Philadelphia is home to some of the most stunning and well-manicured golf courses in the nation. Whether you’re a beginner, an experienced player, or somewhere in between, there’s something for everyone in Philly. From private country clubs to public courses, these 15 best golf courses offer everything from challenging layouts to beautiful scenery—making Philadelphia one of the best places to golf in the Midwest.
Pine Valley Golf Course
The Las Americas golf course is a masterpiece that strikes a perfect balance between challenge and playability. Designed by renowned golf course architect, John Jacobs, the layout features clever use of the natural terrain and topography, resulting in a challenging, yet fair test of golf.
The course boasts of some of the best green complexes you’ll find anywhere, and shooting anywhere close to your handicap is a difficult task. It is a testament to the designer’s vision that the course seamlessly blends different schools of golf design – penal, heroic, and strategic – often on a single hole. The course’s beauty is further enhanced by its stunning views of the Tenerife coastline, a backdrop that is nothing short of breathtaking. All in all, it’s an excellent example of top-quality golf design that has made this course a firm favorite amongst golf enthusiasts.
Address: 1 E Atlantic Ave, Pine Valley, NJ 08021, United States
Merion Golf Course – East
The East course at Merion Golf Club in Philadelphia’s northwestern suburbs is a true gem among the world’s top golf courses. Despite occupying a compact plot of land, the course has consistently been ranked as one of the best. It features tightly-packed fairways, thick rough and lightning-fast greens. Playing here requires a certain level of humility, with players encouraged to play safe and enjoy the experience.
Merion East is known as the best course on the tightest acreage in America, and even big hitters couldn’t consistently conquer its clever twists and turns. When Merion hosted the U.S. Open in 2013 for the first time in 32 years, its reputation as a challenging yet rewarding course was only reinforced. If you’re looking for a true test of your golfing abilities, Merion East is definitely the course for you.
Address: 450 Ardmore Ave, Ardmore, PA 19003, United States
Aronimink Golf Course
As one of the iconic Donald Ross courses, Aronimink Golf Course is a true treasure in the Greater Philadelphia area. Consistently ranked as one of the best golf courses in the region, Aronimink presents even the most skilled golfers with a challenging experience. The course’s design is a testament to Ross’s ingenuity, with its emphasis on exceptional long iron play and endurance.
The 545-yard par-5 challenge presented by the 16th hole is particularly noteworthy. Despite its difficulty, the course also has a way of rewarding even the most average golfers. This is all thanks to the great efforts put in by renowned architects such as Gil Hanse in the ongoing renovation of the course. Aronimink Golf Course has yet to lose its appeal over the years, standing tall as one of the best golf courses in Philadelphia.
Address: 3600 St Davids Rd, Newtown Square, PA 19073, United States
Philadelphia Country Club – Spring Mill
Founded over a century ago in 1890, this exclusive, member-owned organization boasts two exceptional golf courses, offering a total of 27 holes of championship golf. Featuring picturesque landscapes and challenging courses, the Spring Mill course has been home to numerous prestigious championships from the time it was founded in 1927. The greens on the course have been carefully planned and mapped by experts, and the hilly terrain presents a considerable challenge even for skilled players.
With an awe-inspiring length of just short of 7,000 yards from the tee box, the par-71 course played host to the 1939 U.S. Open championship, which was claimed by the talented Bryan Nelson. The course’s moving topography is inherent to many of the hazards, blind shots, and challenging approaches it presents. Proving wrong anyone who might take the yardage of the course for granted, this steep, strategic layout will keep any player of the game thoughtful and alert.
Address: 1601 Spring Mill Rd, Gladwyne, PA 19035, United States
Philadelphia Cricket Club – Wissahickon
Wissahickon Golf Club is a true wonder of American golf. With a golf course constructed in each of the last three centuries, it provides an experience that is unrivaled in the country club circuit. The 18-hole championship Wissahickon course was restored in 2013 to provide a world-class golf experience. The routing takes full advantage of the natural movement in the land, which encourages golfers to take on big shots or play with strategy.
The green complexes are perfectly placed above the fairway and are truly fantastic. Unfortunately, the Tillinghast design had been lost to neglect and over-exuberant maintenance. Thankfully, the original layout was restored by Keith Foster, who also added a few additional upgrades, primarily in the form of bunkers that Tillinghast would have wanted to improve the playability and challenge. The result is a club that firmly cements its position at the top of the rankings.
Address: 6025 West Valley Green Rd, Flourtown, PA 19031, United States
Manufacturers’ Golf & Country Club
Nestled in a picturesque valley in the Fort Washington neighborhood, you’ll find the remarkable Manufacturers’ Golf & Country Club. Sprawling over 250 acres of lush rolling hills and majestic hardwoods, this golf course boasts a rich history dating back to 1925. Renowned architect William Flynn was commissioned to design this gem, which is one of his earlier works in the Philadelphia area.
Despite its impressive creation and stunning location, this hidden gem is sometimes overlooked. The opening nine holes feature some fantastic elevation changes, with the short par-4 8th hole over the quarry being a particular standout. The inward nine presents a stern challenge, boasting some truly difficult holes to keep your scorecard intact. Overall, this course is a must-play for any avid golfer looking for an unparalleled experience.
Address: 511 Dreshertown Rd, Fort Washington, PA 19034, United States
Rolling Green Golf Club
Rolling Green Golf Club is a course that demands attention, especially from locals. Designed by William Flynn and Howard Toomey and established in 1926, this course is known for its hilly topography and constant undulations of the land. Remarkably, despite these challenging features, each of the holes fits effortlessly into the landscape.
The course covers 157-acres of land, and you will be struck by the natural relationship between the routing and nature. With diverse holes and the greens positioned high or low, accurate approach shots take center stage, as long putts are not an ideal situation. Rolling Green Golf Club has hosted some prestigious tournaments, including the 1976 US Women’s Open and the 2016 US Women’s Amateur, cementing its reputation as a first-class golf club.
Address: 280 N State Rd, Springfield, PA 19064, United States
Gulph Mills Country Club
Gulph Mills Golf Club was originally designed by Donald Ross in 1919, taking advantage of the challenging rolling hills and incorporating a few water hazards and a creek.
Over the years, the course has undergone some changes, with Perry Maxwell, William Gordon, and Robert Trent Jones all contributing to the layout. While Maxwell’s mark is arguably the most apparent, it was Gil Hanse whose genius was brought in recently to oversee the restoration. The aim was to restore some of the more classical features from Ross and Maxwell’s designs, as well as improve the flow and routing of the course.
The restoration effort succeeded in bringing back the typical Ross-style back-to-front greens while also removing hundreds of trees that had previously obscured the course’s stunning views. Notable holes include a spectacular par-3 over a deep quarry to a fabulous Ross-shaped green.
Address: 200 Swedeland Rd, King of Prussia, PA 19406, United States
Huntingdon Valley Country Club
Positioned in the scenic hills of Philadelphia’s northern suburbs, Huntingdon Valley Country Club offers a challenge for even the most seasoned golfers. Unlike many courses that settle on 18 holes, the founders decided to aim higher and build 27, with the promise of expanding further in the future. Leading architect William Flynn was enlisted to design the course alongside engineer Howard Toomey, who inspired one of the nines that would come to be known as the Toomey nine.
As players make their way around the Flynn-designed course, they’ll quickly notice this isn’t flat terrain. Despite offering breathtaking views, every hole presents a challenge, with precision and accuracy off the tee being crucial to navigate the elevated greens and avoid the unforgiving creek that comes into play on the back nine. With its challenging layout and stunning surroundings, Huntingdon Valley Country Club is a must-play course for any avid golfer.
Address: 2295 Country Club Dr, Huntingdon Valley, PA 19006, United States
Applebrook Golf Club
Applebrook Golf Club is a testament to the minimalist design philosophy of Gil Hanse, one of the top designers in golf. Built in 2001, the course offers a unique experience due in part to the walking-only policy, which adds to the simplicity and classical feel of the course. The routing is cleverly designed, with each hole flowing beautifully to the next, leading to a serene and picturesque experience.
Despite being only 6,800 yards from the back tees, the course is challenging due to the presence of doglegs on 16 of the 18 holes. Brute force is not enough to tackle this course, precision is key in identifying the right line off the tee. A rare treat awaits every golfer at Applebrook Golf Club, with the beautifully contoured greens and authentic looking bunkers adding to the overall experience.
Address: 100 Line Rd, Malvern, PA 19355, United States
Trump National Golf Club Philadelphia
Set on 365 acres of hilly, sandy terrain that looks out onto the Philadelphia skyline, Trump National Golf Club – Philadelphia presents an impressive challenge to even the most skilled of golfers. Designer Tom Fazio has created a visually stunning course, complete with water hazards on three of the holes. The fairways skillfully weave their way across the thickly wooded landscape, offering a test of skill and strategy at every turn.
One of the most challenging holes on the course is the 471-yard downhill par four 14th, where the fairway dramatically doglegs right towards the green. Though it was once known as Pine Hill Golf Club, Donald Trump’s acquisition of the property resulted in a rebranding to Trump National Golf Club – Philadelphia. Despite the changes, the course has retained its reputation as a true challenge for players seeking to test their skills against an expertly designed course.
Address: 500 W Branch Ave, Pine Hill, NJ 08021, United States
The Union League Golf Club at Torresdale
Boasting a challenging yet enjoyable round of golf for players of all levels, the Union League National Golf Club at the Jersey Shore is truly a premier golf course. With its 27 championship holes, expertly constructed by the nation’s finest golf architecture team, every golfer will be sure to find a challenge. And if that wasn’t enough, there is also an expansive double-sided practice range fitted with grass tees and a beautiful clubhouse across the expansive 236-acre property.
Additionally, just 12 miles northeast of Center City, a challenging 18-hole Donald Ross design awaits at the Union League Golf Club at Torresdale. For over 100 years, every hole of this precise course has proven to be a tough test, with its rolling terrain serving as the perfect challenge for even the most experienced golfers. But don’t wait too long to plan your visit, as there are exciting plans in the works for a future restoration of the Torresdale course from renowned architect Andrew Green.
Address: 3801 Grant Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19114, United States
Whitemarsh Valley Country Club
Whitemarsh Valley Country Club holds a special place in the history of American golf. Designed by George C. Thomas Jr., it was his first 18-hole course and was built on his family’s estate. While it may not have the name recognition of his later layouts in California, such as the Los Angeles Country Club and Riviera, Thomas brought his signature design style to Whitemarsh. He used sprawling bunkers with jagged thumbs to shape many holes and created greens that accept run-up shots, making the course more playable for the average golfer.
Today, nearly 100 years after its initial construction, Whitemarsh Valley remains a testament to the enduring legacy of Thomas’s design philosophy. The course underwent revisions by William Flynn and Donald Ross, before Andrew Green oversaw a sympathetic renovation in 2015 that restored the original green complex sizes and oversaw a tree removal project. Whether you are a seasoned pro or a weekend golfer, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club offers an unforgettable experience that is sure to delight players of all skill levels.
Address: 815 Thomas Rd, Lafayette Hill, PA 19444, United States
Walnut Lane Golf Club
Experience the thrill of playing on a course that is both beautiful and challenging at Walnut Lane Golf Club. Designed by Alex Findlay, this tree-lined course has been entertaining golf enthusiasts since 1940. The unique layout boasts cleverly placed holes that are tucked away in hills and valleys, making it a true shot-maker’s paradise.
With several challenging par 3’s, the course encourages players to push their limits and perfect their skills. Whether you’re looking for a fun-filled golfing experience or a more competitive game, Walnut Lane Golf Club is the ideal destination for both novice and seasoned players alike. At 4509 yards and a par of 62, this public/municipal course is sure to offer an exciting day out for all golf enthusiasts.
Address: 800 Walnut Ln, Philadelphia, PA 19128, United States
Juniata Golf Course
Juniata Golf Course in Philadelphia is an excellent course for golfers of all levels of proficiency. The course offers stunning views and a tough challenge, making it a great pick for regular rounds of golf or a fun day out with friends. Spread out across 66 acres, the course was designed by Alan D. Corson in collaboration with local golf architects, with the aim of creating a layout that prioritizes easy playability.
According to Corson, making public courses easy to play allows for more people to partake in the sport. Juniata Golf Course officially opened to the public in July of 1927, featuring nine holes. Three years later, in 1930, the course added another nine holes, totaling 18 for golfers to enjoy. The course’s architect, Ed Ault, created a Par 66, 5,275-yard course that promises to challenge even the most experienced golfers.
Address: 1391 E Cayuga St, Philadelphia, PA 19124, United States
The Philadelphia area is home to some truly stunning golf courses, offering a unique experience for golfers of all skill levels. Whether you’re looking for a challenge or an easy day out on the greens, there is something here to suit everyone. From Huntingdon Valley Country Club and Applebrook Golf Club to Trump National Golf Club – Philadelphia and The Union League Golf Club at Torresdale, there’s no shortage of great golf courses in the area. When you’re planning your next round of golf, make sure to visit one of these Philadelphia-area gems and experience a truly unforgettable round.