Location: Pottstown, Pa.
Course architect: Ed Shearon
Tee — Yardage / Rating | Slope:
Black — 6,739 / 71.0 | 130
Blue — 6,370 / 70.1 | 129
White — 5,995 / 68.2 | 124
Yellow — 5,357 / 65.3 | 116
Red — 4,824 / 66.9 | 112
Saturday morning green fee: $$ [$50-$99]
Caddie service: No
Walker friendly: Yes
Starter: Raven's Claw is the home course for the Symetra Tour’s Valley Forge Invitational. The course record is held by Symetra Tour player Louise Ridderstrom, of Sweden, who shot an 8-under-par 63 in 2018.
Play because ...: Course architect Ed Shearon lives in the Pottstown area and operates a major landscaping business, but he has also designed several other courses. This one was built on 177 acres with traditional-looking family homes mixed in with some of the golf holes.
Takeaway: The most surprising feature is the remains of an old house in the fairway of the first hole. Golf professional Jim Bromley said the house dates to the 1700 or 1800s, but doesn’t know its history. The rest of the course is marked by a good use of big bolders to guide players around the layout. The greens are testy and undulating. The course name comes from the presence of ravens that perch in the course's trees.
THE RATINGS [1 to 10 scale, 10 being the highest]
Food | Beverage: N/A
Pro shop: 8.0
Pace of play: 10.0
COURSE | Scorecard
Best par 3: No. 14 [137 | 125 | 117 | 100 | 85 yards]
Yes, this is the shortest hole on the course and, yes, it’s the easiest according to handicap, but this shorty falls at a nice place in the rotation and looks much different than the other par-3 holes. Not only is it shorter, but there’s water fronting the green. Not a hard hole, but a fun one.
Best par 4: No. 9 [404 | 377 | 362 | 307 | 284 yards]
This very well-designed hole starts a tough three-hole stretch called The Claw. The tee shot must be on the left side of the fairway and well struck to offer a clear approach to the green. The approach is the most demanding shot on the course, as the opening is narrow and the green is elevated. Come up short and a shot can wind up in a waste area.
Best par 5: No. 10 [634 | 619 | 519 | 486 | 451 yards]
It’s the last par-5 hole on the course, and a challenging one for more than just its extraordinary length from the back tees. Second shots must carry a waste area and the green still won’t be easy to reach. The two-level fairway is higher on the right side and the putting surface is most challenging.