Stonewall Golf Club is located in the rural community of Elverson on the outskirts of Philadelphia where the club purchased a former cattle farm. The unique logo with a cow and a golf club references that history. The Old Course (or North Course) was designed by Tom Doak with Gil Hanse assisting. Apparently the club had hired Tom Fazio originally but he was too busy with Shadow Creek and other projects, so the club sought assistance from Doak. Immediately Doak rejigged the routing, and used the old farm buildings as a focus for a number of holes including the spectacular closing hole..
My first impressions were that it was not readily identifiable as a Doak course- the greens and bunkering were relatively quiet compared to his later projects. But the quality routing became evident as our round progressed, and in my opinion this is one of Tom's major strengths..
The course starts with some nice holes but grabs your attention with the strong par 4 fourth hole which moves up and down on a fairway framed by trees both sides,and then over water to a very pretty green. The second shot off an inevitable hanging lie is a tough shot to bring off. But there is no relief.
The par 3 fifth hole has a very elevated tee and requires a mid to long iron shot to a green site below which is protected by bunkers, and has water front and right. It is a memorable hole.
Another hole of note is the par 3 seventh hole, a mid iron shot across a valley to a green tucked into the hillside on the other side.
Hole 8 is a par 4 that skirts a lake, before heading to a green that has the farm buildings as a backdop. Although the hole looks natural word has it that Doak moved a lot of dirt to make it look so..
Hole 9 is a mid length par 3 over the lake to a green with a severe right to left camber toward the water. Putting from above the hole is tough!
And the strong closing hole has to get a mention. It is a good test of golf, but when you crest the hill the view of the green and old stone farm buildings is just drop dead gorgeous. Well done Tom Doak!
The Old Course at Stonewall is a lovely place to play golf. And it is such a tranquil setting...
And now there are two courses with Tom Doak invited back in 2003 to build the south course (also known as The Udder Course). His brief was to build a course with wider fairways, but more challenging greens. He certainly has achieved that goal. We took putters around the south course and had a grand old time playing with the heavy contours. The greens are fun and challenging, but overall the south course plays a couple of shots easier than the old. It is a nice contrast to the Old Course, and makes Stonewall a pretty decent golfing facility in anyone's language.
Stonewall is a private members club and as such is not accessible to the general public.
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