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. ••