George Forster, Radnor Valley Country Club’s head golf pro, has retired after 37 years. Winner of 82 individual Philadelphia PGA Section tournaments, Forster will continue to play at Blue Bell Country Club, where he’s a member. “I’ve been in the golf business in some shape or form since age 13, when I worked in the snack bar at Walnut Lane Golf Club,” says Forster. “After 52 years, it’s really nice to enjoy life and play more golf.”
The Golf Association of Philadelphia has merged with the Delaware State Golf Association. The coupling increases GAP’s membership to more than 90,000 golfers across parts of four states and brings together the two most prominent golf organizations in the Delaware Valley.
Several area golf pros were honored recently with Philadelphia PGA Section Awards, including the Union League of Philadelphia’s Sean Palmer (PGA Golf Professional of the Year), Overbrook Golf Club’s David Zimmaro (PGA Teacher & Coach of the Year), Aronimink Golf Club’s Jeff Kiddie (Bill Strausbaugh Award) and Philadelphia Cricket Club’s Chris Young (PGA Youth Player Development Award).
It looks like the long-speculated renovation of the venerable Cobbs Creek Golf Course in Philadelphia is finally going to happen, with a $65 million restoration getting underway this spring. Closed since 2020, the historic course experienced flooding and a destructive fire in 2016, leaving it an unplayable safety concern for years. It was spared the wrecking ball thanks to the efforts of the Cobbs Creek Foundation. The restoration will feature a Gil Hanse/Jim Wagner-designed championship golf course, a community and education center, a driving range, a nine-hole short course and a restaurant. Target dates for completion extend into 2024.
Baywood Greens (Long Neck, Del.) has tripled the size of its practice green to better accommodate players, and it will be re-decking the 18th hole bridge. Landis Creek Golf Club (Limerick, Pa.) has new asphalt cart paths throughout the course, along with new bridges over the ponds on holes 14 and 15. The course also features a fresh pond in front of the seventh green. As longtime superintendent Mark McGreevey takes over the role of general manager at Wyncote Golf Club (Oxford, Pa.), he’ll be revamping the golf operation and remodeling and rebranding the restaurant as a Scottish pub.
Union League Liberty Hill (Lafayette Hill, Pa.) is now a full year into its takeover of the former Ace Club. Enhancements include a second restaurant and a lobby renovation. A recreation center is also planned as part of a lifestyle campus for Union League members. Applebrook Golf Club (Malvern, Pa.) has a new irrigation system scheduled for installation this summer. Course recommendations from architect Gil Hanse will proceed in early fall, including bunker restoration, renovated practice facilities and other upgrades.
In the Senior PGA Professional Championship this past October, Applebrook head golf pro Dave McNabb climbed from 57th place all the way to 14th in the final round. His stellar play secured him a spot in this year’s Senior PGA Championship at Harbor Shores in Michigan.
Duke Matzik takes over as head pro at West Chester Country Club (West Chester, Pa.). Steve Frederick has left Overbook Country Club (Bryn Mawr, Pa.) to assume head pro duties at Radnor Valley Country Club (Villanova, Pa.). Jon Arthur has been hired as head pro at Radley Run Country Club (West Chester, Pa.). And after an eight-year stint as the GM at St. David’s Golf Club (Wayne, Pa.), Bill Phillips has returned to Applebrook Golf Club.