The Course

“Lancaster is far and away the most complicated architectural evolution of all of William Flynn’s courses.” leading William Flynn scholar Wayne Morrison
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course holes
Straight Away

434 yards. Par 4. The opening hole is a gentle downhill par 4 that plays shorter than its 434 yards. Long hitters will have to contend with fairway bunkers left and right, but a well struck ball should get the benefit of the right to left downhill slope of the fairway and a tremendous distance advantage. The green is protected by broad bunkers left and back right and is large with movement in multiple directions.


    377 yards, Par 4. The 2nd hole places tremendous emphasis on driving accuracy as any shot center or left will roll down the steeply sloped fairway towards deep fairway bunkers. The green is elevated with dramatic slope back to front and right to left. Golfers should not be distracted by the skyline view of the Conestoga River as any ball putted from above the front and middle hole locations is in danger of rolling off the green into the fairway.


399 yards, Par 4. This majestic par 4 plays between 330 and 390 yards. The tee shot is hit from 100 feet above the Conestoga River. A long drive is necessary in order for the golfer to avoid a blind uphill approach to a green protected by deep and wide bunkers front left and right. This large green slopes severely front to back and right to left. Players taking bold approaches to the green will have birdie chances but even marginal mistakes will lead to bogie or worse.

Double Creek

396 yards, Par. 4. The 4th, a short par 4 requires the golfer to cross Stauffer’s Run not once but twice. Featured by famed architect, Tom Doak, and his book, Anatomy of a Golf Course, the fourth will present a birdie opportunity to the player that can avoid the magnetic properties of Stauffer’s Run.

Round the Bend

392 yards, Par. 4. The 5th hole presents another birdie opportunity, but danger lurks at the green. A sweeping dog leg left, the golfer must cross a small valley. A well placed tee shot to the right side of the fairway will provide the golfer with the best approach to the green. The fifth is the only hole on the course without any bunkering as Stauffer’s Run provides the green with all of the protection that it needs. Played well, the hole offers a great birdie opportunity. A slight miss short or right will exact a stern penalty.

Tight Corner

178 yards, Par. 3. The first par 3 on the course, 6 is directly adjacent to Stauffer’s Run. Shots left will end up in the creek and those that carry the green will bring the Conestoga River into play.


529 yards, Par. 5. The first of two 5 par holes, the course begins to emerge at 7. Gone are the readily available birdie opportunities. The golfer must first contend with a tee shot over the Conestoga River and then decide whether or not to test the large pond front and right of this green. Any approach shot short of the green is in the water. Any shot long will leave the golfer with a downhill bunker shot to a green running towards the water or worse. The judicious golfer will play this as a three shot hole and happily walk off the green with par.

Piney Knoll

198 yards, Par. 3. A long uphill par 3 of close to 200 yards, 8 plays 15 yards longer than the yardage on the card. The golfer will be required to play a long iron or wood to the smallest green on the course. Pitched dramatically from front to back and left to right, the green is defended on the right by a deep bunker. Shots from left of the green will require a magician’s touch if the golfer is to get up and down for par.

Far Away

435 yards, Par. 4. A straightforward brut, the long par 4 9th plays severely uphill to a dramatically sloped green. Precision is the key as the fairway is narrow. Golfers will be forced to hit long irons and woods if they hope to be on in two.

Big Bend

481 yards, Par. 4. One of William Flynn’s most demanding par 4s, the 10th hole requires a long accurate drive. For the best angle to this elevated green, the golfer must attack the fairway bunker on the right and hope to get a favorable bounce down the fairway. The approach brings three cavernous bunkers into play. Par on this hole should be celebrated.


478 yards, Par. 4. The final in a stretch of long punishing holes, the 11th requires a long tee shot to the left side of the fairway in order to provide the golfer with the appropriate angle into this saucer-shaped green. Precision is critical on the uphill approach. The golfer must clear a false front and get close enough to avoid a sweeping putt with breaks of 10 feet or more depending on the hole location.

Little Drop

181 yards, Par. 3. A short downhill par 3, the 12th is defended by water in the front and bunkers and native vegetation behind the green. Although the tee shot appears simple, like 12 in Augusta, cross winds often leave golfers befuddled. Confidence is key, as uncertainty will lead to bogie or worse.

Happy Valley

517 yards, Par. 5. A 3 shot par 5, the 13th requires an accurate drive to the right side of the fairway to provide the best angle for the second shot. The second shot requires the golfer to play long and uphill to set up a short iron and wedge to the green for a birdie opportunity.

Thorn Hollow

404 yards, Par. 4. An uphill par 4 that plays longer than its 400 yards. The 14th requires that the golfer navigate three cavernous fairway bunkers left, right and center. The golfer that can cut the dog leg right will have a much shorter approach to this small but steep green protected by a bunker on the left.

Devil’s Elbow

442 yards, Par. 4. A big dog leg right, the 15th fairway is canted away from the golfer, so a left to right flight is critical if the golfer is to prevent the ball from running through the fairway into the deep rough. Once successfully in the fairway, the golfer is confronted with a narrow well-defended green with a dramatic false front. Shots which fail to reach the middle of the green, are likely to roll back into the fairway. Putting on this green is treacherous from above the hole.

Sandy Hook

357 yards, Par. 4. A short dog leg left, the 16th provides the golfer with a multitude of options from the tee. From long irons to driver, 16 will provide a golfer with a last best birdie opportunity, provided that she is able to avoid the massive field of bunkers inside the dog leg. The green is protected by bunkers right and left and slopes back to front and right to left. Thus the golfer must hit a precise approach if a birdie is to be had.

Cross Wind

182 yards, Par. 3. The penultimate hole is a medium length par three. The green is protected by a cavernous bunker left and a smaller bunker right. The green is bisected by a small ridge which makes putting across the green an adventure. Breaks of five to 10 feet are the norm.

Pearly Gates

470 yards, Par.4. The 18th is the most straightforward of all the holes at Lancaster and the most demanding. The fairway is generous because the golfer must swing hard if reaching the green in regulation is a possibility on this dramatic uphill hole. The green is welcoming if the golfer carries the false front, but putting is just as demanding as the tee shot as the green has over seven feet of elevation change.

Total yards: 6,850 par: 70

Course Highlights

Course Highlights

  • Per William Flynn’s request for limited run off tee balls, fourteen of the eighteen holes have tee shots that hit into upslopes ranging from slight to abrupt, and several others punish poorly hit tee shots with side slopes.
  • With the purchase of land east of the Conestoga River in 1938, Lancaster Country Club worked with William Flynn to design the memorable and unique third, fourth, fifth and sixth holes on the “other side” of the Conestoga.
  • Lancaster Country Club received further international acclaim when Tom Doak included the course in his Gourmet’s Choice of thirty-one courses around the globe.
  • Beginning in 2005, Ron Forse and his assistant Jim Nagle worked to rebuild the greens on the twelfth and thirteenth, as well as every single bunker on the course, in order to keep the course true to William Flynn’s original conceptions.
  • A variety of shots are required to succeed when playing Lancaster, and its true strength is demanding on every hole the very best of golfers who step onto its gorgeous playing arena.