The Llanerch Country Club

The Llanerch Country Club is a private club that is located in Havertown, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, USA. 

The Llanerch Country Club was not officially formed until 1919, however, golf was played on the property as early as 1895 on sand-based greens under various names. The golf course might be the oldest in Havertown operating at its original site. 

In 1747, the property was known as “Manoa Park”. At this time, it was transferred from Jos. Lewis to Daniel Lawrence. There was 60 acres of land, 5 acres of woodland. Ultimately, the property was turned over to Joseph Oat. He then built a mansion that turned into the first clubhouse, “Willow Brook”. In the 1890’s, William Pyott and Edward Longstreth obtained the property in the early 1890’s. 

 The areas was mainly farmland until 1898. At this time, the Pennsylvania Railroad built a trolley line from Philadelphia to West Chester. There was a stop at Llanerch which began the development of homes in the area and the formation of the golf course. A 9-hole course was established by John Reid, who was hired as the first professional. The course was expanded to 18 holes in 1903. This included a 655-yard par 6. At this time, it was one of the longest holes in the world. 

The club had many names in the early days. It was known at the Delaware County Country Club from 1901-1904. The Country Club became Delaware County Field Club in 1904. In 1911, it merged with the Athletic Club of Philadelphia. This way the club could offer both a country and city location to its members. It was renamed for a fourth time as Bon Air Country Club in 1914. In 1918, during the club championship match between a Mr. Lewis and a Mr. Landers, there was a clash that broke up the club. Rain postponed the championship match until the next morning-at this time, Mr. Landers was 3 up after 12 holes. The next day, Mr. Landers came back to the course to find that someone had gone into his locker during the night and sawed the heads off of his clubs. Mr. Landers left angrily and did not complete the match. After this, the club was in chaos. Thomas Fitzgerald saved the club. He purchased the land and established the Llanerch Country Club in May 1919. That winter, the clubhouse was destroyed by a fire. Mr. Fitzgerald spent $70,000 and built the clubhouse that remains today. 

In 1922, Mr. Fitzgerald consulted with Alexander Findlay who oversaw the designing of golf clubs. In the fall of 1923, work began on the course, which involved the construction of 6 new holes. By Labor Day 1924, the new course was ready for play. By 1928, the course was expanded to 27 holes. The Llanerch County Club has hosted numerous championships. It is located at 950 West Chester Pike, Havertown, Delaware County, PA.

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