A friend of mine is a member at Woodstone County Club and invited me up to play a couple rounds this weekend! The closest large city to the area is Allentown, although I think I was only 90 interstate miles from New York City! I’ve been to the area once before as my friend and I played Olde Homestead years ago. Although I wasn’t doing my course reviews at that time, I have good memories from Olde Homestead and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend checking out that course.
Woodstone is a private club so I got the member treatment tagging along with my friend! Getting called Mr., clubs kept overnight, and access to the ice machine: those sorts of things. That was a nice treat as I play just about all of my golf at public or semi-private courses! If you are a diehard course collector up this way, or just passing through, you can access Woodstone by staying at their on-site lodge.
We played on Saturday and Sunday with a couple other members and I had an absolute blast! I certainly can see the advantages of playing at a private club. You can play with a regular group and the pace should move quicker than at a public course. We were all similar handicaps which made the weekend games pretty competitive too! I’m pretty sure that I only hit one good shot on Saturday, but it came at the right time. Our last hole was the 9th and I made birdie through the trees after my second shot jumped up on the 7th tee box. Talk about a lucky break!
Woodstone is out in the country, probably a half hour north of Allentown. It is located near the edge of Blue Mountain, which is part of the eastern edge of the Appalachian Mountains. The clubhouse is perched towards the top of the property, offering scenic views of the area! I think the 10th and 11th holes are the best ones to take in the views! For those who like trivia, the area was heavily mined for zinc years ago and if you know what you are looking for I’m sure can spot those remains looking to the north.
Woodstone is what I would call a hilly, parkland style golf course. The front nine drops down from the clubhouse into a low area, near Indian Creek and then climbs back up to the clubhouse. Most of the holes on the front are on the flatter side, except for the 1st and 9th. On the other hand, most of the back nine is located on a hillside above the front nine and has much more elevation change. It is almost like a roller coaster! Just about every hole on the back has elevation change to it! Some holes, like the 14th, even drop a couple stories. It could take a few rounds to pick the correct clubs at Woodstone because of the elevation changes. I know that I started to feel more comfortable my second time around in that regards.
We played the Oak tees (71.9/139/6367) and the course is definitely on the challenging side! The biggest difficulties are going to be finding the tiny fairways and navigating the undulating greens. The fairways are just ribbons! They are made narrower by some slope and fairway bunkers. There are sections of fairway that cannot be more than 10 yards wide! Like everywhere you go, playing from the short grass is best if you want to go flag hunting. However, there are plenty of places here off of the fairways where you can at least swing at it. My friend was telling me that the course has done a lot of work to clear out the trouble so that you can find a wayward shot. I love that because, there isn’t anything more frustrating than losing a golf ball after an average shot. I ended up against one tree and decided to swing left handed to get it back in play! And yes, I did manage to make contact!
The greens are devilish! I’m not sure of a more accurate way to describe them! I was told that Woodstone is an Ault Clark & Associates design, so these types of green complexes aren’t surprising. From my experience, that team puts together some wicked complexes. It seemed like every green had severe slopes, multiple tiers, or ridges. Even on the second day with the same pin locations, I struggled to get my putts and chips dying at all the crests or flat spots so that they could trickle near the cup. Once on the proper ridge I needed a 360 scan to read the putt! Based on my observations of the surfaces, I don’t think too many golfers will be running the table their first few times here.
Woodstone was in good condition and keep in mind that I visited during the off-season. Based on my observations and my friend’s comments, it appears the crew continually works hard to keep the course looking great! They pay attention to the little details, such as blowing the leaves out of play and that extra cut of apron that you don’t see at most public courses. Everything was full and lush and the greens rolled smooth. I thought the greens were fast, but my friend was telling me they were actually just a medium speed compared to normal. Yikes!
The club treated me well and I enjoyed my time there! Woodstone offers a nice collection of holes with different distances and allows for some strategy off the tee. If you are a course collector and get the chance to play Woodstone, then I think you’ll enjoy your day too. If anyone on staff reads this, thanks for having me out!
#1 (394 yard par 4):
#2 (352 yard par 4):
#3 (510 yard par 5):
#4 (371 yard par 4):
#5 (179 yard par 3):
#6 (290 par 4):
#7 (391 yard par 4):
#8 (176 yard par 3):
#9 (447 yard par 5):
#10 (392 yard par 4):
#11 (373 yard par 4):
#12 (389 yard par 4):
#13 (150 yard par 3):
#14 (577 yard par 5):
#15 (288 yard par 4):
#16 (185 yard par 3):
#17 (503 yard par 5):
#18 (400 yard par 4):