Golf Bucks County

By Bob Oliver

Middletown Country Club

Middletown is a compact 80 acres of challenging golf, with rolling hills and large specimen trees that have watched many golfers travel its fairways over time. It has retained its old time feel with tees and greens in close proximity, allowing golfers to walk the course if they choose.

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Local Columns

Quest for 1,000 courses played

Written by Bob Oliver on .


It is no secret I'm a golf fanatic.  Love watching in person, on TV and especially love playing the game. 

It's an addiction. 

Today it's 5 degrees and I am thinking about golf. About how I can get to my next goal of having played 1,000 golf courses.  I'm at 956 played, and truth be told for the most part I'd rather play a new muni than a course I've played before.  I just need the new courses to hit the 1,000 course milestone. 

2018 saw me play 39 new golf courses. I've played in 35 states, the District of Columbia an 11 countries. I want more...more...more.

My home state of Pennsylvania has seen me play 135 of its layouts, while New Jersey is runner-up with 110 played. South Carolina has seen me on 100 courses. 

States rounding out the top-10 are Florida (80 played), Arizona (65), Virginia (64) California (48), North Carolina (34), Maryland (44) and Nevada (38). 

That's a lot of golf on a diverse set of layouts. Bunch of Donald Ross courses, as well as the likes of Tom Fazio, Rees Jones, Tom Doak, Stephen Kay, Gil Hanse and a special favorite designer, Ron Garl.

The last year saw me playing several Garl gems, like Money Hill and Lakewood in Louisiana and Golden Ocala in Florida. A new special find was Eagle Creek near the Orlando airport. Garl just designs playable, fun courses for every level of golfer and just doesn't receive the plaudits he should. 

So what is on the horizon for 2019. Nothing set in stone, but Hammock Dunes and Creighton Farms on the list, as well as any new ones I can traverse as part of my Golfweek Magazine Course Rater duties. 

Stoneleigh in Virginia and Stonewall in Pennsylvania are the exceptions to my one and done prescription, as I'm a regular at both. 

But the bottom line is that I must play 40 new courses this year and best the 1,000 threshold early in 2020.  If not sooner. 

See you on the golf course. 

Herr drops Pa. Jr. in playoff

Written by Bob Oliver on .

New Hope's Zachary Herr came within a whisker of winning the 62nd

Pennsylvania Junior Golf Championship.



Herr, the opening round leader, and Fox Hill Country Club's Brandon

Matthews finished regulation 36 holes knotted at 136. Herr had opened

with a 67 and added a 69, while Matthews posted a 71 and 65 over the

Hershey Country Club. The two players finished seven shots better than

anyone else in the field.




Slice of Pine Valley in back yard

Written by Bob Oliver on .

It's a rainy day that could become a snowy one if there was any snow to be found on the east coast, and my mind is wandering. For some reason I was thinking about the Warrington Golf Club and how I nearly had a hole-in-one there some 30 years ago.


Of course the Warrington layout is long gone, a fallen victim to the developer's bulldozers. Area courses like Island Green, Center Valley and the Bristol Golf Farm have suffered the same fate. It's not a Delaware Valley thing, as less than 20 new courses were constructed in the United States over the last year while more than 150 have met their untimely death, according to the National Golf Foundation. The NGF also revealed that for the sixth consecutive year golf course closures outpaced course openings.

Smeraglio "finally" corrals Mid-Am

Written by Bob Oliver on .

When Glenn Smeraglio gets the flat stick going, look out.


Today, at Laurel Creek (N.J.) Country Club, the Newtown resident lit up the back nine on his way to a 2-under-par 69 which vaulted him past 7 players and to the 28th annual Golf Association of Philadelphia Middle Amateur Championship.


NIE wins at Courier-Intel Open

Written by Bob Oliver on .

The eighth annual Courier Times - Intelligencer Open was a perfect combination of competition and friendship, and along the way it benefited area youths through the Newspapers In Education Program.


The venue, Makefield Highlands Golf Club, was in excellent shape and a pair of teams shared top honors in the scoring department.