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

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20 May
2020

ShopRite Classic delayed until fall

Written by Bob Oliver

Just when you thought it was safe to pencil new dates for the ShopRite LPGA Classic presented by Acer into your calendar, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced a second change. 

The LPGA Tour has announced the event, played annually at the Stockton Seaview Golf Resort, will be moving to the fall.   First the event was postponed from June to July dates, and now it will be held October 2-4.

"We appreciate the flexibility of the management of the event," said LPGA Commissioner Michael Whan. "The LPGA is looking forward to returning to the shore in October."

It has been a wild ride for professional golf.  All tours went on hiatus with the pandemic, and changes are still being made.  There is a possibility the October dates may allow the tournament to be played with fans in attendance.  Time will tell.

"Given the challenges of today's environment (with the disease) we are excited to move to the fall," explained Tim Ehrensen. "Autumn golf in South Jersey provides great conditions and we know Seaview's staff will continue to do an outstanding job on the course."

There's another great thing with the move in timing, in that instead of heading overseas after the original new dates, the October dates will be the week before the KPMG Women's PGA Championship. "That's being held at Aronimink (in Newtown Square) so we are excited to be a part of a couple of weeks of great golf in the Delaware Valley," added Ehrensen. 

Given the uncertainty of the COVID response, the rescheduling of the event to October is great news for the tournament, fans and players.  

CHIP SHOTS: THe event generates more than $1 million annually for charity, having generated more than $35 million since its inception...While it's too early to think about player commitments, it's expected the ShopRite will have its usual outstanding field 

05 May
2020

Area was part of Nelson's 11-win streak

Written by Bob Oliver

It's a rainy day and the mind was wandering before settling on the Delaware Valley's history with professional golf.

The area has been lucky to host United States Opens, PGA Championships and a few tour events.  These days such efforts are few and far between.

Did you know Torresdale-Frankford (Union League Club) down the road from Bensalem hosted a PGA Tour event? Absolutely. The year was 1944 and Torresdale saw Sam Boyd post a 10-under-par 274 total to score a 7-shot win over Craig Wood who had claimed the 1941 US Open and Masters.  

The event at the time was the Philadelphia Inquirer Open Invitational, and was in the first year of a six year event on the tour. The event was also held at Llanerch, when Byron Nelson won its seventh straight PGA Tour event that extended to 11, as well as Cedarbrook and Whitemarsh Valley. 

Whitemarsh Valley was also host to the longest lasting PGA Tour event played in the area, as under numerous names (Whitemarsh Open, Philadelphia Golf Classic, IVB-Philadelphia Golf Classic, and IVB Bicentennial Golf Classic.  That event regularly drew great players and scores of fans. Winners included Jack Nicklaus (three times), Arnold Palmer, Billy Casper, Tom Kite and Tom Weiskopf in its 18 years from 1963-1980. 

Merion has hosted five United States Open Championships, while Aronimink hosted both the PGA Championship and Senior PGA Championship.  

Pennsbury grad Nick Napoleon played in the PGA Tour's SEI Pennsylvania Golf Classic at Waynesboro. 

Chester Valley hosted numerous Senior PGA tour events, and occasionally White Manor filled in. But since 2001 the men have evaded the area other than for a major or a one-year run of Tiger's tournament when normal host Congressional was undergoing renovations and Aronimink substituted. 

These days, with the COVID dominating most of our thoughts, one doesn't think about tour golf, but on a rainy day it happens.