Huntingdon Valley

10th hole, 400 yards; Whereas the A nine loops counterclockwise around the higher edge of the property, and thus the golfer is faced withright to left slopes to contend with, theB nine starts off in the reverse manner. Flynn angled the green to encourage the approach shot to come in from the left side of the fairway and the green is higher on its left side. The same can be said for the 12th, 14th, 15th, 16th, and 18th holes on this nine in that their greens slope from left to right.Thus, given how the A and B nines perfectly compliment each other, the authors reckon that those two nines create the finer, more balanced test of the three nines, though the C nine is definitely the hardest.

Where the golf cart is, or even slightly left of it, is the ideal angle into the 10th green.

11th hole, 350 yards: Many members’ favorite hole. The tee shot is made tight not by the two bunkers that are at exactly the distance you would like to hit your tee shot but by the trees that interfere with the approach. Depending on the hole location on this wide but shallow, angled green just beyond the creek, there can be only a ten yard gap for playing directly at the hole. A most precise tee shot is required to afford this approach but the hole still works well because of its modest length. Also, this neat, little hole stands out as unique in comparison to Flynn’s other courses in the area.

The 11th green is wide from front right to back left but narrow from back to front. In addition, its back to front slope makes any recovery from over the green unlikely, and indeed just keeping the ball on the green is good work.The front right hole location as pictured above is a brute to which to get close.

14th hole, 450 yards: An ideal long par four which features a generous fairway and a beautifully bunkered green with room to miss it (short and left). The credit for this hole belongs to Joe Kirkwood, Huntingdon Valley’s famous long standing professional from the 1930s until the 1960s. Flynn originally had the green some thirty yards to the right but Kirkwood moved it and developed the appealing greenside bunkers and the false front to the green. In the process, Kirkwood oversaw this hole to be an unusually successful conversion of a par five into a par four whilemaking the 15th is a successful conversion of a par four into a par five).

The appealing diagonal bunkers in the 14th fairway must be avoided if...

...the green is to be hit in regulation. Note the green's appealing false front.

18th hole, 435 yards; An inspiring finishing hole that prompted one local golf publication to name it as the finest finishing hole in the greater Philadelphia area (!) , the 18th bends right past a nest of bunkers before finishing at a well placed green at the crest of a hill.

The bold line off the 18th tee must flirt with these bunkers.

19th hole, 450 yards; The first hole on the C nine lets the golfer know straightaway that this nine is different in three respects from the A and B nine: the topography is more abrupt, the holes are consistently bigger in that they are longer and play toward bigger greens, and finallyforced carries are common place. As will be detailed in a November 2001 Feature Interview with Linc Roden, the C ninewas a startling group of holes the day that they opened in 1928. The degree of difficulty posed by these nine holes which measured 3410 yards against a tight par of 35was practically unheard of at the time.

The view from the elevated 19th tee shows the forced carry and the rugged topography that characterize the C nine.

20th hole, 430 yards; Though it is almost impossible to imagine thata hole of this difficulty was built 75 years ago, what is more impressive is how Flynn & Toomey used the land to help the golfer. First, the fairway slopes strongly from right to left and will provide a favorable kick to a flatarea for the uphill approach. In addition, the architects used the back of the hillside to help return approach shots back onto the green.

Looking back from the driving zone in the dogleg to the left 20th hole, the severe rolls in the fairway will help kick the tee ball to the left.

21st hole, 600 yards; Our favorite hole on the C nine for two reasons: its attractive bunkering pattern that edges in from the left rough to capture any loose second shots ala the 16th at Shinnecock Hills and secondly, for the most attractive front to back sweep of the green that makes any approach shot a ticklish matter.

Whichever nines you play, Huntingdon Valley is one of the finest courses to study. The routing is superb and Flynn & Toomey got all the details right. With hardly any room for criticism, the authors scratch their heads as to why more is not heard of this wonderful course. It is that rare combination of difficulty and enjoyment.

The End