January 4, 2017

Aronimink Golf Club

Newtown Square, Pa. / 7,190 yards, Par 70 / Points: 61.5630
Aronimink CC hole 7
Stephen Szurlej

78. Aronimink G.C.

Donald Ross (1928)/William Gordon (R. 1959)/Dick Wilson (R. 1961)/George Fazio & Tom Fazio (R. 1978)/Robert Trent Jones (R. 1986)/Ron Prichard (R. 1995-2002)

Aronimink is an object lesson in architectural appreciation. After Donald Ross completed his design in 1928, he proclaimed, "I intended to make this my masterpiece." That didn't keep club members from bringing in William Gordon in the 1950s to eliminate out-of-play fairway bunkers and move other bunkers closer to greens. The course was later revamped by Dick Wilson, George Fazio and Robert Trent Jones. It took seven years for Ron Prichard, a designer specializing in course restoration, to rebuild the course to something close to the original Ross design. Now there are plans to have architect Gil Hanse, who resides nearby, to review and revamp the course in the near future.

100 Greatest History: Ranked 1966-1999 & 2001-2006 & since 2009. Highest ranking: No. 49, 1987-1988. Previous ranking: No. 90

Panelist comments:
“Aronimink continues to improve the golf course by trimming its trees, adding and reshaping the old bunkers, and expanding several water hazards.”

“Loved how Ross sought the highest point in the course and worked his way down, then building a drainage system that effectively filters everything down to the ponds and streams.”

“Breathtaking golf experience in my opinion. Might be the best conditioning I've encountered as a panelist. I couldn't believe how firm and fast the fairways played, and the greens were in amazing shape. And the aesthetics around the course seemed to fit perfectly into the setting.”

“Memorability is perhaps lower here than I would've thought. Not sure if this came from changes done post-Ross' design, but there wasn't a great continuity throughout the round -- and many of the holes seemed the same to me.”

“This is a true championship test with distance necessary to put yourself in decent spots to attack these well-designed greens. If you're in the proper spot to hit your approach, you're going to struggle to make par.”

Stephen Szurlej

Hole No. 7

Photo by Stephen Szurlej

Hole No. 8

Stephen Szurlej

Hole No. 11

Stephen Szurlej

Hole No. 17