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Our Clubhouse is a unique, traditionally designed and exquisitely decorated 35,000 square foot “Georgian Manor” which supports the area’s finest formal and informal dining. As a popular seasonal amenity, Members enjoy dinner and events on our porch and patio, overlooking Overbrook’s sculptured back nine. The Club’s banquet facilities, available to Members and sponsored guests, are renowned for consistently providing excellent food and service. We feature a varied first class cuisine prepared in a state-of-the-art kitchen capable of accommodating parties and receptions of up to 250 persons without disrupting our Members’ a' la carte dining requirements.

The Club offers a challenging 18-hole golf course considered by many to be the best-conditioned parkland facility in the Philadelphia Golf Association. Our Pro Shop is staffed by qualified PGA Professionals and provides a complete array of golf apparel, equipment and services. Overbrook’s men’s and women’s golf teams are members of both the USGA and PGA. Members participate in interclub matches each spring as well as local and regional amateur championships.

Overbrook sponsors a very active family summer swimming program in its 25-meter pool. Our swim team participates in the Country Club Swimming Association of Philadelphia, comprised of the twenty country clubs in the Suburban Philadelphia area. The pool is active with social events for kids and adults all summer long.

The Club offers tennis with six “Har-Tru” courts, and four platform tennis courts with lighted and heated surfaces. In tennis, we participate in both USTA tennis and Cup leagues. Our paddle program is one of the largest programs in Philadelphia. Instruction is available at all levels of play for adults and juniors.

In addition, we have a physical fitness facility with personalized golf fitness instruction, a four-lane bowling alley, a card room and even a barbershop.


Overbrook Golf Club is a private, family country club dedicated to the social well-being of its members. Founded in 1900, Overbrook maintains a strong golf history and is located on 128 magnificent, rolling acres in Bryn Mawr, PA, the heart of the fabled Philadelphia Main Line.  We welcome your interest in the extraordinary facility and membership that is "Overbrook."

 

The Beginning

In 1867, along the commuter train service known as the Main Line, at or about the location where Mill Creek crossed what is now City Avenue was erected a new station named Overbrook.  In the years that followed, the local residents formed a social organization known as the Overbrook Club.  In 1897 the Club acquired property at the foot of Upland Way and Woodbine Avenue for use as an athletic field.  This facility supported tennis, cricket quoits and croquet.

The dawn of the twentieth century brought with it enthusiasm for golf and on January 4, 1900, twenty-three members of the Overbrook Club met and formed the Overbrook Golf Club.  At the Club's organizational meeting, a resolution was adopted authorizing the Officers to execute a five year lease for the Wistar Morris Estate, a track of approximately 80 acres located on the south side of Lancaster Avenue, just west of a shaded country lane named City Line Avenue.  On this ground was built a nine hole golf course and a clubhouse.  To fund the construction, the originators each subscribed the sum of $100.00.  By June 1900, the total membership had risen to 182 men and women.

The Club's popularity continued to grow and, in 1903, the Board expanded the authorized membership number to 325.  By 1906 there was a waiting list.  From inception, the Club focused on extending the golf course to eighteen holes.  After a series of failed efforts, the Officers and Board of Directors secured a suitable ground lease for contiguous property in the spring of 1919.  Donald Ross was engaged as a golf course architect.  Mr. Ross made a careful study of the existing nine holes and prepared plans for two complete nine hole courses with the first and tenth tees and the ninth and eighteenth greens to be built close to the Clubhouse.  The golf course, as designed, was 6,215 yards in length with a par of 70.  It opened May 29, 1920 on the grounds presently occupied by the Lankenau Hospital.  As expected, the new eighteen hole course and the refurnished clubhouse stimulated membership.  By 1920 there were 720 members in all categories.

The 1940s

Despite the challenges of the Great Depression, World War II and periodic financial pressure caused by a succession of difficult lease arrangements, the Overbrook Golf Club survived and continued in operation without interruption.  After looking for alternative locations in the early 1940s, leadership resolved to remain at the original site and secured an agreement for the purchase of the Wistar Morris Estate and surrounding related parcels and right-of-ways that encompassed the golf course and much of the club grounds.  However, the property on which the Clubhouse was located remained subject to a lease from St. Charles Seminary.

By 1947 the potential termination of existing leases and adverse mortgage terms made clear that the Club needed to find a new home.  On October 23, 1948 the Club granted Lankenau Hospital an option to purchase the real estate comprising the golf course and after negotiation with certain of the mortgage holders, a settlement for the golf course property took place on March 25, 1949 with the understanding, later extended, that the Club would retain the right to play golf on the Lankenau site through March 31, 1952.

After an extensive search for a suitable tract, the Board recommended and the membership approved the purchase of the Van Horn Ely Estate consisting of approximately 125 acres with existing structures situated at Godfrey Avenue and Sproul Road in Radnor Township. Settlement occurred on September 19, 1950.  The Manor House located on the Estate, known as "Hardwicke," was recognized as one of the finest examples of French Loire Valley Chateau architecture in the Philadelphia area.  Constructed in 1913 by Herbert L. Clark, it had been purchased in 1933 by Clarence H. Geist, a former Club member and utility magnate, for his daughter, Elizabeth, when she married Van Horn Ely, Jr.  Over the years, the mansion has been periodically renovated and restored, but always with an eye to maintaining its classic character and design.  Today it remains as the recognized social and architectural center of the Club.  

After consulting with Donald Ross respecting the design and construction of a new course at the Van Horn Ely Estate, Mr. Ross, whose health was then deteriorating, recommended that the Club retain the services of Joseph Bernard McGovern, his protege and longtime colleague.  In 1947, McGovern and Ross, along with Robert Trent Jones, Sr., were among the ten charter members who formed the American Society of Golf Course Architects.  A Wynnewood resident, McGovern was the on-site professional for Donald Ross' golf course construction efforts in the Mid-Atlantic States.  McGovern shared and was responsible for implementing recognized Ross design concepts.  Many of these are evident in McGovern's Overbrook design.  In addition to his known collaboration with Ross and his work at Overbrook, McGovern was solely responsible for the re-design of the Gulph Mills golf course in 1946 and the Llanerch course in 1949.  Sadly, J.B. McGovern died before he had the opportunity to fully appreciate the success of his efforts at Overbrook.

The Overbrook Golf Club located at its present facility on the Van Horn Ely Estate officially opened on the weekend of May 30, 1952.

Founded on positive social relationships and a shared interest in athletic endeavors, Overbrook has historically maintained a strong commitment to golf.  As a member of The Golf Association of Philadelphia, Overbrook Golf Club members and golf teams have consistently excelled.   Member golf accomplishments include:  GAP Team Match Championships (7); Philadelphia Team Championships (17); Philadelphia Amateur Championships (8); Joseph H. Patterson Cups (7); Middle-Amateur Championships (4); Senior Amateur Championships (3); Silver Cross Awards (6); and Open Championships (6).  Our competitive success continues with the most recent victory achieved in the 2014 GAP Team Match Championship.  In addition, the Women's Overbrook Invitational has celebrated its 100th anniversary.  This premier women's event is the oldest of its kind in the WGAP and boasts several Overbrook members as its former champion.  The Junior Golf program claims similar success.  Players through this program have gone on to excel in both team and individual accomplishment at both the Junior and Amateur levels.

Significantly, the Overbrook Golf Club boasts the finest club restaurant and banquet service in the area.  These amenities coupled with the stately magnificence of the Hardwicke Mansion continue to make Overbrook a desired and envied destination.  Over the years, careful improvements have occurred.  Because of the commitment of its membership, the dedication of the Club leadership and the consistent talent of its management team, Overbrook has met each challenge and enhanced the Club's assets and activities at every opportunity.  In addition to golf, an attractive social calendar and dining, Overbrook supports a full and excellent array of other activities and events including tennis and paddle sports, swimming and bowling.

The true strength of the Overbrook Golf Club has always been and will remain the quality and depth of its membership.  Those who join the "Brook" are quickly assimilated into a spirit of congeniality, commitment to family, athletic competition and lifelong friendship.  These traditions initiated at the turn of the last century remain embedded in our culture.  Overbrook has never intended merely to operate successfully; rather the Overbrook Golf Club and its members have always pursued and consistently achieved excellence.  For those of you who share our association and friendship and to those of you who consider these attributes valuable for themselves and their families, we welcome you to the unique experience that is "Overbrook."

W. J. Weber