Note: This year, we are handling the golf season a little differently. Michael Dill, a local college student at Pitt, is going to profile a local golf course each week. But instead of writing about it from a player’s perspective, he will talk about the entirety of the course including amenities, features and insider knowledge that you only get from people who play there all the time. In addition, he will offer his Best list (what makes the course stand out) and his Before/After list, where he will let you know what you can before or after your round. Leave your comments and let Mike know if you think he missed out on something or if you would like to see him include your favorite course.
Fox Run Golf Course
Address: 2123 Strong Road, Waterford, PA 16441-2141
Phone: (814) 796-6400
Yardage: 3217 (Blue), 3031 (White), 2438 (Gold), 2262 (Red)
Rates: $12 (9 holes), $16 (18 holes)
1. The Fox Den
2. The wide open fairways
3. The rest stop between the second and third holes
4. Clean bathrooms
5. The price
6. Quiet and secluded
7. Good course/green maintenance
1. The Clubhouse / Fox Den
2. Putting green
Outside beer cannot be brought onto the course, but beverages are available for purchase at the clubhouse
Fox Run is a family-oriented golf course that has matured into an enticing destination since opening to the public in 1992. The course initially consisted of only six holes and was built for private use by Richard Dill and his family, the original owners.
The course was sold to current owner Pat Worley in 2001, but Fox Run strives to maintain an atmosphere where everyone is family. The course’s original clubhouse, which is Worley’s home, can be seen off to the right of the sixth hole’s fairway.
The earliest version of the course was built on a smaller piece of land, allowing for only six holes. In order to play nine holes, players had to zigzag across the course. After the fourth hole, golfers would play the third green from a different direction, creating the fifth hole. The second and eighth holes shared a green as did the seventh and ninth holes.
Of the original six holes, three are still in use today. What was the second hole is now the sixth, while the old third and fourth holes are now the seventh and first holes, respectively.
The course’s signature hole, No. 5, has a memorial plaque for John “Jack” Dill just past the green. Another plaque further back marks the grave of Fritz, the Dill family’s Labrador Retriever. The fox-shaped 150-yard markers painted by the Dill family are still in use at the course.
Fox Run continues to grow. The trees planted during the early years of the golf course are large enough to define the fairways. A few of the greens and tee boxes have been relocated in order to allow smoother transitions from hole to hole. This transformation allows golfers to use drivers to their advantage on the wide fairways.
Three natural ponds on the land have been rehashed to form six ponds that stretch across the course. Pat Worley also added the challenge of sand traps, which did not exist in the early years of the course.
Even though much has been done in terms of advancing the course, more improvements need to be made. Some of the cart paths near the clubhouse were paved, but most of the paths are pretty rough. Potholes and rocks are frequent; small dirt and rock piles also blocked a few paths. A few benches could be found at tee boxes, but they tended to be dilapidated and dirty.
One of the nicer features Fox Run offers is the rest stop located between the second and third holes. A grill and a vending machine are available for those who are hit by cravings after teeing off. At the very least, the rest stop provides shelter in case of extreme weather.
The clubhouse is another place golfers can go to put a roof over their heads. A small pro shop is just inside the entrance, but the Fox Den is the central attraction of the clubhouse.
The main room features a recently renovated bar as well as around a dozen tables and multiple flat screen televisions. Wi-Fi is available for those who may need to access the Web. Giant windows and a wraparound porch overlook the course to the south.
The smell of meat on the grill combines with the laughter of the golfers to form a welcoming environment for visitors. The food served at the Fox Den is homemade; it isn’t a place where pre-packaged concession items are heated up. Golfers aren’t allowed to bring their own beer, but they are able to buy some at the clubhouse.
The clubhouse and a small putting green are pretty much the extent of what the area has to offer in terms of places to go before or after playing a round of golf. Still, a lack of options doesn’t mean Fox Run has nothing to offer.
Pat Worley has done an admirable job in building upon the foundation the Dill family created. The surrounding Waterford area was largely undeveloped when Fox Run was first built. The only other place of interest was a cemetery with graves dating back to the early 1800’s. Currently, Fox Run serves as the community’s main attraction.
Fox Run is constantly being updated, but the history of the course isn’t disappearing. The course has formed a friendly community that convinces people to keep making trips out to Waterford.