Broad Run is not a Golf Club; it’s a Golfer’s Club. That’s part
of the golf course’s official name. With the club’s new management already making
course playability and member involvement a priority, the name may ring truer
The club, located outside West Chester, was
taken over on May 3rd by Jonathan Byler,
who also owns Iron Valley GC in Lebanon, among other
properties. He immediately recruited local talent for a number of key posts in
the management to foster a more welcoming community atmosphere.
Head pro Pete
Lovenguth and General Manager Jeff
Broadbelt both came over from Downingtown County Club. Superintendent Chad Rightmyer left French Creek in Elverson, to join Broad Run, and Chef Jamie Nafe left his post as Executive
Chef of the Zagat-rated Firecreek Restaurant
in Downingtown to return the Bordley House Grille to its
former status as a destination restaurant, not only for apr¸s-golf.
Steve Ekovich, Director of Golf and Resort
Properties Group of the National Golf
Group, who brokered the deal, recalls how the course had about a dozen
different GMs during its first 12 years of existence. Broad
Run began life in 2000 as Tattersall
Golf Club near the height of the golf course building boom. When the most
recent owners, a private equity firm, filed for bankruptcy protection, about
eight offers were made on the property.
For faster play, shorter fescue and rough
New owner Byler
and the staff are already bringing a more stable environment for both employees
and players. For faster play, they've cut back the longer fescue grass and
deeper areas of rough. It’s not rocket science to realize that fewer lost balls
equals faster play, which has sometimes been an elusive goal at Broad Run. "We're trying to make
the course a little more golfer-friendly," said Lovenguth.
Broad Run is not a walking
course. It’s cart-only, and drives
from greens to tees add a solid 15 minutes to the round as it is. There’s a
good reason you need a cart. The course goes up and down the 130 feet of
elevation several times over the 370 acres. But the holes are mostly impressive
and worth the time if you have it to spare.
Collection photo gallery of Broad Run Golfer’s Club
schedule of rates
The course was designed by Rees Jones, widely known for many years
as the "U.S. Open Doctor." He was the man responsible for lengthening and
ratcheting up the difficulty on many classic courses so that the USGA could
defend par against advancing modern technology. You get the feeling he was
trying to do a similar thing at Broad
The nerve-testing first hole sets the tone for
the entire round. It’s the first of several yo-yo holes that go from elevated
tee to low valley to elevated green. It’s an impressive hole, framed nicely on
all sides by natural wetland growth in a wide array of earthy shades. A
short-par five, it begs the golfer to treat it like a long par-four. But if you
bite off more than you can chew, the first of many very deep bunkers guards the
left side of the green to corral your early-round optimism in a heartbeat.
Truth be told, there are some forgiving aspects
of Broad Run. On a handful of holes
you can overcook your draw, even to a hook, and have a sideboard that kicks it
back onto the fairway. The G2 Bent greens are kept near perfection and are not
severely undulating. So much so that if you miss a four-footer, you have no one
to blame but yourself. And you almost never face a long putt dreading that a
three-putt is the most likely outcome.
If you're included to slice, however, it could
be a long day, and if you're expecting to pad your driving distance stats, call
it a practice round. There are many drive landing areas that are uphill, allowing
for almost no roll. In addition, expect a number of approach shots where you
can't see the surface of the green.
If all these things could possibly get under
your skin, make a habit of hitting more club than you think you need and you’ll
often be right on the money for the center of the green. Just when you think
you’ve had enough of blind shots, however, you get the exact opposite. The
par-three 17th drops over 100 feet from tee to green, which translates into
almost three less clubs for the distance.
Lovenguth explains that the staff is
working on improvements all-around, because it’s often attention to detail on the
little things that make or break an enjoyable day, and the results can be
cumulative. For instance, they’ve repaired broken bunker faces on the steep
green slide slopes and plan to remove those eyesore string fences that guide
carts. After all, there are many other ways to signal where carts can enter and
leave the fairway.
Lovenguth realizes that many players
don’t play the best set of tees for their ability, which can lead to
unnecessary frustrations. But, as mentioned above, the course plays longer than
its yardage pretty much all the way around. The "Tattersall" tips measure over
6,800 yards with a 72.8/136 rating and slope, the "Bordley" tees total 6,400
yards (70.9/132) and the "Broad Run" tees are 6,000 yards (68.8/127).
For the standard weekday rate of $56, you get a
lot of golf course, an interesting variety of holes, grand vistas and a
thorough test of golf. Weekends top out at $75, and there are tiered twilight
rates all seven days.
Lovenguth is unapologetic about the
difficulty of the course if you step back to a tee box that will test your
resolve. "The course will let you know where you stand as a golfer," he
assures. "We want good players to come out here and know they have a