A Darling in Downingtown
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Visually, the 403-yard sixth offers an expansive look from the tee, a sort of summary view of the course’s overall physical attractiveness. But beauty quickly turns to beast, as a rightside fairway bunker defends against the safety drive, while a tight, treelined leftside teasingly offers the shorter path to the green for your approach. But landing in jail in those trees, and a partially hidden, reedy lateral hazard greenside left, leaves the risky drive with little reward if not perfectly executed. Your first double awaits, should you choose the road less traveled down the left.
The seventh appears to offer a respite from accuracy off the tee with a wide open fairway look. But the tee shot is upslope and blind, and the approach is to another elevated green tucked among a copse of mature hardwoods. Bunkers right provide the final gravesite for this pair of do-or-die challenges as you look ahead to the next third of your round.
Much is mentioned about the trees so far, but it should also be noted the oak and fir that mingle amid the dominant maple are well-pruned around the bottom, and while thickly positioned, offer ample opportunity to escape back into play. Just don’t bite off more than you can chew in a recovery shot—try to remember that swing that got you there in the first place.
The back nine features three of Downingtown’s four par 5s, two of which offer scoring opportunities to get your game back on track or accelerate it forward.
The back nine also presents golfers with the most visually attractive par 3, and is Downingtown’s signature hole. A 170-yard one-shotter, it’s all carry over a shimmering pond. The tee shot requires both accuracy and distance control. The face of the green will spit short hits back toward the pond, while tee shots hit too long will bury in the far reaches of a green that runs diagonally away from the golfer.
The par-5 18th, the course’s longest hole at 562 yards, is a great finishing hole that offers one last challenge for that record round or one last opportunity to play it smart.
Water on the left side steers your drive and second shot out to the right lying, rolling fairway, where the hole will play slightly
longer, but safer. The elevated green has bunkers protecting left and right, and a par here will feel like a birdie.
Ken Dixon, who became the club’s head pro over the winter, says he’s excited to get out on the course that he’s played only a handful of times. “I’m really looking forward to it because it’s the style of golf course I really enjoy playing,” he says.
Downingtown is a fair test of golf, and with peak fees topping out at $84 with a cart, it remains moderately priced for the quality. One additional attraction is that walking is allowed at any time.
For more, visit golfdowningtown.com or the club’s page on Facebook.