2020 Regional Golf News and Notables

New pools at DuPont Country Club./ Courtesy of DuPont Country Club; Krystal Deegan

Looking to escape quarantine and hit the links? Here’s what’s happening both on and off the course in Delaware and Pennsylvania. Visit delaware.gov and dsga.org for updates about golfing in Delaware during COVID-19.

New This Year

DuPont Country Club in Wilmington, Del., feels more like an “athletic country club that has something for everyone in the family,” says head pro John Burke. Among the changes are a new practice facility, a nine-hole putting course, and an indoor golf center and teaching facility. Two new pools should be ready for Memorial Day, while a fitness facility is scheduled to debut in early autumn.

The buzz at Applebrook Golf Club in Malvern, Pa., is centered around the Bistro, an expansion of the original grill room that includes a 14-seat bar and mixed dining area.

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The newest renovations at Deerfield Golf Club include a pro shop makeover and a new covered bag-drop area with starter stand. Look for a new lobby and pro shop upgrades, as well.

The fairways at Garrisons Lake Golf Club in Smyrna, Del., are sporting new Bermuda grass as part of its continuing conversion. A new outing pavilion with portable heaters is also ready.

After celebrating its centennial in 2019, Green Valley Country Club in Lafayette Hill, Pa., is well positioned for the next 100 years thanks to a newly renovated ballroom and pool complex, three new indoor tennis courts, and an indoor golf simulator.

One of the newest clubs under Forewinds Hospitality management, the links at Jonathan’s Landing in Dover, Del., were designed in 1962 by renowned course architect Edmund Ault. They’ve completed several golf course improvement projects, reinvigorated the annual golf pass program, added a retail golf shop, and renovated the Lighthouse Ballroom for celebrations of all types.

Head pro Ben Debski reports that the new 9,500-square-foot athletic complex at Springhaven Country Club in Wallingford, Pa., will feature a fitness center, a two-bay indoor golf simulator room and a business center. A separate outdoor cabana bar and two swimming pools will debut later this year.

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Last year, Salt Pond Golf Club in Bethany Beach, Del., saw an increase in rounds played, up over 3,000 from the previous year. “Golfers love great greens, and our superintendent Mark Allison does an exceptional job,” says head pro Art Whaley of the increase. New this year: a practice bunker and upgrades to the pro shop.

PGA Honors Area Golf Professionals

John Dunigan, one of the area’s most distinguished and honored teaching professionals, is now bringing his talents to Applebrook Golf Club in Malvern, Pa., after many seasons at White Manor Country Club. Dunigan is consistently ranked among the top 100 golf teachers in the country and recently received the PGA Philadelphia Section Teacher of the Year Award.

Dean Kandle, head golf pro at St. David’s Golf Club in Wayne, Pa., was honored with the Horton Smith Award from the Philadelphia PGA. The award recognizes the PGA professional who is the model educator and makes outstanding and continuing contributions to professional education. The same organization also bestowed the PGA Assistant Golf Professional Award to Stephen Frederick, who holds that title at Overbrook Golf Club in Villanova, Pa.

Anniversaries and Upgrades

Hartefeld National golf club in Avondale, Pa., is celebrating its 25th anniversary. Now owned by ClubCorp, it has undergone more than $2 million in upgrades in the past decade. The Fazio Simulator Lounge is ready to debut this season. Visit clubcorp.com.

Midway Par 3 Golf Course in Lewes, Del. will celebrate its 40th anniversary this year. Where else can you play an 18-hole, par 3 course with regulation-size greens for just $16?

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Serious Players

It’s hard to say who had a better golf season last year: 17-year-old amateur Ryan McCabe or Radnor Valley Country Club head pro George Forster. McCabe, who plays out of Springhaven Country Club, won his club’s men’s stroke play, match play and junior club championships. Forster won the Philadelphia PGA Haverford Trust Classic with a birdie on the seventh playoff hole.

New Faces, Familiar Places

Michael Wheeler

Green Valley Country Club welcomes new superintendent Matthew Herrmann. The former head superintendent at the Philadelphia Cricket Club Wissahickon Course, he’ll now be in charge of William Flynn’s Lafayette Hill, Pa., masterpiece.

Old York Road Country Club in Ambler, Pa., has hired PGA teaching professional Michael Wheeler to launch a new instruction program for all levels of golfers. Wheeler is a two-time Golf Digest “Best Young Teacher in America” honoree. Visit oyrcc.com.

Jonathan Arthur has accepted the position as Radley Run Country Club’s new head golf professional. The Penn State University grad spent 13 years as a golf professional at Jonathan’s Landing Golf Club in Florida before relocating to West Chester, Pa.

Jeff Massa has taken over the head pro duties at White Manor Country Club in Malvern, Pa. The New York native is a member of the PGA and has worked at all levels of golf course operations in California and New York.

Public Vs. Private

The previous director of player development at North Hill Country Club and head pro at Blue Bell Country Club, JT Holsman, has sought to bring private club amenities to Ingleside Golf Club in Avondale, Pa. To that end, he’s focusing on events, leagues, instruction and simulators at the public golf course. “I wanted to bring a sense of belonging to the daily players at our course and to make sure that everyone knew they were welcome,” he says.

Open For Business

The most golfing fun you can have away from the golf course is coming to Upper Merion, Pa. Topgolf’s 65,000-square-foot sports complex will offer indoor/outdoor driving ranges, food, entertainment and special events. There’s no open date yet, but duffers can get a taste of the Texas-based concept at nearby outposts in New Jersey.

By Jim Finnegan

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