mainland has just enough water to make things interesting.|Steve Dag1/5 mainland has just enough water to make things interesting.|Steve Dag
The par 3 ninth demands a perfect wedge or nine-iron.|Steve Dag2/5 The par 3 ninth demands a perfect wedge or nine-iron.|Steve Dag
The par 3 ninth demands a perfect wedge or nine-iron.|Steve Dag3/5 The par 3 ninth demands a perfect wedge or nine-iron.|Steve Dag
Trees threaten most tee shots on Mainland's back nine.|Steve Dag4/5 Trees threaten most tee shots on Mainland's back nine.|Steve Dag
Mainland is just 35 minutes from Philly, up 476.|Steve Dag5/5 Mainland is just 35 minutes from Philly, up 476.|Steve Dag
The best way to get a golfer to return to a golf course? Make sure it's not boring.
Mainland Golf course, located a mile off of the Lansdale exit on Interstate 476, keeps golfers on their toes.
"After the first three holesyou can put your driver away until the back nine," Steve Spross, Mainland's director of golf, said of the start of his par 70."The first three holes are kind of shocking lengthwise."
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Things get easier, don't worry.
After crossing the road, a short par 3 and bevy of challenging and attackable dogleg holes lead you to the ninth, a par 3 requiring awedge shot over water.
Then the back nine, once again, brings with it an identity change.
"My favorite stretch is probably 12 through 15. On 12, if you shape the shot right you can be on the green putting for eagle, if not you're in the trees."
The dogleg left 12th meanders up hill with an off-set fairway that slopes toward a big green surrounded by bunkers. A perfect four-iron gives you a pitch to the hole. A perfect driver is on the green.
But position matters. With large greens oftentimes boasting multiple tiers, three-putts could jump out at any time.
"If you're above the hole, good luck," Spross said."For that reason they don't keep the green speeds all that fast."
The course finishes with a rarity, par 3s on the 16th and 17th before yet another gentle and tantalizing short dogleg on 18.
"The back-to-back par 3s here are kind of unique," Spross said."You don't usually get them back-to-back but they are totally different, a two or three club difference."
Mainland, aside from a fun test for a golfer with his regular foursome, specializes in hosting outings. The facility hosts nearly 50 a year, ranging from 20 to 140 golfers.
Local knowledge tip: "Know when to keep driver in the bag."
Price range:$18 (to walk during the week) to $55 (weekend morning)