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Swing Away On 18 Iconic NEPA Golf Holes

NEPA’s Public and Private Golf Courses Entice with Tricky Play and Stunning Sights


Rolling green hills, dense, tree-lined fairways, crystal clear streams and mountaintop views characterize the typical round of golf in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Some are lured by the inherent challenge of tee to green perfection – or at least something close to it. For others, a round of golf is more about fresh air, or friendly bets, or the poetry of a dead-on drive echoing through a quiet wood. And, still, many often play only for that simple promise of a post-round beer (loser buys, of course).

Despite the varied reasons for loving golf, one of the most often cited characteristics is the pure beauty of the game. From meticulous fairway lines and greens that seem to naturally rise from the landscape to tall grass swaying in waves on a gentle breeze, NEPA’s golf courses are equally renowned for their aesthetic perfection as they are for their play.

With this in mind, we set our sights on curating a list of local, “must-play” holes. We started with an inter-office poll generated by our most avid golfers. From there, we reached out to local Golf Pros, General Managers, Owners and Country Club Presidents for expert takes on NEPA’s finest public and private golf holes.

Please, view this list not as a ranking, but more as a playable tribute to the natural, scenic splendor and delightful labor of golf in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

18 Iconic Holes -- Picked by the Pros

  • Blue Ridge Trail Golf Club

    Public Course — Mountain Top, PA

    Hole # 7 (Ridge Course)
    Par 5
    Yardage – 475

    “This hole is reachable in two for most golfers due to the fact that it plays relatively downhill. The fairway slopes from left to right and is guarded up the left side with three large fairway bunkers and fescue grass. A block to the right off the tee, or your second shot will land you out of play in the wetlands. The hole is a true risk reward, and any score from 3-8 is possible.”

    Tyler Papura – Assistant General Manager

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  • Fox Hill Country Club

    Private Course – Exeter, PA

    Hole #8
    Par 4
    Yardage — 392

    “This spectacular hole presents a difficult drive to a narrow fairway protected by a right-side bunker. A slight left to right dog leg brings you close to yet another bunker. The green predominantly slopes from back to front. If you leave your ball above the hole, it’s a near impossible putt without the perfect line. The two fairway bunkers were added during a bunker renovation in 2017 which returned the hole back to its original A.W. Tillinghast design.”

    Shane Bradley – General Manager

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  • Glenmaura National Golf Club

    Private Course – Moosic, PA

    Hole #18
    Par 4
    Yardage — 385

    “This signature hole features a 250 yard carry over natural wetlands from the back tee. The fairway is the widest on the course at just under 100 yards, however the fairway has 2 grass bunkers in the middle of it.  The most interesting part about the hole is the fact that it finishes with a split green.  Why a split green?  A natural waterfall runs behind the green and the water bisects the 2 greens. When they were building the course, they couldn’t decide which side of the green the water should run on so they decided “let’s just build 2 greens!”

    Philip E. Mahasky – CEO

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  • Glen Oak Country Club

    Private Course – Clarks Summit, PA

    Hole # 11
    Par 5
    Yardage – Gold – 515/ White – 387

    “This complicated hole is a model of risk / reward design. On the tee shot the player must decide to lay up short of the creek, or risk the longer carry onto “the island” which sets up a look at the well-protected green complex. The course boundary runs up the right side of the entire hole, so the aggressive player must be very precise.”

    Bob Sedlak – Head Golf Professional

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  • Huntsville Golf Club

    Private Course – Dallas, PA

    Hole # 11
    Par 4
    Yardage – Back – 448/Forward – 365

    “The eleventh hole at Huntsville is the #2 handicapped hole on the course.  It features elevation from the tee and a split fairway, offering players the option to go left or right.  Players who miss the 11th fairway will find themselves scrambling for a par putt.  The green is two tiered and well-guarded with bunkers on both sides. The hole is as beautiful as it is difficult.”

    Matt Occhiato – Head Golf Professional / Director of Instruction

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  • Jack Frost National Golf Club

    Public Course – Blakeslee, PA

    Hole # 11
    Par 3
    Yardage — 147

    “This spectacular, downhill par 3 offers an unmatched panoramic view of the area. The green is two tiered with some nice breaks and is guarded to the right by the only pond on the course. You will also notice a huge lake behind the green with a large fountain that is quite the sight from up above. Number 11 is just a beautiful mountain hole!”

    Keith DeVos – General Manager

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  • Mountain Valley Golf Course

    Public Course – Barnesville, PA

    Hole # 18 (Valley Course)
    Par 4
    Yardage — Gold – 312/Blue – 277/White – 247/Red – 237

    “A solid tee shot will get you over Demko’s pond.  Your challenge then becomes avoiding the most severe bunkering at Mountain Valley.  The key to this hole is the approach shot getting the right distance up the hill to the flag stick. It is the second shot that will present the most challenge. If you hit a solid off the tee you will be okay.  You will end at our Clubhouse and Restaurant where you can enjoy wings, burgers, sandwich, pizza, a drink and an amazing view on the wraparound deck.”

    David Linkchorst – PGA Professional

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  • Paupack Hills Golf and Country Club

    Semi-Private Course — Greentown, PA

    Hole #16
    Par 3
    Yardage — B Tees – 144/M Tees – 138/F Tees – 120/Ladies – 110

    “This par 3 has a beautiful view overlooking Lake Wallenpaupack, a 75-foot downhill drop in elevation to a well-protected green with bunkers in front and behind. On a windy day club selection can be a challenge.”

    Bobby Gyuriska – Head Golf Pro

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  • Rolling Pines Golf Course

    Public Course – Berwick, PA

    Hole # 14
    Par 5
    Yardage – 410

    “From the tee box, your line of sight carries over 4.5 miles across both Route 11 & Interstate 80. A well-struck tee shot will travel from an elevated tee box, down to a small ravine, and back up a steep hill to the green. Pine trees line the right side of the fairway and the spacious green is flanked on the left by a few sand traps.”

    Brandon Fenstermacher – Director of Golf Operations

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  • Schuylkill Country Club

    Private Course – Orwigsburg, PA

    Hole #11
    Par 3
    Yardage — 177 (back tees)

    “A downhill par 3 guarded by a pond to the left of the green and a bunker to the right of the green. Long shots are also penalized by the creek that runs behind the green. The downhill shot usually requires one club less than the yardage indicates.”

    Herb Redman – General Manager/COO

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  • Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort

    Public Course – Shawnee on the Delaware, PA

    Hole # 7 Blue
    Par 3
    Yardage – Blue – 177/White – 166/Yellow – 146

    “7 Blue is Shawnee’s signature hole. Our course is located on an island in the Middle of the Delaware River. 7 Blue’s tee is on the golf island. Our golfers hit across the Delaware River to a green on the main land. 7 Blue is a fun and challenging hole. It’s fun because it’s a fairly short hole with a gorgeous water feature. Don’t let it fool you though. Judging the distance is hard and the green offers an unforgiving slope.”

    Jeromy Wo – Marketing Director

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  • Split Rock Golf Club

    Public Course — Lake Harmony, PA

    Hole # 11
    Par 5
    Yardage — 582

    “This is the course’s signature hole! The breathtaking view is the backdrop to this par 5 and is one of the most scenic holes in the northeast. Don’t let this tee shot scare you, there is a wide fairway out there. This hole is reachable in two shots for the long hitters but an undulating green can lead to a 3 putt.”

    Brian Patrick – PGA Golf Pro

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  • Stone Hedge Golf Course

    Public Course – Tunkhannock, PA

    Hole #2
    Par 4
    Yardage – Blue – 449/White – 433/Gold – 332/Red – 324

    “This hole is the truest test of golf that we have on the property, and believe me it will test a golfer’s mental game every bit as their physical game. Usually, it plays into a strong prevailing wind, leaving a mid to long iron into the green for your second shot after a good drive (most players lay up!). Bunkers guard the left of the fairway and short left of the green. One of the toughest green complexes we have on the property makes for a challenging up and down. This hole was once touted as “the toughest hole in NEPA” and believe me it lives up to that reputation. Par here is like making birdie.”

    Adam Charles – Head Golf Professional

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  • Summit Hills Golf Club - Sports & Outdoors - DiscoverNEPA

    Summit Hills Golf Club

    Public Course — Clarks Summit, PA

    Hole #9
    Par 4
    Yardage – 404

    “A very tight, sloped fairway can test the tee off along with a tree lined right side and a pond collecting wayward shots that head left. Approaching the green, the Endless Mountain view is a fabulous backdrop as you sink the final putt of the front nine anxious to face the back nine of this enjoyable course.”

    Daniel Kelleher — President

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  • Tall Pines Players Club

    Public Course – Friendsville, PA

    Hole #18
    Par 4
    Yardage — Blue – 268/White – 261/Gold – 246/Red – 230

    “Hole #18 is a great representation of golf at Tall Pines Players Club.  The risk/reward is great and ball placement is important.  Overlooked by the clubhouse, this picturesque hole has a tricky dog leg left around water. It’s just the perfect ending to a round of golf.”

    Chris O’Reilly – Golf Director

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  • The Country Club of Scranton

    Private Course – Clark Summit, PA

    Hole # 10
    Par 4
    Yardage – 406

    “The tee box, situated directly behind the clubhouse, overlooks the property and offers arguably one of the best views anywhere. The fairway slants from left to right, which presents a bit of difficulty for the often-errant swing. The challenging second shot demands accuracy. The multi-tiered green is protected by runoffs on both the right and left, as well as long over the green. The 10th hole has been rated as one of the Ultimate 18 holes of the Dream Course by The Golf Association of Philadelphia.”

    Mike Molino – PGA Head Golf Professional

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  • Wilkes-Barre Golf Club

    Public Course — Wilkes-Barre, PA

    Hole # 2
    Par 4
    Yardage – Blue – 452/White – 415/Gold – 353/Silver – 345/Red – 339

    “The second hole presents a real challenge for all skill levels. It features a long, fairly straight fairway. The green is protected by three bunkers and fronted by a water hazard (penalty area). The hole’s main feature is a refreshing, awe-inspiring water fountain – depending on how well you play the hole, of course.”

    John P. Kebles — Pro Shop Manager

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  • Wyoming Valley Country Club

    Private Course – Wilkes-Barre, PA

    Hole # 9
    Par 4
    Yardage – Blue – 391/White  -369/Gold – 336/Red – 332

    “Our 9th hole is a classic A.W. Tillinghast design.  It’s a dogleg left with bunkering on the right, protecting the bail out tee shot and a lateral hazard down the entire left-hand side. A right to left sloping fairway to an elongated green that slopes toward the fairway for the first half of the green and slopes away from you on the upper/back of the green. This hole could be dropped on any Tillinghast course and immediately fit.”

    Pete Korba – Golf Pro

    Learn More >

Article Updated from its Original Version Published on 7/03/2020.

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