Iron Valley Golf Club
|Red (W)||72||4905 yards||69.2||123|
|Black M: 73.6/136||435||373||511||448||124||473||535||201||395||3495||469||356||177||588||383||456||494||181||427||3531||7026|
|Blue M: 71.9/135||401||325||475||419||116||401||512||172||383||3204||379||329||133||554||357||416||463||161||378||3170||6374|
|White M: 70.1/131||368||308||461||408||110||369||488||160||365||3037||328||317||124||510||341||407||419||149||365||2960||5997|
|Gold M: 66.2/119||343||221||419||287||87||276||455||149||309||2546||318||247||119||492||314||376||397||115||315||2693||5239|
|Red W: 68.2/118||289||218||387||282||81||272||371||100||266||2266||288||241||114||425||291||323||393||110||276||2461||4727|
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Golf Advisor: Top Courses in Pennsylvania
This course was in excellent condition even with extreme heat. Challenging course. Go if you can
Beautiful but ruined by the assistant pro
It started raining on the 6th hole and continued on and off for several hole. The starter ask our group along with all the other groups to finish the 13th hole and wait 30 minutes. He also requested we check with the pro shop before resuming. Our group of 4 proceeded to the 14 tee box and was talking to one another. We figured we would wait at the tee box until it was time to check with the pro shop. Other groups in front of us were also waiting. No one had a club pulled and we weren’t near our clubs. The assistant pro pulled up and ask what part we didn’t understand we were to return to the club house. He also made several rude comments and spoke to us like we were naughty children. We tried to politely tell him what we thought the starter said and he continued to be rude and wouldn’t listen to what we had to say. I’ve played all over the US and have never been treated so poorly. What a shame, this is beautiful and well kept course! I won’t be returning to a course that doesn’t know how to be respectful to good customers. We value a well maintained course and respected the request to stop play. The assistant pro needs to take some customer service classes and not jump to conclusions without evidence or reasons to warrant such behavior. Our entire group works in customer service and we know some people can treat you poorly. However his actions were uncalled for and unwarranted. We are a group that is kind and we try hard to appreciate the people providing us a service. Too bad he didn’t appreciate our business.
Beautiful piece of property with an excellent layout. Always enjoy playing this course. Challenging, and be prepared to lose some golf balls if you don’t bring your A game.
enjoyable day at Iron Valley
the course was in good condition and we had perfect weather for our Sunday round. We had a great day on the course and enjoyed ourselves. Tees were up and it allowed for easier scoring conditions and shorter irons into greens. Always a great value with Golf Now on a hot deal at Iron Valley
A Great Day
Course is in great shape and the greens are running well.
Second time visiting to play course and seems I pick the hottest days. Pace of play for nine holes behind a couple foursomes on a course not really full was tedious. Front and back nines different but very playable even with a few quirks. Some holes played longer than listed yardage. Visually a great course with views. Must be wonderful in the fall. Greens were on slow side but understand with the extreme weather not cutting them down and speeding them up.
in great shape
Usually play Iron Valley once a year as its only a 75 min ride from Philly. The course is in great shape right now. The greens are medium speed and don't have many large breaks or undulations. They putt extremely true and you can make a lot of putts here. The white tees were up and it made all the par 5s reachable with a drive and iron. Iron Valley is a super value for the kind of golf that it gives you and if you've not ventured to play there, go treat yourself for a super day of golf.
Good risk reward
Challenging club selection for risk reward. Driver is not always the best play. Good birdies are out there as well as double bogeys.. choose clubs wisely.
Iron Valley is one of my favorite courses. The challenges it gives you are hard to beat. In my opinion it is one of the best courses in the area. Greens have a lot of undulations and roll well.
No frills golf
This was a very scenic layout. No map of course on card or at the tee. Many holes needed guidance on where to hit shots. Most holes did not have ball washers or trash cans and the water in the jugs on the course was warm.
Grat day from start to finish
Played iron valley last Saturday, Just a picture perfect day!
Course was in great shape! Pace of play was great and we will definitely be back!
Imagination and Flair to Spare
What may be most exciting aspect about the two P.B. Dye courses I’ve played (this is one; the other is in Maryland) is how each time I’ve had the sense of playing a stream of original holes, golf holes that were almost invariably exciting to play, one after the next. True, Iron Valley includes a somewhat derivative island green: the fifth is a shorter and easier but equally stunning version of his father Pete’s famous isle, the 17th at TPC Sawgrass. And yes, some—really a few—of the holes are not the type that could spring immediately to mind six months after you've played it. Yet isn’t this true of even the greatest golf courses? As great as is a course like Royal Dornoch in northern Scotland (it was recently ranked number two in the world by Golf Digest; I played it in 1998), there are a few holes that lack memorability. And that is quite all right. The idea of memorability is sometimes overrated by golf course critics, and a lack of this quality in a hole does not mean it is dull. A hole may have true character, or some other feature(s) that makes it challenging, yet not be particularly 'memorable.' P. B. Dye created no dull holes here—partially because all of them possess far too much character. To Iron Valley in southern Pennsylvania, Dye brings his imagination and talent to what thrilling golf should and can be, and the effects over this eighteen are frequently memorable, often have a refreshing, theatrical quality, and are nearly always gripping.
On most of the front side (called the Tailings Nine), the course follows a links-like theme, and its openness may lull you into thinking—falsely—that the layout is somewhat easy. But over the opening four holes, the challenges are many: tight driving areas; tall, fairway-bordering mounds and grasses; multiple hazards and slopes around canted greens; numerous and often sizeable fairway bunkers; twisting fairways; woods that encroach at the course’s periphery. The sheer number of problems I'm describing here may make the course sound overwhelming, but it is not. What you're facing is simply tough—but still manageable—golf. Two of the most prominent hazards on these opening holes are number three’s cluster of four traps, one of them mammoth, that threaten the second shot, and, on what can be a bone-crunching opening par-four, an immense fall-off on the green’s right side. Missing this green to the right means that you’ll find yourself at the base of a tall plateau rising some forty feet, on which sits the green itself, and your pitch up and onto it will require great skill. Stop and relax for a few seconds, at least, at the conclusion of the first hole and take in the spectacular, panoramic view of the Pennsylvania countryside, whether or not you’ve managed to make a par.
More challenges persist on holes five through nine, with five, a short-par three, seeming to me the only relatively ‘easy’ hole on this stretch. It requires little more than a wedge or nine; however, a little ‘catch’ is that you must land on its island green. But this islet is relatively flat and more than large enough to fit the shot. It is also a visually dazzling hole, the green essentially circular, rising slightly above a placid pond, and studded on its perimeter (i.e., on the sides) with boulders. It is also a birdie opportunity. Another scoring possibility quickly presents itself on number six, given a solid drive followed up by a clean iron to the slightly elevated green on this, the most open hole among the front nine and a bit of a breather. Hole seven is 512 yards of pure golf, a tough and extraordinary par-five: its tee shot is welcoming enough, but then the hole tightens to a narrow stretch of fairway—water left, hillside right—requiring an exacting second strike. For most, this will be a three-shotter, and the final approach is a white-knuckle special to a narrow green edged by the huge pond on the left.
The pressure does not relent on the eighth hole, where the tee shot must carry uphill on this mid-length par-three, reaching a green that features massive falloffs on its right and in back. Miss here and your prospects for par are unlikely. The ninth is a medium-length hole that may seem almost routine, but is not, given its fairway’s angularity—which favors a draw—and two frontal bunkers that defend the tilted (rising from front to back) green.
The back, or “Mine Nine,” is appropriately named, as it is built, literally, around the remnants of an old mine, but maybe because, figuratively, you may need to ‘mine’ your golf game for new sources of inspiration to get through it. But it also has an unbroken string of superb holes. Holes ten and eleven begin by sternly testing your driving clubs. Starting on a lofty tee, ten puts a premium on straightness because both sides of its landing area, guarded by tall and scattered trees, will strongly threaten the plunging downhill tee shot. On eleven, the drive is more a matter of hitting a specific landing zone (short of a stream that crosses the fairway), but the second shot, which must be pitched to a small and awkward green setting, can be terrifying, as an old mine shaft—a pit—looms menacingly at the green’s right front. Hole twelve’s tee shot appears tough at first glance, particularly because the tee box is set high above the green and the shot must cross an old quarry. On balance, this green is large and receptive—just don’t pull or hook your tee ball (and if you do, don’t bother to retrieve it, unless you’re a mountaineer).
The drive at thirteen, by contrast, travels only slightly downhill to a green expanse of fairway, making this hole seem easy, until you must tackle your second shot, the most dramatic on a course that spills the banks of theatricality. The fairway plunges straight down some 60 to 70 feet to a lower tier, a tier hemmed in on its left by a huge, spectacular-looking pond that will leave you calculating, carefully, the nature of your approach. Conservative golfers will take the safe routes, the first to the lower strip of fairway itself, or the second, farther right, to a bail-out area in the light rough. Extremely bold players will opt to take dead aim on the green. Those who make this a three-shot hole will still have to hit a short iron or wedge into a green partially framed by water on the left and back sides. It is unlikely that you’ll come across a more exhilarating par-five—strategic, perfectly crafted, and forcefully challenging as it is—in your golfing travels.
The fourteenth and fifteenth, both solid par-4’s, do not disappoint, and the former, which is a bear, becomes almost a test of your ability to dodge craftily placed, mature trees (impeding the line of play on this dogleg) all the way to the uphill green. Sixteen is another terrific par-5, evincing Dye’s talent to create long holes that are both imaginative and uncommon. Although short (a scant 463 yards) for a par-five, it launches straight uphill from the tee box to a long stretch of fairway guarded by mounds to the right, along with woods, left, and culminating in a half-hidden green. Reachable in two, the second shot must still be quite accurate, but here is a sure birdie opportunity.
Precision will continue to be rewarded on the interesting pair of finishing holes at Iron Valley, neither of which is long, yet both of which are troublesome, especially around and on their greens. The par-three seventeenth will create significant problems almost everywhere it is missed, but mostly in front, where you’ll have to avail yourself of a lob wedge to get up-and-down. Eighteen, a par-four that doglegs hard-right, is an outstanding finishing hole, not by virtue of its length, but rather by how carefully the drive must be placed to assure the prime approach angle from the fairway, which opens up the green. Miss this final green, however, and you’ll likely by facing a tricky chip or pitch: the surface itself tilts, undulates, and, in general, resists your easy analysis of its unsubtle breaks.
Aside from this outstanding course, Iron Valley’s clubhouse is first-rate, accommodating, and spacious, with excellent amenities outside (driving range, putting and chipping area) its well-stocked pro-shop, the kind that should appeal to equipment buffs. Golf Advisor employs a five-star scale for “Staff Friendliness,” but all the personnel I met in this clubhouse would rank ‘off the charts’ in this category, so friendly and helpful were they. They had to be the best staff at any of the four courses we visited on our spring vacation in southern Pennsylvania. We were so impressed with the overall experience that we came back a few days later for another round. My fifteen-year-old son enjoyed the course itself, as well, more than the others (which all ranged, we thought, from good to excellent), and chose to buy a souvenir hat—a telltale sign of fandom if there ever was one—from Iron Valley.
It’s truly hard to imagine a golf club exceeding the combination of quality, challenge, value, and general experience to be had from a day at this course. I’ve also become an admirer of P. B. Dye’s style and work as an architect. We may be resigned to the fact that his father Pete will retain, always, far more recognition and fame, but we can acknowledge, too, that through spirited designs like this, P.B. has fully applied a similarly outsized imaginative capacity, making his creations a pleasure to play.
Rained the night before right up to our 1030 tee time; however, the course was still in great shape. We barely noticed it had rained. Greens were a little bumpy. This was most likely due to recent aeration. Greens will be rolling their usually quick but true selves soon. A true test of golf for the Lancaster/Lebanon area golfer.