Any list of the best golf courses in the Philadelphia area, public or private, would be incomplete without the Golf Course at Glen Mills.
The spectacular undulation between the holes — and in some cases throughout a hole — is breathtaking and intimidating.
The large rolling greens are hard to read and offer no rewards, offering up routine 80-foot putts.
The wide open links feel gives way to fescue and danger with any arrant tee shot, regardless of the lack of trees.
Glen Mills should be on every golfers' must play list.
"We are not a links course, I believe they call it parkland there's a lot of trees and things around it," PGA professional Bob Pfister said. "We do a lot of rounds here and I we are usually No. 1 in the state, or No. 2. We are highly accessible. All the good courses, Merion and such, you can't get on but you can get on here."
The par 5s are likely the most memorable holes on the course, but a steeply sloped left to right fairway — narrow and short on the par 4 11th is Pfister's favorite.
"My favorite is the 11th hole," the pro said. "It's short, you have to hit it straight down the middle you don't even need a driver there. It has a creek that goes down the left side and there is the cart path and some trouble on the right. And you could be on the side of the hill where you have a difficult shot."
The course's exquisite conditioning is even more remarkable with consideration that the upkeep of the facility is done, in large part, by kids at the Glen Mills School (a juvenile detention center).
"We try to utilize the kids," Pfister said. "If the kids have been here for a while and if they are doing well it's a preferred job on campus. We try and use them in the pro shop and the greens superintendent uses them on the golf course. It's a job and they get paid for it. The kids, it's their favorite job for them."
The play is monitored and moves at a brisk pace thanks to a well-trained staff and a practice facility is also available for those just learning the game.
Local knowledge tip: "I think what I give out the most, because it's a difficult course, you really have to play target golf. Your best bet is to aim for the 150 markers. Even if you are stuck on the side of the hill it's the best way to play the hole. They are all true, 150 the center of the greens."
Price range: From $65 twilight to $95 at prime time