Central Pennsylvania (PA) Thread


Although I find it odd that it would be placed in the “Central PA” section, you, and the others that check out this thread, need to go play Inniscrone.

By all the research that I’ve done, it seems to be the first original design in the United States by Gil Hanse. It was intended to be a private club, but my sense is that it couldn’t sustain that model even pre-crisis.

Anyway, it was well-maintained this summer when I played it. It is well laid out with very cool bunkering, and presents challenges with some very cool green complexes.

In all the podcasts he’s done, Hanse never seems to talk too much about the course, and I’d really like @thefriedegg or someone to press him on it the next time he sits down to chat with them.

I’ll wrap by encouraging people in the DC (2 hours), Baltimore (30-45 minutes), and Philly areas to give this course a chance. I played 36 holes for less than $80 in July, so it’s very affordable.


It’s on my list of places to play in 2019 along with Galen Hall, Manor and Lulu. I live in the Harrisburg area and I believe it’s only about 90 minutes from here. I drove past it once my way to Rehoboth but sadly didn’t have time for a pit stop.


Lets do a 36 hole day. Inniscrone in the morning, The Golf Club at Glenn Mills in the afternoon. they are only about 15 minutes apart.
A day of golf that would be hard to beat.


I actually played there a few springs ago… and by “Spring” I mean one of those sunny days in March where it’s blowing 25 miles and hour and felt like it was 25 degrees.

Inniscrone is a fun course. Good mix of elevation and hazards, although some holes like 3-5 seem kind of jammed in the layout. At the time when I played there, 16 still had the original design (http://myphillygolf.com/detail.asp?id=14799&pid=20) and was very challenging back into the wind. Worth the trip, and close enough to other good courses (Broad Run or Wyncote).


I walked Inniscrone and have talked to Gil about Inniscrone (not on a pod).

For the public it should be a course everyone visits in the greater PA area. I go see a lot of courses that are in this price range, Inniscrone is one of the few modern courses with a design pedigree. The course had financial troubles and it killed the potential for the course to be a “highly regarded” private venue.

It’s a bit in the sticks but it’s a great piece of ground with a really good design. There have been a few holes altered for public play. In the end, it’s a bit sad - a course 10 years into a 50 year slide that you see with a lot of public Ross courses. Can still see the bent grass from where the fairway used to extend to.

Saw a bunch of public courses that trip to Philly and have a future article planned for it but here’s a short version

Lulu - awesome spot every public golfer within 100 miles should go see. Some really cool Donald Ross stuff there. Did an article on it here: https://thefriedegg.com/a-rossy-vacation-lulu-country-club/

Jeffersonville - Another Ross course in the Philly area that’s under $50. There are about 12 original holes out there. Every city should have a place like Jeffersonville

Paxon Hollow - This was my gem find of the trip. Its an old short 18 hole golf course filled with quirk on a great piece of land. Gil Hanse’s design partner Jim Wagner is friends with the pro from high school and has been doing pro-bono work at Paxon for years.

A little west of Philly

Galen Hall - Findlay/Tillinghast/Gordon course - they had a brutal summer of weather and need some serious help with drainage. That being said, I would go there in a heartbeat, especially if the area has had a nice 2 week string of weather. The Moat Hole alone is worth the green fee. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psfAs4WobDA

Reading CC - Alex Findlay course - This place has so much potential but much like Galen Hall has had a year of weather. It’s in desperate need of a chainsaw but it’s an incredible piece of land for a golf course. If you can see past scruffy, it’s a real gem.

Manor GC - Right down the street from Galen Hall, it’s a quirky old course worth seeing. Lots of charm and a nice piece of land.

One I didn’t see while out there that I wanted to was Berkeley Hills.

All these courses besides Lulu are less than $50 to play and you can see some unique stuff. I wish Chicago had this much good affordable public golf.


Add in JC Melrose to those courses you listed. It’s 5 minutes away from LuLu and is an old Maxwell/MacKenzie course that still has some extremely interesting holes.


Thanks for the amazing overview, some good ones in there. I live in Lancaster, and while there are no great courses in Lancaster other than the private LCC, we are fortunate to have such an impressive list within an hours drive.
I had a few of these on my list to play this summer, but the weather has been absolutely brutal in this area. Long stretches at a time where it would rain every day. Wyncote was high on my list, but when my tee time rolled around it was a soppy mess. (Still a great course)
I played Galen Hall a few years ago, time to go back again. Paxon Hollow looks great as well.
Looking forward to the article!


Come play Chambersburg CC while you’re at it


I seem to be on the Western outskirts of a thread like this, all the way out in Chambersburg. But I’ve had fantastic experiences at CC of Harrisburg, West Shore CC, Lebanon CC, Colonial Golf, CC of York (lots of USGA and PA qualifiers), The Hershey courses.


Live in DC and will be doing this one weekend next summer. Thanks @thefriedegg!


Maybe I’ll do a post on it someday, but Hershey had a great course called Parkview (was previously called Hershey South and Hershey Park GC). It was a Maurice McCarthy design from the 20’s I think, and it was a really fun course with a lot of quirky holes and elevation changes. They would always switch up the numbering of the holes, but back when I played HS in the late 90’s, the stretch of 8-10 would punch your cobbles in if you didn’t know what you were doing. Sadly, it got paved in the mid-00’s to make room for more arena parking, but man, what a cool course it was.


jackpot. very much looking forward to the article!


Not only did Parkview get paved, but Hershey Links is no more, which was arguably more enjoyable than either of the CC courses.


Truly a shame what happened to those Hershey courses. Never got to play Parkview and only played WrenDale/Hershey Links once before it was closed. I recently got to play the back nine of Hershey CC West for the first time and thought it was great; reminded me of how Parkview must have looked back in the day down in the valley. Between that and getting to play CC of Harrisburg this summer it was a good golf year for me.


Funny thing is I’ve never actually set foot on the West, but I’ve played the East over 20 times. Back in the day, IJGT play was only allowed on the East or Hershey Links (RIP)


This is awesome. I’m in York county and have a regional bucket list and this has made that list even longer!


has anyone played (or heard of) hamlin golf club (fredericksburg)? i was looking to play a quick round on my way to lancaster for a rehearsal last week and finding this place was such a pleasant surprise! apparently two brothers turned their christmas tree farm into a little 9 hole course, 6 par 4s and 3 par 3s, really fun little holes. clubhouse is a shack with a money drop (i was the only one there the whole time). $10 or $15 to play all day. if it were near me i’d play all the time! obviously not for everyone, but i absolutely love places like this. anyone know any other rinky-dink or homemade courses anywhere?


I grew up near Carlisle, PA and we used to pay a bunch at a course that used to be called Pen-Del. All-day play back in the 90’s was something like $10, and was a great place to learn the game (most of the par 4’s were less than 250 if I remember correctly). I went to look up the course and was having some trouble at first - I guess it is now called Forest Hills, and the website claims its the 3rd oldest course in PA. Huge if true.


It has been ages since I have played there, but now I’m kinda itching to head back there.


oh wow nice! yea i love places like this, thanks!


Never heard of Hamlin but it sounds cool. I couldn’t find it on google maps but they have a Facebook page.
Another little 9-holer to check out would be Conocodell in Fayetteville. Unlimited walking winter rate is $10.