The original 18-hole course at Lancaster Country Club is one of the finest by prolific designer William Flynn, the course about an hour outside of Philadelphia and blessed with more varied and suitable undulations than the likes of Huntingdon Valley, Philadelphia Country Club and Rolling Green. The variety of landforms, along with a well-used shallow creek-side area, allowed Flynn to create a range of styles and holes. The round starts by tracking down, up and then plunging off the sites main ridge, then heads down into a flat valley beside the creek. A twisting burn is well incorporated into the 4th, 5th and 6th holes while the par five 7th then follows the main creek and leads the golfer back toward the higher slopes. The rest of the course basically tracks up and down the main slopes, or along the far end of the inclines. Of the earlier holes, the par four 4th is especially effective, the creek crossing the fairway about 140 yards from the green, the hole then turning over the hazard and rising into a steep ledge that is particularly difficult to approach following a cautious drive.
While some of the holes tracking directly up the slopes are a little nondescript, there are some superb elements to this layout, including a terrific finishing hole, lovely plateau targets on the likes of the 10th and 15th and a tight, rising and bending par five at the 13th. The bold cross-slope and uphill second shot into the long 11th is also quite special. Less effective is the short and heavily-bunkered par four 16th, which offers little strategic interest or visual appeal to those unable to smack 320-yard plus drives toward the green.
The Lancaster Country Club is a terrifically unheralded layout with a charming property and an interesting set of greens, Flynn’s use of wings, subtle tilts and pinched entrances are generally well used.