Reporting Jay Lloyd
Population explosions usually come at the expense of open space, including golf courses. But the fairways are alive and well on the Route 422 corridor, which is straddled by Chester and Montgomery counties as it slices into Berks. Here’s a ramble through some of the public golf courses within minutes of a 422 exit that have shown amazing sustainability. – Jay Lloyd
LANDIS CREEK GOLF CLUB
765 Lewis Rd.
Limerick, PA 19468
Don’t recognize the name? It’s new. Not the club, just the name. The old Limerick Golf Club has changed ownership and gotten a face lift, from tee boxes to watering hole. The grounds have been spruced up for spring, too. The Creekside bar and outdoor patio have been renovated. This course comfortably meanders through a community of homes that line the fairways and wooded sections that lend a pristine backdrop to the game. You’ll find challenges on water holes and wooded cuts along with scenic straightaways. My favorite time of day here is twilight for play until dusk and then head for a couple of cool ones in the lounge. Rates this season are a reasonable $36 for weekday play and a great $28 rate for seniors. Here’s a look at the whole price menu.
LINFIELD NATIONAL GOLF CLUB
65 Church Rd.
Linfield, PA 19468
Linfield National had a dynamite winter. Forward-thinking management here has just come off its first full “off-season” with indoor golf simulators that tapped into all the pent-up golfing need. Now the snow is off the fairways and the course has undergone another round of tree trimming and landscaping. The 19th Hole Lounge is an upgraded pub and the pro-shop has been enlarged. The course provides a versatile combination of terrain contours and challenge. Changing elevations on the fourth hole and contours on the 12th provide some of most interesting challenge here, while the deceptively simple looking par 3 fourteenth gives you a chance to see how well a golf ball floats. Weekday fees to ride are $42 with a senior rate pegged at $34. Here’s the whole price list.
TURTLE CREEK GOLF COURSE
303 W. Ridge Pike
Limerick, PA 19468
If you start to wonder why the fairways at Turtle Creek look so vibrant and feel like a fine carpet under foot, it’s simple. The people who operate the course also own the Waltz Turf Farm, the area’s premier producer of grass surfacing. This course is a pleasure to play, easy to navigate and provides a comfortable blend of challenge and ego boost. I haven’t yet stopped at the new clubhouse, but it does hold a full bar and dining room. Fees with a cart are $50 midweek with a $5 discount for seniors. Take a look at all the rates here.
Bonus: If you need a little practice before heading out on the course, the Waltz Golf Farm and its driving range are right next door.
SPRING HOLLOW GOLF CLUB
3350 Schuylkill Rd.
Spring City, PA 19475
The golf course can bring you here in the morning; the clubhouse setting can hold you right through lunch and dinner. Spring Hollow is an unsung gem that’s studded with ponds, steams and changing elevations. The only thing missing on my last couple of visits was the swans that had previously been a constant presence. The course features changing elevations and contours, along with a few narrow cuts that provide club-gripping challenge. Then there’s the Grille and its popular outdoor patio overlooking the 9th and 18th holes. A full bar and quality food service adds up to a country club feel at public course accessibility. Weekday riding fees check out at $43. Seniors pay $34. Here’s the full rate card.
READING COUNTRY CLUB
5311 Perkiomen Avenue
Reading, PA 19606
The Reading Country Club is a country club no more. Once the playground of railroad barons, this challenging course and its distinctive clubhouse castle are now open to the public. As Reading fortunes declined, Exeter Township bought the club and is running it as a first class operation. The entrance to 18 holes of changing terrain and wooded backdrops that are criss-crossed by fish-filled streams is right on Route 422 before you reach Reading. The course has been well maintained and the Castle Grille has retained its country club environment and service. It’s one of the most popular watering holes and eateries for the Reading business community and suburban residents. Weekday riding rates for 18 holes tee up at $45. Seniors and residents pay $35. Here’s the full card.
While you’re on Route 422, check out the historic sites, restaurants, shopping and entertainment venues, from the Valley Forge Casino to the Reading Phillies.