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The Pennhills Club: Bradford, PA
By Megan Sorokes
With its championship golf course and majestic brick and slate clubhouse, The Pennhills Club is among the area’s must-play courses.
“There are many people who travel here, stay and enjoy playing the course,” Dave Talon, golf course superintendent said. “We’re surrounded by mountains. They’re all around. It’s pretty as a picture, a beautiful time to play golf.”
Talon added that golfers play the course for various reasons, noting a few unique features that distinguish Pennhills from other locations.
“The thing that attracts golfers to us is that we have the undulation in the fairways,” he said. “There are changes and subtle breaks. When they’re rolling fast, they can be the toughest greens around.”
Jerry Hustak of Olean, NY added, “Pennhills’ greens are well-kept and generally very fast. They are challenging but fair.” Hustak added that he plays the course about once a year, advising those who have never played the course to “practice your putting because the greens are challenging.”
The Pennhills Club opened in 1936 with the merging of the Country Club of Bradford and North Penn Club. Kevin Mosher, The Pennhills Club’s general manager, said Walter Travis, a world-renowned architect, designed the 18-hole course with its elevated fairways and challenging greens. He said another notable architect, Clifford C. Wendehack, built the clubhouse in 1936 in less than a year.
“They broke ground to build the clubhouse in September 1936, and we opened in June 1937,” Mosher said, noting that the club offers many amenities including a swimming pool and fine dining. “We also do wedding receptions, averaging 15 to 20 a year.”
Pennhills is also the home of numerous tournaments, such as the Zippo Open and Can-Am Challenge, a competition between Canadian and American golfers. Mosher said the Can-Am Challenge is one of the club’s biggest tournaments; last year’s event was especially successful.
“We pair two Canadian players against American players in a Ryder Cup format,” Mosher explained. “Last year it went wonderful. The Americans won again, making it three years in a row they’ve been victorious. With such success, the tournament is already full for 2012.”
Various golf and getaway packages are available at Pennhills throughout the summer season and into the fall. For more information on The Pennhills Club, its memberships or packages, please call 814-368-6159 or visit the club’s website at www.pennhillsclub.com.