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Union League Golf Club at Torresdale
3801 Grant Ave
Philadelphia, PA  19114                     Printable Version
email:  cataldis@unionleague.org
web:  unionleague.org

Architect:  Donald Ross
Founded:  1896

 
 Club Contacts 
 
 
 Golf Professional Sean M. Palmer (215) 824-2155 
 General Manager Sandee Cataldi (215) 637-7500 
 Superintendent Brian Mazey (215) 637-7500 
 Caddie Master Jesse J Corbett (215) 237-8312 
 
 Slope Rating 
 
 

TeeFront RatingFront SlopeBack RatingBack SlopeCourse RatingCourse SlopeCourse Bogey
 White 37.2143 37.2 136 74.4 140 0.0 
 Black 36.7138 36.1 143 72.8 141 0.0 
 Green/White Combo 35.1136 35.8 129 70.9 133 0.0 
 Black/Blue 36.0136 35.5 141 71.5 139 0.0 
 Blue 35.7133 35.3 140 71.0 137 0.0 
 Green 35.1136 35.1 125 70.2 131 0.0 
 Blue/White 35.0132 35.1 139 70.1 136 0.0 
 White 34.6131 34.3 138 68.9 135 0.0 
 White/Green 33.5126 33.3 131 66.8 129 0.0 
 Green 33.0122 32.6 127 65.6 125 0.0 
 
 Directions 
 
 

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 Club History 
 
 

(Formerly Torresdale-Frankford Country Club)

At the close of 1896, golf saw its first stirring in a section of the city that has come to be called "the great Northeast." A form letter was circulated to a number of the more prominent business and professional men there:

In response to a desire that has been frequently expressed, it is proposed to organize a Country Club at Torresdale, where Golf, Cricket, Foot-Ball, Tennis, Bicycling and other sports may be indulged in.

A preliminary meeting will be held at the Red Lion Inn on Friday evening, December 11, 1896, at 8 o’clock. Stage will meet the 7:27 train from Broad Street, at Torresdale Station ....

Twenty men attended the December 11 meeting (and six others sent their approval), at which "it was decided to form a Country Club . . . with an initiation fee of $10 and annual dues of $20." Later that same month another meeting was held to adopt by-laws. Membership categories set forth were "active, contributing, summer, bicycle, Lady, and Junior." Lady, summer, and bicycle members paid annual dues of $5; for Juniors, the charge was $2. The by-laws also stipulated that "Bicycle Members... shall not have use of grounds." The Whelen property, on Knight’s Road and "in close proximity to Colonel Morrell’s race track," was chosen as a temporary meeting place for the club (the Colonel was one of the founding members).

Six months later, the membership count had climbed to a total of 195 (123 Active, 47 Lady et al) and 15 candidates for admission were posted. But by the turn of the century, serious internal dissension had arisen and a group headed by Colonel Morrell (for a time golf had been played on the infield of his racetrack) took over. The result was fiscal soundness, a change of name to Torresdale Golf Club, and the development of a nine-hole course, which was laid out by Scottish-born professional James Campbell and the club’s green committee.

The course was very long for the time—3,252 yards, but, like Springhaven’s first layout, not well-balanced. The final three holes—550 yards, 500 yards, 600 yards—accounted for fully half the length. Yet nothing in the first six holes—231 yards, 206, 300, 325, 375, 165—had prepared the player for this backbreaking conclusion. There were, it should be noted, at least two members able to handle this challenge. One was George Crump, who, not ten years later, would embark almost singlehandedly on what many still consider the noblest project in the history of the game, the creation of Pine Valley. The other was Crump’s very close friend, Reverend Simon Carr, a Roman Catholic priest. In the early years of this century, it was Father Carr who held the Torresdale scoring record, a 38, which, as it happened, was also par for the course.


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