FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Hershey, Pa., Hershey Country Club, The East Course

Jan 1, 2005
2005 / December-January 2005

If you think chocolate is just for kids, you’re wrong. And if you think a candy bar can’t buy real estate, you’re wrong again.

Chocolate baron Milton S. Hershey designed and opened the Hershey Country Club in 1930. Since then, legendary golf heroes have graced Hershey’s fairways, including Ben Hogan (former club pro), Henry Picard, Byron Nelson, Sam Snead, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus. Certainly a sweet history, although Hershey’s involvement appeared to end in 1994 when Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Co. sold the golf courses to National Golf Operating Partnership, which renamed it Country Club of Hershey.

Then, in April 2002, the story picked up where it had left off: Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Co. bought the property back. Last fall, the company announced plans for a $18 million overhaul. Slated for completion in 2006, the renovation includes rechristening the property with its original name — Hershey Country Club.

It’s safe to say that Ben Hogan, who was the club professional here for 10 years in the 1940s, would be pleased with the renovation plans, which call for razing the existing clubhouse while preserving the footprint of the original building — including the Pennsylvania stone and bedrock — and replacing it with a 43,000-square-foot structure more in line with today’s standards. Tag Galyean, an award-winning resort design consultant, is overseeing the renovation. Galyean’s golf club experience includes The Greenbrier, The Broadmoor Hotel and Kingsmill Resort.

The two courses at Hershey are very different. The West Course is the original course designed by Maurice McCarthy in 1930 and was the pride and joy of Milton Hershey. The signature hole on this course is a 176-yard par 3 with Hershey’s stone mansion as the green backdrop. (I was six feet from the hole on my shot from the tee box.)

The East Course was built in 1970 and features a number of elevated greens, water hazards and more than 100 bunkers. The designer of the course, George Fazio, worked in some spectacular views of the Pennsylvania countryside. The course is home to the Nationwide Tour Reese’s Cup Classic, which has been played since 1997.


The East Course

Bring plenty of club and don’t be fooled by this 71-par masterpiece. This course has elevated greens on most of the holes. A key point to remember: Take an extra club on all the shots to the green. To be fair, the greens were holding and most of them were elevated in the front without a great slope to the back. Shots over the green were playable on most holes.

Hole 1: A good hole for getting the lay of the land. Water is to the right and should not come into play — but it does. The hole is a long dogleg to the right, and it is very possible to blow your shot through the fairway if you don’t make the turn. It’s a good starter as your second shot is to one of the most elevated greens in the course, protected by bunkers. Make sure you make a clean shot. If you think you need a 7-iron, you probably need a 6 or a 5.

Hole 3: This is the No. 1 handicap on the course. It is a long par 4, 448 yards from the blues and 421 yards from the whites, again to an elevated green. Your landing areas, left and right, are protected by a set of bunkers on both sides.

Hole 5: A par 5, this is a long hole at 554 yards from the blues and 515 yards from the whites. It is an ever-so-slight dogleg to the left, with the right and left landing areas protected by bunkers. Fairly open, you can whack away at your second shot. Big dogs can nearly make the green in two or prepare for a third shot. Risking a second shot pulled to the right will get you into the greenside bunkers. The green is elevated, but not as high as most.

Hole 9: I personally like this hole. You are driving downhill and then launching your second shot to an elevated green that looks and feels like it’s the height of the Empire State Building. Hole 9 is the No. 3 handicap due the elevation of the green and the slight dogleg to the left. I pulled my tee shot left and landed behind a tree near the left fairway bunkers. As we were playing team golf and were behind several holes, my partner and I decided I should try to go for the green by slicing the ball with my 5-wood. I won the hole with a par. You are going to like this one.

Hole 14:

What would a course be without a “monster” hole? Hershey East’s is Hole 14, a 540-yard par 5. It should not be difficult. It’s fairly straight with fairway bunkers on the right for landing one and two, but you need three really good shots. Stay away from the trees on the left side.

Hole 15:

You may think this is a par 5 when you look at it, but it’s not. It’s a 467-yard par 4 — a dogleg right with water on both sides of the fairway. Great drives disappear in the drink if you head slightly left off the tee. Depending on your drive, you will have about 177 yards to the green, which runs uphill.

Hole 18:

This is a great finishing hole with a downhill drive to a pond just before the green. Your second shot to the green can be intimidating because of the water. Try to keep the ball in the fairway to make the green. If you clear, there are several traps guarding the green.

This is a great venue for a weekend game of golf. A massive spa recently opened at Hotel Hershey — great for unwinding after your game.

HERSHEY COUNTRY CLUB
1000 E. Derry Road, Hershey, PA 17033
tel 717 533 2360, fax 717 533 2752
www.hersheypa.com

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Feature
Nov 20, 2019

WOW Air to Return to the Skies

After going bankrupt in March, Iceland’s low-cost airline that boasted shockingly low fares between the United States and mainland Europe (with a connection in Reykjavik) may take to the skies once again.

Goway Offers Travelers Journey of a Lifetime

Since 1970, Goway Travel has been committed to providing customized travel experiences for world travelers. Few things are better evidence of this commitment than being awarded the 2019 Trazees award for Favorite Tour Operator. Goway Travel heartily thanks the readers of Trazee Travel for this honor and for their confidence in Goway’s work in creating travel memories that’ll last a lifetime.

News
Nov 20, 2019

United Airlines Passengers Enjoy New Way to Beat Jet Lag

United Airlines teamed with Timeshifter, a sleep help app, to assist travelers battling jet lag. Timeshifter outlines the best times to see and avoid light, sleep and either enjoy or pass on caffeine to best avoid jet lag when traveling through time zones. The app is specifically targeted to those traveling across three or more time zones and customizes advice for each passenger based on his or her own sleep preferences and normal sleep pattern, as well as their particular flight.

Feature
Nov 20, 2019

Qantas Flies Upgraded A380 Planes

Qantas is flying the first of its upgraded Airbus A380 planes, which include multimillion-dollar upgrades. The new features include new business-class seats and a redesigned upper deck lounge.

A Lighter Footprint

United Airlines’ environmentally friendly efforts lessen the impact on local U.S. communities.

Daily
Nov 20, 2019

Don’t Miss This Limited-Time Four Seasons Pop-Up Cocktail Lounge

Make sure you catch the new pop-up cocktail lounge at Four Seasons Residence Club Aviara in Carlsbad before it’s gone. Starry Nights, located on the Seasons Restaurant veranda, is open through Jan. 31, 2020.

eFlyer Deals
Nov 19, 2019

Curator’s Package in Dallas

When you travel to Dallas this year, go home with a new piece of curated artwork thanks to this offer from Canvas Hotel Dallas.

Athens: A city that charms its guests and stirs their emotions

The city took its name from Athena, goddess of wisdom, strategy and war, and protector of the city. The financial, political and administrative center of the country and an all-powerful city-state in antiquity, Athens is a major center of culture. A visit to the first-ever museum dedicated to Byzantium, a stroll around the National Garden and a trip to the Olympeion archaeological site will take you back through time.

eFlyer Deals
Nov 19, 2019

Capital Adventures in Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C., has tons of adventure for travelers exploring the nation’s capital.