Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

New Day, Old Course a 19th-Century Golf Course at Omni Bedford Springs Gets a Modern Clubhouse

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

New Day, Old Course a 19th-Century Golf Course at Omni Bedford Springs Gets a Modern Clubhouse

Article excerpt

I spent the night before my 8:30 a.m. tee time lying in a bed of anxiety, tossing and turning and running over my schedule for the day like Rain Man. I dreaded hitting that first drive with my vintage 1980s clubs.

Old school clubs are cool, I told myself. It shows I have confidence in my game and don't need giant Fred Flintstone-style club heads.

I was at the Omni Bedford Springs Resort and Spa for the opening of the Old Course's new $2.5 million clubhouse. The century-old original was destroyed by a 1983 flood and never rebuilt -- until now. The Old Course, one of the oldest in the nation, has been a big draw since it opened in the late 1800s. Even though I hadn't swung a club in three years, I had to play it.

"The addition of the new clubhouse, as well as the pro shop, locker room and Tillie's restaurant for casual dining, is a perfect complement to the charm and character of the resort," said pro Ron Leporati, the PGA director of golf there since April 2007.

"It definitely enhances the guest experience."

So do apres tee amenities that include lunch on the patio after an early 18 holes, cocktails after a late round and live entertainment on the patio on weekends.

"Our guests are finally experiencing this phenomenal course in its prime," said resort general manager Bill Liedholm.

Even players who aren't quite up to par. Yes, bunkers, bogeys and lost balls were all part of my round.

I remember hole No. 4, the Volcano. Designed 93 years ago by Donald Ross, it's an infamous par 3 because of its steep slope topped with a slick green. You don't want to get caught short trying to pitch up from what seems like a 90-degree angle. On my best drive of the day, I landed the ball safely on the fringe of the green. Three strokes later I was feeling great. I escaped with just 1 over par.

The next hole, I had another good drive right down the middle of the fairway. That's when I made the regrettable decision to use my 5-iron instead of the 3-wood. Still bubbling with confidence from the Volcano, I was crushed by a multiple double bogey.

Matt and Lucas Lyons, brothers from Lambertville, N. …

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