The Scots may have brought us the ancient game of golf, but it seems that the Italians and British can lay claim to the grills, restaurants, taverns and terraces that provide the food at Delaware Valley links. Thanks to the environment, some of the area’s most enjoyable dining can be found at golf courses, both public and private. Here’s a sampling, but limited only to those open to the public. – Jay Lloyd
Springfield Country Club
400 Sproul Rd.
Springfield, PA 19064
For lunch after a round at the popular Springfield Country Club, or dinner and cocktails, Tavola has gained a reputation as a neighborhood eatery with a decidedly Italian flavor. You don’t have to be a golfer to enjoy indoor and outdoor dining. The links provide the vista and the patio offers the country setting. Locals enjoy stopping by for an evening drink in the comfort of the modern lounge or relaxing over steaks and pasta at dinner (you can’t go wrong with the shrimp scampi here). Sunday brunch will cover your appetite from breakfast to dinner. Dinner entrees range from $16 to $28, pastas from $11 to $18.
Getting there: From Center City, take I-95 South to 476 North to Exit 3 (Springfield). Turn right off the exit on Baltimore Pike (Route 1). Proceed on Route 1 for approximately ½ mile to Route 320 (West Sproul Road). Turn Left on Route 320. Springfield Country Club is located ½ mile on the left. For directions from other area locations, go to: www.tavolas.com
MICHAEL’S GRILL AND BAR
Westover Country Club
41 S. Schuylkill Avenue
Jeffersonville, PA 19403
Michael’s at Westover Country Club has long been a favorite watering hole and eatery for Montgomery County politicos, lawyers and business people in the active Route 202 corridor. The Grill turns out ribs, steaks and burgers to a frequently full house, but it also puts an Italian spin on a full menu that ranges from breakfast to dinner. It can speed a golfer to the back nine or provide the setting for a casual, relaxing lunch. The bar here is a frequent getaway spot for escapees from weddings, banquets and political gatherings, held in the function rooms of the sprawling clubhouse. The menu features daily specials, and you’ll always find someone to chat with at the bar before dinner, whether about golf or politics.
Getting there: From Philadelphia, take 76 West to 202 South to 422 West to 363 North (Trooper/Audubon Exit). Take 363 North to Egypt Road (light after Home Depot). Make a right on Egypt Road. Take Egypt Road to Main Street (3rd light). Make a right on Main Street. At the next light (S. Schuylkill Ave.), make a right. Westover is 4 blocks down on the right.
For directions from other area locations, check out: www.westovercountryclub.com/contact.htm
THE MARKLEY GRILLE
Bella Vista Golf Course
2901 Fagleysville Rd.
Gilbertsville, PA 19525
Bar and table chatter at The Markley Grille often revolves around the challenging island that makes up the 14th green at The Bella Vista Golf Course. It usually goes two ways: the ball either hit the green and stuck, or hit the green and (ever so slowly) rolled off into the lake. It’s a conversation starter at a course that commands a spectacular setting in rural Montgomery County. The Grille patio offers a vista on the course and rolling countryside. There’s indoor and outdoor seating, and lunch and dinner feature a menu that favors American classics with–big surprise–Italian flair. The varied fare holds something for most tastes — steaks, chops, ribs, seafood and pasta, all done in creative ways, like topping manicotti with sea scallops. Dinner entrees range from $10 for ribs to the $25 steak. The dining is as enjoyable as the course, minus the angst on that 14th green!
Getting there: From Philadelphia, take I-76 to King of Prussia. From King of Prussia, take Route 202 South to Route 422 West to the Sanatoga exit. At the
bottom of the ramp, cross over the 4-lane highway to a traffic light at East High Street. Turn left at the light onto E. High Street, then proceed approx. 1 mile to Pleasant View Road. Turn right at the light onto Pleasant View Rd. Pleasant View will become Sanatoga Road. Proceed approx. 3 miles to Swamp Pike. Cross over Swamp Pike onto Fagleysville Road, and the course is approx. ¼ mile on the left hand side.
For directions from other locations, go to: www.bellavistagc.com/contact/directions-a-map
THE SAND TRAP
Limerick Golf Club
165 N. Lewis Rd.
Limerick, PA 19468
There had to be a golf course eatery and bar with a more pubby feeling and a meal a golfer can get a hand around, and that would be the Sand Trap at the Limerick Golf Club. Big burgers, a BLT loaded with bacon, ribs and fries are just some of your options, with a crab cake thrown in for more sensitive pallets. At dinner, the menu takes on—what else?—the flavors of Italy. The Sand Trap features a big friendly bar with comfortable pub tables, too. One of my new favorite habits is to stop by at 6 p.m., play 11 or 12 holes, then pop into the Sand Trap for a burger and a beer. On Friday and Saturday nights, the action moves outdoors to the large patio for chomps and drinks to the sound of live entertainment that’s often crossover country-rock. Sandwiches are in the $6 to $8 range. Dinner entrees go from $13 for pasta and meatballs to $23 for filet mignon.
Getting there: From Philadelphia, take the Schuylkill Expressway West to King of Prussia. Pick up 422 West to the Linfield exit. Turn right onto Lewis Rd and go approximately 2 miles. Limerick Golf Club will be on the left. For other directions go to: http://thesandtrapgrille.com/?page_id=182
THE HONEYBROOK PUB
Honeybrook Golf Club
1422 Cambridge Rd.
Honey Brook, PA 19344
Take a drive in the country down along the Brandywine Creek in rural Chester County for a round of laidback golf at the pristine Honeybrook Golf Club. To quench that 19th hole thirst and 18 hole appetite, park yourself on the patio or around the bar at the Honeybrook Pub. Black Angus burgers vie with Baja fish tacos and fish and chips for attention, and there’s not a thread of pasta in sight (After all, we are on the fringe of Amish country!). So try the Rachel, a local cousin to the popular Reuben, but with turkey instead of corned beef. After a late round on a Friday afternoon, hang around for the entertainment—you might be right in the middle of it if you sing, play an instrument or tell a joke and it just happens to be one of the Honeybrook open mic nights! Meals here range from $6 to $8.50. At the upper end of the price range is the fish and chips, and at happy hour, you might score a $2 beer.
Getting there: For complete directions go to: www.honeybrookgolf.com/contact/directions-a-map
HIGHLANDER PUB AND GRILL
Scotland Run Golf Club
2626 Fries Mill Rd.
Williamstown, NJ 08094
The Highlander and its surrounding Scotland Run Golf Club lets you know at every turn that it’s emulating the mother country of golf. Just look at the menu: Shepherd’s Pie, Chicken Pot Pie and Fish and Chips. The only thing missing is the haggis! They even serve Belhaven beer–the pride of Scotland—which, incidentally, also brews St. Andrews beer, a staple in the golfing capital of the world. Close to Philadelphia and Atlantic City, the Highlander is an easy stop for a round or simply a relaxing meal. The pub is complimented by a broad outdoor dining patio with a vista that overlooks the links. Heavy on seafood, the menu ranges from tempting stuffed veal chops to an array of pasta dishes and of course, to those Scottish favorites. Dinner entrees range from a $13 pot pie to the $29 New York Strip Steak.
Getting there: From the Walt Whitman Bridge, merge onto Route 42 South. Continue on Rte. 42 South to the Atlantic City Expressway. Take the Atlantic City Expressway to exit 41 (not Route 41!) and turn right at the top of the exit. Proceed approximately 3 miles and make a left onto Fries Mill Rd. Proceed approximately 1/4 mile to Scotland Run Golf Club.
From Ben Franklin Bridge to Route 676 South, take Route 76 East to Route 42 South, to the Atlantic City Expressway. Take the Atlantic City Expressway to exit 41(not Route 41!) and turn right at the top of the exit. Follow directions above.
For other locations go to: www.scotlandrun.com/directions.php
Raven’s Claw Golf Club
3159 W. Ridge Pike
Pottstown, PA 19464
The Grill at the Raven’s Claw Golf Club is a frequent stop that my wife and I make for a sunny lunch, even when not golfing—a seat on the terrace overlooking the 18th hole and a cold beer is great for unwinding. At lunch, the Grill serves up an array of sandwiches and burgers, while at night, the menu shifts to pizza and paninis, pasta and meatballs, tender prime rib, chicken parm, grilled scallops and salmon. The golf course keeps you creative and helps works up an appetite for the Grill. Menu prices range from a $7 personal pizza to a $19 King Cut Rib.
Getting there: From Center City, take the Schuylkill Expressway West to King of Prussia. Pick up Route 422 West to the Sanatoga exit. Go right on Evergreen Rd. for .02 of a mile. Make the U-turn on Futura Drive. Go .03 of a mile to Raven’s Claw on your right.
Two other favorite golf course lunch and dinner spots, Spring Hollow Grille at the Spring Hollow Golf Club and Chadwick’s at the Shannondell Golf Club, have been left out because they’ve been reviewed previously in the Guide to Suburban Outdoor Dining.