Course Architect: William S. Flynn
Year Opened: 1927
Location: Gladwyne, Pennsylvania
Slope: 142. Rating: 73.7
Par: 71
Yardage: 6,976
Hole-by-Hole: 1 - Par 4 325 Yds    10 - Par 4 437 Yds
                      2 - Par 4 353 Yds    11 - Par 3 192 Yds
                      3 - Par 5 585 Yds    12 - Par 5 580 Yds
                      4 - Par 4 470 Yds    13 - Par 4 380 Yds
                      5 - Par 3 167 Yds    14 - Par 4 477 Yds
                      6 - Par 5 500 Yds    15 - Par 3 225 Yds
                      7 - Par 3 211 Yds    16 - Par 4 403 Yds
                      8 - Par 4 391 Yds    17 - Par 4 472 Yds
                      9 - Par 4 416 Yds    18 - Par 4 392 Yds
                      Par 36  3,418 Yds     Par 35  3,558 Yds

Key Events Held: U.S. Women's Amateur (1899, 2003),
                 U.S. Girls' Junior (1949),
                 U.S. Open (1939).

Awards Won: Ranked 12th in Best of State (Pennsylvania) by Golf Digest (2003).

HISTORY:  Philadelphia Country  Club is  the oldest  club in  the Philadelphia
area, forming in 1890. The club was the seventh to join the United States Golf
Association,  which was founded in 1894 by five clubs. The original course was
located  in nearby Bala Cynwyd and moved to its current site in 1924. The Bala
Course  hosted the  Women's Amateur  in 1899,  but it  wasn't until  1939 when
hosting  the  U.S. Open, did the  club gain national recognition. Byron Nelson
captured  his only  Open title that year, defeating Craig Wood and Denny Shute
in  a  lengthy playoff. Nelson and  Wood carded 68s while Shute was eliminated
after  shooting 76 on  the first day of the playoff. On the second 18, Nelson,
spurred  by  an eagle-two  on the fourth  hole (present day  17th), shot 70 to
Wood's  73 for his  lone U.S. Open crown in 11 appearances. A plaque currently
marks the spot where this great feat was accomplished. The '39 Championship is
also  known  for one of the  most famous final-hole collapses in Open history.
Sam Snead, never a winner of this event, needed only to par the final hole for
the  title.  Snead however,  thinking he needed  birdie, played aggressive and
finished with a triple-bogey eight and ended up fourth. The Spring Mill course
at  Philadelphia C.C.  was designed  by William  S. Flynn  with help  from his
partner  Howard Toomey  after  the  club bought  two  adjoining properties  in

The  Bala Course, on a 60-acre property adjoining Fairmont Park, remained part
of  the  club until  1950 when  the land was  sold for commercial development.
Shortly  thereafter,  the greens were carted  off by truck to neighboring Bala
Golf  Club, where they have continued to serve golfers for more than 50 years.
Philadelphia  C.C. has had many prominent players in its rich history, but two
stand  out above the rest, Helen Sigel Wilson and Glenna Collett Vare. Wilson,
a  12-time  Philadelphia Women's  Amateur champion, reached  the finals of the
U.S. Women's Amateur in 1941, losing to Elizabeth Hicks at The Country Club in
Brookline,  Massachusetts. On  two other  occasions Wilson  came close  to the
title,  losing in the semifinals to Babe Didrikson Zaharias in 1946 and in '48
she lost the championship match to Grace Lenczyk at Del Monte Golf and Country
Club  (Pebble  Beach Golf  Links). At  the 1965 Women's  Open, Wilson tied for
fifth  after being in contention until the final round. Wilson was selected to
two Curtis Cup teams and captained the squad in 1978. The other storied female
from  the club  was Vare. Along with  her husband, Vare was a member at Merion
and  Philadelphia  C.C., but she  represented the latter in competitions. Vare
captured  a  record six U.S.  Women's Amateur crowns, including three straight
from  1928-30. Despite  being a lifelong amateur, Vare was elected to the LPGA
Hall  of Fame in 1950 and three years later, the LPGA created the Vare Trophy.
That  award is given annually to the player with the lowest scoring average on
the women's tour. Vare was also instrumental in founding of the Curtis Cup and
her namesake trophy goes to the winner of the U.S. Girls' Junior.

REVIEW: Philadelphia Country Club eases you into your round, as you begin with
a  pair of relatively easy par-fours. The first is a flat, 325-yarder, bending
to  the left  with numerous  bunkers guarding  both the  landing area  and the
green.  A long iron or fairway metal will set up a wedge for your second shot.
The putting surface is rather small and slopes away, so accuracy is key as you
attempt  to make birdie. The player is then faced with an uphill, dogleg right
par-four,  just  353 yards from  the tips, although  playing longer due to the
slope.  A  simple three-metal will leave  another short shot to a well-guarded
green  that slopes  from back  to front.  Worst case  scenario, your  even-par
heading  into the long  par-five third. At 585 yards, the third is the longest
hole  on  the course, bending  to the right and  playing uphill from the layup
area  to the  green. If a successful  drive has occurred, then the second shot
becomes  utmost  important, due to  the cross bunker,  some 165 yards from the
green.  The aggressive player will knock it over the sand, leaving a wedge in.
The  key here  is to not shortside  yourself around the green, due to sand and
trees. The putting surface is extremely quick, making par a good score. One of
the finest stretches of holes on the course begins at the fourth and ending at
the  seventh.  The par-four fourth, usually  into the wind, bends to the right
and  requires a  long tee shot, favoring  the right side of the fairway. Large
bunkers  guard the  right, making your tee shot even more difficult. Your next
shot  is no bargain either, as you are faced with a long iron to a tough green
that  slopes away and  to the right, guarded by sand. Make no mistake here, or
bogey  and worse  could be in store.  One of the most picturesque holes on the
course,  the fifth is a downhill par-three, with water fronting and protecting
the  right part  of  the green  and  sand protecting  the  bailout area  left.
Although just a short iron is needed, you'll need to be right on the money. By
the  way, the  putting surface is probably the quickest on the course, sloping
from back to front.

The  sixth is a reachable par-five, as long as you split the fairway and avoid
the  water on  the right with a  big strike. Bending to the right, your second
shot  will be uphill  to a narrow, two-tiered green, with plenty of sand, left
and  back. Miss short and your ball will fall back off the green and roll down
the fairway. Laying up is no bargain either, as you must negotiate a creek and
trees  on both  sides of the small  landing area. The final one shotter on the
outward  nine is  outstanding, with deep bunkers guarding the left side of the
green.  The putting  surface is  quite  long and  slopes from  back to  front.
Whatever  you do, don't miss right. The eighth plays uphill and bends slightly
to the left. Sand once again guards the corner of the fairway, but a solid tee
shot  will leave a short iron. This is a good chance to get back on the birdie
train,  despite the two-tiered green, that slopes from back to front. The nine
closes with a strong par-four that requires a slight draw over a pair of large
bunkers.  From  there, a medium  to short iron is  needed to reach the narrow,
relatively  flat putting  surface. Missing  left  or right  will spell  bogey,
especially if the pin is back-right.

The  back nine starts with a solid par-four. From an elevated tee, the players
tees  off to a  fairway that rises to the green. Miss left and your in serious
trouble,  due to fescue  grass that flanks the entire side of the fairway. The
landing  area slopes to the right, leaving an awkward, uphill second shot. The
green slopes from back to front and is well guarded by plenty of sand. Another
outstanding  par-three, the 11th is downhill to a fairly long green. Short and
left  is sand,  the largest and deepest  on the course, so once again, picking
the right club will be of the utmost importance. The only par-five on the back
side  is the 12th, at 580 yards. The tee shot must avoid the sand on the left,
so  as  to leave the  player with a  simple layup shot.  Just a wedge for your
third,  however the  green is  very tricky  and slopes  away from  the player.
Birdie  is not as easy as you think. The 13th is a straightaway, short, uphill
par-four.  Your second shot  will play longer than you think, so take an extra
club  and avoid the  deep bunkers left and right of this elevated green. Brawn
and  beauty  explains the 14th.  The longest par-four  on the course, the 14th
plays  from an  elevated tee, sloping downhill  and left. A draw is needed off
the  tee, setting up a mid iron to a green that slopes from left to right. Two
huge  bunkers guard both sides of the putting surface. Hitting the green is no
guarantee that you'll make par.

The  longest  par-three on  the course,  the 15th plays  uphill and requires a
fairway  wood off  the  tee. All  shots  will  feed to  the  right, but  don't
shortside  yourself,  as two deep bunkers  protect that side of the green. The
Spring  Mill  Course finishes with  three beautiful and outstanding par-fours.
The  16th  features a  blind tee shot  to a fairway  that slopes straight down
toward  the green. Despite a good tee ball, the player is left with a downhill
lie  to  the smallest putting  surface on  the course. Although downhill, this
hole  does not play short, so trust your yardage, as sand all around the green
will  gobble up any wayward shot. The best of the three holes is the signature
17th. Stretching 472 yards from the tips and doglegging severely to the right,
the second to last hole, requires accuracy and length off the tee. Missing the
fairway  right will  prove costly  due to  trees and  fescue, but  cutting the
corner  is a must, as the fairway will slope from left to right. A mid to long
iron  is  needed to reach  the long putting  surface. Although sand guards the
left  of  the green, it sure  beats the alternative...sand and an uphill pitch
from the right. Making par will feel like a three. The closing hole is another
dogleg to the right and plays uphill all the way to the green. Under 400 yards
in  length, the 18th  plays a full club longer. A good tee shot dissecting the
fairway bunkers, will leave a mid to short iron to a severely sloping, back to
front  and  right to  left green. Leave  your approach below  the hole to give
yourself a shot at birdie.

As  with  most top courses, the  key is to  drive straight and putt well. That
certainly  is  the case  at Philadelphia  Country Club.  The fairways are very
accessible,  however miss  the short stuff and you will be penalized severely.
The  rough  is extremely  thick and  difficult while  the putting surfaces are
slick  and quick,  leaving no  doubt, that  they are  the key  defense of  the
course.  The  Spring Mill Course is  a true test, with undulating fairways and
small,  well-guarded  greens. Sure there  are plenty  of birdie holes, but you
certainly  will not have  your way with this course. What makes this course so
special.  Let  me count the ways.  Style and layout of holes, conditioning and
most  importantly...history.  Quality, not  quantity makes Philadelphia C.C. a
must play, that is, if you can get on.