Kennett Square Golf & Country Club is situated on 135 acres in the rolling hills of Chester County, PA. KSGCC stands by a heritage of friendliness and service supported by guest services that take an upbeat and friendly approach to making your experience memorable, with attentive assistance and flexible accommodations.
Since its founding in 1922, KSGCC has been a friendly and comfortable haven for its members. Offering golf, racquet sports, and swimming, opportunities abound for good-natured sporting challenges, and lessons with the area’s top sports professionals. An outstanding restaurant for dining and club social events along with banquet facilities for entertaining guests or business colleagues give KSGCC a welcoming, yet exclusive atmosphere.
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KSGCC In The News
CBS Philly coverage of our Junior Golf program
At KSGCC we strive to continually meet or exceed our members’ expectations with a professional and dedicated staff. We look forward to having you experience the KSGCC standard of service excellence.
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Early in 1922, a group of 26 men met in the Kennett Square fire house to talk about organizing a golf club. During the months that followed they were able to interest friends and neighbors in the project, and on December 15 the first parcel of land, 1.5 acres, was purchased.
It was a start. Two days after Christmas, a charter was granted to the Kennett Square Golf and Country Club. John W. Chalfant was elected president. The board of governors consisted of ten members and an elected president.
Late in 1936 the Club leased approximately 34 acres of rolling Chester County farmland across the road. Now it was possible to add a second nine holes, which were also laid out by Donald Ross and intermingled with the original nine.
In early March of 1923, construction got underway on a two-story stone and frame Clubhouse, and by the end of that month the Club had acquired, in two separate purchases, 99.7 acres to go with the original lot.
There was now ground enough for golf, and though it might have been possible to lay out a full eighteen on the 101-acre property, a decision was made to build only nine holes. Donald Ross was retained to design the first nine, several holes of which opened for play late that same year.
On the 4th of July, 1940, Kennett Square’s 18-hole course was dedicated amidst considerable fanfare. The highlight of the celebration was an exhibition match that featured Gene Sarazen, Wilmington’s Ed "Porky" Oliver, the Club’s head professional, Willie Palumbo, and its Club champion, Willard McConnell.
In the years to come, Kennett Square would build a large swimming pool, seven tennis courts, and four platform tennis courts. The Clubhouse would be expanded and renovated, and the golf course toughened to the point where today, despite measuring only 6,113 yards from the regular tees (6,416 from the back), and with a par of 71, it has a Slope of 134.
Through the efforts of the members and staff, the Club has had the honor of hosting the 2001 US Open Men’s Qualifier, 2002 US Open Women’s Qualifier and the 2003 US Open Boys’ Qualifier.
Kennett Square Golf & Country Club Is Environmentally Conscious
Golf Course Superintendent Paul Stead is aware of the scrutiny that golf courses face. “It makes you really think about what you’re doing to make sure you’re doing it as well as you can,” he said. Stead works every day to set a positive example through the stewardship efforts at Kennett Square.
One improvement Stead made was in his equipment wash area. There was a risk that grass clippings from the mowing machinery could end up in an adjacent stream. Stead learned that discarded organic material contributes to nutrient loading in waterways, which encourages algae growth.
So, Stead created rain gardens in the equipment wash areas to help absorb and filter wash water before it reaches the stream. Rain gardens are sunken landscapes that capture runoff and filter it through soil and native plants. Clippings and sediment from the mowers are now captured by the rain garden rather than potentially washing downstream.
Stead also noticed a recurring runoff issue from the clubhouse parking lot after heavy rains, so he created a bioswale to help improve the situation. He removed a flower bed in the parking area and replaced it with a 3-foot-deep depression filled with a variety of plants that can absorb overflow water. “It’s not just about marigolds and mulch,” said Stead. “It’s about connecting the dots and seeing how everything fits together.”
Red Clay Creek’s east branch flows through the course on holes 13 through 16, so each year, Stead and other club volunteers help to clean debris along the stream. Consistently monitoring the creek allowed Stead to recognize shoreline erosion and its negative impact on the 13th green and 14th tee at Kennett Square. Stabilizing the shoreline would not only stabilize the holes adjacent to the creek, it would also improve water quality on the course and in the surrounding community.
At Stead’s urging, the club contributed to a stream restoration project that ultimately cost $800,000. He secured a $200,000 grant, but the rest of the funding came from the club, which later received a stewardship award from the local watershed association. “I convinced our golfers to look at the stream holistically and to see our facility as a community asset and not just as a golf course,” he said. “When you take that approach, you’re more likely to get involved with community initiatives and to consider the surrounding area.”
A Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary since 2010, Kennett Square has also dramatically reduced its use of fertilizer. Stead estimated that he used less than one pound of fertilizer per green in 2016 and did not fertilize the rough at all. He reasoned that if they watered the course less, the grass would grow less, and if it grew less, they would mow less and need less fertilizer, providing additional cost benefits. “We decided to use water as a growth regulator for the grass,” said Stead. “And it caused a domino effect on everything else.”
Dave Oatis, director of the USGA Green Section’s Northeast Region said, “Superintendents are working harder than ever to maintain courses while protecting and enhancing the environment. Well-managed golf courses can provide valuable habitat for wildlife and are a tremendous environmental asset to communities. Rockland and Kennett Square are two wonderful examples of golf courses that embrace environmental stewardship, and their environment, community and golfers are enjoying the benefits.”
Written by Lisa D. Mickey
Florida-based freelance writer and a Florida master naturalist who frequently contributes to USGA websites.