Island Green Country Club in Philly

Big D McGeeBig D McGee GET FLYERED UP!!!Members Posts: 1,194
Very good course, good value
I had the pleasure of playing the Island Green Country Club in NE Philly on 7/15. After 2 pm the price drops to $39 per player, and I had a two-for-one coupon, so I and my buddy only paid $20 each! An absolute steal!



When the Philadelphia Inquirer reviewed this course, they made a big point of noting that it's the first new public course built in Philadelphia in some 37 years. This would lead one to believe that the course is similar to the muni's that are owned by the City of Philadelphia. NOTHING could be further from the truth. In fact, this course deserved to have the words "Country Club" in the name.



Standing on the first tee, I remember thinking, "Wow, I paid $20 to play this course?? I'm robbing them!" The fairways were green and lush, with a nice first cut to delineate the short grass from the rough. The fairways are tight-but not U.S. Open tight. The rough was thick but not incredibly penalizing. Still, I think I hit driver on maybe 6 holes total, and four of those were par-3's. The last time I saw excellent conditioning like this, I was in Hawai'i, playing K'Oolina Golf Club, and had just plunked down $160 for the privilege.



There are some very good golf holes, and the course feels very spread out. Unlike all the city-owned courses I play, the fairways aren't on top of each other. The greens are generally medium-sized to large, no huge, resort-style greens. And some of them undulate like crazy.



Of particular note is hole #5, a short 140-yard par-3 that’s mostly uphill. It plays from an elevated tee box, which gives you a funky feeling of being level with the green, but you’re not. To make things really interesting, the green slopes left to right at an impossibly steep angle. The day I played, the pin was just on the left edge, and I hit my ball in the left fringe. Turned out to be a good play, as my buddy hit his in the center of the green, only to have it roll into the rough. Ouch.



Of course, the signature hole is #11, from whence the club derives its name. The hole only plays 315 from the white tees, but of course there’s the pesky island green to deal with. Don’t smoke your drive here, or you’ll end up in the water. I took a Hybrid 4 and hit it about 80 yards from the green, but in the rough. No way was I gonna hit a sand wedge into the green, so I opted for pitching wedge. Splash! I failed to account for the slight uphill position of the green and my ball came up literally inches short of the island. We had a good laugh, though. This is one hole where you definitely want to out drive at least one of your playing partners, to see what club he/she uses. A really fun hole, it stacks up as one of the best in the area, bar none.



The other hole that really made me smile was #15, a 130-yard one-shotter that has a about 120-yards of carry completely over water. There’s water all on the left, and a cart path on the right. Fortunately, the green is one of the largest on the course, and it’s fairly flat. If you get the ball pin high, you have a good chance of making a birdie, which I did (one of only two on the day).



I really like this course, but I have one confession: I nearly broke 90 for the first time on this course (three putted on the last hole for 91...I CHOKED! LOL), so that may have influenced my positive review of the course. But it’s a definitely worth checking out, if you’re in the area.



Another note is that the staff at the pro shop is very nice (but harried-they get tons of rounds every day), and the rangers really do their job enforcing pace of play. I saw the ranger talk to the threesome in front of us on two separate occasions about speeding up, as they were delaying us and the group behind us. I think they may have skipped a hole, because when we got to #6 they’d disappeared.



All in all a wonderful experience, on a very good, bargain-priced golf course. I’ll play the course a couple more times this season, despite the fact that it’s a good 40-minute drive from my home, and I have three or four courses much closer than that. If you live in the Philly area, give it a try.

Comments

  • Grimace45Grimace45 Members Posts: 1,104 ✭✭
    Thanks for the info, may have to give it a try. I used to play the Philly coures a lot when I was in college. Have you ever been out to Linfield National in Limerick, they just opened two new holes and the course is in good shape.
    Callaway Epic Flash SZ 9* GD AD TP 6x
    Callaway Rogue Sub Zero 15* GD AD TP 7x
    Callaway Rogue Sub Zero 18* GD AD MT 7x
    Callaway X Forged UT 21* AD DI 95s
    Ben Hogan Ft. Worth 15 Hi 5 & 6 UST Recoil 110 F5
    Ben Hogan Ft. Worth 15 7 - PW UST Recoil 110 F5
    Ben Hogan TK 15 50* UST Recoil 110 F5
    Callaway MD4 54* & 58* KBS $Taper Black 120
    Odyssey Stroke Lab V Line 35"
    Titleist ProV1


  • Big D McGeeBig D McGee GET FLYERED UP!!! Members Posts: 1,194
    ^^Funny you should ask!! My company is buying a building right down the street on Lewis road, and I took a detour to check the club out! I'm definitely going to set up a tee time within the next two weeks!



    How about Turtle Creek? I hear good thing about it, it's in the same area as Linfield National. Ever played it?
  • Grimace45Grimace45 Members Posts: 1,104 ✭✭
    Played it the end of last year and it is not a bad track, a bit of a haul for me. I only play Linfield since a few of my frat brothers from college are members there. It is pretty impressive with the new holes opened. The redesign turned a mediocre layout that is usually in good shape into a hidden gem. I am a member at a private club in DE and play quite a bit in south Jersey where my wife and I have a summer house. It is rare that I head north to play these days.
    Callaway Epic Flash SZ 9* GD AD TP 6x
    Callaway Rogue Sub Zero 15* GD AD TP 7x
    Callaway Rogue Sub Zero 18* GD AD MT 7x
    Callaway X Forged UT 21* AD DI 95s
    Ben Hogan Ft. Worth 15 Hi 5 & 6 UST Recoil 110 F5
    Ben Hogan Ft. Worth 15 7 - PW UST Recoil 110 F5
    Ben Hogan TK 15 50* UST Recoil 110 F5
    Callaway MD4 54* & 58* KBS $Taper Black 120
    Odyssey Stroke Lab V Line 35"
    Titleist ProV1


  • Big D McGeeBig D McGee GET FLYERED UP!!! Members Posts: 1,194
    ^^Cool, I'll definitely get my golf buddy (who is also a co-worker) to do some "due diligence" on this new building, and play a round at Linfield.



    BTW!! In my review above, the comment about hitting driver on 6 holes should have read: "...and four of those were par-5's. D'oh! I'm not that bad that I have to hit a driver on par-3's!! image/smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':drinks:' />
  • GooseGoose Junior Mod Squad Posts: 1,270 ✭✭
    Big D McGee wrote on Jul 20 2006, 05:32 PM:


    ^^Funny you should ask!! My company is buying a building right down the street on Lewis road, and I took a detour to check the club out! I'm definitely going to set up a tee time within the next two weeks!



    How about Turtle Creek? I hear good thing about it, it's in the same area as Linfield National. Ever played it?




    PIAA High School golf holds the District One Championship at turtle creek every year. it is a real nice course for being public. greens have speed and it in great condition. We play district mid to late october and the course was just i superb condition.





    goose
    PXG 0811X 10* w/ Tensei Blue 70TX<br />PXG 0341X 15* w/ Tensei Blue 70TX<br />PXG 0317 19* w/ Tensei Blue 80X<br />PXG 0311T 4-W w/ Nippon Modus 130X<br />PXG 0311 50*,55*,60* w/ Modus 130X<br />Scotty Cameron Circle T Newport 2
  • Big D McGeeBig D McGee GET FLYERED UP!!! Members Posts: 1,194
    ^^Cool, da boss is goin' on vacation next week, out of the country, so I think me and my buddy will "visit the new property"...and "forget" to take our cell phones. image/wink.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':drinks:' />



    I'll let ya know what I think of the course!
  • arkstormarkstorm Members Posts: 1,757 ✭✭
    Island Green -- Its my home course, but only because its closest. I would rate it as medicore. With the exception of the par 5 fourth, Its the easiest par 72 I've ever played. For the most part, you can spray the ball all over the place and still have a play at the green. It is in great shape this year, however, so its worth checking out if you're in the neighborhood.



    Linfield -- This is another fun but easy course. Its a par 70 and from what I've heard, the new changes are for the worse. They eliminated my favorite hole, #16, a 530 par five, and made it into a par four. Then they made the par three 17th into a par four also. I haven't been there since the changes but I always regarded Linfield as a good course for golfers just starting out.



    Turtle Creek -- This course is just plain awesome. Its got ample yardage from all tees, very challenging. Great variety of holes, all par threes are different distances and require different shots. Various holes require various shots off the tee to get you into good position. In short, this course requires every shot in the bag to shoot a good score, its always in great condition and hosts a number of local tourneys. Deffinitely worthwhile.



    Other courses in the area worth mentioning in no particular order are Bella Vista (An excellent par 70 with lots of elevation changes...a real challenging course); Raven's Claw (Currently my favorite course in the area, its only in its second season and still needs to mature but the lay out is phenominal); Five Ponds (a/k/a five and a half hours ponds, pace of play is always an issue here but its a really great course, always in good shape); Center Square (very mature course with a par five par three finish); and Makefield Highlands (very difficult links style course where every hole has unique character, you never feel like you're having deja vu from three holes ago, just don't expect to shoot your handicap here.)
  • Big D McGeeBig D McGee GET FLYERED UP!!! Members Posts: 1,194
    ^^Thanks for the info on local courses. Now that I have a semi-regular golfing buddy, it's easier to sample the better courses. I'll definitely try Turtle Creek soon.



    With regards to Island Green, it's true there aren't many trees or bunkers to avoid. However, when we played, the rough was thick and gnarly, so for a high-handicapper like myself it was plenty challenging. I think it was the conditioning and two holes (#11 and #15) that really won me over.
  • arkstormarkstorm Members Posts: 1,757 ✭✭
    We should look into doing a Philly Area Golfwrx golf outing...or even a semi-regular group...



    Any interest?
  • SimpSimp Members Posts: 2,908 ✭✭
    arkstorm wrote on Jul 24 2006, 04&#58;36 PM:


    We should look into doing a Philly Area Golfwrx golf outing...or even a semi-regular group...



    Any interest?




    I live in central NJ, near Trenton, so I'm in! Simp
    WITB
    G400 LST 10°
    VSteel 13°
    Adams Idea Pro 20°
    Adams Idea Pro 23°
    Mizuno MP18 SC's Fli-Hi 4&5
    Cleveland RTX3 50,54 & 60
    TaylorMade Spider Mini
  • phillypetephillypete Members Posts: 1,447
    aw come on... where's the love for the good old FDR! hehehe Thats where I learned to play! YUCK.



    Philly has some of the worst muni courses in the world.



    Never played I.G.



    Turtle, Bella, Mainline are all fun.



    My new favorite is Golden Oaks here in Reading. Its a bombers paradise... long and wide. The greens are big and fast.



    All in all i got to say Reading has a couple of interesting courses. Oaks is the only modern course, but some of the old courses can be querky. Galen Hall has the first island green in the United States, decent greens, and lots of elevation changes. The Reading C.C. is a clever layout. Its now public and struggling from some neglect after land disputes.
  • Big D McGeeBig D McGee GET FLYERED UP!!! Members Posts: 1,194
    phillypete wrote on Jul 24 2006, 10&#58;56 PM:


    aw come on... where's the love for the good old FDR! hehehe Thats where I learned to play! YUCK.



    Philly has some of the worst muni courses in the world.



    Never played I.G.



    Turtle, Bella, Mainline are all fun.



    My new favorite is Golden Oaks here in Reading. Its a bombers paradise... long and wide. The greens are big and fast.



    All in all i got to say Reading has a couple of interesting courses. Oaks is the only modern course, but some of the old courses can be querky. Galen Hall has the first island green in the United States, decent greens, and lots of elevation changes. The Reading C.C. is a clever layout. Its now public and struggling from some neglect after land disputes.




    John Byrne and Walnut Lane are the only two muni's worth playing. Oh, and I hear Cobb's Creek Olde Course is nice, but I can never get on 'cause the old duffers think it's their "Country Club"! I learned to play at FDR myself, and I went back there about 2 months ago after not playing there for like 5 years. Worse than I remember! Borderline dog track!
  • Big D McGeeBig D McGee GET FLYERED UP!!! Members Posts: 1,194
    arkstorm wrote on Jul 24 2006, 04&#58;36 PM:


    We should look into doing a Philly Area Golfwrx golf outing...or even a semi-regular group...



    Any interest?




    **** YEAH!! I'm usually "the lonely golfer", since I most often play as a single. PM me, I'd definitely like to hook up with fellow WRX'ers. Maybe I could even get an official handicap that way.



    Just be warned, I most often shoot in the low 90's, somtimes still 100. But I'm takin' lessons! image/smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':drinks:' />
  • arkstormarkstorm Members Posts: 1,757 ✭✭
    Okay.... Philly Area Golfwrx Outing.



    How's about August 12 at Bella Vista, afternoon round? Its the week before the PGA so there won't be any exciting golf on TV. Plus, Bella Vista has a nice little 19th hole overlooking the 18th green, which is great for heckling. All ability levels welcome.



    PM me if you're in, and I'll post a final headcount on this thread.
  • SimpSimp Members Posts: 2,908 ✭✭
    Aw man! I'm going to be in Georgia that weekend. Anyway, have fun and I'll hook up with you guys next time. Simp
    WITB
    G400 LST 10°
    VSteel 13°
    Adams Idea Pro 20°
    Adams Idea Pro 23°
    Mizuno MP18 SC's Fli-Hi 4&5
    Cleveland RTX3 50,54 & 60
    TaylorMade Spider Mini
  • Judge SmailsJudge Smails Members Posts: 1,170
    Turtle is an awesome course! never got to island green, but I loved turtle creek. I recently moved to Boston and miss having a course of that caliber that is so reasonably priced!
    915D3 10.5 AD DI 7x
    Nike Covert Tour Issue Deep Face 15* BB 83x
    VR LTD Proto 19* VTS 8x Black
    2011 TM MC Forged 4/5-PW S400 Tour Issue, 712U 3 PXi 6.0
    Vokey 52* proto , Vokey 456.14 55* and Vokey 2015 Proto V grind w/ P grind trailing edge
    Kenny Giannini G2 Chubby
  • arkstormarkstorm Members Posts: 1,757 ✭✭
    So far we have four deffenitely's and one maybe for Bella Vista on Aug. 12. I'll make the tee time on August 2, so let me know if you're in by then.
  • rblum22rblum22 Members Posts: 670
    I may grace you with my presence.
    PING i25 9.5º Driver
    PING G25 15º 3 Wood
    PING G25 20º & 23º Hyrbids
    PING G25 5-UW
    Cleveland 588 RTG 56º and 60º
    Odyssey ProType ix #1
  • arkstormarkstorm Members Posts: 1,757 ✭✭
    rblum22 wrote on Aug 10 2006, 12&#58;03 AM:


    I may grace you with my presence.




    Why? You're not even invited.
  • The Boom BappThe Boom Bapp Quick Tips are like Poisenous darts! Members Posts: 1,392
    Yo fella's I am in KoP.



    Played I.G many O times and found it to be OK. Used to work 10 minutes from there on Roosevelt Blvd and went to the D'range or P'green everyday at lunch. Few holes are worth a visit.



    Are you serious about Saturday 8/12/06 at Bella Vista?



    I will see what I can do to get out with you fella's.



    What would your Tee time likely be?
    Callaway XR Pro 9* Mitsubishi Fubuki zt 70x tipped .5"
    Callaway XR Pro 14* Mitsubishi Fubuki z-fw 85x
    Mizuno MP- 33 3-pw KBS-Tour x stepped x 2
    Nike VR Forged 52*,56*,60*
    Mizuno Bettinardi C-03 Blade @ 33"
    Titleist Prov1x
  • arkstormarkstorm Members Posts: 1,757 ✭✭
    The Boom Bapp wrote on Aug 10 2006, 09&#58;14 AM:


    Yo fella's I am in KoP.



    Played I.G many O times and found it to be OK. Used to work 10 minutes from there on Roosevelt Blvd and went to the D'range or P'green everyday at lunch. Few holes are worth a visit.



    Are you serious about Saturday 8/12/06 at Bella Vista?



    I will see what I can do to get out with you fella's.



    What would your Tee time likely be?




    We have a tee time at Bella Vista on Sat 8/12 at 2:09 under Stark/Golfwrx. One spot left if you want in. Just PM me and I'll put you down.
  • PMoretzPMoretz Members Posts: 169 ✭✭
    Wish I found this thread earlier! Just played Island Green 2 weeks ago. Shot 93, first time I've broken 100 in 4 tries. As has been posted, the best public course in Philly. Recently, I have been playing mostly the munis in Philly. Byrne isn't too bad and FDR has its moments. I played Karkung Course at Cobbs Creek back and June and it was in pretty bad shape for what I was expecting. Alto of my rounds this year have been at Juniata. Only 5 minutes from my house only $15 to walk. If you want to know how bad it is, read last Sunday's Inquirer story (http://www.philly.com/mld/philly/sports/columnists/joe_logan/15369343.htm). Guess I'm just an sentimentalist because that's where I learned to play and my Uncle was a Park Guard there when I was a kid (if you're old enough to remember when Philly had Park Guards).



    Haven't played Turtle Creek, although Inside Golf on Comcast Sportsnet reviewed it a few weeks ago and it looked very well worth the trip. I have played Five Ponds and although I've never played well there, it is a challenging and enjoyable course. I'd like to try to get to Lower Makefield Highlands either this fall or next spring. I've heard really good thinsg about it.
  • GooseGoose Junior Mod Squad Posts: 1,270 ✭✭
    Island green is not in good shape my dad played there this morning. he said he enjoyed playing bc he was with his friends but didnt not enjoy the course...he has played it many other times but just said it is in bad shape when his ususaly course is in its best shape ever.





    goose
    PXG 0811X 10* w/ Tensei Blue 70TX<br />PXG 0341X 15* w/ Tensei Blue 70TX<br />PXG 0317 19* w/ Tensei Blue 80X<br />PXG 0311T 4-W w/ Nippon Modus 130X<br />PXG 0311 50*,55*,60* w/ Modus 130X<br />Scotty Cameron Circle T Newport 2
  • Big D McGeeBig D McGee GET FLYERED UP!!! Members Posts: 1,194
    ^^It's a shame that in a little over a month the course has gotten so bad. It's gotta be too many rounds being played. The second time I played there I noticed that the intervals between tee times had shrunk from 15 minutes to like eight minutes. Unless you're speed golfer, you'll barely be on the green in eight minutes. They need to think about making less money in the short term and lessening the rounds. The course was in stellar condition in July, I hope to play there once more before the end of the season, I'll let you all know how it is.
Sign In or Register to comment.