White Manor Country Club
|White Manor Country Club|
831 Providence Road
Malvern, PA 19355
Architect: Bobby Weed
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A couple of old high school chums were the moving force behind the founding of White Manor Country Club. In the late 1940s the two young men were embarking on careers in the law, Erwin L. Pincus having graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Sidney B. Klovsky from Temple University Law School. Together they attended study courses in preparation for the Pennsylvania Bar examination. Mr. Klovsky was surprised to learn from Mr. Pincus that he had to wait at least an hour to get off the first tee at a local municipal course on the weekend. In truth, since he himself spent virtually every waking moment cramming for the test, Mr. Klovsky was even more surprised to learn that his friend had actually taken time off to play golf. And when Pincus now made so bold as to suggest that the only way to avoid waiting for a tee time was to have your own golf course, Klovsky, nothing if not amenable, agreed that the idea had merit.
This was all the encouragement Erwin Pincus needed. Letting no grass grow under his feet, the next day he visited the Paxon Hollow Golf Course, in Broomall. Some 20 years old and noted for its hilly terrain, the course was for sale. Pincus and Klovsky and their relatives, friends, and acquaintances promptly entered into a lease on the property.
Each new member was required to put up $100. Within a few months, that sum had risen to $125. By December, 1948, articles of incorporation were filed in the name of White Manor Country Club.
Within six months the club had a golf professional, John Beadle, and a membership roster with about 350 names. Erwin Pincus was elected the first president, and he held office in 1948 and 1949, to be succeeded by Herman Modell. The members were generally couples of much the same age, in their late 20s and 30s and with an age difference between the youngest and oldest of no more than 10 years. The usual committees were formed; club activities flourished. The turnout for social affairs was consistently strong, with nearly the entire membership on hand. Tables for dinner dances in the summer were set up on the lawns surrounding the clubhouse.
During the early 1950s the members inclined to use caddies. Golf carts were available, but the majority of golfers preferred to enjoy the exercise of walking. As the members grew a little older, however, the hills and dales of their course seemed to grow more taxing. And in 1958, shortly after the entire property had been acquired by the club, a search committee was formed for the purpose of finding a new White Manor location. The initial choice was the land across Sproul Road from Overbrook Golf Club, but a considerable assessment would have had to be levied on the members in order to purchase this property, and the acquisition was vetoed. A number of members, however, approved of the proposed location and left White Manor to join what is now Radnor Valley Country Club.
A 1949 photo of White Manor’s original clubhouse.
In 1962, casting its net much farther out into the country, the search committee discovered Evans Farm, on Providence Road, near Malvern, in Chester County. If not so steeply hilly as Paxon Hollow, this was scarcely level land, but by then the use of golf carts had become commonplace. The property consisted of 165 rolling acres in the very heart of the beautiful Radnor Hunt country. Doylestown’s father-and-son team of Bill and Dave Gordon was retained to lay out the eighteen. Not only did they provide White Manor with a series of first-rate golf holes, they also designed a course which, with its abundance of striking views, is very rewarding aesthetically. The first president of White Manor at its new site was Reuben Miller, who held the reins in 1964 and 1965.
Over the years since the club moved to Chester County, its course has been the venue for a number of important professional tournaments, including the LPGA McDonald’s Classic, the Senior PGA Tour Bell Atlantic Classic, and the Tylenol Kids Classic, all of which will be covered later in the book.