Omni Bedford Springs Resort golf course - hole 4
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Omni Bedford Springs Resort golf course - hole 4
Volcano" -- the par-3 fourth hole -- is the signature shot on the Old Course at the Omni Bedford Springs Resort. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
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Omni Bedford Springs Resort golf course - hole 1
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Omni Bedford Springs Resort golf course - hole 1
The first tee shot on the Old Course at the Omni Bedford Springs Resort requires a layup short of the bunkers. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Omni Bedford Springs Resort golf course - hole 6
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Omni Bedford Springs Resort golf course - hole 6
The sixth hole of the Old Course at the Omni Bedford Springs Resort winds through the woods. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Omni Bedford Springs Resort golf course - hole 8
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Omni Bedford Springs Resort golf course - hole 8
Grassy berms lurk to the right of the eighth fairway on the Old Course at the Omni Bedford Springs Resort in Pennsylvania. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Omni Bedford Springs Resort golf course - hole 10
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Omni Bedford Springs Resort golf course - hole 10
The 124-yard 10th hole of the Old Course at the Omni Bedford Springs Resort heads uphill to a tricky, two-tiered green. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Omni Bedford Springs Resort golf course - hole 11
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Omni Bedford Springs Resort golf course - hole 11
The 11th hole is by far the hardest hole on the Old Course at the Omni Bedford Springs Resort in Pennsylvania. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Omni Bedford Springs Resort golf course - hole 14
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Omni Bedford Springs Resort golf course - hole 14
The 14th hole of the Old Course at the Omni Bedford Springs Resort is called "Tiny Tim" because it plays just 136 yards. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Omni Bedford Springs Resort golf course - hole 17
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Omni Bedford Springs Resort golf course - hole 17
It's tough to get up and down after misses on either side of the par-3 17th hole on the Old Course at the Omni Bedford Springs Resort in Pennsylvania. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor

Go back in time playing the Old Course at the Omni Bedford Springs Resort in rural Pennsylvania

BEDFORD, Pa. -- Golfers who appreciate classic "Golden Age" architecture must seek out the Old Course at the Omni Bedford Springs Resort roughly two hours east of Pittsburgh.

Consider it a pilgrimage to what Ron Forse calls a "museum" of course architecture. A decade ago Forse and lead associate Jim Nagle led a major redesign/renovation at Bedford Springs, a track dating to 1895 that was first redesigned by A.W. Tillinghast and later by Donald Ross.

Look no further than the special collection of five par 3s to find the finest work of both men. Ross dreamed up the epic "Volcano" hole, a 223-yard monster with a green perched high on a hill. Most golfers won't let their egos pull driver, but that's essentially the play to carry all the way to the two-tiered green. Tillinghast's "Tiny Tim" hole -- a wee par 3 of 136 yards -- has been used on dozens of his courses. There's a pond in front and bunkers, but the real special features are the 11 small moguls or mounds some call "chocolate drops" left of the green.

Bedford Springs just announced that construction on a new clubhouse will begin later this year. The golf shop is currently housed inside the historic hotel where a handful of presidents have stayed over the years. The modern facility, scheduled to be completed next year, should be a great addition to one of America's true classics.

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed more than 700 courses and golf destinations for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Twitter at @WorldGolfer.
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Andrew Penner is a freelance writer and photographer based in Calgary, Alberta. His work has appeared in newspapers and magazines throughout North America and Europe. You can see more of his work at www.andrewpenner.com.
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Go back in time playing the Old Course at the Omni Bedford Springs Resort in rural Pennsylvania
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