Susquehanna Valley stems from the seedlings of the long gone Rolling Green Country
Club, which broke ground amid the hills of
Hummels Wharf, Pa. on May 24, 1909. Little,
apart from its title (the club sat adjacent from
Rolling Green Amusement Park) and conceit
(a place to gather for recreational and social
purposes), is known about Rolling Green.
Membership clearly expanded rapidly, thereby
prompting the club’s forefathers to formally
adopt a new moniker.
CHARTERED ON JULY 31, 1919, Susquehanna Valley formed “to promote friendship,
character, sociability and to acquire and
maintain the necessary property and equipment to facilitate social enjoyment, pleasure,
recreation and sports.” Frederick Haas served
as the club’s first president, John E. Colt as
vice president and H.L. Purdy as secretary
A century later, the Purdy name still
occupies Susquehanna Valley’s membership
list. Bill Purdy represents the third of four
generations connected to the club.
“If you go back and look at the history over
the years, Susquehanna Valley Country Club
was a facility where a lot of the Valley’s busi-nesspeople gathered and had memberships.
They utilized not only the golf course, but the
other recreational facilities and social aspects
of the club,” Purdy, 63, of Sunbury, Pa., said.
Susquehanna Valley’s original clubhouse,
built in 1923 for $41,000, served as a social
hub. Members took to the then nine-hole
William Flynn design before retreating to
a Spanish-influenced structure overlooking
the valley beneath. Of design note, the par
4, 374-yard No. 8, which features a testy
two-tiered green, is largely regarded as a
“We rebuilt that green sometime in the
1980s because when they built it in 1920,
the greens were running at approximately five
on the Stimpmeter. There was an elevation
change close to three feet,” Greg Felty, who
served as Susquehanna Valley’s head professional from 1975-2014, said. “As the mowers
got better and the grass got better and the
greens got faster, you couldn’t keep the ball on
the top level. It’s so small to begin with, and it
was so steep back-to-front. That’s Flynn.”
Susquehanna Valley remained a nine-hole
venue for four decades. In 1957, Bob Ross, a
Philadelphia Section PGA Hall of Famer, became the club’s head professional, succeeding fellow HOF inductee Henry Williams, Jr.
in that role. Ross outlays how a discussion for
expansion to an 18-hole golf course arose.
“William Faylor, Sr., a large contractor
and road builder in Selinsgrove, came up
to me and said, ‘We want to build another
nine holes,’” Ross, 87, of Ocala, Fla., said.
“[Golf course architects] William and David
Gordon came up and designed the back
nine. The club owned [property nearby] that
was a wooded area, a few fields and a farm.
Building it was not easy. I dug ditches and
put in water lines. During the winter of 1957,
the club came to me and said, ‘We’d like you
Jay Apfelbaum, who grew up at Susque-
hanna Valley, elaborates on such a milestone
— or two, or 12, or 20.