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Area Courses

Summer 2009 Issue
The Golf Guide


Golf Getaways and Packages: South Central
Pennsylvania Region

Pennsylvania Golf Packages in South Central Pennsylvania explore one of the most beautiful areas in the mid-Atlantic and provide a great golf getaway destination.

Two resorts stand out as the cream of the crop, both featuring two 18-hole golf courses and on- site lodging. Penn National Resort and Carroll Valley Resort are long time favorites to the regions golf population.

The Founders Course at Penn National is a classic Northeastern-style masterpiece. Designed by Edmund Ault in 1966, the course features large contoured greens, tree-lined ryegrass fairways, sculpted fairway and greenside sand bunkers and a seven acre lake. The Penn National Iron Forge Course, a modern and contemporary design, is a perfect complement to the traditional Founders Course.

Set amidst picturesque rolling hills, surrounded by the inspiring Catoctin Mountains, Carroll Valley Golf Resort offers 36 holes of Pennsylvania's best golf. Serious golfers and beginners alike will revel in the beauty and exciting challenges offered by the two 18-hole Championship courses designed by Ault & Clark in Fairfield, PA. The Resort hotel overlooks the Carroll Valley Course, a 6,600 yard tract that winds it's way over picture-perfect rolling hills. Just minutes from the Carroll Valley Course is the Mountain View Course. This 6,300 yard course is nestled in the valley of a serene mountain range and is only minutes away from the historical Gettysburg Battlefield.

Set among the rolling hills and mountains of Adams County, The Links At Gettysburg is situated near the area's most historic countryside. The magnificent upscale championship style golf course features steep, 35' rock cliffs, stone-lined tee boxes, red rock cart paths, ten lakes, and waterfalls offering a great round of golf for all levels of ability.

Whitetail Golf Resort, a terrific new Rick Robbins design that brings "golf with a view," is now open in Mercersburg. Whitetail is a combination mountain and links style layout with dramatic elevation changes and breathtaking views.

Pennsylvania Golf Packages: value and beauty.

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Penn National Golf Club — Golf, Eat, Sleep, Repeat

Excerpted from Fall 2007 Golf Guide

Click on images to view enlargements

The Manor at Penn NationalWhether you choose a day, a week, or maybe even a lifetime, Penn National Golf Club, Inn, and Community have all of your options covered. This fine-tuned and well-oiled golf machine continues year in and year out to provide golfers from all over the region with a tremendous golf experience. The folks there will tell you that this didn’t just happen overnight. It has been a continuing effort from the facility’s early years to create a casual yet classy atmosphere that may just lure you away from your present situation. What started as one golf course soon became a destination and then a community. Another course was later added to sweeten the pot. A rich piece of history is the Penn National Inn, located just off the eighth fairway of the Founders Course. Built in 1847, the White Rock Manor House stands majestically surrounded by several modern guest lodges. These are the buildings that first introduced this writer to Penn National. This was back before the community really got going. My golf group of ten couples performed a three-day fall gig at Penn National. To this day, I remember sitting on the porch rocking chairs without a care in the world except that 6 footer I missed on number 18 for birdie. That was the time in my life when my love affair began with the Founders Course.

Pen National: Iron Forge Hole 9The course debuted in 1968 when a round of golf there cost $2.50. Now celebrating its 40th anniversary, it’s a classic design from one of the grandfathers of Northeast golf architecture, Ed Ault. The simplicity of this traditional layout is what makes it so grand. And, please don’t confuse the term simple with easy. At nearly 7000 yards Founders is a powerful test of old school golf. Take the first hole for instance. The par 4 plays from an elevated tee with everything right in front of you. Like most time-honored courses, expect fairway bunkers on nearly every hole on the Founders. The lake behind the first green also comes into play on several future holes, including the par 5 second. This dogleg left plays gradually uphill, but can be reached in two with a brave drive up the left side which brings the water into play. The other par 5 on the outward nine is the seventh, a hole that has been redesigned from its original. At 615 yards from the tips, length has been added here as well as several fairway bunkers which frame this gradual right dogleg. The eighth is one of several formidable par 4’s you’ll encounter on the Founders Course. Uphill and over 430 yards from the back tees, a lackluster drive will make this one play like a short par 5. The back nine closes your round with an excellent stretch of holes starting with the par 5 fourteenth. If you can play a power fade, you’re going to love this exciting hole which plays through the layout’s soaring hardwoods. The short and tight par 4 fifteenth also does, so accuracy is a must. The sixteenth is just the opposite of its predecessor. This 460 yards of meat and potatoes par 4 plays toward the signature lake. An inviting fairway sets up a second shot to a well-bunkered green. The lake is crossed on the par 3 seventeenth — aesthetically the prettiest hole with flowering plants and trees in the backdrop distracting the sweatiest tee shot you’ll face on the Founders Course. Last year, a complete bunker remodeling and renovation was completed. Several new bunkers were added to compensate for today’s technology and longer hitters. This layout still stands as a regional favorite for tradition and playability. It’s that simple.

To find the right course to partner with Founders, Penn National called on respected architect Bill Love to design a wide-open, links style testament to Scottish golf. Voila! In 1996, enter Iron Forge, a course that when Mother Nature chooses too, it can literally live up to its macho name. Modern golf staples like mounding, sculpted fairways and deep bunkered, large green complexes are all incorporated here by Love. I’ve played Iron Forge on calm days as well as windy days, and the difference can be quite dramatic. With nary a tree to fret about on the entire course, the real test comes when you add wind into the equation. Native grasses located just outside the rough lines of many fairways can swallow errant shots. The tee-to-green bentgrass course plays a single loop, and the landscape is nothing short of spectacular with views of the Pennsylvania Cumberland Valley and surrounding mountains.

With it’s location just off the beaten path, Penn National is appealing for those that want to play, play often, and not concern themselves with outside distractions. The recipe for their success as a golf destination is quite simple. Add two highly rated courses, a scoop of comfortable lodging, and a healthy portion of excellent food, and that’s it. Not quite. Penn National boasts an experienced staff that not only knows their product, but their guests as well. The numbers of golf packages are quite staggering. More than 500 groups made their pilgrimage there last year. Over 100 of them have been coming every year for at least five years. Some of them have decided that once a year just isn’t enough and have made Penn National their home. The community now numbers more than 1,000 households. Whether visiting or residing, I guess life at Penn National Golf Club can be quite simple and monotonous. This golfer can hardly wait to again be subject to such tedious behavior.

Nick Ciattei, Golf Guide Staff Writer

Penn National: Founders Course Holes 1, 17, 16
Penn National Fayetteville Pennsylvania Golf