country clubs but if this is what you’re looking for then Laurel Creek is really the way to go.

Keep Philadelphia on your list as you schedule your next golf outing because there are a multitude of courses to choose from easy to professionally challenging and municipal to exclusive private.
photo credit: BigStockPhoto/PHOTOCREO Michal Bednarek