Everyone can use a little golf help

Best Public Golf Courses in Philly

By Matthew Thompson

Being an avid golfer living in the Philly area, I’ve been able to play a lot of different golf courses. The unfortunate thing about being a golfer in Philly is that many of the courses are private facilities and traffic getting to any course is no fun. The below list highlights some of the best public golf courses near Philly. I chose courses within 45 minutes because that is how far I am willing to drive on an average day to play a regular weekend round of golf.

1) RiverWinds Golf & Tennis Club – West Deptford, NJ – 22 Mins from City Center - The golf course at RiverWinds stays true to the heritage of historic courses in Scotland and Ireland. Nestled in the grasslands between scenic Woodbury Creek and the deep harbor marina on the Delaware River, this 18 hole championship course invokes visions of seaside golf. The water, surrounding wetlands and mile-long twisting burn create an intriguing setting. Across the water are breathtaking views of the Philadelphia skyline. At the start, the mounded terrain is gentle, but becomes gradually more imposing as play progresses. The holes vary in direction, requiring players to use every club in their bag to battle the crosswinds and the tough terrain. Other natural landforms, indigenous foliage and sod-walled bunkers add to the excitement of the golf experience at RiverWinds. This 7,086-yard, par 72 course was designed by architect Ed Shearon and shaped by expert Pete Fazio, of the renowned golfing family. Voted one of the “Best Places to Play” in New Jersey by GolfWeek. Public rates push upwards of $90-115. Learn more about RiverWinds Golf & Tennis Club.

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2) Broad Run Golfer's Club – West Chester, PA – 45 Mins from City Center – Broad Run Golfer's Club is located amidst the Amish Pennsylvania countryside. With an enormous 372 acre canvas, world-renowned golf course designer Rees Jones carefully sculpted this stunning masterpiece. Broad Run Golfer's Club offers premier playing conditions, tranquil beauty, and unsurpassed customer service. Stretching 6,751 yards, the layout takes full advantage of dramatic elevation changes and skillful design features, presenting a worthy challenge to golfers of all levels. As well as a beautifully maintained course, Broad Run also offers a full practice area, expert instructors for both group and individual lessons, and a clubhouse available year-round for private events. Open to the public, but they offer membership plans & extensive benefits. The public weekend rate is going to cost you $99. Learn more about Broad Run.

Rock Manor Golf Course

3) Rock Manor Golf Course – Wilmington, DE – 34 Mins from City Center – Completely redesigned, Rock Manor has been lengthened from 5,779 yards to an 18-hole, 6,405-yard championship design by renowned golf-course architect Lester George. Additionally, this public golf course in Philly boasts new tee boxes, greens, bunkers and fairways. Rock Manor offers a full range of practice options to suit all skill levels of golfers. These include a large undulating putting green, chipping green, driving range and short game area. Their two-tiered driving range offers state of the art synthetic astro turf. To practice on your scoring game head over to their short game area which includes 3 bunkers and multiple target greens. Weekend rate will cost you $85. Learn more about Rock Manor.

4) Pitman Golf Course – Sewell, NJ – 27 Mins from City Center – Located in beautiful Gloucester County, New Jersey, the Pitman Golf Course offers players of all abilities the opportunity to have a fun and challenging game of golf. The course features small greens and the chance to score your lowest round of the year. No worries about taking all day to play or losing a dozen balls, the course is relatively short in length and you can recover from your "miss hits". As the locals say, "It's always a great day at the Pitman Golf Course!" The layout is an original Alexandar Findlay design from 1927 and is considered a public gem. The course is affordable to play with a variety of pricing options and you will always find it in good condition. It's what you expect to find in a "hometown" classic golf course and it's the reason why this is one of the busiest courses in South Jersey! A weekend round will cost you a mere $59. Learn more about Pitman.

Golden Pheasant Golf Club

5) Golden Pheasant Golf Club – Medford, NJ – 34 Mins from City Center –  This public golf course near Philly was voted #1 in Burlington County by the Burlington County Times 2013. Golden Pheasant is a pleasure for golfers of any skill level to play. Test your accuracy with their fairways, water hazards and sand traps; they have everything you need to challenge you and improve your game. Through meticulous course management and courteous staff, Golden Pheasant provides a day of golf to be remembered always. The par-72 golf design spans over 6,000 yards which provides challenging yet relaxing shots from the longest tees. The unique course layout cuts through the picturesque, heavy woods next to the Flying W Airport. Visitors love this course for its strategically-placed water hazards, dense foliage, and challenging mixture of fairways, greens and bunkers. You can play it for yourself for $66. Learn more about Golden Pheasant.

6) Deerfield Golf Club – Newark, DE – 45 mins from City Center – If you love to golf, you know how important it is to golf on a well-maintained course. This extraordinary 145-acre natural treasure is a one-of-a-kind resource for residents and businesses in Delaware – as well as in neighboring states who find this treasure well worth the short drive. One of the best Delaware golf courses surrounded by the scenic ancient forest of White Clay Creek State Park, Deerfield is simply spectacular. 18 holes (before 10:30am) will run you $ 68.00. Learn more about Deerfield.

I hope this helps you find a great public golf course to play in the Philly area. Have some courses that you love that should be included on this list? Email oliver@nextgengolf.org with your suggestions. 

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