August 14, 2015 update: Todd Quinones of CBS3 did a story on the project yesterday. Read it here: Efforts Underway To Restore Philadelphia Golf Course
July 21, 2015 update: Before Joe Dey went to the USGA as their Executive Director (1934-1969) then later was the first commissioner of the PGA tour (1969-1974), he was living in Philadelphia and serving as a sportswriter for a variety of publications. In August of 1928 just before the US Public Links tourney at Cobb’s […]
June 23, 2015 update: Yesterday I visited Cobb’s for the first time since late May. I was simply astounded by the transformation in progress at the Karakung course. The new superintendent, Eli “Papo” Rodriguez, is very experienced (previously at 5 Ponds, and also at some high-end clubs like Shinnecock) and hardworking (if there was 8 […]
June 2, 2015 update: J.E. Souders penned another article on Cobb’s Creek GC for Golfer’s Tee Times. You can read it here: “A Selfless Mission” to Bring Back a Top Municipal Course to Philadelphia
May 14, 2015 update: Yesterday another piece by Matt Ginella of The Golf Channel featuring Cobb’s Creek aired during Morning Drive. Here is a link to watch it: Cheesesteaks, pizza, and golf: Ginella’s Philly trip
April 22, 2015 update: In 1929 the Evening Bulletin reprinted a New York Daily News article extolling the virtues of Cobb’s Creek and bemoaning anything as good in New York:
March 8, 2015 update: Beginning tomorrow (March 9) Cobb’s will have a new superintendent, a very affable and enthusiastic fellow named Eli Rodriguez. Eli joins Cobb’s after a long stint as superintendent at 5 Ponds. Welcome, Eli! [Note: a tip-of-the-cap to previous superintendent Rich Sweeney for a fine job.]
February 23, 2015 update: We think you might be interested in seeing a master plan for the creek restoration, as prepared back in 2012 by Land Studies (note, the hole numbers represent the sequencing of the “championship course”):
February 19, 2015 update: Sad news to report as long time local golfer and great guy Mark Graham has passed away after a long bout with cancer. Below is the e-mail I received from Pat Sullivan: The PPGA lost a great friend and competitor last week. As many of you know, Mark Graham has been […]
February 19, 2015 update: Recently Mike Cirba penned a nomination letter to have Cobb’s Creek Golf Course be part of the National Black Golf Hall of Fame. Many thanks go out to Jake Murray in helping us with the gathering of information for the submission. You can read the letter below:
February 18, 2015 update: I took a walk at Cobb’s after the recent snowfall. The 2nd hole looks very nice after a fresh coating of snow:
February 8, 2015 update2: Recently I asked blog friend Jake: “Who was Cobb?” A condensed response is as follows: The Dutch, Swedes and later English originally settled the area. The Swedes named the creek, called Karakung by the Indians, Mill Creek. A number of mills were built along the creek, the oldest by the Swedes […]
February 8, 2015 update: Another golf great has passed, this time Billy Casper at the age of 83. He won a whopping 51 PGA titles, including 3 majors. Go here: Coverage at GeoffShackelford.com
February 7, 2015 update: More good stuff remembering Charlie Sifford: Philly’s Terry Gross NPR “Fresh Air” interview with Mr. Sifford Golfing pioneer Sifford got his start at Cobb’s Creek, by Frank Fitzpatrick
February 4, 2015 update: Charlie Sifford, perhaps the best golfer to have regularly played at Cobb’s Creek, passed away recently at the age of 92. Often called the “Jackie Robinson of golf”, he was a true pioneer. Coverage at GeoffShackelford.com Sifford’s obituary by Joe Jiuliano of the Inky
January 22, 2015 update: Courtesy of friend and supporter Ari Flaisher comes this cover page of the 1956 National Open & Amateur Championships of the United Golfers Association program (btw: Charlie Sifford won this tournament by fifteen strokes over 2nd place finisher Howard Wheeler!): And here is a picture of Charlie and others with the […]
January 17, 2015 update: See the photo below to see how our tome (“Cobb’s Creek Golf Course: Uncovering a Treasure”) looks when bound nicely and printed on high quality paper. Our friends at Conlin’s Digital Print & Copy Center (King of Prussia) did so at a very competitive price. Contact me if you would like to […]
December 1, 2014 update: Loyal blog reader Jake Murray has followed Mr. Sifford’s award carefully and sends along three links showing Charlie enjoyed the fete: Sifford takes spot among golf greats Sifford receives Medal of Freedom at White House
November 13, 2014 update: Charlie Sifford, who refined his game at Cobb’s Creek, will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Well deserved, IMHO. Read about it here: Sifford to Receive Presidential Medal of Freedom
November 5, 2014 update: A nice story about PGA pro Michael Wheeler at Bellewood CC, who desires to expose the game of golf to juveniles that have been too frequently on the wrong side of the law. “Alleys to Fairways” is the name of the program. Read about it here: Golf seen as a way […]
October 22, 2014 update: In the latest Golf Digest The Donald is interviewed and reveals how he learned the game at Cobb’s Creek while a student at Wharton. Golf Digest Interview of Donald Trump
September 13, 2014 update: Jake Murray, good friend of the Friends of Cobb’s Creek GC, checked in to comment on the photo that was the topic of the August 12 update: Enjoyed the picture from the old 17th tee. I remember that view. It was probably the most spectacular on the course. When you compare […]
September 5, 2014 update: Did you know Hugh Wilson designed the 10th and 11th holes at the South course at Philmont CC? Yep, he did. I finally got to see the course yesterday. Here begins my pictures of the 10th hole: Hugh Wilson holes at Philmont South
August 31, 2014 update: I’ve recompiled the Cobb’s Creek photo album to include hole diagrams. If you haven’t looked at this album, you might want to as the first three images show the various hole-sequencings (aka “routings”) at Cobb’s since the course opened in 1916. Cobb’s Creek photo album
August 12, 2014 update: The ‘Noer slides’ contain images taken between the 1920s and 1980s and covers a variety of things, including golf courses: The Noer/Milorganite Image Collection One photo is from the abandoned tee on the current par 3 17th hole at Cobb’s Creek: 1956 view of Cobb’s Creek 17th hole from abandoned tee
July 24, 2014 update: Big ups to friend Pete Trenham for his wonderful piece on Cobb’s Creek Golf Course at the TrenhamGolfHistory site. It focuses on five prominent tournaments the course has hosted over the years. Read it here: “Cobb’s Creek Golf Club…. Past, Present, and Future”
June 25, 2014 update: Thanks to blog reader Bob Zecca for providing GolfWorld articles on the 1955 and 1956 Daily News Open golf tournaments held at Cobb’s Creek. Check them both out below:
May 21, 2014 update: Horace Gamble was an early pro at Cobb’s Creek and a big advocate of the quality, and challenge, of the course. He wasn’t timid about comparing Cobb’s to other famous courses as demonstrated by this March 16, 1919 article by Perry Lewis in the Philadelphia Inquirer: Apparently this article caused lots […]
April 30, 2014 update: Joe Logan recently penned an updated article on the current status of the project (link below). The Friends of Cobb’s Creek GC still have confidence in the viability of the project. So, keep the faith friends! “Cobb’s Creek Restoration Update: The Good, the Bad, the Realities”
April 9, 2014 update: Blog reader and contributor Leo “Jake” Murray saw our March 31st update and wrote to me the following concerning African-American golfers and Cobb’s Creek: Cobb’s Creek Golf Club hosted three UGA Negro National Open Championship – 1936, 1947 and 1956. Howard Wheeler won in 1947 and Charlie Sifford captured the title […]
March 31, 2014 update: On May 2, 2014 the World Golf of Hall of Fame will open a new permanent exhibit entitled “Honoring the Legacy: A Tribute to African-Americans in Golf”. The historian for the WGHofF, Dr. Tony Parker, contacted me to obtain some photos of Cobb’s Creek, as “The Crick” will be part of […]
March 26, 2014 update: Gosh, would I like to buy this 1928 Publinx players badge currently for sale at eBay. Update: I did buy it! See the badge with the authenticity letter below.
March 14, 2014 update: Leo “Jake” Murray has continued his wonderful research on the relationship between the Underground Railroad and Cobb’s Creek (see earlier February 25th update). By working with leads from the Delaware County Historical Society, he summarizes his findings to the blog below: The land Cobb’s Creek Golf Course occupies today was owned […]
February 26, 2014 update: Recently I penned an article for MyPhillyGolf on the writings of golden age architect A.W. Tillinghast. He played a prominent role in making the City aware of the need for a public golf course. You can read my article here: The treasure trove of golf writing by A. W. Tillinghast
February 25, 2014 update: One of the great delights of maintaining this blog is the number of wonderful e-mails we receive. Just today we received the following from Leo “Jake” Murray: I no longer live in the area but I grew up in the Highland Park neighborhood of Upper Darby in the 1950’s and 1960’s. […]
February 19, 2014 update: I’m happy to pass along the info that the new superintendent at Cobb’s, starting the 24th of this month, is Rich Sweeney. He is joining us after being at Rock Manor down in Delaware. Welcome, Rich! It is also long overdue to thank the past superintendent Darren Wondolowski. Darren is staying […]
January 6, 2014 update: Thanks to our friend Neil R in NY comes this wonderful picture below of Phil Ogden of Cleveland on the 3rd green in the championship match of the 1928 National Public Links at Cobb’s Creek (he lost to Carl Kauffmann of Pittsburgh). A neat cartoon of Kauffmann’s achievement appeared in the […]
January 4, 2014 update: If this 1922 Philadelphia Inquirer below is to be believed, the land on which the golf course sits used to be a dairy farm.
Christmas Day, 2013 update: On this Christmas Day, we’re at liberty to share a bit more about the proposed Cobb’s Creek Golf Course restoration project, the details of which are presently being worked through legal mechanics with city and state officials. Going forward, the plan, and yes, detailed plans have already been developed by Gil […]
December 19, 2013 update: Geoff Shackelford has penned a note for his blog on Cobb’s Creek called “(Potentially) Great Places In The Game: Cobb’s Creek”. Go here: http://www.geoffshackelford.com/homepage/2013/12/19/potentially-great-places-in-the-game-cobbs-creek.html
December 18, 2013 update: On a recent Grey Goose 19th Hole episode, the panel consisting of host Steve Sands, Geoff Shackelford, John Feinstein, and David Fay discuss the recent tournaments held at classic golf courses (2013 US Open at Merion and the 2013 Walker Cup at the National Golf Links of America). Then the topic […]
December 12, 2013 update: In 1948 a plane landed on the golf course! See the photo below. That is on the 14th fairway looking back to the 13th green.
December 11, 2013 update: The text of the article that goes with the pictures in yesterday’s update is below, with the catchy headline of “Philadelphia Catches Up”.
December 10, 2013 update: Wow, you should see some pictures I have unearthed from the national publication called Golfers Magazine (May of 1926). Check out the page of pictures below.
December 3, 2013 update: Below is the Master Cricker Greg Jarmas (medalist in the 2013 Ivy League Golf Championship)! Note how he is proudly wearing a Cobb’s Creek shirt.
November 22, 2013 update: While you continue to remain patient (trust me!), an excellent holiday gift for the golfer is a book penned by a friend and colleague of mine Jeff Silverman. His 501 page treatise on the championship story of Merion is now available and is a delightful read. It is available here.
October 14, 2013 update: It was the late January 1915 Golf Association of Philadelphia annual meeting when it was announced “that work on the public links at Cobb’s Creek park will begin as soon as weather permits”. See this note together with a fantastic picture of those at the meeting (including Hugh Wilson, A.W. Tillinghast, […]
October 7, 2013 update: See below this very awesome picture [big thanks to my friend in La Habra, CA, for rehabilitating that photo] of the locker rooms under construction at Cobb’s Creek (1915 or 1916, I think), with the neat mounding behind the 2nd green. The women’s locker room on the right (the current clubhouse) and […]
October 4, 2013 update: More early pictures of Cobb’s Creek from friend John B. are now available. Two pics from the first hole are below: One of the 3rd green below: And finally two from the 4th tee:
September 25, 2013 update: Long time player at Cobb’s Bob M. has checked in and sent along some early scorecards. Check out this beauty from 1931 here.
September 24, 2013 update: A friend of the Friends of Cobb’s Creek GC recently came upon three nice photos of the course from 1964. This one the 18th green at Cobb’s Creek GC: This one the 18th green at Karakung: And finally the first fairway at Cobb’s:
September 23, 2013 update: Mike Cirba has penned part 2 of “Who Was Hugh Wilson”. Anyone with an interest in Hugh Wilson and Cobb’s Creek should read this and part 1. Follow the link below: Who Was Hugh Wilson? – Part II
September 14, 2013 update: In 1947 Cobb’s Creek hosted the United Golfers Association National Negro Open. Howard “Butch” Wheeler won his 4th of six National Negro Open titles that year (and he played cross-handed!). Read about it below from the sports page of the Philadelphia Afro-American newspaper.
August 20, 2013 update: Below is a picture of the creek on the 5th hole from the Public Ledger in 1916.
July 24, 2013 update: Quite the headline here from the opening round of the 1928 Public Links at Cobb’s Creek (from the August 8, 1928 edition of the Evening Public Ledger).
July 30, 2013 update: Thanks to Pete Trenham for providing this course diagram from the 1955 Daily News Open official program:
June 21, 2013 update: Nice article on Bob Mayes, a golfer that played at Cobb’s with Charlie Sifford: Mayes’ journey to the ’74 U.S. Open
June 18, 2013 update: Brendan Prunty of the Newark Star-Ledger penned an article on Cobb’s Creek GC last Sunday. Read it here: Cobb’s Creek Golf Club, four miles from Merion, preparing for rebirth
June 11, 2013 update: If you missed the excellent piece on Cobb’s Creek GC by The Golf Channel Monday morning, you can view it here: Morning Drive story on Cobb’s Creek Note: that video probably won’t play on an iPad or iPhone (unless you use the Chrome web browser on those devices which can play […]
June 9, 2013 update: It is time to release the latest versions of the Master Plan for the proposed Cobb’s Creek GC restoration project. The first diagram below is for the restoration of the golf course to essentially what it was in 1928 until the early 50s, and includes modification of the Karakung course to […]
June 7, 2013 update: Programming note – A piece specifically on Cobb’s Creek by Matt Ginella of The Golf Channel will air this Monday (June 10) on Morning Drive (7 – 9 AM EST).
June 5, 2013 update: Mike Cirba has written a fascinating article entitled “Who Was Hugh Wilson?”. You can read it here: Who Was Hugh Wilson?
May 30, 2013 update: Matt Ginella of The Golf Channel was out to Cobb’s Creek GC yesterday to meet with the Friends of Cobb’s Creek GC. Interview to be included on a piece concerning Philly public golf courses on Tuesday of US Open week (June 11). Below is a picture of Matt interviewing Chris Lange.
Cinco de Mayo 2013 update: Well, the cat is nearly completely out of the bag now! Just this afternoon Joe Logan from MyPhillyGolf reports on the latest regarding a restoration of Cobb’s Creek: http://myphillygolf.com/detail.asp?id=13153
May 4, 2013 update: See the June issue of Golf Digest for a nice article on Cobb’s Creek by David Owen. The article is available online: http://www.golfdigest.com/golf-courses/2013-06/david-owen-muny-life
April 27, 2013 update: Below is an aerial of the 2nd green in 1930 (picture courtesy of the Hagley Museum).
April 23, 2013 update: Note below how much bolder the green surrounds were on the first hole in 1930 (picture courtesy of the Hagley Museum).
April 29, 2013 update: Gil Hanse discusses progress on the Olympic golf course with Joe Logan here: http://myphillygolf.com/detail.asp?id=13112
April 12, 2013 update: With the movie “42” coming out later this week chronicling the admission of the first African-American player into Major League Baseball in 1947, it’s good to see that at its most basic level, at least some of golf was integrated well before then in Philadelphia, as shown below (from the September 20, 1924 […]
April 8, 2013 update: Local golf course architect Gil Hanse loves Cobb’s Creek. Check out his 2011 interview by Joe Logan of MyPhillyGolf: http://www.myphillygolf.com/detail.asp?id=9117
March 24, 2013 update: Brad Klein also did an extensive profile of Gil Hanse recently: http://golfweek.com/news/2013/mar/15/olympic-course-architect-hanse-wins-jobs-personal-/
March 19, 2013 update: Brad Klein of GolfWeek reports that work begins today on the Olympic golf course in Rio de Janeiro: http://golfweek.com/news/2013/mar/19/work-finally-starts-rio-2016-course/ The architect is Gil Hanse of Malvern. Gil has done work at Cobb’s Creek over the years, in particular rebuilding the 4th green.
January 21, 2013 update: Nice picture below (courtesy of the USGA) from the 1928 US Publinx tourney held at Cobb’s Creek GC.
January 2, 2013 update: Check out the unique shape of the current 10th green below in this 1939 aerial from the Dallin Collection (courtesy of the Hagley Museum).
December 12, 2012 update: Do you remember the article back in April 2008 by Joe Logan, former golf writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer, entitled “With a little help from a few friends”?
December 10, 2012 update: It took a little over a year to build the course. Construction began on April 12, 1915 and the course opened on May 29, 1916. Read about it below from the April 12, 1915 edition of the Evening Public Ledger. You’ll notice the name William Flynn in the article. He went on […]
November 30, 2012 update: The Cobb’s Creek Golf Association completed another successful year. Check them out at: www.the-crick.com Contact Paul Cornely for more info and how to join.
November 29, 2012 update: Progress on the clubhouses as reported in the September 30, 1915 edition of the Evening Bulletin is below.
November 28, 2012 update: Probably the first skilled golfer to come out of Cobb’s Creek was Joe Coble. He won the US Publinx title in 1924. He was feted by the Cobb’s Creekers as written about here by Frank McCracken of the Public Ledger on July 30, 1924.
November 24, 2012 update: A longtime supporter of Cobb’s Creek, Don D., checked in to tell us he has a 1917 painting from the course by Roy Mason. It must be seen in person to be fully appreciated. Below is a picture of it.
November 14, 2012 update: After a dormant period on the blog, I hope this is the first of many additions this off-season! Below is another early photo, looking back from the 3rd green.
July 24, 2012 update: Two PGA tournaments were held at Cobb’s Creek GC (1955 and 1956 Daily News Open). Below is a picture of Bob Hope making an appearance in June of 1956.
June 12, 2012 update: Below is a picture of the 3rd green in 1916 (from the Public Ledger).
June 11, 2012 update: Exhibition matches involving prominent amateur golfers were popular in the 10s and 20s. Below is a photo of one from Cobb’s Creek, the lady golfers on the 12th green (the current 6th green).
June 7, 2012 update: Back in the 20s it was not unusual to have a multitude of people waiting to tee off at Cobb’s Creek. See below and get in line!
June 1, 2012 update: The reason part of Cobb’s Creek GC changed dramatically was due to the installation of an Army AAA (Anti-Aircraft Artillery) Gun Site Program (a precursor to the Nike missile defense program) in 1953 on the corner of the course where the current City Line Avenue driving range sits. Below are two […]
May 31, 2012 update: Recently the Friends of Cobb’s Creek Golf Course met with Ed Abrams of KYW 1060 Newsradio and TeeItUpPhilly.com. From that interview was a segment on Cobb’s Creek as part of the station’s “Golf Report” (no longer available as a podcast, unfortunately).
May 30, 2012 update: William Evans, the golf writer for the Public Ledger, grew tired of there being no public course in Philly, and recruited the help of President Taft. Below is the letter Taft wrote to Evans and published on February 23, 1913.
May 29, 2012 update: Below is an entertaining picture from the 4th hole at Cobb’s from the July 10, 1928 edition of the Evening Public Ledger.
Memorial Day, 2012 update: Charlie Sifford was the first African-American on the PGA Tour. Did you know he honed his game at Cobb’s Creek? This from James W. Finegan’s wonderful book “A Centennial Tribute To Golf in Philadelphia”: “Charlie Sifford was born in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1922. He grew up caddying and learning to […]
May 26, 2012 update: Do you know how busy Cobb’s Creek was in the 20s? Some years more than 80,000 golfers are reported to have played it. Read it below from the November 1927 edition of the Philadelphia Golfer magazine.
May 25, 2012 update: A variety of people likely helped design and build Cobb’s Creek. As support, this snippet from the Jan 1, 1916 edition of the Philadelphia Inquirer below (part of bigger article on golf entitled “Drives and Putts” by “Joe Bunker”). Ab Smith, George Crump, and Hugh Wilson are three very notable names […]
May 19, 2012 update: Even a New York newspaper praised Cobb’s Creek soon after it opened! Read about it below (from the August 28, 1916 issue of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, a very prominent newspaper in its day).
May 14, 2012 update: Before Joe Dey went on to the USGA and later the first president of the PGA, he was a writer for the Evening Bulletin. In 1931 that Philly paper ran a series of articles called “Golfing Waterloos” where a local hole was profiled. On April 15, 1931 the original 6th hole […]
May 11, 2012 update: On May 30, 1915 the Philadelphia Record published some pictures updating the progress at Cobb’s Creek. See them below (that is the 5th green under construction).
May 10, 2012 update: Below is a picture (Public Ledger, 1915) of the original 12th hole, a downhill par 3. Currently this is the par 3 6th green, played from a much different angle.
May 8, 2012 update: Below is the routing for the US Publinx tourney at Cobb’s Creek in 1928.
May 7, 2012 update: Not long after the Public Ledger showed a routing (see May 5th update below) for Cobb’s Creek GC, the Philadelphia Inquirer on May 16, 1915 published a similar figure. The main difference being the par 3 14th hole appears to have the green moved and the hole stretched to 175 yards. […]
Cinco de Mayo, 2012 update: Below is the original routing at Cobb’s Creek GC from the April 11, 1915 edition of the Philadelphia Public Ledger.
May 4, 2012 update: In the summer of 2008 the Friends of Cobb’s Creek Golf Course met with Til De Palma, probably the oldest living person familiar with the Cobb’s Creek Golf Course. He caddied there as a youngster in the 20s. You’ll hear him describe many aspects of his days there, including caddying for […]