On Track: Course News, Projects and History
Haven't played at Jeffersonville in a while? In that case, you might not recognize us.
Our classic, Donald Ross-designed track has been one of Pennsylvania's top public courses for the last decade. Even so, the course has experienced ample improvements through restoration and other various projects in the last few years.
This page will give an overview of some of the projects happening while also featuring news, history and other interesting facts about the course. It's a place to stop by to learn more about the course and why certain projects are being completed, and how it gets done.
So continue to check in for our course updates and projects, and don't forget to follow us on Instagram to interact with some of our best course photography.
February 2020: Green Expansion Project on Hole No. 10 - What’s it like to work on a golf course? Well, there is certainly no offseason, and the Jeffersonville GC staff is proving that.
The crew is currently working on a green expansion on No. 10, bringing in additional pin placement options and also re-introducing some features that have been lost over the years. The back-left of the green, along with the front-right, will be the biggest changes.
Meet the Ryan Brothers - Recognize these guys? Brothers Caleb and Josh Ryan are two young standouts who call Jeffersonville home.
Caleb, right, recently wrapped up an outstanding junior career, while Josh has one more season at Norristown HS to go. You can generally see them at the course shooting (really) low rounds, like the 64 (Caleb) and 62 (Josh) they posted during the 2019 club championship. Much more to come from these young standouts!
Remembering Mark Laverty - For the last 30 years, Mark Laverty called the golf course home.
He hadn’t played much the last few years due to back injury. But each morning at 5:30 a.m., he started the mower and maneuvered his way through the slopes and past the fairways at Jeffersonville Golf Club, where he mowed the greens.
Laverty always had something nice to say. He always wanted to talk. Even on Sunday mornings — when he started mowing at 4:30 a.m. — he’d take time to stop and say hi.
“It’s a great place to be,” he said in late August, less than a week before he passed away at just 62. “Working outside and being around people you get along with, I don’t think it gets a whole lot better.”
Laverty took pride in his work, and it showed. His job didn’t just include mowing the greens. He also kept up everything around the greens and the tee boxes.
“If you can see it, I’m probably working on it at some point,” he said.
Laverty was a local through and through. He lived within walking distance to the golf course and grew up there, too. He spent more than 20 years working at General Washington Golf Course (now The Club at Shannondell), where his brother worked as the course superintendent. He held a handful of other jobs in the area before returning to golf course maintenance, settling in with the Jeffersonville team.
He credited Jeffersonville superintendent Rich Shilling for making the position more enjoyable. He also enjoyed the look of the golf course, and liked watching the players navigate the layout. Unlike most people, he couldn’t come up with a favorite hole.
“I don’t know. They’re all nice to me,” he said. “I like everything about this course. Rich has really turned this place around.”
In the end, he was always a team player.
“I’ve done it all here,” he said. “I’ve raked traps, changed cups. I’ll do whatever they tell me to do.”
He looked toward his mower.
“But I really like this.”
Laverty’s obituary can be found by clicking here.
July 2019: Behind the Scenes with Bill Regar - The golf course grounds crew is almost always behind the scenes. Bill Regar takes that to the next level.
Since 1988, Bill has maintained the mowers and other equipment at Jeffersonville, spending much of his time tuning, greasing and adjusting the mowers that keep the course looking good. He grew up working on a golf course, caddying and doing carts.
These days, Bill is the man when it comes to equipment maintenance. A couple of other employees pitch in, but when something needs to be fixed or adjusted, Bill is the guy.
So what keeps him grinding away?
"I love golf. I always have," he said. "But really it’s the bosses I’ve had. I’ve had it pretty good, and that means something."
Please join us in thanking Bill for all of his hard work the last 30 years, and for all of the hard work to come!
June 2019: New Flagsticks - A classic course deserves a classic look -- in all ways. New flagsticks recently took over the course, paying tribute to the history at Jeffersonville and its classic, Donald Ross layout.
May 2019: Shaping on No. 14 - During a casual round, it can be hard to notice movement throughout each hole. No. 14 is the perfect example of this. Not only does the fairway have elevation changes and a number of angles to consider, the green is as interesting as they come, and the pin placement dictates your ideal positioning off the tee.
April 2019: Drainage Improvements to No. 18 - For years, the approach shot area on No. 18 has been prone to flooding and drainage issues, making the management of turf conditions more difficult.
Well, the approach shot on 18 is changing.
Rich Shilling and his maintenance team have been installing a new drainage system over the last week, ensuring proper water management during rains, allowing less mowing interruptions and helping to get the carts off the trail sooner.
Overall, more than 1,900 feet of perforated pipe is used to carry the water toward the lake overflow that separates the first fairway and the 18th.
Check out an overview of the project by watching the short video, here.
March 2019: Gems from the Archives - As the golf course continues to experience frequent improvements and growth, pieces from the past continue to present themselves. Check out the Jeffersonville Golf Club scorecard from the 1950s. Note the 9s — which are reversed — and a few holes that are no longer in play. What would you shoot 60+ years ago, using that year’s equipment?
March 2019: A History Lesson - Most people familiar with Jeffersonville have heard about its connection to horse racing. But those unfamiliar with the course — and even many of the course regulars — don’t know the whole story.
Prior to becoming a golf course, Jeffersonville’s land was used for horse racing in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The races took place on a half-mile, oval track that was located where the 11th and 16th holes currently stand. History of the track can be seen at the top of the picture below.
By 1908, the track evolved into the Montgomery Riding Academy, but discontinued the live racing. Anson B. Evans purchased the land in 1919 and the track was closed in the late 1920s. Evans eventually hired Donald Ross to design the 18-hole golf course, which opened in 1931. The Evans family continued to operate the golf course until West Norriton Township purchased the property in 1972.
March 2019: Snow Day - Early March brought several inches of snow to the area, meaning a well-deserved break for the golf course as spring approaches.
February 2019: When Sketch Meets Reality - The fairway bunkers on 17 were well-documented improvements to the course in 2018. It was a long time coming (and well worth the wait), as the bunker complex was sketched by architect Ron Prichard nearly 20 years ago. Take a look for yourself at the plan, compared to the reality.
February 2019: Turf Care Center in the Works - Not only is the golf course seeing improvements, but the way the the course operates is improving, too. Progress is currently being made on the new Turf Care Center, which is part of a major set of improvements to the course facilities. The building is located behind the first green.
February 2019: Before and After on No. 2 - The second tee shot looks a bit different these days at Jeffersonville. Gone is the old bunker complex that players faced with their first shots. In its place is the beautiful work of Rich Shilling and the grounds crew, which shaped the complex for players to enjoy throughout 2018. The tee shot is now a better test, as players face carrying the complex bunkers when trying to cut off the dogleg and make the second shot (to a small green) simpler. Off the tee, it is now a true risk-reward shot.
February 2019: Tree Removal on 14 - The 14th at Jeffersonville is a unique hole. After a tough stretch of 11-13 that features three demanding and lengthy holes, the 14th is a reasonably short par 4 that measures less than 340 from the back tees. But while it may lack a challenge of length, the 14th packs a punch with strategically-placed bunkers (greenside and fairway) and a difficult green. Like most Donald Ross greens, a miss long is punishing as a steep slope carries balls from the back side of the green off into trouble. In early February, the grounds crew removed four trees that lined the back side of the green. The tree removal not only brought the design back to the way it was initially intended, but it also will improve the turf in that area. As seen in the third photo, the roots extended into the green collar.
Photo 1 - before (summer 2018)
Photo 2 - after (February 2019)
January 2019: The Fried Egg - Jeffersonville Golf Club was recently featured in a piece by The Fried Egg, detailing the top public golf experiences in the Philadelphia area. The Fried Egg is a golf media company that dives into the world of course architecture and design. In addition to its online presence, it publishes a Podcast, often interviewing golf course architects and personalities. Last year, The Fried Egg interviewed Tyler Rae, who is a crucial part of the work done at Jeffersonville, alongside course Superintendant Rich Shilling and his team.
December 2018: Bunkers on 3 - The third hole at Jeffersonville is a short, uphill par 4 that demands a tee shot on the left side of the fairway to allow for the best angle on the approach, and maybe most importantly, to avoid the bunkers on the right. Those bunkers were reworked over the winter, being completed in late December. You can see two great overviews of the process by checking both videos out on YouTube (Video 1 / Video 2) done by course Superintendant, Rich Shilling. This is not the only bunker work done on the third hole in the last few years, as the bunker that guards the right side of the green was recently redone, as well.
Summer 2018: The Bunker Complex on 17 - The work done on hole No. 17 during the summer of 2018 was an incredible showing of design work, vision and execution. Considered one of the tougher holes on the golf course, players were more and more frequently aiming their tee shots over the dogleg and — if they didn’t carry it — bouncing their balls onto the fairway. The newly-completed bunker complex now guards the dogleg, forcing a carry (and an easier second shot) or requiring players to aim left, thus creating a longer and more difficult second shot. It’s the perfect risk-reward tee shot and the start-to-finish images of the project are amazing.