Philadelphia Cricket Club’s adjoining golf courses in Flourtown will be home to more than just Chestnut Hill golfers next week, as the 48th PGA Professional National Championship comes to town June 28 to July 1. The event brings 312 of the best golf teaching professionals from all over the country to the Militia Hill and Wissahickon tracks for a four-day tournament to crown the best PGA pro in the country.
To be clear, professional golfers will not be descending on PCC, but these golf teaching pros, who are usually the lead pro at their respective home clubs, will play at a level not unlike golfers on the tour for the 72 holes.
But hosting a national tournament of this caliber is a great honor for the club, as tournament chair Bob Bauer says. The Golf Channel will be covering the tournament live all four days, and the stakes will rise for the final day, as the top 20 finishers get an entry into the PGA Championship, one of the four international golf majors for tour players.
For the first two rounds, golfers will play one round on the Wissahickon course and one round on the Militia Hill course. After round two on Monday, the field will be cut to the best 108, and the final two days will be played exclusively on Wissahickon. By the late afternoon on Wednesday, a champion will be declared on Wissahickon’s 18th green.
Having two excellent courses side-by-side was clearly appealing for the PGA, who are also bringing the 2016 Constellation Senior Players Championship and the 2020 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship to the club. The Wissahickon course, in particular, has garnered significant acclaim recently, as the Tillinghast track was restored in 2014 to bring back many original features of the 1922 design. The redesign is widely considered a success, as the course has been included in Golf Digest’s “America’s Top 100 Courses” list and called the 32nd best “classic course” in the country by Golf Week.
All four days of the Professional National Championship will be open to the public, and the Cricket Club has set up a spectator parking lot at Colonial Elementary School, 230 Flourtown Road in Plymouth Meeting. From there, a shuttle will be available to take visitors over to the courses. Threesomes will be playing from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Sunday and Monday, teeing off on the first tee from 6:50 until 1:20 on Tuesday, and beginning their final circuit between 7:00 and 11:40 AM on Wednesday, so a national champion will be crowned at the Philadelphia Cricket Club at approximately 5 p.m., July 1.