Golf Course Overview
Learn more about our classic William Flynn design
"Placing a premium on accuracy with due consideration for length should be the aim of all men who design golf courses, for accuracy in the play signifies skill and skill is generally the master of brute force."
- William Flynn, golf course architect at Bala Golf Club
The design of Bala Golf Club depicts the great traditions of golf and the classic Philadelphia School of Architecture. Tasked with expanding the original 9-hole layout, William Flynn succeeded admirably in creating a challenging 18-hole course on the small, rolling landscape that is Bala Golf Club. Although short by today's standards, Bala continues to challenge it's membership by placing a premium on sound strategy and skillful shot-making.
William Flynn is one of the great golf course architects of all-time, with an overwhelming portfolio of classic designs, including the nationally ranked Shinnicock Hills and Cherry Hills Country Clubs. Locally, Flynn is responsible for many of the Philadelphia area's greatest golf courses, including Huntingdon Valley, Rolling Green, Lancaster and Philadelphia Country Clubs. Flynn is also credited with the 1925 re-design of Merion Golf Club's famed East Course (along with Hugh Wilson) and had his hand in some work at Pine Valley Golf Club.
Combining the highest standards in maintenance with Flynn's classic design elements, the course repeatedly holds the members' interest by providing a full examination of one's entire game. Above all else, Bala is a golf course that is FUN to play.
2nd Hole | 303 yards | Par 4
This short hole starts with a blind tee shot to a fairway that slopes right to left, so aim down the right side. The fairway ends at 200 yards, so layup accordingly to allow for a controlled wedge to the downhill green, which is the smallest on the course and maybe the smallest you have ever seen. The green is fiercely protected with bunkers to the front, left, and right, and an OB wall 2 yards behind the green. Remember that the approach shot is downhill and plays short.
3rd Hole | 316 yards | Par 4
Another short, strategic par 4. Look for the green to the right behind the trees. The standard play is to the middle of the plateau straight ahead that leaves a 100 yard approach. The risky play is a shot of 230-240 yards right of the plateau. If you're accurate, you'll be on the flat with a short pitch to the green. The green is protected by a fronting pond, an overhanging tree and a pot bunker. The green slopes back to front and right to left. A back pin is easier than a front one.
6th Hole | 131 yards | Par 3
This little par 3 plays through a shoot of trees downhill to a small green guarded by a creek on the front and right and a pond to the left. Accuracy is of extreme importance. The bailout area behind the green presents a deadly chip demanding considerable skill to keep it out of the water.
7th Hole | 380 yards | Par 4
The men's number one handicap hole requires a precise tee shot to give you a chance to hit the green in two. The right side of the fairway offers a clear approach angle to the green but it brings the creek into play and your uphill approach shot has to contend with a greenside bunker on the right that is so far below the green that you won't be able to see the surface. The green is often the fastest on the course and can be severe back to front and left to right.
8th Hole | 331 yards | Par 4
Enjoy the view, especially from the back tee and try not to think too much about the SEPTA rails on the left. On the right, the same creek from #7 awaits. Put the ball in the center or left side of the fairway to avoid the tree on the right and get a medium to short iron to the green. There's trouble all around the green, which sits in front of a rock outcropping. The green is relatively benign but has subtle breaks.
16th Hole | 97 yards | Par 3
Bala's version of The Postage Stamp green, this tiny green offers a great chance at birdie but if you miss the green the surrounding bunkers will make for a tough up and down. Many players have gone back and forth between the left and right bunkers because the green is so narrow. The green slopes from back to front making a front pin position tricky if you go long .
18th Hole | 362 yards | Par 4
18 is an excellent finishing hole. The hole plays downhill all the way, so a straight bomb puts you in good position, although it will leave you with a downhill shot over a creek to one of the largest greens, which slopes considerably back to front. Above the hole makes for a difficult two-putt but staying below the pin is risky because the creek is so close to front of the green. It’s a great hole to finish a tight match on.