Course Review - Pocono Manor Resort Golf Course
The Central PA Golf Guide was recently invited to play a round at the Pocono Manor Resort & Spa Golf Course. This historic public course opened in 1912 and has seen many incredible rounds and famous players walk its grounds including Arnold Palmer, Sam Snead and Art Wall Jr.—the father of Greg Wall, current Director of Golf at Pocono Manor.
When I first arrived, I was greeted by Mr. Wall, the Director of Golf. He introduced me to some of his staff and made sure I was taken care of. He joined me up with two fantastic gentleman, Ed and Scott, who were very welcoming and excited to have another player in their group. Ed had played the course many times over the years and was a wealth of knowledge for tips and tidbits of information about shot placement. He was essentially my caddie for the day with all of this information. Scott was playing the course for the first time, same as me. He was a great guy and very enjoyable to talk.
The course itself was fun to play and provided some great views and a fun experience. There were a few rough dirt patches along a few fairways and greens, but not enough to distract me or influence the game at all. The course was pretty dry when I played due to lack of recent rain, but was otherwise in very good condition. The hard ground allowed the ball to roll pretty well for some additional yardage. The holes are mostly straight and rarely flat, with a few blind shots where the elevation changes so drastically you cannot see your target. The greens were perfectly sized and varied in elevation and contour. The tree-lined course is somewhat unforgiving for balls hit too far left or right. I'll admit that I lost a few balls (though I found a few as well), so I recommend choosing a club you hit straight over a club you hit far. There are four tees to choose from: Red, Green, White and Blue, with a length of 6,304 yards from the White tees. There are only a handful of sand bunkers on the entire course and are found around the greens on Holes 2 and 18. Water comes into play on a few holes, but is easily avoidable with a properly placed shot. The biggest obstacles you have to deal with on this course are natural mound moguls that line most of the fairways. These in-play mounds contain tall grass and provide varying conditions to contend with. It is best to avoid them when possible.
Hole #1 - This long par 5 starts you off right. The green is reachable in two with a good tee shot (a good confidence booster or detractor, depending on how you play it) for the rest of the round.
Hole #3 - This short par 3 has a 40 foot drop at the end of the fairway to the green, which is hidden from the tee. Thankfully Ed was there to provide some guidance: try to have the ball land just before the drop so that it can roll down and stay (hopefully) on the green.
Hole #7 - This is the most famous hole on the course—a very short, 77 yard, par 3. There is no forgiveness on this hole. As with any par 3, landing on the green is your best shot, but if that isn't possible, try not to be too short. The first 70 yards of this hole are unplayable and on a steep downhill slope dropping about 40 feet from tee to green. You don't want to go too long either. The green slopes back toward the tee, so any balls hit over the green will have a tricky second shot. Arnold Palmer once shot a double-bogey on this hole, so don't feel bad if you do too! The picture to the right shows the #7 green from up on the tee box.
Hole #12 - Another long par 5 requiring a decision on the tee. A large grass bunker sits in the middle of the fairway with about 15 yards of space to its right. A well placed tee-shot will allow a clear (but still long) shot to the green. A misplaced tee shot will usually require an additional shot to get around the bunkers before heading to the green.
Hole #17 - A fun dogleg right requires a smart tee shot. If you get it past the tree line, you'll have a clear shot at the open green.
Hole #18 - This fun par 3 requires a shot over a pond. The pond is directly in front of the tee box, so provided you can clear it (about 80 yards) you are good to go.
I highly recommend playing this course if you are ever in the Poconos area. It is about a 2.5 hour drive from State College, but well worth the trip.
To learn more about the Pocono Manor Resort & Spa Golf Course, visit their website: https://www.poconomanor.com/golf/
Planning to play the course? Read some course tips from Greg Wall.