St. Patrick’s Day 2020 update: That’s the title of an article my friend Pete Trenham has written on a pioneering African-American golfer named Howard Wheeler. He was a legend at Cobb’s Creek and played cross-handed. You can read more about him in the link below. Thank you, Pete! Howard Wheeler at Cobb’s Creek
Valentine’s Day 2020 update: Check out below the Trenham Golf History site for a copy of the program booklet for the 1955 Daily News Charity Golf Tournament held at Cobb’s Creek. Ted Kroll and Doug Ford tied for first at one over par 273. Kroll picked up the $4,000 first prize with a 30-foot birdie […]
January 4, 2020 update: What a fantastic way to begin 2020 with a trip around Cobb’s. Winter rounds are so nice with the leaves down revealing beautiful landforms and easy visualization of previous hole corridors. What a special place. I’ve built another photo album sprinkled with lots of historical photos, which can be accessed here: […]
November 9, 2019 update: Our friend Jake sent along a scorecard that he says was used in the 60s and 70s, and he thinks likely even in the 50s after the course was re-routed. See the images below.
October 30 2019 update: Enjoy this read! https://www.golfadvisor.com/articles/philadelphia-municipal-golf-fdr-course-closing-cobbs-creek-renovation
October 18, 2019 update: My friend Ed Abrams has posted an audio interview he did a handful of years ago with long-time area pro Bud Lewis, and the topic is Cobb’s Creek. See the link below: http://aquick9.com/bud-lewis-hustle-at-cobbs/
October 14, 2019 update: Jim Wagner of Hanse Golf Design (the team that will carry out the work at Cobb’s Creek!) recently appeared on the No Laying Up podcast. A very entertaining listen for certain. And you might want to listen to hear him state the three projects he is most proud of. Go here […]
October 11, 2019 update: It was a wonderful evening at Overbook Golf Club last night. The Cobbs Creek Restoration and Community Foundation held a gathering where the status of the project was updated and the official site (see link below) went live. Mike Cirba and myself are indebted to so many people for making this […]
September 21, 2019 update: The August issue of the Main Line Today contains an article penned by Jim Finnegan on my golf exploits! Here is the link: http://www.mainlinetoday.com/Main-Line-Today/August-2019/Showcasing-and-Preserving-Golf-History/
July 23, 2019 update: A flier was given out at the presentation at the HSofPa last week. You can read it below.
July 18, 2019 update: Last night in a presentation at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, The Cobbs Creek Restoration and Community Foundation publicly announced that a long-term lease has been signed with the city of Philadelphia for the restoration of the Cobb’s Creek Golf Course. Although it is likely that a more ceremonial celebratory event […]
July 11, 2019: Late last year local photographer Lisa Mongulla (her website) spent a day at the property photographing the grounds and courses. I have selected some of her photos to present an album of each course in the typical fashion of the Bausch Collection. The links to the two albums are below: Cobb’s Creek […]
July 3, 2019 update: On June 25 long time fan of Cobb’s Creek, Pat Porrini, passed away in Clearwater, Florida. Pat was friends with Lou Camilli, who left us last month as well. Rest in peace, Pat. You and Lou make a tough twosome to beat! Pat, truly part of the “greatest generation” was born […]
July 1, 2019: That is the title of the presentation to be given by John Burnes and Chris Lange at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania on July 17, 2019 at 6 PM. All the details of what should be an informative presentation are here: Cobbs Creek Golf Course: An Architectural and Cultural History
June 24, 2019: It is sad news indeed to pass along the news that Lou Camilli has died. He’ll be missed. The link to his obituary is below. https://www.donohuefuneralhome.com/obituaries/Louis-N-Camilli?obId=4502064
May 27, 2019: In July of 1940 another City golf course opened and it was called League Island. Later the name changed to FDR. Recently a masterplan was unveiled to show wonderful, huge changes to the park, but will unfortunately not include the current golf course in play. So, if you haven’t played this Eddie […]
May 14, 2019: Talented young writer for GolfAdvisor, Tim Gavrich, writes on the state of municipal golf in the country. At the end of the article are his thoughts on Cobb’s Creek GC, a course I gave him the 10 cent tour last week. The article is here: https://www.golfadvisor.com/articles/municipal-golf-course-renovation-restoration-munaissance
May 6, 2019: Some nice pub for Eli, former superintendent at Cobb’s Creek! https://www.golfcourseindustry.com/article/syngenta-posterity-superintendent-spring/
April 6, 2019: It apparently is not a April Fool’s joke, as the South course at Philmont is not reopening this season. Of course the excellent North course, designed by Willie Park, Jr, is alive and well. It is sad to hear the South course is no more as Hugh Wilson played a role in […]
March 16, 2019: Recently I had the pleasure of being reacquainted with Ed Abrams of KYW radio fame. He’s enjoying retirement, playing lots of golf, and runs a nice website dedicated to 9-hole golf courses. I look forward to him reviewing Karakung when it is made into a wonderful 9-hole course during the renovation of […]
March 7, 2019: According to writer William Evans, the best hole at Cobb’s Creek was left on the cutting room floor. The 18th hole was intended to be a par 5 with the tee near the current 11th green (the original 17th) playing up and down to the current 18th green. Dramatic closure for sure. […]
March 3, 2019: The original 13th hole at Cobb’s Creek was a par 5 that started near the current 6th green and played to the current par 3 8th green, basically the fairway being where the current City Line driving range sits. This hole changed in the early 50’s when an Army AAA base was […]
February 26, 2019 update: As the course is currently configured, the first five holes are pretty much the same as the day Cobb’s opened in May 0f 1916. Now you tee off on the 6th hole and play it as a par 3 to the original 12th green. Instead, the 6th hole climbed up the […]
February 19, 2019 update: Recently my friend Paul Pizzica was at Cobb’s with his drone. Soon we’ll be able to show some incredible pictures, and videos. For instance, you’ll be able to imagine how the original 6th hole looked and played, as well as the par 5 13th that ran up through the area currently […]
February 18, 2019 update: You may have noticed some construction at Cobb’s and Karakung over the past few months. This is a project by the Philadelphia Water Department to line the sewer pipes on the property. This work should be finishing by early in the golf season.
January 25, 2019 update: Patti Carmichael, an icon at the Cobb’s Creek Golf Course, has passed away after a valiant battle with cancer. Anyone who played there knew Patti and loved her. A viewing is tonight with the funeral on Saturday. See her obituary below for more details. http://danjolell.tributes.com/obituary/read/Patricia-J.-Carmichael-106764254?fbclid=IwAR1_IzZFmdG6xYGdmw2dRGUE2SqF7EAbd5U2f-cs9ZMytOSK6LfeT-1OlYA
November 28, 2018 update: We hope to provide more information on the project soon. Steady as she goes!
September 11, 2018: Last Sunday yours truly and Mike Cirba sat down with Andy Johnson of the Fried Egg to discuss the project. We hope you enjoy the show! http://www.friedegg.co/podcasts/cobbs-creek-golf-club
August 29, 2018: Joe Juliano pens a long piece on the Cobb’s Creek project, writing for Philly.com: http://www2.philly.com/philly/sports/golf/cobbs-creek-golf-course-restoration-community-foundation-chris-lange-20180829.html
July 18, 2018: Bill Bishop died earlier this year, 2/20/18, he was 91. He was a regular at Cobb’s Creek in the 40s, 50s and 60s and one of the best African-American golfers ever at Cobb’s ranking up there with Howard Wheeler, Charlie Sifford and Bobby Mayes. In fact all four of them are in […]
June 21, 2018: We thank you for your patience. Hard to believe, Harry, but the City passed and Mayor Kenney signed a bill to lease Cobb’s Creek golf course to our Foundation for a restoration and so much more. Stay tuned for further details as they become available. This is very exciting news.
May 22, 2018 update: Cobb’s Creek former superintendent Eli Rodriguez is doing nicely in his current position at Royce Brook Golf Club in Hillsborough, NJ. I dropped in on him recently and he has both courses there humming. Below are photo albums of the East (public) and West (private) courses. http://www.myphillygolf.com/uploads/bausch/RoyceBrookWest/index.html http://www.myphillygolf.com/uploads/bausch/RoyceBrookEast/index.html
April 7, 2018 update: A tremendous volume of early golf articles has been posted to the new Bausch Archives part of MyPhillyGolf. Included is coverage of the two Daily News Open tournaments held at Cobb’s Creek in the mid 50s. Here is the link: http://myphillygolf.com/archives.asp
April 7, 2018 update: It is a belated goodbye to one heckuva fellow and great superintendent, Eli Rodriguez. Late in March he took the position as the superintendent at Royce Brook in New Jersey. Eli, you’ll be missed but not forgotten!
January 22, 2018 update: A friend of mine, a member at Philmont CC, was recently doing some historical spelunking at the Golf Association of Philadelphia archives and came upon some handwritten notes on Philmont suggesting Hugh Wilson may have been even more involved with the South course than I was previously aware. This blog’s September […]
November 30, 2017: Below is a picture from the Philadelphia Inquirer in 1958 of the 17th hole from the original tee that will be in play this coming season!
November 16, 2017 update: This Saturday (November 18) will be the annual Superintendent’s Revenge tournament. 4-person teams. Singles welcome. Shotgun start at 10 AM. 40 bucks for non-members, less for members. Always a good time!
November 13, 2017 update: The “Cobb’s blog” is back and better than ever! Give it a spin.
January 20, 2016 update: Going through my files I found a very early photo of the clubhouse. See below:
February 18, 2015 update2: 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: Cobb’s Creek Golf Course […]
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 26, 2017 update: One of the walls of the new clubhouse is now nicely decked out with two items courtesy of the Friends of Cobb’s Creek GC (see photo below). The top being a photo of the original 11th hole (current 16th) we believe taken during the 1928 Publinks. The bottom plaque commemorates Cobb’s […]
July 24, 2017 update: Somehow the opening of the new clubhouse snuck past me. It opened on July 15th and it is nice and functional. See photo below.
June 16, 2017 update: The BuffaloGolfer has published an interview with Mike Cirba and yours truly concerning Cobb’s Creek golf course. The link is below. BuffaloGolfer interview
May 10, 2017 update: the original tee for the par 3 17th is rounding into form. Today it is being sodded as the link to the picture below shows.
April 25, 2017 update: Congrats to the Cobb’s Creek GAP team as they won their first ever match versus Wilmington Country Club. Results can be viewed here.
April 11, 2017 update: Later this month the double-wide will be opened to serve as the new clubhouse. This will be part of “Kickoff Week” from April 24-30 as the poster below shows:
December 20, 2016 update: Blog friend Ari sends along two pictures of a hickory cleek with a Cobb’s Creek stamp:
December 14, 2016 update: It was in November of 1952 that a Philadelphia Inquirer article detailed the Army anti-aircraft battery being moved to Cobb’s Creek Park and profoundly changing the original golf course. See the link below.
December 6, 2016 update: Happy to report that on 1/1/17 Cobb’s Creek GC will be a full member of the Golf Association of Philadelphia. Mike Owsik Sr. will be the President and Paul Cornely the Golf Chairman/Handicap Chairman and Treasurer. Mike and Paul are longtime Crickers and supporters of our fabulous municipal golf facility.
November 28, 2016 update: Mike and I were kicking around the 18th hole again at Cobb’s. If you read William Evans’ article from 1919 (see January 31, 2016 update below) he states the best hole at Cobb’s was not allowed due to needing trees removed. We think it might have been an awesome par 5 […]
November 27, 2016 update: It is like my birthday was celebrated again with a visit to Cobb’s Creek this afternoon. The superintendent Eli has really progressed nicely on clearing trees to bring back the original tee on the par 3 17th hole. For those of you scoring at home, Ab Smith added this hole in […]
November 25, 2016 update: In one of the September 21 updates below was a link to an early photo of the 11th hole at Cobb’s Creek GC. I’ve purchased this photo from Temple and a link to a high resolution version is below. Pretty cool! Note: a golf historian friend of mine from Winged Foot […]
November 18, 2016 update: It is fun to think about how Cobb’s Creek was at the beginning. See the photos below to see how it looked in April 1916, a little more than a month before the formal opening.
September 30, 2016 update: The golf world mourns the recent passing of Arnold Palmer. Arnie was a rookie pro in 1955 and played in the Daily News Open at Cobb’s Creek where he shot 78-68-69-70 to finish 12 strokes behind winner Ted Kroll. The following year he fared much better, finishing in 4th place (scores […]
September 21, 2016 update2: Follow the link below to an incredible very early picture of the current 15th hole at Cobb’s Creek (#11 in the original hole sequencing). Use the scrollbar to zoom in. Early picture of the original 11th hole at Cobb’s Creek GC (courtesy of Temple University)
June 7, 2016 update: Below is yours truly with Executive Director of the AAGHOF Martha Clark and legendary pro golfer Jim Dent.
June 3, 2016 update: Over the Memorial Day weekend Cobb’s Creek Golf Club was inducted in the African American Golfers Hall of Fame. It was a very enjoyable trip for Mike Cirba and yours truly. In the program booklet included an article Mike penned and you can read it below: And below is a picture […]
May 7, 2016 update: I’ve gathered up most of the interesting early photos and aerials of the course and have further updated the recent photo album here.
May 4, 2016 update: Both golf courses look great this season. And the new digs to replace the old clubhouse are in the works as this photo shows:
March 31, 2016 update: Blog reader Jake Murray knew the person fishing for golf balls in the photo below. Jake relays the following: I knew the man in the picture retrieving a golf ball from the water on the 3rd hole. He was well known to the golfers and kids like myself who were retrieving […]
March 27, 2016 update: Below is a link some photos from the defunct paper Philadelphia Record that were recently gathered from the Historical Society of Pennsylvania (thanks to Friends of Cobb’s Creek GC supporter Matt Frey for his help). Link hopefully to come soon!
March 16, 2016 update: Congrats to Cobb’s Creek GC superintendent Eli Rodriguez as he was named 2015 Superintendent of the Year at BCG (Billy Casper Golf)! See picture below.
February 25, 2016 update: The Friends of Cobb’s Creek GC again asks for your patience as this project moves (plods?!) along. Keep the faith.
February 20, 2016 update: Blog reader Jake Murray has sent along a couple of photos from October 1954 when he and his younger brother were little fellas, right near the park guard shelter by the 14th hole. A hurricane (Hazel) had recently passed by Philly and brought down trees.
February 10, 2016 update: No real trace of the clubhouse now, as the photo below shows.
February 5, 2016 update: The clubhouse has been razed.
February 2, 2016 update: Looks like the demolition of the clubhouse is in progress, a link from a picture taken today below.
January 31, 2016 updated: William H. Evans was a golf writer in Philly very instrumental in pushing for municipal golf courses in the City. In 1919 he left the Evening Public Ledger and started writing Sunday golf columns for the The Philadelphia Record, basically replacing A.W. Tillinghast. In his first article (see below), he talks […]
January 26, 2016 update: A wonderful update on Cobb’s Creek GC being inducted in the AAGHOF is available at MyPhillyGolf as authored by Mike Cirba: Cobb’s Creek tapped for African American Golfers Hall of Fame
January 21, 2016 update: It is my distinct pleasure to announce that Cobb’s Creek Golf Course will be inducted into the African American Golfers Hall of Fame in a ceremony in late May of this year in Palm Beach County, Florida. Thanks go out to many people, with Jake Murray being the driving force and […]
January 15, 2016 update2: Joe Logan penned a short piece on Cobb’s Creek GC 1st day open since the clubhouse fire. Cobb’s Creek GC is open for play
January 15, 2016 update: I’m told the golf course has reopened today, with temporary headquarters in the building at the City Line range. Karakung is not yet open.
January 10, 2016 update: Devoted blog reader Jake Murray has checked in from sunny Florida. His friend Dick Jamison was a long-time caddy at Cobb’s. The two recently chatted about the clubhouse and here is what Jake wrote: My friend Dick Jamison was in high school and a long time caddy at Cobb’s in 1955. […]
January 6, 2016 update: By now you’ve likely heard that on late Monday night a fire broke out at the clubhouse at Cobb’s Creek and the unit was gutted. Below I’m aggregating articles/videos about it. Historic Cobb’s Creek clubhouse gutted, encased in ice YouTube video of the fire Dreadful: Cobb’s Creek Clubhouse Destroyed By Fire […]
January 3, 2016 update: Yesterday was a brisk day but good enough for a round of golf at Cobb’s. Below is a picture of the 18th hole with the clubhouse in the background. Edit: it could be the last photo ever taken of the clubhouse before the unfortunate fire on January 4th.
December 24, 2015 update: Another article mentioning play in December at Cobb’s Creek penned by John Kopp of the PhillyVoice: Philadelphia golfers taking advantage of mild winter temperatures
December 20, 2015 update: Warm December weather has led to more play at Cobb’s, as CBS3 documented earlier in the month (see below). Unusually Warm Temperatures Keep Area Golfers On The Course
November 16, 2015 update: Last Saturday (Nov 14) Cobb’s Creek regular Charles Sifford was inducted into the PGA of America Hall of Fame. His son Charles, Jr. was there to accept on his behalf. The entire ceremony is here: 2015 PGA Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
November 1, 2015 update: Saying of the day: No news is good news. Those interested in this project, please keep the faith. Grin.
September 15, 2015 update: The archivist at Fairmount Park has sent me an undated picture of a plan for Cobb’s Creek, which almost certainly has to be from the early 50s when the course hosted the 1955 and 1956 Daily News Open tournaments. Note the 16th hole playing as a par 3 and the 18th […]
August 14, 2015 update2: Yesterday at Cobb’s I had the pleasure of meeting Zakki Blatt and his mother Stephanie. Many of you will remember the piece The Golf Channel did on him back in 2013. He loves Cobb’s Creek! Here is a Golf Digest story on Zakki and his love for golf: I’m a Walking, […]
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 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 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 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
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 […]