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.

The Traveling Golfer

With host Tony Leodora will travel both near and far to bring viewers a look at some of the most spectacular golf destinations in the world!

07 Jun
2019

Wolff a can't miss prospect

Written by Bob Oliver

 

Over the years I've been lucky in predictions of young players who were destined for stardom. 

Case in point. Brooks Koepka, who before he competed on the PGA Tour. He was in Europe, plying his trade, and like many I didn't know his name but saw him cashing checks. Writing on this site I mentioned he was going to be a player on the PGA Tour. 

Today, he's a star. A major champion. A threat to win any event entered. 

My latest prediction comes via college in the US. Mathew Wolff, the NCAA Individual Champion, All-America, and long-hitter who was superb in his senior year at Oklahoma State University. 

This kid has all the tools, and I'm thinking he earns his PGA Tour card this summer upon turning pro. Not sure he will win an event, but it could happen. But he will have eight sponsor's exemptions to earn enough money to secure his card without the need to go through PGA Tour Qualifying School.  

Actually, I'm thinking he posts at least one top-10, which means he gets an additional sponsor exemption. And with his game and maturity you can bet he will get his card this year. 

Of course, it won't be easy. It will require a couple top-10s for the money to add up, but from what I've seen this kid has the game, the maturity and the desire to be a PGA Tour star.

Mark it down. 

02 Jun
2019

Lee claims Valley Forge Invitational

Written by Bob Oliver
 
It took a sudden death playoff, but Min Lee outlasted Esther Lee to claim the Symetra Tour's Valley Forge Invitational at Raven's Claw in Pottstown. 
Min Lee won with a par on the first hole of the playoff. 
The winner carded rounds of 64-68-66 for a 15-under-par 54 hole total in claiming her second Symetra Tour championship. The Symetra Tour is the LPGA's top development tour. 

It was a bittersweet week for Langhorne native Brittany Benvenuto. The Neshaminy graduate, who had part-time LPGA status last year, is attempting to work her way back to the big tour with a top-10 finish in the LPGA Race for the Card, a season long competition on the Symetra Tour. She currently stands 19th on the list. 

 

Benvenuto carded rounds of 69-70-74 to total 214 and made her ninth consecutive Symetra Tour cut, But, she's only had one top-10 finish and will need a couple more to get that needed top-10 on the Race money list. 

 

 

20 May
2019

McCullough's a shore must play

Written by Bob Oliver

 

Bucks County has a wealth of fine golf challenges, but every once in a while we take to the road to sample other venues. 

Last month was one of those months. A time when circumstances meant being on the road, and that means playing other golf courses.

It had been years since sampling McCullough's Emerald Links in Egg Harbor, N.J.  Maybe as long as 10 years. It won't be that long to visit again. 

The Stephen Kay design has matured into a fine municipal course, one that has the feel of, well, the Emerald Isle. While not a replica course, many of the holes are pattered after great courses of Ireland, England and Scotland. 

Built on a landfill, McCullough's is a fun, challenging layout. Tees range from nearly 6,600 yards from the tips down to 5,244 from the sporty senior tees. The women's tees are at 4,462. Yet the undulating greens, fescue lined fairways, and strategis Kay style bunkering present a challenge from all tee boxes and for all levels of player.

A favorite is the 17th hole, pattered after number 11 at the Waterville Golf Links in Ireland, brought back memories of a trip over the pond. A short par five, it requires thought and positioning to ensure one evades mounds and bunkers. 

One of the challenges of the course - which other than two holes is basically treeless, is the dastardly winds which blanket the layout. Those winds can, on a "calm" day, still require a one club change in expected distance. Beware!

McCullough's Emerald Links is a true fun, challenging test, and worth the drive.

It's a must play course when you are down the shore...

 

18 May
2019

Benvenuto posts best Symetra finish

Written by Bob Oliver

 

The road back to the LPGA Tour is anything but easy, but Bucks County's Brittany Benvenuto is doing her best to return to the place she feels she belongs. 

She took a large step at the Symetra Classic in Davidson, N.C., where she finished second and earned the largest check of her professional career --- $14,501. 

The Neshaminy graduate, who played the LPGA Tour in 2018 but failed to retain playing privileges, opened the Classic with a 75, then turned on the afterjets. Her second round 70 was strong, but her final round of 66 propelled her up the leaderboard with a 5-under-par 211 total to finish second to Leona Maguire. 

"This (runner-up finish and 6-under final round) gives me a boost of confidence. I did not play well in the first round, then went to the range and found out some things. (Today) was awesome, so much fun," said the southpaw swinging Benvenuto. 

Benvenuto currently stands 14th on the Symetra Tour money list. She has made the cut in all seven Symetra events entered this year. 

CHIP SHOTS: THe top-10 players on the Volvik Race for the Card standings from the Symetra Tour earn LPGA playing privileges for 2020...