Philly golf review: Rebirth of LuLu Country Club brings with it deep, thick rough

LuLu Country Club has really thick rough.

It also has a challenging and well-maintained Donald Ross designed golf course and a brand new club house on the way (expected in summer 2017 to replace their old one which was lost in a fire). The country club is one of the nicer and more accessible ones in the Philadelphia area.

But the only way to be in a good mood and enjoy it is to stay out of the tall stuff. You’ll need to club up one, sometimes two clubs, to get the ball where you want to.

Located just out of the city in North Hills, Pennsylvania, the course has a group of loyal members and is, technically, a private club.

“It’s a different model,” LuLu’s head professional Jon Rusk said. “It’s worked out well. Since the fire I think we’ve added 40 members.”

If you haven’t seen their add on the Golf Channel, here’s the skinny: play seven times to “preview” the course, then join, or go play somewhere else.

The club has been revitalizing itself since the fire and teases with its soon-to-be state-of-the-art clubhouse.

“We’re going to design a whole new clubhouse,” Rusk said. “It will be open next summer. It will have an indoor simulator and a workout room. We were worried after the fire that people would leave the club but we are getting new members left and right. The golf course is the best it’s been in 10 years, as far as I understand — and certainly in the five years I’ve been here. The members have invested a lot of money in the golf course and it’s phenomenal.”

Even if the clubhouse turns out as remarkable as promised, the golf course will still be the star.

Right out of the shoot, the first seven holes will set the tone for your round.

“The first seven holes across the street are really tough starting holes,” the pro said. “Probably the seventh hole is the signature hole. It’s a 420-yard par 4, a little down the hill, it has fairway bunkers down the left-hand side and trees on the right-hand side. The green is sloped front-to-back very sharply. You’ve gotta keep the ball below the hole. I’ve seen people putt the ball off the green.”

It’s not a short course, and several holes are scoring holes with strategic play. But birdies won’t be had without keeping the ball in the fairway, and making sure you aren’t three-putting on the extremely large greens (ranging from 25-35 yards).

Local knowledge tip: “Keep it below the hole, thats kind of what we talk about. The rough is also very high.​”

Price range: From $45 (twilight with cart) to $78 (weekend with cart)


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