Despite Being in ‘God’s Country,’ Trio of Local Golf Clubs Suffering

Image of Stonewall Golf Club via David Swanson, Philadelphia Inquirer.

Three renowned golf clubs that straddle the border of Chester and Berks counties are feeling the pinch as memberships decline, writes Frank Fitzpatrick for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

French Creek and Stonewall in Elverson and LedgeRock in Mohnton are private facilities, the founders of which were attracted to the area’s relatively low real estate prices and its lush open space.

“You’re kind of in God’s country,” said French Creek owner Thad Fortin. “You can relax. It’s very different from what you’d get at a Main Line club.”

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All three clubs are seeing the effects of the nationwide decline in golf club membership. According to Fortin, French Creek lost money last year, but it should break even in 2017. Stonewall is also suffering, despite its elite membership, said general manager Paul Mauer.

This is causing the owners to worry whether all three clubs can survive given their close proximity to one another.

“No way to predict,” said Greg Nathan, chief business officer for the National Golf Foundation. “Regardless of trends, these places are going to make it or not on their own merits.”

Read more about golf’s decline in the Philadelphia Inquirer here.

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