Founded in 1896 and named after an Indian tribal chief, the Aronimink club moved to its current home in Newtown Square in 1926, where Donald Ross laid out a very interesting golf course across a gently sloping parkland site. Holes regularly change direction, the greens are typically well conceived and shaped and the subtle elevation changes across the property are beautifully incorporated into the routing.
The round starts with a string of strong par fours, the uphill approach shot into the 1st green and tight shots into the 3rd and 4th targets among the tougher challenges you need to negotiate in order to get away to a decent start. The 4th green is particularly tricky, the putting surface is approached from above and built up to appear a back-to-front shape, yet it actually falls away and is near impossible to get up and down when missed in regulation. The mid-length 7th is another hole with a cool green site, this time angled across the fairway and, like the fairway, sloping sharply to the left. The 10th is another gem, its target with a pond on the left, a sharp falloff on the right and a vertical tier cutting the surface into two plateaus.
Aronimink is a charming golf course and yet another quality Philadelphia-area course that would stand out more in another city, but is a clear rung down from giants here like Merion and Pine Valley.
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