Ever been in a tight spot and felt in need of a good Philadelphia lawyer to get you out of trouble?
Well, back in the early 1990s, well-heeled golfers in the Keystone State had just the man to, not exactly extricate anyone from the mire, but instead, establish a private golf club where a select number of members could retreat for a round of golf.
Jack May was the prominent legal eagle who established Stonewall and he entrusted architect Tom Doak to lay out 18 minimalist holes around a clubhouse converted from a set of old stone farm buildings. Golf would be the only sport on offer (with no tennis courts or swimming pool) and the fairways would be free from cart paths and carts.
Doak’s light touch in routing the course through a rather undulating landscape is very easy on the eye and the fairways weave around woods, wetlands, lakes and creeks in a very pleasing manner.
The par three holes are all gems (three on the front nine and two on the back) with the intimidating, downhill 5th the best of these as the tee shot must carry over wetlands to a green framed by trees and protected by a creek on the right side.
Some find the inward half a little less interesting, maybe due to the absence of any water features, but the par four finishing hole ends the round on a high. After an uphill tee shot (where the ball must avoid a number of bunkers on the right of the fairway) to a crest, the second shot is then played downhill to a green with more sand on the right side to catch wayward approach shots.
Stonewall is now a 36-hole golf facility as Tom Doak added the 18-hole North course in 2003.