Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Fall on the Island

Island Green Country Club
Philadelphia, Pa
Yards: 3200/3055 - 6255
Par: 36/36 - 72
Rating: 69.5, Slope: 120
Score: 47/49 = 96
Date: October 11, 2009

Last Sunday I decided to skip watching the Philadelphia Eagles and take advantage of the beautiful fall weather with a round at Island Green Country Club. Built on the site of the old Budd Company plant off red Lion Road in Northeast Philly, Island Green opened in 2001 as Philadelphia's newest public golf course. The course is fairly wide open, and has always been in very good condition when I've played there in the past. This visit marked the first time I had teed it up on the course in about four years. The conditions were very good, although I thought it was a bit pricey--$60 to walk at 1 p.m. on a Sunday in October. The sun was shining and temps were in the low 60s when I teed off and there was steady breeze blowing from the west. I was surprised, considering the Eagles were playing after a bye week, how many people were on the course.

Island Green Scorecard

Hoping to carry over my good play from the previous week at Juniata, I started out well at Island Green, parring the first three holes, including the 485-yard Par 5 Second Hole. I ran into some trouble at the 585-yard Par 5 Fourth Hole, which plays slightly downhill as the fairway narrows to a thin strip of green. I sliced my tee shot into the heavy rough on the right and finally had to take a drop. I reached the green in five, then three-putted for an eight. I ran into trouble again at the Seventh Hole, which was playing into the wind and has a pond on the right side. I overhooked my drive left, then trying to play a punch shot up the fairway, I hit one of the few trees on the left of the fairway, which left me with a longer third shot. I took a seven on the hole and finished the front nine in a respectable 47. I was not too disappointed with my play--except for the Fourth and Seventh Holes--and took satisfaction in the fact that I had par putts on six of the nine holes.

The opening tee shot at Island Green

The back nine at Island Green begins with a 495-yard Par 5 that doglegs right about 100 yards from the green and was playing with the wind. I hit a good drive and layed up, but hit a terrible wedge shot from 100 yards to just short of the green. I chipped on and made par. The Eleventh Hole is where the course dervives its name. A short, 305-yard Par 4, the green is an actual island. The hole plays downhill from the tee, s you want to hit your tee shot about 190-200 yards off the tee and you will have a short pitch shot to the green. I had about 120 yards to the green, but thinned my approach from a slightly downhill lie and hit it in the water and made a six. I played steady on the back, although the wind was more of a factor, and I played just enough loose shots to shoot a 49 for a total of 96. I only had three par putts on the back which was disappointing, but I finished off my round with a good bogey six at the 490-yard Par 5 Eighteenth Hole, which was playing dead into the wind.

The long Par 5 Fourth Hole

Overall, I broke 100, which is something I have achieved only one other time at Island Green. I was happy with my score and the way I played. I generally kept the ball in play off the tee and hit my irons well. My short game was consistent and, while I missed a few short putts, I putted well enough to score. This round helped me build on the confidence of my last round and I look forward to it continuing through the fall.

The Eleventh Hole is the signature hole

As for Island Green, it is a course I would highly recommend, although I would suggest waiting for the twilight rate to kick in. The course is well maintained, but play was a bit slow. They could stand to have a few marshals on the course to make sure play keeps moving. Although the course is fairly wide open, it does have its share of challenging holes. Many holes have bunkers and water can come into play if you are not careful. Island Green also has a wonderful restaurant and bar. My wife and I ate dinner there last May and you can read about it here. Try Island Green, I 'm sure you will enjoy it.

Some Additional Photos of Island Green:

The downill Par 3 Eighth Hole

The approach to the Fourteenth Green

The Seventeenth Hole

The Island Green Driving Range
Photos by The Muni Golfer

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