THE GOG BLOG’S FALL CLASSICS-ROLLING GREEN GOLF COURSE

DSC05764 McWethy's entrance DSDSC05809 McWethy's dining room 1 DSDSC05781 McWethy's bar DS McWethy’s Tavern at Mistwood Golf Club is open daily. Sunday-Thursday 11 Am to 10 PM and Friday and Saturday 11 to 11 Pm. Online visit McWethy’s Tavern.com or you can call (815)-254-7001 for details. It’s not to early to book your big event in the Great Hall, seating up to 250 people. Mistwood Golf Club and Performance Center is closed.  _____________________________________________________________________

DSC03202 Rory at Rolling Green GC PA DS

The Gog Blog Chicago’s #1 Online Golf News Source by Rory Spears, Editor and Director of Content. Follow Rory on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter @GogBlogGuy. At the Rolling Green Golf Club, home of the 2016 U.S. Women’s Amateur.

The latest stop on our Fall Classics tour is the Rolling Green Golf Club in Springfield Pennsylvania, just outside of Philadelphia.

Rolling Green is classic William S. Flynn Course, that in spite of all it’s charm and the challenge that comes with playing the course, gets lost in the big picture of top rated Philly Golf, because of other outstanding courses like Merion and The Philadelphia Cricket Club. But Rolling Green with a few more big time championships, could gain all the attention it deserves.

First of when one thinks of Flynn and his great works of the years, courses like Shinnecock Hills, Lancaster, The Cascades Course at the Homestead, The Atlantic City Country Club and his influence under Hugh Wilson on Merion (East Course), a course like Rolling Green can slip under the radar. It shouldn’t, and a tip of the cap or golf visor goes to the USGA for bringing the 2016 USGA Women’s U.S. Amateur to the club next summer.

DSC03191 Rolling Green 4th hole work for 2016 WAM DS

Workers redo greens and green collars, recapturing Flynn’s original design in preparation of the 2016 USGA Women’s Amateur.

The last USGA Championship held at Rolling Green, was the 1976 U.S. Women’s Open. It was won by “Big Momma”, JoAnne Carner in a playoff over Sandra Palmer after both players had tied at +8.

The playoff didn’t go much better for either player in terms of score, Carner shot a 5 over par 76, and Palmer was 7 over par after shooting a 78. All that mattered to Carner was that she won.

Carner returned to the club the week before the 2013 U.S Open was played at Merion, when the club welcomed her back, and awarded her a plaque and an honorary membership to the club. Carner remembered Palmer telling her on the first tee of the playoff that she would win, a claim Palmer could not back up on that day.

DSC03194 Rolling Green 190 yard par 3 6th DS

The par 3, 6th hole at Rolling Green

Rolling Green isn’t the longest course at just under 7,000 yards (6,941), but it plays longer with it’s rolling terrain and over 130 feet of elevation change.

The 1976 Bicentennial Women’s Open played at just over 6,000 yards, the shortest open in modern day history. It will play longer next for the amateur, but the players will quickly find out that whatever length the USGA uses, the course will play longer. One would have to think that if the amateur plays out well in 2016, the USGA would consider bringing another U.S Women’s Open or the newly created U.S Sr. Women’s Open to Rolling Green at some future point on the calendar. With the high winning score and runner up scores that were shot in the 1976 open, members still with the club today who were there in 1976, will tell you that USGA staff told the club it would never return. While it will take 40 years between USGA Championships at the club, it’s great to see the USGA finally come back.

DSC03195 Rolling Green par 4 12th hole DS

The Par 4, 361 yard 12th hole is a signature hole, after a solid drive the approach shot must be accurate. The hole is one of the great shorter par 4’s in the country. The house in the rear was built in the 17th century.

It was 1926 on the calendar when the club first opened for play, and most of the members were Quakers. They wanted a club for golf and less of a drinking atmosphere. The very limited drinking atmosphere at the proposed club, helped sell out all of the 335 memberships prior to the course and clubhouse getting finished. The club did not get it’s first liquor license until the year of 1970.

The course was built on 137 acres and is spread out between tall oak, maple and sycamore trees, there are streams that wander through the course, and add to challenge. Throw in the courses rolling hills, and a golfer has plenty of things to be tested by. The course has a hand full of steep uphill holes, but enough other holes that play a little flatter. Having some local knowledge of the course really helps at Rolling Green.

DSC03196 Rolling Green par 4 8th DS

It’s possible at times to not realize the elevation change on some holes, until you are on the green.

The record books say that par has never been broken for any major championship at the club, that was played for at least 36 holes.

The longest hole on the course is the par 5, 9th hole that can play 605 yards. It is the number one handicap hole on the golf course for both men and women.

Rating and Slope for the golf course measure out to 73.5 and 138. The U.S Women’s Amateur will be held from August 1 to 7 and there is no charge to attend courtesy of the club and the USGA.

Rolling Green Golf Club is located at 280 N. State Road, and is about 10 miles west of the downtown Philadelphia area. The club can reached at (610)-544-4500 or through it’s website, that has a link to information regarding the women’s amateur.

This entry was posted in News by Rory Spears. Bookmark the permalink.

About Rory Spears

Rory spent over 8 years growing up working at Rob Roy Golf Club in Prospect Hts.IL, then two years at Chevy Chase in Wheeling. He has covered golf in Chicago since 1986. Rory was one of the initial members of WSCR all-sports radio Chicago and covered golf there for 5 seasons, before moving on to work for ESPN/Sportsticker and ESPN Radio. In addition to hosting Golfers on Golf Radio on WNDZ Am 750 Chicago, he writes for both Chicagoland Golf and the Chicago District (CDGA) Magazine. Rory has played over 460 courses in 37 states, and rates golf courses. He does golf course management and communications consulting, in the golf industry.