The analysis of the course by the previous reviewer is spot on with the several observations made. Credit has to go the club for the wise choice in bringing on board architect Keith Foster to bring back to life the many aspects Tillinghast originally provided. Anyone venturing to play the Wissahickon Course had best be ready right from the outset with two consecutive long par-4's that yield nothing save for high level execution play.
The inward half of holes only ups the ante in terms of the demands players face. The ending quartet of holes caps the round in grand fashion. The long par-3 15th is a Redan-like hole and it's very good in flushing out the quality approach from an ordinary effort. The last three holes are all strong par-4's -- giving no quarter or respite. The ending hole is on par with another stellar Tillinghast notable closer with the likes of the 18th at Winged Foot / West. Miss the fairway at the 18th and getting over a stream that cuts across the hole near to the green is no automatic situation. For many the closing hole at Merion's famed East Course may get more recognition because of the stature earned when hosting various IUSGA Championships, however, the 18th at Wissahickon can easily claim the silver medal in the greater Philadelphia area.
The City of Brotherly love metro area is stacked with quality layouts -- all on the private side. Only the immediate New York City area surpasses it for overall depth of courses in America.
Overall, it amazes me how the Wissahickon layout is not included among the top 100 courses in America. I'd have the course comfortably in the top three in the Center City area because of how the blending of old and new elements were done with the utmost care and attention. Merion / East and Aronimink get plenty of attention but those coming to the Philadelphia vicinity should plan to wiggle some sort of invitation to play the Wissahickon Course. When you think your game is at the "A" level -- you'll find out if that's the case after playing 18 here.
by M. James Ward
Date: April 16, 2018