Top 10 Private Courses in Philadelphia

The recent issue of Philadelphia Magazine came out with its list of the Top 10 Courses in the Philadelphia area. Every list can be argued to death, they are someone’s opinion, but the Philadelphia Magazine list was a mockery. Avid golfers in grill rooms throughout the area scoffed at the list that had Glen Mills listed No. 3 among all private and public clubs, but did not have nationally acclaimed courses such as Huntingdon Valley, Whitemarsh Valley or Galloway National on the list.

As a result, GolfTalk Live’s Traveling Golfer, Jim Phillips, has come up with his own list. He bravely discloses it on the Saturday, May 10 show. His Top 10 list of the Best Private Courses in the immediate Philadelphia area (adjoining counties in Pa. and South Jersey) follows:

  1. Pine Valley
  2. Merion
  3. Whitemarsh Valley
  4. Huntingdon Valley
  5. Aronimink
  6. Galloway National
  7. Philadelphia Country Club
  8. Philadelphia Cricket Club (Wissahickon Course)
  9. Moselem Springs
  10. ACE Club


  1. Gary

    Pine Valley #1, Really? I might put it at the bottom of a top ten list but definitely nowhere near #1. Huntingdon Valley is at the top of my list!

  2. Anonymous

    I have to disagree with the Traveling Golfer. How can Llanerch golf club not be included in his list? Llanerch, after its recent renovation, is one of the premier private golf clubs in the Philadelphia area.

  3. travelinggolfer

    Any list of top courses is subject to personal likes and dislikes, but I will say that Llanerch got a lot of thought about being in the top ten. Unfortunately, there are so many good courses in this area and only 10 places on the list. As my friend Tony Leodora might say…”Pine Valley and Merion one and two, and thirty courses tied for three”! Thanks for your comment. TTG

  4. Tony Leodora

    In response to Anonymous about Llanerch, I agree that the renovation by Stephen Kay has greatly elevated the status of Llanerch. The renovations by Llanerch and White Manor did more to improve previously unspectacular courses than any other renovations to date in this area. Congratulations to both clubs.

  5. Gerdy

    What about Lancaster Country Club, that can be in a national conversation not just a Philadelphia Conversation.

  6. Tony Leodora

    For the purposes of the Traveling Golfer’s list of the 10 best private courses in the Philadelphia area, he used the same geographic area that Philadelphia Magazine used in its very misguided list. That did not allow him to go as far out as Lancaster CC — but both he and I agree that Lancaster belongs at the top of the list of courses in the area … as well as the state. After a few rainouts, I finally got to play the course a couple of years ago and was amazed. It is the best William Flynn-designed course I have seen this side of Shinnecock — and that puts it in some heady company.

  7. Frank Calandrino


    My name is Frank Calandrino and I am the owner of Level 1 Fitness in Old City, Philadelphia. We are an upscale facility featuring the most high end fitness equipment on the market today. Our signature piece is called Kinesis which means movement. What this equipment allows you to do is duplicate swinging motions precisely and improve rotation. I currently have members of the Philadelphia Flyers training on it now because it enables them to work on their swing – in both directions. Frank Carroll has been training on the Kinesis for several months now and he says it has added a considerable distance to his drive. The unit is also great for total body conditioning. There is a video clip of the unit in action on my web site check it out and contact me so that we can discuss getting more area golfers training on the unit, I have put together a program that will certainly improve their game and they’ll get in better shape in the process.

    Yours in health,

    Frank Calandrino
    Level 1 Fitness
    215.925.0215 club phone
    732.996.3655 cell phone

  8. Tony Leodora

    Frank —
    Your machine seems very interesting. I think I saw a model of it at one of the golf shows last year. Seems to be working well with the Flyers. Keep them playing well and maybe we can have another parade. Glad to hear Frank Carroll (of the 4 Yards More golf tee) is working with you. He will be the terror of Torresdale-Frankford CC this year.

  9. Fran

    I’d be thrilled to play any one of these courses and leave it up to all you guys to fight it out over which ones derserve a top ten ranking.

  10. Kevin

    1. Merion East
    2. Pine Valley
    3. Philadelphia Cricket Club (Wissahickon)
    4. Aronimink
    5. Gulph Mills
    6. Huntington Valley
    7. Applebrook
    8. Philadelphia Country Club
    9. Whitemarsh Valley
    10. Manufacturers

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