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!


ShopRite returns to Seaview

Written by Steve Gordon on .

As we emerge from winter and speed past Spring towards Memorial Day the calendar shows us that the 37th edition of the ShopRite LPGA Classic is less than a month away. While the grounds crew works feverishly to get the Donald Ross designed Bay Course at the Stockton Seaview Resort into tournament condition the players are working their way east having one major in their rear view mirror.

The largest Pro-Am in all of golf spread over two days and three golf courses kicks off the week on June 6th before the 54-hole event tees off on June 8th. Defending champion IK Kim has committed to play along with past winners in Anna Nordqvist, Stacy Lewis, Karrie Webb and Cristie Kerr.

With ACER as it’s longest tenured partner the tournament has over 400 corporate partners with ShopRite which has raised $32 million for the local area. Joining the field this year will be Marina Alex, from Wayne, NJ, as one of the few New Jersey born pros on tour.

Alex, who recently moved to Florida proudly claims to still be a Jersey girl. “New Jersey is a unique state,” Alex said. “We support each other to represent our state as there are not a lot on tour from New Jersey. It’s a great place to be from,” she continued. With New Jersey not being a state to hone tournament level golf skills year round Alex said one quality of players from the state is that they are dedicated with a “stick to it” mentality.

Coming into the tournament Alex has been riding a hot putter with one top 5 and two top 10 finishes as the LPGA season has opened. Joining her for the $1.75 million purse will be nine of the last 11 major winners as well as fan favorites Paula Creamer, Morgan Pressel, Michelle Wie and Christina Kim.

Tournament organizers also revealed that Natalie Gulbis has accepted one of three sponsor exemptions to continue her support of the event for the 14th year. The tournament annually attracts many of the top women players because the course is unique compared to many of the courses they play. Some have called it a good test to work up to the USGA Women’s Open which is four weeks down the Shoal Creek, Alabama.

Further information on the tournament can be found at It’s a great event to get up close to see the pros or follow a favorite around during her round and it will be televised live by The Golf Channel.

GAP GOLF - Newtown's Glenn Smeraglio added another piece of hardware to his trophy case with a sudden death playoff win in the Francis B. Warner Cup.  Smeraglio, playing out of LuLu, tied Five Ponds Brian Rothaus and Running Deer's Joe Russo for top honors at 72. Russo unfortunately could not return for the playoff, leaving the two Bucks County players to battle before Smeraglio emerged victorious in play at Concord....Neshaminy's Brittany Benvenuto does not wish any LPGA player any harm, but she needs two players to withdraw before their starting time to get into the Kingsmill event. Benvenuto has played in three LPGA events this season, making one cut. 

Inkster dissed, remains positive

Written by Bob Oliver on .

There are some things that are not explainable, are nonsensical and just plain dumb.
Juli Inkster has long been a fan favorite, and a favorite of this publication. Always willing to provide insightful information at an event, always fan friendly, always the Hall of Fame member that she is. 
Why then do businesses treat the family woman with superb credentials like a mini-tour nobody? These days Inkster still has game, but she does not have a sponsor. Seriously.
She's won more than $14-million in her career, scoring 31 LPGA victories including seven major championships.  She captained a pair of US Solheim Cup teams to victory. She has nary a blemish on her personal record yet not one sponsor has added their emblem to her golf bag. 
Juli Inkster will be in the ara in June at the Shoprite LPGA Championship presented by Acer. Hopefully there will be some sponsorships supporting her. 

LPGA future stars play in Valley Forge Invitational

Written by Bob Oliver on .

What do Lorena Ochoa and Inbee Park have in common?

A whole lot.

Each earned Rolex Player of the Year honors on the LPGA Tour. Each captured major championships. Each were World Number Ones for a time. 

But more than that. Each earned their professional spurs on the Symetra Tour, the number one developmental tour for the LPGA.

Ochoa was a three-time winner on the 2002 Symetra Tour, while Park posted 11 top-10 finishes on the 2006 Symetra Tour. Each used that experience to vault them into LPGA Tour stardom.

Delaware Valley golf fans will get a great view of tomorrow's LPGA stars when the inaugural Valley Forge Invitational is played at Raven Claw Golf Club May 24-26 at the Pottstown club. The event will benefit local charities. 

"This is a great event for the area and an opportunity for golf fans to see tomorrow's LPGA stars," explained Edward Harris, the Chief Marketing Officer for Valley Forge Tourism. "It is estimated the event will generate about a million dollars of economic development for the Philadelphia area."

"This is a great addition to the Symetra Tour calendar, and I'm very happy it will be held in my backyard," said Emily Gimpel, a Symetra Tour player who grew up playing Whitemarsh Valley among other area layouts. "I'm looking forward to seeing a lot of friends here at Raven's Claw."

"The Symetra Tour prepares players for the LPGA Tour, and its graduates make up a who's who list," added Mike Nichols, the Chief Business Officer of the Symetra Tour. 

The public layout has gained numerous accolades over the years. The Ed Shearan design promises to bedazzle competitors.

"We designed the course on a great piece of property, and we believe it will hold up well and challenge the Symetra Tour," said Shearon, who also designed New Jersey's Riverwinds and Vineyards courses and has done remodeling work on many top Philadelphia area courses. "The key will be placing the ball in the proper position on each hole, and the contours of the land may dictate which side of fairway should be favored. It's a true player's course."

The event will be preceded by practice rounds and a pro-am. 

Details on sponsorships and the pro-am area available at


Symetra Tour event in Montco

Written by Bob Oliver on .

The LPGA Tour's top developmental arm, the Symetra Tour, will visit the Greater Philadelphia area when will the Valley Forge Invitational is held in May.

Raven's Claw Golf Club will host the event for aspiring LPGA Tour professionals May 24-26, kicked off with a pro-am on May 23.  Sponsorship and pro-am slots are available.

Further information can be obtained by visiting


Acer/LPGA ink ShopRite Extension

Written by Bob Oliver on .

Great news for Delaware Valley professional golf fans. The ShopRite LPGA event, which brings to the area the top female professional golfers in the world, has secured financial stability with a new deal with Acer.

The ShopRite LPGA Classic Presented by Acer see the computer company acting as title sponsor for at least three more years. Acer has been a major sponsor of the event, and the new deal will keep that partnering intact.

Tournament Director Leela Narang loves that partnership, especially because it continues Acer's involvement in the event, held annually at the Stockton Seaview Resort in Galloway Township.

"Acer has been an important partner and we could not be more pleased the company will continue to help us bring world-class sports to South Jersey and the Delaware Valley," said Narang. "Our event makes a huge economic and charitable impact on the region as Acer, ShopRite and more than 400 other companies support the event."

In-Kyung Kim is expected to defend the crown she won last summer over Seaview's historic Bay Course, a Donald Ross design. The event annually attracts the top LPGA professionals, and recently two-time champion Anna Nordqvist remarked she never wants to miss the event, which will be played June 8-10.