As the PGA Tour makes its way to the Northeast with the Traveler's Championship (at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Conn.) and the AT&T National (at Aronimink Golf Club in Newtown Square, Pa.), you can't help but think of the great early American architects.
One of those classic designers is A.W. Tillinghast, and one of his first designs is Shawnee Inn & Golf Resort in Delaware, Pa. A retreat that once catered to the rich and famous, Shawnee Inn is now more affordable. It's located in the Poconos Mountains of Northeastern Pennsylvania, just a short drive from Philadelphia or New York City. The resort has 27 holes and offers plenty of other activities besides golf, including fly fishing and canoeing.
Tillinghast designed the original 18 at Shawnee Inn, which hosted the 1938 PGA Championship won by Paul Runyan. In 1961, architect Bill Diddle added another nine holes, which were integrated into the original layout. Still the course has a classic feel to it, and when you venture through the clubhouse gazing at all the old photos of regulars like Jackie Gleason, Mickey Mantle, President Eisenhower and former resident pro Sam Snead, that feeling is confirmed.
All but three of the holes at Shawnee Inn are on an island formed by the Delaware River, making for some dramatic holes alongside and over the river. The signature hole at Shawnee is the seventh on the Blue Course, although the second on the Red Course is just as scenic. Both are par 3s that cross the river.
The resort also has an excellent spa, beautiful accommodations, terrific restaurants and its own brewery. The latter produces special unpasteurized and unfiltered Shawnee Craft beers to guests of the inn as well as patrons to the resort's two dining facilities.