The Course Report
The Course Report is a chance for you to find out more about regional golf, golfers and courses with staff writer Bob Jarzomski.   Read more about this blog.
Posted: August 8th, 2011
Brabender Southwoods Golf Course

The Facts:

Brabender Southwoods Golf Course

Address: 4051 Greenlee Road, McKean, PA 16426

Phone: (814) 476-7907‎

Par: 34

Yardage: 2658 (White), 2478 (Gold), 2234 (Red)


The Best:

1. The price

2. The specials and deals

3. Friendly staff

4. Close to Edinboro University

5. Clean bathrooms


1. The Clubhouse

2. McKean Pizza

3. Bella’s Twist n’ Shake (ice cream)


Players may bring their own alcohol. Alcohol cannot be purchased at the clubhouse.

I made a few mistakes this week as I headed out to Brabender Southwoods Golf Course (aka I got lost), but I still had a great visit at the course.

The fact that I got lost doesn’t mean Southwoods is hard to find; the drive is simple.  I just get lost easily.  All you need to do is head out to Edinboro Road and take a left onto Greenlee (also spelled Greenley) Road.  I missed the turn two times because the road sign is slightly hidden, so watch out for that.

Brabender Southwoods Golf Course is currently owned by Dick Brabender Jr., John Brabender, and James Kissman.  The course rests on what used to be farmland before Dick Sr. bought the land in the 1960’s.

At first, the land was used solely for personal entertainment.  The land was made up of pavilions, a basketball court, and other things so the Brabenders could have picnics.  The course started as a single hole used for parties, but was later fleshed out into the nine hole course it is today.

Jerry Johnson, an employee at Southwoods, told me the name comes from having to head south to reach the course and the fact that it is surrounded by woods.

Jerry also allowed me to take a cart around the course to see what it had to offer.  I quickly discovered that Southwoods lives up to its name and has plenty of trees that frustrate golfers.  The course also has a few ponds that come into play on three of the holes.  A decent number of sand traps found out the hazards.

The fairways at Southwoods are relatively short and wide open, but the hazards I just mentioned help keep the course challenging.  A golfer I chatted with told me how fast the greens can be.  I was happy to see that every tee box had a bench for golfers to rest on.

The workers at Brabender Southwoods are even trying to improve a course design that has worked for decades.  The seventh green is in the process of being moved to elongate the course’s only par five.  Southwoods also has a small putting green next to the clubhouse.

Southwoods’ clubhouse has a great front porch where I witnessed a league unwind after they finished playing.  Inside the clubhouse is a large room with tables and chairs just in case they are needed.  A large television hangs on the wall for entertainment and a fireplace sits in the corner, waiting for the colder months.

Players can’t buy alcohol at the clubhouse, but they are allowed to bring their own.

For those of you who like to search for bargains, Brabender Southwoods is definitely a place to check out.  Anyone under the age of 16 plays free as long as a parent plays with them.  It only costs $9.50 to play a round of golf at Southwoods if you decide to walk.

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