Iron Forge at Penn National Golf Club & Inn
|Gold (W)||72||6001 yards||73.9||131|
|Red (W)||72||5246 yards||69.9||121|
|Black M: 73.5/133||527||458||216||419||384||187||541||415||405||3552||422||539||334||183||365||404||198||603||409||3457||7009|
|Blue M: 71.6/130||516||440||201||403||362||176||513||388||385||3384||386||497||311||179||337||384||193||561||370||3218||6602|
|White M: 70.3/128||505||429||194||387||318||144||505||376||360||3218||374||480||286||169||327||347||182||555||362||3082||6300|
|Gold M: 68.8/124 W: 73.9/131||489||408||181||357||301||140||497||341||332||3046||351||476||275||156||318||330||168||541||340||2955||6001|
|Red M: 65.3/117 W: 69.9/121||441||363||149||347||267||97||435||299||310||2708||315||422||222||140||287||278||108||475||291||2538||5246|
An Annual Trip
My daughter's favorite course in PA, we made the 1 hr 45 min drive from the Baltimore area today for her birthday. They were packed--on both courses. We got off on time, but it took us 4 hrs 45 mins to play Iron Forge, and we waited on every hole, every shot. Considering that,, 4 hrs 45 mins wasn't really that bad, since the course time, I believe, is 4.5 hrs. Holes #1, #2, #11 and #15 were no carts in the fairway, but you could ride along the rough. They were losing the edges of the fairways, and had some spots throughout those fairways where the grass was really thin. However, most of the course was in pretty good shape, with low places holding some water. Bunkers were in great shape given all the rain. The rough was brutal--long, thick and not mowed. The staff is always welcoming and pleasant, and we grabbed lunch after our round, and I was pleasantly surprised--the grille has renovated since I've last visited and has a bar and redone their dining area. They also now have a liquor license, but there are restrictions on where you can drink/have alcoholic beverages (might be a county restriction). Iron Forge is a great links-style course with cross-winds, elevation changes, and bunkers looming. It can be a great test of your game.
Always a first-class experience!
I've been going to Penn National a few times a year for several years, and it's always a first-class experience. It's almost an hour and a half drive from DC or Baltimore areas, but it's always worth the drive. If you're on their e-mailing list, you can get good deals, and sometimes play both courses for less than greens fees at some "higher end" courses in Maryland. The Founders course is a traditional tree-lined course with some beautiful vantage points of water and elevation changes. Iron Forge is more links style, and a little further from the clubhouse. It's probably my very favorite course to play. It's gorgeous, very challenging but not unfair, always in impeccable shape, and often we're practically the only ones on the course. Since Penn National is a "retirement community," I think most of the "members/residents" probably prefer the more traditional Founders course, which is also always in impeccable shape. The staff members are always friendly, from the bag drop to the starter to the pro shop to the restaurant staff to the beverage cart. They usually run very much on schedule, and I don't believe I've ever played a "slow" round on either course here. The conditions are outstanding, from the tees to the roughs to the fairways to the greens. And many times during a round, I've seen Marshalls or other staff members going to open greens and repairing ball marks. I've played a couple hundred courses, and I've never seen that anywhere else. In fact, the greens at both of these courses are among the best I've ever played. They really care about the golf experience at Penn National, and it's very apparent every time we go. The food is always great too. It's a dry county, but they welcome golfers bringing their own alcoholic beverages and coolers that fit on golf carts. I've never had a bad experience here, and I can't say enough good things about Penn National. Highly recommended!
Founders: Recipe for a Wonderful Afternoon
Founders at Penn National Golf Club is an outstanding venue! The staff (from the guys at the bag drop, the guys behind the counter in the pro shop, to the starter) couldn't be more welcoming. Each and every one of them wished us a great day.
The greens are outstanding: fast, smooth, and soft enough to easily hold a decent approach shot. Slopes and minor undulations make putting interesting. Fairways are well-groomed, tree-lined, and often sloped vertically or horizontally. Tee boxes are located so fairway bunkers come into play for everyone. I love it! Water is there, but really didn't come into play during our round. Sand in the bunkers is perfect: white, soft, and well-raked. Strategy is a must; you just can't come to the tee and blast off! Love it!
We booked our tee time from their website. We got a discounted rate, making our afternoon at Founders a bargain as well as a wonderful round of golf.
Quality Resort Golf
The practice green had the best putting surface I have putted on in Pennsylvania all year! Sadly, the greens on the course were not as nice. They were lots of scuff marks from previous golfers, and the grass was visibly bumpy. That said, putts ran true, and my putts for the round were in line with my norm.
Tees and fairways were outstanding with plenty of room to keep the ball in the fairway. Rough was not overly penal. Bunkers were scary looking, but easily avoided, even for a high handicapper. There is water, but (except for #6), it shouldn't come into play for most of us. Frequent elevation changes add interest to the course.
Old Forge Links
Played the Old Forge during July 4 weekend. Course is called a "links" course but just means it has no trees...or very few. There are a few blind shots but we managed to find the balls. It was in very good shape esp greens - which were fast. Was on a stay and play package but got rained out on Sat...definitely will come back.
Got a bit slow on the back 9 because of one group, but kudos to the marshal who got them moving...finished round in 4 hours (2 people).
One non-golf note: courses are located in a dry township so it's BYOB. Food is OK, but nothing special.
The starter was very friendly. The holes near the clubhouse have fantastic landscaping and you think the entire course will be landscaped the same. However, some holes just look like an average neighborhood course and mars the overall experience. Overall, the conditioning of the course is very good but the tract is not varied enough and plays too long. I am a woman with a 17 handicap and play the forward tees and could not make the green in regulation on any of the par 4's or 5's which resulted in my highest score of the summer and compromised the enjoyment level. My hubby also felt the course played long but didn't have a tee box option that works for him - he has a handicap of 18.
Would play more often.
Course was in very good shape and greens putted very well. Price we got from Golf now .com was great as we feel the
normal rack rate is too high. If the course had a reasonable
senior rate (as we compare with similar course conditions), they
would get a lot more play from my age group. Everything the
course offered from the condition to the staff was very good and
we would come more often if they were more reasonable with
pricing as we are Pennsylvania close.
The couse is fun to play but challenging.
I enjoy playing the course. It is always well maintained.
Well-maintained, friendly staff, nice area
Very nice course. Located in a residential development, but the residences do not interfere with the course. Nearby mountains provide nice scenery. Course was in great shape. You may BYOB, with ice and coolers provided. Friendly staff. Both courses are great, although the Founders Course has a bit more character, in my opinion. Penn National is one of my favorite places to play in this area, and I play here frequently. Never had a bad experience.
late in the season
The greens and fairways were just aerated so the course was not in as good of shape. Also the soda machine was not working so had to play a round without anything to drink.