A wooden bridge between holes surrounded by trees is at the Saucon Valley Country Club golf course on Monday, Oct. 19, 2015. Lehigh's men's and women's golf teams use Saucon Valley Country Club's course for practice and invitationals. (Chris Barry/B&W Photo)

Lehigh golf calls top 10 course in state its home


The Lehigh men’s golf team has the luxury of playing at one of the top golf courses in all of Pennsylvania: the famed Saucon Valley Country Club.

The club features three championship courses and a six hole short course. Two of those courses are consistently ranked in the top 100 golf courses in America and all three courses are ranked collectively in the top 10 in the state.

The Mountain Hawks just completed their fall season with a second place finish in the Lehigh Invitational held at the Saucon Valley Country Club course. The team finished behind Bucknell University, which was ahead by 14 strokes. Freshman Jonathan Hsu led the way for the Mountain Hawks, finishing fifth overall in the tournament.

Many of the players believe that playing on such a tough home course prepares them for anything that may be thrown their way throughout the season.

“The grace course demands different shot types to be played on each hole, and because of this you have to stay 100 percent focused on what and where you want the ball to do or go,” said senior David Olexson, who tied for 28th place in the Lehigh Invitational. “If you aren’t in full concentration the course will eat you alive.”

Another advantage the course provides the team is that it continues to attract more golfers to the school. Having the opportunity to practice on such a prestigious and challenging course is a lucrative selling point for recruitment efforts.

“The facilities Lehigh has for golf is a big factor for many recruits, including myself,” Olexson said. “To be able to practice on a top notch golf course daily is a treat and our practice facility an extreme advantage for us.”

Playing on this course has paid dividends, especially for the younger players on the team. At the invitational to end the fall season, Hsu wasn’t the only player who placed high, as fellow freshman Eamon Marrone, and sophomore Billy Johns and junior Brendan Worthy also performed well. The players believe that the course gives them a leg up for their fall tournament but also enables their game to evolve during the course of both seasons.

Worthy said he loves the fact that the course is so close to campus and that it doesn’t require a far trip for practice.

“We are privileged to practice and play out there not only because of the quality, but also the location,” Worthy said. “It is no more than 10 minutes from campus which is a premium relative to some other college programs.”

Olexson also added that this course is one of the best courses they play in the league, comparing it with two other sites — The Tuxedo Club and Seven Oaks.

The men’s golf season is over until it picks back up with spring golf in March.

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