John Philip Sousa and Bob Hope aren't usually in the same sentence together, but they have both been guests of The Abington Club, where golf, fitness, and culinary offerings converge. The 9-hole golf course is characterized by elevation changes, tree-lined fairways, and one of the country's first island greens. Inside the two-story fitness complex, group classes and individual exercise equipment spur members into shape. And the center isn't just for grownups. Youngsters can partake of youth programs including kids' yoga and Zumba classes, pool parties, and kids camp. After time spent engaged in physical activities, club guests can unwind at the Wet Whistle Bar & Grill, where they can enjoy burgers, wraps, and cold brews.
Radnor Valley Country Club provides players with access to three newly renovated indoor courts, outdoor lighted clay courts, and a staff of professional instructors from around the globe, including tennis director Reda Akbil. Each one-hour private lesson is tailored to the orbit-whacking needs and talents of budding baseliners, with instruction in skills such as serving, hitting, and outsmarting Charles Nelson Reilly. With one-on-one attention from their racquet racketeer, students can shape up their swing, better their backhand, or just get some exercise while working out deep-seated net angst.
Named a 2011 Top 100 Club Fitter in the country by Golf Digest, Golf By Design carries a full complement of golf equipment from clubs to apparel, and offers club fitting and repair that will improve course play. Putt around on the practice green before hitting approaches with the Bridgestone E5 ball ($26.99/dozen) or gear up for a links expedition with the Bag Boy T-300 travel bag ($39.99). For sputtering putters and scrap irons, the full service repair shop regrips, reshafts, and resuscitates old clubs, leaving them chipper and ready to dig divots like a prototype.
Open year-round, the course at Juniata Golf Club sprawls over 106 naturally hilly acres and challenges players with tricky lies and imposing hazards that complicate its relatively short length. Frankford Creek winds into play on six holes of the Edmund B. Ault design, ensnaring worm burners in a reedy morass. The par-4 sixth hole exemplifies the difficulty of the course as a whole, measuring just 360 yards in length but forcing shots to climb entirely uphill from tee to shallow green like a marathon-running pack mule.
Course at a Glance:
18-hole, par-66 course
Total length of 5,275 yards from the back tees
Course rating of 64.8 from the back tees
Course slope of 109 from the back tees
Three sets of tees per hole
Amid the verdant, golf-cart-traversed grounds of Indian Spring Country Club and Pennsauken Country Club, executive chef Dean Marco blends herbs with Maryland crab meat to make his broiled jumbo lump crab cakes. The crisp yet creamy morsels, which are Marco’s signature dish, are properly placed near the top of the menu at Marco’s Restaurant, above succulent meats such as filet mignon, Atlantic salmon, and whole crabs with authentic New England accents. Given both locations’ proximity to the links, each kitchen also sates golfers’ appetites with Angus burgers and sandwich baskets that come with optional sides such as lobster-and-shrimp bisque.
PGA-certified instructor Michael Lanzetta imparts golf wisdom from the expansive practice facilities at Mansfield Golf and Learning Center, which he has owned and operated since 1997. The passionate pedagogue sleeps on a bed of neatly mown bentgrass to maintain the pin-hunting skills that led him to victory in more than 100 competitive tournaments, including the New Jersey Head Professional Championship. A simple teaching philosophy of improving clients’ ball-striking fundamentals is the driving force of every lesson, during which pupils crush orbs from a 36-stall, 14-acre driving range, which features covered, enclosed stalls to offset meteorological uncertainties. Lessons may also include the use of video analysis, which plays back shots in slow motion and introduces players to a digital doppelgänger soon to be their inferior. Mansfield Golf also showcases a pro shop that carries golf equipment from top brands and offers club fitting, repair, and regripping services.