The Philadelphia Cricket Club is the oldest country club in the U.S.A.
It was founded in 1854 by Alumni from the University of Pennsylvania (who had an English background).
Initially it was a cricket and social club, but quickly added tennis, and then continued to add social and sporting activities.
In 1883 Henry Houston provided land to the club at Chestnut Hill, the site of the first golf course for the club.
In 1887 the club hosted the first United States Lawn Tennis Championships
In 1907 and 1910 it held the U.S. Open Championships (Golf).
In 1922 A. W. Tillinghast was engaged to design the Wissahickon course, just 5 miles west of the Chestnut Hill site.
2002 saw the opening of a third course- the Militia Hill course, designed by Hurzdan & Fry.
In 2013 Keith Foster renovated the Wissahickon course to general acclaim.
The Philadelphia Cricket Club now has three golf courses, and caters for tennis, squash, cricket, paddle tennis and swimming..
The Wissahickon Course is a quality course.
We played on a beautiful sunny day in May 2023, and the course was in particularly good condition.
We also lucked out with a very good experienced caddie.
The Course is not as undulating as others in the area and is both an easy walk and a fair test of golf for the first timer.
Golfers can in most instances see where they are going and assess the risks afoot with each shot.
The greens were rolling nicely, but were not as slick as other courses in the area- and this suited our group on the day.
I believe the Wissahickon course is a top end members course in terms of the quality of the club and course, and the attraction to play the same course repeatedly.
It didn't strike me so much as being a tournament course, but then again I did not play it off the back tees.
Notable holes include:
Hole 2, a strong par 4 with a little river crossing the fairway and an elevated green well protected by bunkers
Hole 5, a longer par 3 well protected by 5 impressive bunkers and a burn short
Hole 9, a shorter par 4 with large fairway bunkers and and an attractive green complex challenging golfers to fly the traps which surround it.
Hole 10, a particularly attractive short par 3 with a shallow raised green fronted by bunkers.
Hole 14, a longer par 4 with the approach over a clutch of bunkers seemingly taunting the golfer to ‘have a go’
Hole 15, a long par 3 with elevated green and bunkers either side
Hole 18, a closing hole with character. Off the back tees it plays 487 yards- just a long tee shot to position, followed by a long approach over a valley and a burn to a slightly raised green in front of the clubhouse (see pic top of page)
The Wissahickon Course is a quality course on anybody’s estimation
There are no tricks or quirks here.
It is well designed, well presented and a pleasure to play.
I suggest that members would be pretty happy with their lot!
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