Northeast Times

A free tee at the Quartett Club

Hole in one: Mike O’Bri­en, who has taken over man­age­ment of the golf course at the Phil­adelphia Quar­tett Club, is host­ing an open house Sat­urday. BRAD LAR­RIS­ON / FOR THE TIMES

The Phil­adelphia Quar­tett Club golf course in Somer­ton is open for busi­ness, and gen­er­al man­ager Mike O’Bri­en is of­fer­ing a spe­cial treat on Sat­urday.

O’Bri­en will host an open house from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. In­di­vidu­als are in­vited to play the nine-hole course for free.

The only re­quire­ment is that they set a tee time by Fri­day by call­ing 215-676-3939. Golfers are asked to bring their own clubs.

“It’s a nice little place, and we want to bring new people in,” O’Bri­en said. “We hope they try it and like it enough that they come back. It’s a short course, but it’s not easy.”

The open house is also for chil­dren, and O’Bri­en said the course will suit them.

“It’s not over­whelm­ing for kids,” he said.

O’Bri­en just began his stint as the golf course gen­er­al man­ager. He re­mains the su­per­in­tend­ent, a job he’s held for 23 years.

A Quar­tett swim club mem­ber as a kid in the mid-1960s and a land­scaper by trade, he was told on his first day as su­per­in­tend­ent that he would “fig­ure it out.”

“So I figured it out,” he said. “I en­joy tak­ing care of the course more than I do golf­ing.”

The Quar­tett Club is loc­ated at 1075 Southamp­ton Road. Drivers on little-traveled Lukens Street can see the golf course, but many oth­ers know the course only be­cause they’ve been in wed­ding pho­tos taken at the coun­try club.

“It’s been here 50 years, but you can’t see it from Southamp­ton Road,” O’Bri­en said of the course.

All nine holes are par threes. The holes range from 88 to 150 yards from the back tees, total­ing 1,146 yards.

“We have some real avid golfers come out to play,” O’Bri­en said. “We have a hand­ful of guys shoot close to par.”

The put­ting greens are short.

“It’s really good for your short game,” O’Bri­en said.

The sev­enth hole is a play­er fa­vor­ite as golfers must hit the ball over wa­ter.

Of course, golfers can play an 18-hole round.

“You can play the place in two-and-a-half hours,” O’Bri­en said.

O’Bri­en’s over­all goal is to make the course look like a “mini-Au­gusta Na­tion­al,” re­fer­ring to Geor­gia’s Au­gusta Na­tion­al Golf Club, world-fam­ous home of The Mas­ters.

The GM/su­per­in­tend­ent likes the course’s back­drops. He has been over­haul­ing the tee boxes, prun­ing trees and adding sand to the bunkers. He thinks the new flower beds will look nice, and the per­en­ni­als will be bloom­ing in the spring and sum­mer.

“I’m try­ing to make the place more col­or­ful,” he said.

Hot, hu­mid days and nights test his su­per­in­tend­ent skills.

“Try­ing to keep the put­ting greens alive in the sum­mer is a chal­lenge,” he said.

O’Bri­en re­called a day long ago when kids were able to play the course at a steep dis­count — $1 — on Monday morn­ings in the sum­mer.

“I’m go­ing to bring that back,” he said, but not at that low fee.

On a grander scale, he wants to hold clin­ics and add leagues and tour­na­ments for people of all ages, and mar­ket the course for be­ne­fits and com­pany out­ings.

Gift cer­ti­fic­ates are avail­able, and people can sign up to be Quar­tett Club as­so­ci­ate mem­bers, al­low­ing them to play golf. ••

Re­port­er Tom War­ing can be reached at 215-354-3034 or twar­ing@bsmphilly.com

You can reach at twaring@bsmphilly.com.

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