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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09 Jun

Write down right score

Written by Bob Oliver


This is a Public Service Announcement for golfers who maintain a "real" USGA handicap. Write down the correct score on each hole you play.

Write down too high a score, and it will catch up with you. You'll be branded a sandbagger or worse. 

But this column is about the "other guy", the guy who in an effort to maintain a handicap he thinks he should have records score less than he actually had.  Many times it's inadvertent. Doesn't effect outcome of a game. Is purely for ego.

Don't know what I mean?

There's a guy at my club who maintains the same handicap as I do.  How then, when we play head to head, do I beat him nearly every time? Not logical, right?

The symptoms start as early as the first tee.  He's take a mighty swipe at the ball, hit it sideways, then re-tee a "Breakfast Ball"  Okay, but won't take a penalty. 

Likewise, somewhere along the round, he'd say he's taking a "Mulligan", again, with no penalty.

Let's say his drive ends up in a dastardly divot. Play it as it lies? Nope, he'll move the ball out because the shot was too good to be in such a precarious position. No penalty. 

Around greens he is a good chipper and putter. But nobody is that good. By that I mean, he;ll roll the ball toward the cup and immediately ask, "That's good, right". Now he'd probably make 9-of-10 four footers but that one he'd miss would be another stroke.

Similarly, he'll take a gimme when he misses by six feet if his opponent give him a free pass because he's out of the hole.  That's okay for match but not for handicap.

In some leagues gimmes are allowed at the discretion of partners, and surely are allowed in match play situations, but if from a distance one has to record the number that most likely would have been made. So if you have a 15-foot downhill sidehill putt, and it's given for the match, that's fine. But more likely for the scorecard it would be a two-putt. Add a stroke. 

Bottom like is that this player is mostly likely cheating himself out of a couple handicap strokes.  Don't tell him, because I like beating him the way things are. 

Oh, and it doesn't effect handicap, but the guy who hits two balls out of bounds before duffing a chip and says, I had a 7, that's the most I can take.  Well, okay. But you are kidding yourself.  

27 May

New and improved Middletown CC

Written by Bob Oliver


The Middletown Country Club has been a Lower Bucks County staple for nearly 110 years, providing area golfers challenge and opportunity at a reasonable price. 

Over the years it's lost some land to growth of the community, but one think it's always kept is it's hometown course feeling and strong customer service.

Reopened a month ago after the Governor removed restrictions due to COVID-19, Middletown has been bustling with activity.

"Of course we are doing our part to social distance and follow CDC guidelines," explained head professional Dan Hoban. "The players have been enthusiastic about our reopening, and our tee sheets have been bustling with activity. The course is in good shape, and we are doing our best to make this a fine experience for our customers."

Over the last year architect Tyler Raw has provided his expertise in sprucing up the course, originally opened in 1913. 

New greens were installed on holes 11 and 13, allowing for more playability and options for hole placement.

"With the change came more usable hole positions, giving us options we didn't have before.  We cleared our a few trees, improved overall conditions and are very happy with the response," added Hoban.  "Also, we purchased 75 new carts, a wonderful addition."

The 6,100-yard, par 69 Langhorne layout is fun for players of all abilities. A very nice place to play a round of golf.