Broad Run Golfer’s Club in West Chester, Pennsylvania has enough beauty, challenge and history to charm even the most jaded golfer.
Built on stunningly beautiful land once known as “Como Farm,” (it was owned many years ago by noted Colonial-period agriculturalist John Beale Bordley), Broad Run has reemerged as one of eastern Pennsylvania’s top public courses.
Noted golf course architect Rees Jones did a delightful job routing the course over some of the prettiest scenery you will find anywhere with a seven-iron in your hands. He made excellent use of the natural topography, while not making Broad Run so difficult as to dissuade mid- or even high-handicappers from playing here and enjoying themselves.
New ownership took over the club last year and immediately sank money into an upgrade of the course’s overall conditions. They also set about creating a player-friendly environment in which a visitor is treated like the member of an exclusive country club, even if it is for only a day.
“Our facility-wide mission is to satisfy the customer and get them to enjoy themselves and come back to us,” said Lori Van Sickle, general manager of the facility, which opened 10 years ago. “The product--the golf course--is just spectacular, especially considering the price ($65 with cart weekdays, $79.95 on weekends). We are always running seasonal specials and we have been very pro-active in attracting new players.”
Van Sickle, who is considered one of the top female teaching pros in the state, prides herself on the establishment of a comprehensive learning center at Broad Run, which involves instructional programs for all types of golfers and a custom club fitting operation. The club also installed GPS in the facility’s golf carts to help with pace of play.
“We have revamped our food and beverage menus and in some instances lowered prices,” she added. “The prices in our pro shop are in line with those found in big box stores. Once we get you here, we want to keep you coming back for more.”
As Van Sickle said, the golf course sells itself. The layout rambles majestically through some 372 acres of rolling hills and open meadows and is located on one of the highest points in Chester Country. The view from the back of the tee box on number 16, a 399-yard par-four, is simply stunning.
The course plays 6,826 yards from the tips, has a par of 72 and a slope rating of 132. There are four sets of tees in all. Three ponds come into play, as does the bubbling Broad Run Creek. Some 54 bunkers are scattered about the track and there are numerous grass bunkers, mounds and natural wetlands to hold a player’s attention, both on the tee boxes and the approaches to the greens.
The layout features some dramatic elevation changes and starts uniquely with a par-five that is rated as the course’s number one handicap hole. It’s 498 yards from the tips and big hitters can think about going for the green in two after a lusty tee shot. The carry is over a pond, although there is a bailout area to the right of the putting surface. There are two bunkers between the water and the green, which further complicates matters.
The course also ends with a par-five, a beefy, 551-yarder that is a three-shot hole for all but the longest hitters.
Broad Run Golfer’s Club
West Chester, Pa.