AN UPDATED LOGO at Walnut Lane Golf Club represents more than just a simple facelift. It rep- resents a riveting revitalization.
Under the leadership of The First Tee of
Greater Philadelphia, which owns and operates
its offices on-site of the Golf Association of
Philadelphia Member, Walnut Lane is moving
forward in a refreshingly modern way. Troubled
trees are being cleared and golfers are flocking
to the fairways all while the course itself has
caught a fresh breath of liveliness.
“It’s amazing to think where we are now
compared to where we were two, three years
ago. We’ve got the resources now to really
clean things up. That’s a reason we wanted to
revamp the logo, to kind of show the progress
being made at the club,” said Director of Golf
Sean Ketchum. “It represents a new look here
at Walnut Lane, and it’s only just the beginning.
Good things are happening all around.”
That new beginning of sorts wouldn’t be a
reality – or even a possibility – without the aid
of helping hands.
Local assistance is offered to the club
throughout the calendar year. It’s not uncommon
for a volunteer to show up on the clubhouse
doorsteps, chainsaw in hand, offering to help
in any way possible. After all, the club has been
entrenched as a staple in the Roxborough, Pa.
community for more than 70 years. It serves a
greater purpose than just 18 holes of golf. Be-
cause of that, the passion to give back is aplenty.
“What makes Walnut Lane unique is it’s not
just a place people come to play golf. It’s a place
where people come to learn golf,” said Michael
Brown, The First Tee of Greater Philadelphia’s
new President. “Our goal is to grow the game
and having a resurgence of sorts here really
helps us in doing so. I think that’s a big reason
why so many want to give back; they see how
incredible of a resource we have here.”
One day in particular gets a special nod of
appreciation: an annual visit from the Philadel-
phia Association of Golf Course Superinten-
dents. The 2017 event took place Nov. 21.
“We had roughly 30 guys come in from the
area, teaming up to provide help where we
needed it most. It’s been incredible to see, each
and every year, the growth of the day. We’re
forever grateful,” said Walnut Lane’s Superin-
tendent Ben Davies. “This day opens up so
many possibilities for us.”
In past Volunteer Days, the entire volunteer
group would focus on aerating the golf course.
Davies and his staff of six are able to take on
annual aerations in-house these days, clearing
the way for volunteers to help in other critical
areas such as tree removal, drainage projects
and brush trimming.
“To be honest, the help that we received on
that day would have taken our staff multiple
months to get done,” said Davies, who was
promoted to superintendent in April 2017. “It
was great seeing everyone out here with heavy
equipment and machinery, grouped off and
taking care of different projects that the course
really benefitted from. We couldn’t have envisioned a more productive or successful day.”
THE FIRST PROJECT took place on No. 7, directly next to the maintenance facility. Volunteers were able to correct
a drainage issue that caused water to collect
on the front of the green as well as to the left
The second task was the creation of more
airflow near the Nos. 3 and 10 greens. Minimal
sunlight and low-lying areas made it difficult
to grow and drain turf there. Trees and brush
were cleared to absolve that issue.
“Those greens have always been a trouble
area for us, but we were never able to tackle
improve Walnut Lane
BY DAN SCOFIELD
“What makes Walnut Lane unique is it’s not just a place people
come to play golf. It’s a place where people come to learn golf.”