Course Architects: Herbert Strong (1920-21), Eugene Grace, William Gordon,
                   Perry Maxwell (1941), Tom Fazio design (2005-08)
Year Opened: 1922
Location: Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Slope: 142  Rating: 74.9
Par: 71
Yardage: 7,123
Hole-by-Hole: 1 - Par 5 558 Yds    10 - Par 4 387 Yds
                      2 - Par 4 474 Yds    11 - Par 3 172 Yds
                      3 - Par 4 368 Yds    12 - Par 4 435 Yds
                      4 - Par 3 159 Yds    13 - Par 4 338 Yds
                      5 - Par 4 480 Yds    14 - Par 3 192 Yds
                      6 - Par 5 582 Yds    15 - Par 5 615 Yds
                      7 - Par 4 456 Yds    16 - Par 4 496 Yds
                      8 - Par 4 429 Yds    17 - Par 4 422 Yds
                      9 - Par 3 215 Yds    18 - Par 4 345 Yds
                      Par 36  3,721 Yds     Par 35  3,402 Yds

Key Events Held: U.S. Amateur (1951),
                 U.S. Junior Amateur (1983),
                 U.S. Senior Amateur (1987),
                 U.S. Senior Open (1992, 2000),
                 U.S. Women's Open (2009),
                 U.S. Mid-Amateur (2014).

Awards Won: Ranked #8 by Golf Digest - Best-in-State rankings (2005-06),
            Ranked #9 by Golf Digest - Best-in-State rankings (2007-08),
            Top-10 ranked by Golf Digest - Best-in-State since rankings began,
            Audubon International Cooperative Sanctuary.


HISTORY:  The  club dates  back to 1920,  when a group  of 16 businessmen from
Bethlehem,  Pennsylvania  purchased a tract  of farmland,  205 acres in all to
inaugurate  a full-service  country  club,  with family  being  of the  utmost
importance.  Most  of the  group of  leaders were  from nearby Bethlehem Steel
Corporation, led by Eugene Gifford Grace. President of BSC for 30 years, Grace
was  known  as the  "Patriarch," of  Saucon Valley, although  he never held an
official title at the club.

Grace  selected well-known  Herbert Strong to design the original course, then
called  the Saucon  Course.  Strong,  who crafted  Engineers  Golf Club  (NY),
Canterbury  Golf Club (OH) and Le Manoir Richelieu (Canada) to name a few, was
originally  from England  and came  to the  United States  in 1905.  Strong, a
former  golf professional  at Apawamis  Golf  Club in  Westchester, New  York,
crafted  a course  that  required  positioning off  the  tee and  well-thought
approaches to severely contoured greens.

Completed in 1921, the course opened for play in June of 1922. Relatively wide
open when first designed, over 4,000 trees were added in 1930. Over the years,
the  course  has been tweaked  by notable  architects William Gordon and Perry
Maxwell and just recently by the Tom Fazio Group.

The  name Saucon Valley comes from the Indian phrase, "Sa-ku-wit," which means
"the  mouth of the  creek." Saucon Creek, which runs through the property is a
branch of the Delaware River.

When  the  club first opened, the  active membership was limited to 500, which
included  250 Charter  members, with  a  initiation fee  of $50.00  plus a  10
percent  war tax.  Evolving over  the years,  Saucon Valley  Country Club  now
boasts 60 holes of golf and 1,000 members.

The Old Course at Saucon Valley has hosted some very prestigious events of the
years.  The United States Golf Association made its first stop at SVCC in 1951
for  the U.S.  Amateur Championship. In a field that included Ken Venturi, Gay
Brewer,  Dow  Finsterwald, William  Hyndmann  III,  P.J. Boatwright,  Jr.  and
William  Turnesa,  Billy Maxwell, a virtual  unknown from Texas came away with
the title. Maxwell, just 22 years old, defeated Joseph Gagliardi, 4 & 3. After
posting  close victories  in  his  first five  matches,  Maxwell crushed  J.C.
Benson, 10 & 9 in the semifinals before prevailing over Gagliardi.

Thirty-two  years later,  the USGA  returned to  the Old  Course for  the U.S.
Junior  Amateur,  as Tim Straub, the  runner-up from the year before, defeated
John   Mahon  1-up.   Straub,  from  New  York,  defeated  Bob  Estes  in  the
quarterfinals,  4  & 2, as he  played the final  11 holes even par. During the
championship match, Straub struggled early, making bogeys on four of the first
seven  holes, however  he led 1-up. Trailing  on the final nine, Mahon holed a
50-foot putt for birdie on the 15th, only to have Straub match it with a four-
footer.  Two  down with only  two holes remaining, Mahon  made par to close to
within 1-down, however Straub made par on the last to win match.

The  U.S. Senior Amateur Championship made its presence felt at the Old Course
in just four years later, as medalist John Richardson defeated James Kite Jr.,
5  & 4.  With the  win, Richardson  became the  first medalist  since 1981  to
capture  the Championship  in the same year. Richardson's play was impressive,
as  he held a  4-up lead after nine holes and increased it to five following a
birdie  on  12. During  the first  round of match  play, Frank Tenfel defeated
William  Ludwig on  the 25th  hole, the  second longest  match in  U.S. Senior
Amateur history.

The  U.S.  Senior Open made  the first of two  appearances at Saucon Valley in
1992,  as Larry Laoretti  bested Jim Colbert by four shots for his only win on
the elder circuit. Dave Stockton and Jack Kiefer shared the opening-round lead
after  shooting four-under-par  67s. Laoretti  trailed  by one  shot, but  his
second  round 72  placed  him seven  shots behind  Stockton,  who fashioned  a
championship  low 133. After shooting 68, defending champion Jack Nicklaus was
only five behind. Laoretti, celebrating his 53rd birthday, carded a four-under
67  on  day three and took  a one-shot lead  into Sunday, as Stockton shot 77.
Laoretti  continued  his brilliant play  the final day, as  he shot 68 for the
victory.  Nicklaus, who fell back on Saturday, shot 67 and tied for third with
Al  Geiberger, Gary Player and Stockton. Hall-of-Famers Lee Trevino and Arnold
Palmer  made the  cut, but  finished  well back  - Trevino  (T-18) and  Palmer
(T-32).  Playing in  the final pairing, Laoretti led Geiberger by one shot and
were  tied after 11 holes, however a Laoretti birdie on the par-five 12th from
two-feet  and  a bogey by Geiberger  proved to be pivotal. Laoretti sealed the
win  with birdies on  16 and 18. Colbert made up for a rocky start and birdied
four  of his last 10 holes to place second. The win enabled Laoretti to become
the fifth player to win the U.S. Senior Open in their first try.

In  one of the  most exciting U.S. Senior Open's, Hale Irwin captured the 2000
championship  on  the Old Course in  record fashion. Bruce Fleisher opened the
championship  with  a record-breaking 64, as  he birdied eight holes to offset
one  bogey. Irwin  stood two  back  after day  one and  four behind  following
Friday's  play, as  Fleisher equaled  the mark  by Laoretti  in the  1992 U.S.
Senior  Open. Fleisher  continued his stellar play, carding 67 for a three-day
total  of 200,  two clear of Irwin,  who battled back with a 65. After opening
the championship with a 72, Tom Kite made his presence felt, as he shot rounds
of  65-66 to trail by just three. It took only one hole for the leaderboard to
change  on Sunday, as  Irwin made birdie and Fleisher bogeyed and the two were
tied.  Irwin  took the lead  for good with birdies  on holes four through six,
while  Fleisher  rebounded with birdies on  six and eight, but trailed by one.
Irwin  continued his  hot play with two more  birdies on 12 and 17 to record a
three-stroke  victory over  Fleisher. Irwin, who captured the 1998 U.S. Senior
Open,  made 23 birdies  in 72 holes, including 15 in his last 36 and set a new
championship  record of 267, which still stands. Kite finished alone in third,
five shots back, while Ray Floyd, one of just two players in the field to post
four  sub-par rounds  (Fleisher the other) finished fourth. Dave Stockton, who
contended  in  1992, tied for sixth,  while Larry Laoretti, the winner in '92,
missed  the  cut.  Jack  Nicklaus,  who opened  the  championship  with  three
consecutive birdies, could do no better than a tie for 21st.

Over  the past eight decades since its opening, Saucon Valley Country Club has
employed  just five Golf Professionals, an amazing feat in this day and age of
job  displacement.  Current Director  of Golf  Gene Mattare  has been on board
since 1991.

REVIEW:  The  course opens with a  roller-coaster par five, playing uphill and
then  downhill  to the green.  A robust 558 yards,  it's the shortest of three
par-five  holes! With  sand guarding the left side near the green, the putting
surface is almost unreachable in two by most mortals, as the fairway slopes to
the right. The sensible play is down the right, setting up a simple wedge to a
green  that cants  from left to right. Hitting this well-guarded green can set
up a makeable birdie try, but stay below the hole for your best chance.

The second hole is the first of seven par-four holes over 400 yards in length.
At  474 yards,  a long  drive down  the  right should  leave a  mid-iron to  a
slightly  elevated  putting surface, that slopes  hard to the front. Avoid the
deep bunker to the left of the green and you'll have a shot at par. "Roadside"
as  it's called due  to the proximity of the entrance of the club, is rated as
the  third most difficult on the course. During the 2000 U.S. Senior Open, the
second ranked as the hardest hole during the championship.

One  of  the prettiest  holes on  the course, the  third requires accuracy, as
opposed  to  brawn. Fairway-metal or  hybrid off the  tee on this dogleg left,
will  leave a short-iron to a green protected by Saucon Creek in the front and
sand  right.  Any play on the  front of the  green, will spin back towards the
creek and possibly into the water, depending upon how shaved the chipping area
is  mown. The two-tiered  green can yield birdies, but beware of the tough pin

The  first par  three is also the  shortest at 159 yards. Slightly uphill, the
fourth  features a well-guarded, double level green that slopes hard from back
to  front. Pin-point accuracy  is key, as the surface is not very deep and the
front  and side bunkers  get plenty of play. Long is no bargain either, as the
green sits well above your feet.

With  trees down  both sides of the fairway, the fifth necessitates a straight
drive.  Long is also part of the equation, as the hole measures 480 yards from
the  tips.  A medium-  to long-iron  will remain  to the  longest green on the
course  at  40 paces deep.  Bunkers left and  right protect the surface, while
Saucon Creek is in play left of the green.

Aptly  named  "Sahara," the long par-five  sixth features plenty of trouble in
the  form of sand. With a successful tee ball, your second shot is played over
a  large sandy expanse  that must be avoided at all costs as it also protrudes
down  the  right. The left side  is the proper play  to lay up, leaving just a
wedge  to a  well-guarded green. The pot bunker fronting the surface will make
for  a  difficult up-and-down. It  comes as no surprise  that the sixth is the
number one handicap hole on the course.

The  straightaway seventh  is a gem of  a par four reaching 456 yards from the
back  tees. Sand  juts out  in the  fairway down  the right,  while a  pair of
bunkers  flank the left.  The key is negotiating the green, as a huge slope in
the center of the surface presents quite a dilemma.

One  of several  doglegs on  the  course, the  eighth bends  sharply left  and
requires  a draw  from right  to left  over the  deep bunkers  that guard  the
corner.  A short-  to  medium-iron remains  to a  very  accessible green  with
bunkers  left and right. The putting surface however is quite the opposite, as
the green features difficult contours. A back-right pin could produce some big

The  only par three on the course over 200 yards, the ninth is one of the many
signature  holes at Saucon Valley. Playing over the meandering creek, a hybrid
or  long-iron is needed  to carry the water and split the bunkers that protect
the opening of the green. The putting surface is quite undulating, as it cants
from  back to front. As bad as short is on this hole, long can be worse, as OB
is nearby.

The  back nine starts  with a straightaway par four that plays uphill from the
fairway.  Bunkers  on both sides  of the landing area  guard the tight zone. A
medium-  to short-iron  remains to  a two-tiered,  long green  with a  trap on
either side. Any shot above the flag will be next to impossible to get down in
two  putts. In fact, you'll be fortunate to keep the ball on the green. All of
a sudden, a hole just 387 yards in length became not so easy.

One of my favorite holes on the course, the par three 11th plays downhill to a
well-guarded green. A whopping seven bunkers surround the putting surface that
features  a  swale in the rear-portion.  A mid-iron should be the club choice,
however when the wind blows, club selection is next to impossible. Par here is
a good score.

Originally  designed as  a par three, the  12th is a dogleg-left par four that
was  changed by famed architect Perry Maxwell. The tee shot is critical, as it
must  be played  with a slight draw to  set up the best approach to the green.
Any  shot  played without this  shot-shape, will  run through the fairway into
sand  or  worse, deep rough.  The putting surface is  my least favorite on the
course,  as it is designed after the Biarritz style with a two-foot slope near
the  front  of the green. Having  said that, the  hole, which will play as the
18th  for  the U.S.  Women's Open  in 2009, will  provide a  good test for any

Here's  a  great example  of a  short hole being  just as  difficult as a 450-
yarder.  Just 338 yards  from the tips, the 13th is a dogleg right, tree-lined
gem  that requires pinpoint  accuracy off the tee. A series of traps guard the
left  side of the  fairway, while two more protect the right. Let's not forget
the  trees lining  both sides  of  the landing  area. The  putting surface  is
slightly elevated and guarded on both sides. If successful off the tee, just a
wedge will remain, so you can attack, but that's a big IF.

Although  under 200  yards in length, the  14th plays uphill from tee to green
and  necessitates  a long-iron  or hybrid  just to  reach the putting surface.
Bunkers  on  both sides  protect the  promised land, which  is quite slick and
undulating.  The green  is multi-tiered and a back-right pin is very difficult
to get at. The final one-shotter on the course completes an outstanding set of
par threes.

The longest hole on the course, the dramatic 615-yard 15th sweeps downhill and
right  to left.  Trees down the left  side define the Saucon Valley layout, as
they tower over the fairway. A solid tee ball down the right side is needed to
set  up your  second-shot layup. Once again,  down the right side is the play,
avoiding  the large  fairway trap on the  left. Just a pitch will remain to an
undulating  green  that slopes from back  to front and is guarded precisely by
five bunkers. This hole can be had with three perfectly executed shots.

The  only hole on  the course without a trap, the 16th plays straightaway with
Saucon  Creek  down the entire left  side. Previously a pushover at 434 yards,
this  hole has been  lengthened to a whopping 496 yards. Trees and thick rough
are  a  very good substitute for  sand and any  shot offline from the tee will
most  likely make for  a punch-out. A long-iron or hybrid to the green must be
wary  of  the creek on the  left, as it is  meanders very close to the putting

The  final two holes  on the Old Course are as good as it gets. With the creek
down  the  left side and cutting  in front of the  green, the 17th is not only
difficult, but quite picturesque. At 422 yards, it's certainly no routine par.
Along  with water,  trees down the left  side can block out the green, even if
you're in the fairway. So play down the right side to set up the best angle to
the putting surface. Sand guards the green, which is one of the easiest on the
course. Making par here is no small task.

Spectacular.  That's the  best word to describe the finishing hole. A mere 345
yards, the 18th requires an accurate tee shot and an even more precise second.
Just  a  fairway-metal or long-iron  is required off the  tee. The key here is
avoiding  the  series of  bunkers down the  left and water  and rough down the
right.  This is where  it gets dicey, as your approach with just a short-iron,
is played dramatically uphill to a radically quick green that slopes hard from
back  to front.  The putting surface is  barely in view from the fairway. Most
visible are the three fronting bunkers and the Georgian-style clubhouse in the
rear. Quite a site.

FINAL  WORD: The  best way  to describe  the Old  Course at  Saucon Valley  is
"Classic."  From its  rolling fairways, to well-manicured greens and tees, the
Old  Course is  as elegant  and genuine  as they  come. The  Old Course  is so
revered, that the USGA has rewarded the club six times to host its prestigious

Since  day one,  the  Old Course  has  been  a work  in  refinement. From  the
brilliant  layout by  Herbert Strong, to the restoration work of Tom Fazio and

Saucon Valley Country Club is not just golf. It's 850 acres of tennis, squash,
swimming  and of course,  60 holes of amazing golf. The Old, Grace and Weyhill
courses, along with the six-hole short course, make up some of the finest golf
in  the region. In fact, both the Old and Grace courses have been rated in the
top-100 by Golf Magazine, one of just three private clubs in the United States
to share that honor (Baltusrol and Winged Foot).

The  golf itself  is superb.  It doesn't  get much  better than  the beautiful
third,  or the  massive sixth,  or the  sensational ninth  or those  two great
finishing  holes.  The Old Course  requires brawn, strategy, accuracy, finesse
and  most  important, thought.  If you  expect to move  around the course with
ease,  you're  mistaken. Look what happened  in 2000, when the best players of
the over 50 crowd came to town. The average score was a whopping 74.101!

If  you get the chance  to tee it up on the Old Course, you might not be happy
with  your final score,  but you will most certainly revel in the thought that
you  just played  one of  the finest  venues on  the east  coast. USGA  Senior
Director  of Rules  and  Competitions, Mike  Davis calls  the  Old Course,  "A
wonderful  test  of golf. A  balance of long  and short holes with wonderfully
contoured greens." He hit it right on the screws.

Just  sit back  on the veranda of  the magnificent clubhouse, pull back a cold
one and enjoy the moment, it's worth remembering.