Sunday, July 1, 2012

Farewell to Horsham Valley

Horsham Valley Golf Club
Ambler, Pa
Yards: 2536/2579 - 5115
Par: 33/33 - 66
Rating: 62.2, Slope: 101
Score: 43/51 = 94
Date: June 29, 2012

Yesterday I teed it up one last time at Horsham Valley Golf Club, which will be closing for good on July 3. The property will reportedly be developed for housing in the not-to-distant future. The closing of HVGC is a sad event for the region's golfing landscape. While the course would never remind anyone of an upscale country club, this 5,115-yard, par 66 course was a fun and challenging course to play. Joe Logan, former golf writer at The Philadelphia Inquirer who now runs the My Philly Golf web site, once compared Horsham Valley to a neighborhood tavern--friendly and comfortable.

 I've played HVGC about a dozen times over the years and always enjoyed the experience. It is a course where I once recorded a 21 on a single hole and had eight pars during another round. I've birdied the 364-yard First Hole twice and the 493-yard Par Eighteenth Hole once. The 184-yard Par 3  Fifteenth Hole, which has a creek that runs across the front and right side of the green, has given me fits over the years. It is one of the holes in my Nightmare Nine. While I won't necessarily miss the Fifteenth Hole, or the power lines that come into play on the back nine, I will miss the fun times at HVGC. Like the time my buddy and I were buzzed by the A-10 Thunderbolt IIs from nearby Willow Grove Naval Air Station while we walked up and down the fairways. I did get one souvenir from my final round at Horsham Valley. I bought the last HVGC polo shirt hanging on the rack in the almost empty pro shop. I'll wear it with fond memories.

As for my round, it was the same as usual. A good front nine and a bad back nine. I put a new TaylorMade Burner Superfast 2.0 and a Never Compromise Z/I Omega putter in my bag for the round. I struggled early, as usual, with triple bogey 7s on the first two holes. But I then parred four of the next seven holes, including all three Par 3s on the front for a 43. One problem I was having throughout the round was my lack of conviction on my pitches and chips. I was babying the ball and left a lot of easy shots short.

The back nine started OK with three straight bogeys, but lost balls on the tee shots at the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Holes, as well as having trouble with a fairway bunker at the Fourteenth, gave me a 7 and 9 respectively on the scorecard. By this time, my legs were giving out on the extremely hot and humid afternoon. I'm sure having walking 18 holes on Wednesday at Middletown Country Club also contributed. I played very loose golf the last four holes and limped home with a 51. This gave me round of 94. I think I will try to find time to hit the practice range this week to work on some things before I tee it up again, hopefully next weekend.

Memories of Horsham Valley Golf Club:

Photos by The Muni Golfer


Anonymous said...

Thank you for the nice column and fairway to Horsham Valley. My husband and I have been members there since 1988! It is not just a golf course but a home for many. We will miss it very much!

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