By much of today's golf course standards, Springhaven would stand on the shorter side measuring just over 6,500 yards and a par of 70. The course however, is well protected from being a bomber's paradise with small and fast greens complexes and tight tree-lined fairways that put a premium on short game skills and accuracy off the tee. You will also find a lot of variety around Springhaven with five par 3's and three par 5's. You will find the current routing below:
Original Design (original location 1896):
The Springhaven Club was founded in October 1896, making it one of the earliest golf clubs in the country. At the time there were only four other clubs in the Philadelphia region. The founding members chose a location the Rowland farm at the junctions of Providence Road and Jackson Street in Media, now called Five Points, and convinced Farmer McCandless, owner of the farm, to rent the use of his pastures for a demonstration of the game. In 1897, with W. S. McIntyre as club captain, a long-term lease was signed for the property and the farmhouse was added to the Club’s holdings. Two years later, an additional field was obtained, expanding the layout to encompass all 60 acres of pasture. The nine hole course was designed by William Henry Tucker who had laid out the course for the Philadelphia Cricket Club two years earlier. The first two holes were par five and a half holes of 620 yards and 520 yards respectively. The final seven holes settled into more normal lengths for the day and the total length of the course ended up being 2,940 yards.
Original Design (current location 1904):
In September of 1903, the Club purchased the Snyder Farm on Providence Road in Wallingford, less than three miles away from its original location in Media. Construction of the golf course and clubhouse continued through the fall of 1903 and was completed in May of 1904.
It is believed that the courses original layout was attributable to one of its founding members, Ida Dixon. At the very least, she was a driving force behind the design, making her the first female golf architect in the United States. By the summer of 1904, the course and clubhouse were ready to open. To complete the ascension of Springhaven to the top rung of the Philadelphia golf ladder, the Club hired Horace Rawlins, winner of the first U.S. Open and who we honor with this tournament. Ida Dixon who passed away in 1916 has been memorialized by the Women’s GAP with a tournament bearing her name, begun in 1917 and continuing to this day, played at The
In 1908 Andy Campbell, a native of Troon, Scotland came to The Springhaven Club. Like Rawlins before him, Campbell was a prominent golfer in the early part of the last century and like Rawlins, he supervised changes to the golf course as it matured throughout his 25 years of service.
In 1910, Herbert H. Barker, an English golf professional known for his distinctive bunkering, was contracted to toughen up the course. He staked out 50 new sand pits which were rectangular, deep and with an accompanying mound to the greenward side of the sand field.
Aerial photos of the course during the 1920's depict the penal sand pits, sand church-pews and grass church-pews that guarded the course.
Additions and Renovations (1920's):
In 1923, Springhaven turned to world famous golf architect, William Flynn to assess the course and remodel a couple holes. One of his most lasting contributions was the removal of Barker’s sand pits and replacing them with the more modern spherical bunkers we see today.
In 1925, the Club purchased additional acreage along Providence Road, the site of the present sixteenth hole and the first half of the seventeenth hole. Expansion continued in 1929 with the purchase of another 16 acres along Chester Road which would become the current fourth hole, the first part of the fifth hole and the current sixth green (shown below).
Maturation (1930 to 2004):
Over the next sixty odd years a sprinkler system was added in 1937 and was upgraded in 1955 and again in 1988. Greens were rebuilt, tees and bunkers added and expanded, trees planted but the routing remained virtually the same.
In 1991, the Club did commission a golf course master plan from Alyn Janis which included a complete rerouting, building six new greens, establishing three new holes and adding a wealth of bunkering but the plan was never approved or implemented.
A Change to the Routing (2004):
For over sixty years the current par 3 ninth hole was the eighth hole and the current tenth hole was the ninth, which meant that if you elected to play nine holes, instead of ending up at the clubhouse you ended up about 400 yards away. In 2004 the membership approved a plan that rerouted the fourth and fifth holes and added a new par 3 sixth hole so that the front nine now ended at the clubhouse. The plan also allowed Springhaven to eliminate the par 3 eighteenth hole, make it a practice area and finish on a par four. Another added benefit was that the nines were more even. Under the old routing, par was 36-34 with the front nine being almost 500 yards longer than
the back. The new routing gave the club two nines of almost equal length and a 35-35 par and this is the course you will be playing today.
2021 - 2023 Renovations:
In 2021, Springhaven began the implementation of its Master Plan as designed by architect, Jim Nagle. The master plan included:
- The complete reconstruction and relocation of all bunkers throughout the golf course.
- Tree removal and fairway expansions thoughout the course
- The complete redevelopment of the 16th hole
- Adding 7 new teeing areas (1, 3, 5, 7, 10, 13, 17)
- Significant expansion and redevelopment of 5 greens complexes (2, 3, 8, 13, 17)
- Adding a ditch to the 17th hole
- Adding a Barranca to the 2nd and 8th holes
Horace Rawlins Invitational
August 17, 2023