Golf Course Reviews

By the Golf Association of Philadelphia,

And to George Fazio. For here is a course with neither a weak nor a dull hole on it. And in such an expansive setting—the sweep of the rolling terrain, the gorgeous vistas from the high tees at, for instance, 5 and 8, 16 and 18, the low mountains on the horizon that help emphasize the isolation and the pastoral charm of this remarkable eighteen—this is obviously not suburban golf. There is a spaciousness, a nobility, indeed, a grandeur that is all too uncommon—and enormously exhilarating.

The golf itself is that rare combination of great character and great beauty. So many holes at Moselem— a par 70 measuring nearly 6,900 yards from the greens, about 6,450 from the blues—are memorable that one scarcely knows where to begin or when to stop. Suffice it to say that the quartet of one-shotters, which includes the spectacular 208-yard 13th (from a lofty tee, out of a chute and across a wooded ravine to a fiercely bunkered green) and the subtler but equally superb 3rd (174 yards: the swale, the sand, the guardian trees, the steep falloff on the left), rivals the corresponding clusters at Merion East, Pine Valley, and Philadelphia Country Club. As for the dozen par fours, three of them—the 8th, 456 yards, sweeping down from a high tee and doglegging left to a green guarded, appropriately, by only one bunker, at the right front; the inspired 10th, 385 yards, a stream tight along the left all the way before it swings menacingly across the front of the green and runs along its right side; and the heroic 18th, 445 yards, from its grand hilltop tee down to a generous landing area in the valley, then the perilously long forced carry over the pond in the crook of the dogleg to a green bunkered right and left.

George Fazio once said of Moselem Springs, "In all my golf years, I can't recall ever having seen a location so perfectly suited for a championship course, from the standpoint of physical challenge and rural beauty." As for the hospitable clubhouse that Hawley Quier built, it is neither large nor opulent, but traditionally American in look and feel, a stone building with white trim, the emphasis squarely on comfort. And upstairs is that rare amenity nowadays, guest rooms—a dozen of them— precisely where one is delighted to find one's self after a day on this wonderful course, because an overnight stay is the assurance that we will be playing here again tomorrow.