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:
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.
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.
In golf, reliving mistakes is sometimes a good thing. It can help a player find the faults in his or her swing, and then make the necessary adjustments in order to finally crack open a golf ball and retrieve the shiny pearl inside. That's exactly what the PGA-certified instructors at Fox Meadow Golf Center accomplish through their JC Video motion-analysis software. The system captures video of players and then breaks down every element of a swing—from the initial backswing to the moment of impact.
Of course, this video system would be useless without practice areas. The driving range's five target greens lie at distances between 50 and 205 yards. Balls launch from 60 tees, including 30 heated tees that stay open year round. A sand trap lies nearby, and a synthetic putting green helps bolster short games. These facilities are the setting for Fox Meadow Golf Center's instructional programs, including junior and adult camps that focus on everything from chipping to bunker play. Alternatively, an onsite 18-hole mini-golf course allows for more casual putting.
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.
At Lederach Golf Club, golfers drive, pitch, and putt through 7,023 yards of lush, forested fairways on a challenging course designed by architect Kelly Blake Moran. Link with a partner and navigate the undulating greens against a backdrop of picturesque ridges, majestic valleys, and rows of singing, cartoon trees. The par-71 municipal course boasts a smattering of grass bunkers and swales that naturally dupe clubbing enthusiasts of various skill levels. Junior players can belt dimpled projectiles on tees designed specifically for their swing, and advanced players try and balance their golf balls on toothpicks before test-driving their strokes full-tilt onto fairways.