Golf Bucks County

By Bob Oliver

Middletown Country Club

Middletown is a compact 80 acres of challenging golf, with rolling hills and large specimen trees that have watched many golfers travel its fairways over time. It has retained its old time feel with tees and greens in close proximity, allowing golfers to walk the course if they choose.

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06 Aug
2020

ShopRite LPGA will be "fan" less

Written by Bob Oliver

The good news is that the ShopRite LPGA Classic presented by Acer will take place this year.  The bad news is that COVID has forced numerous changes. 

There will be no fans allowed at Seaview Golf Club, a Dolce Resort, according to tournament officials. Additionally there will not be a pro-am event Instead the tournament will be extended to 72 holes from its traditional 54 holes, and it will be televised.

Commissioner Mike Whan thanked sponsors shopRite, Acer and Eiger for their support of the event, postponed from earlier this year and now scheduled for September 28 to October 4. "While this year's tournament will be different without on-site fan support, the Golf Channel will be presenting excellent coverage."

The Classic has generated more than $35 million for regional charities and that commitment to the community will continue.

The ShopRIte regularly draws a strong field, and it is expected this year's event will be no different. The players love the course and area amenities and many circle it on their playing schedule. 

Lexi Thompson won the 2019 event, while Annie Park was the 2018 winner. 

The glass may be half empty or half full, but the competition will be intense this fall when play starts.

CHIP SHOTS: Some LPGA players are carrying or pulling their own bags in efforts to social distance and save a few bucks. That is expected to continue through the end of the year....Neshaminy graduated Brittany Benvenuto hopes to be play in her second ShopRite.  She missed the cut two years ago.  She recently opened the Marathon LPGA Classic with a 73...Seaview's Bay Course always challenges the players, who love it and the area according to numerous interviews.  

 

01 Aug
2020

More golf, more often, more places

Written by Bob Oliver

Lists.  We love our lists. 

Bucket lists on everything from travel destinations to restaurants. 

Golfers lists include playing in Scotland and/or Ireland, sampling Pebble Beach or somehow getting an invitation to Pine Valley. 

For me it has long been playing a new course.  To date I've sampled more than 925 courses, and while COVID has put a crimp on adding to the list I've tried. Drivable jaunts to play a new course has occupied recent time, and I've been able to add a few new challenges this year. 

Thinking ahead, there are great opportunities. Along the way it would be great to play some top-ranked courses.  There was a time when I'd played 25 of the top 100 modern courses in the USA, as determined by Golfweek. Looking at the recently released listings for 2020, the list has changed dramatically. 

I've only sampled 9 of the top 100, 20 of the top 200.  That's depressing!

Of course to many people - who haven't played a single one of the list - probably to big deal. But it is for this corner. While in my drive to 1,000 courses played I've sampled some real, shall we say, less than stellar courses, I've balanced those with scenic, challenging and immaculately manicured layouts that are memorable gems. 

One particular jewel, the Tom Doak designed Stonewall (Old Course) layout in Bulltown, Pa., is a classic. Carved on rolling farmland, it's a walking course - no motorized carts - and it takes one back in time. Rolling fairways, dastardly greens that sometimes mystify even the seasoned caddies that guide one, it's not only beautiful but a true experience. 

And it's back on the top-100 list! 

There are some courses one never want to play again after an initial visit. Others, like Merion, Oakmont, Stonewall and Pine Valley, never get old. Each has it's one special way, and one wants to play again and again.

For now, my goal is to intersperse those great tests with new challenges of varying degrees. Having lost 30 yards somewhere along the line, even the white tees can be hellacious. But the mind knows that playing golf, anywhere, is mind easing. 

Guess the glass is half empty or half full, but there is room for more golf. D(V*D be damned.