The Rich History of Cedarbrook Country Club

Today’s Cedarbrook Country Club is a direct outgrowth of Stenton Country Club, which was founded in 1909 and played its golf on leased ground near Stenton Avenue and Washington Lane in the Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia. But within ten years, this land had grown substantially in value. Unable to renew its lease, the club examined a number of sites in North Philadelphia and in 1919 purchased a tract known then as Cedarbrook Farm. It was bounded by Cheltenham Avenue, Easton Road and Limekiln Pike. 

A.W. Tillinghast was commissioned to lay out the design for the course. Though most of the designs for which he would become celebrated were still several years in the future, he had already fashioned two of his best, the eighteens at San Francisco Golf Club and at Somerset Hills, in Northern New Jersey. While the 45 year old Tillinghast was bringing his talents to bear here on gently rolling land that had been used chiefly for grazing cattle, the members, whose lease had expired at the Stenton Avenue course in the late summer of 1920, were temporarily playing their golf over at Sandy Run, thanks to a special arrangement with that hospitable club. 

It was in the late 1920s that Donald Ross was commissioned to revise the Tillinghast design. By and large, the original routing plan was retained. But holes were lengthened, bunkering was made more stringent, and a creek brought more prominently into play. One of only two Philadelphia courses designed by the great Tillinghast now also bore the stamp of the great Ross. Nobody’s design was sacred. And in the years to come, numerous changes were made, some aimed at toughening the layout, others with a view toward eliminating what some judged to be unfairly penal situations. It was here in 1947 that the 4th Annual Inquirer Invitation was held, with Ben Hogan dueling Bobby Locke. 

It is this location that committed the club to become recognized as a true country club offering its membership the finest of facilities, recreational opportunities and outstanding dining services. As a family oriented club, Cedarbrook members enjoy the use of a 25,000 square foot clubhouse offering locker rooms, dining areas and special event space, two swimming pools, six tennis courts and of course a challenging golf course complete with a state of the art practice facility. 

As the club continues to prosper in Blue Bell, the commitment to excellence remains intact.