Club History

Commonwealth National Golf Club opened for play on June 30, 1990. The course, designed by Arnold Palmer and Ed Seay, has been rated one of the top 25 best courses in Pennsylvania by Golf Digest. It has a course rating of 74.6 from the Golf Association of Philadelphia. Each hole has five tee boxes, ranging from a course of 5,201 yards to 7,117 yards. The 7,117 yard course has a slope rating of 151.

Commonwealth National has hosted the Pennsylvania State Amateur Better Ball of Partners Championship, the Super Seniors PGA Tour "Vantage Classic" Pro-Am, the Tylenol Kids Classic for Cystic Fibrosis, featuring 24 of the top golfers from the PGA Tour, the Commonwealth National Invitational Amateur tournament for the honor of the Palmer Cup and the Mike Schmidt Pro-Celebrity Challenge benefiting Special Olympics.

When Mr. Palmer was invited to design this course, he was given a challenge. He was asked to build a championship golf course, a special golf experience, something different from anything else in Philadelphia. The exciting site he had to work with featured gently rolling land with ponds and streams, wetlands, and tall stands of oak. 

Unlike any of the courses in the Northeast that have a traditional look and feel, with some rough between the tee box and the fairway, a fairway bunker or two to worry about off the tee and a well-trapped green to catch a wayward approach shot. At Commonwealth National, a player sometimes has to carry water and rocks, or marshes and cattails in front of the tees like a course in the Southwest or Florida.  The fairways are sculptured to give well-defined landing areas. There are mounds and bumps and rolls in front of and around the greens not unlike an old Scottish course.

Commonwealth National is one of the best-conditioned golf courses. The fairways are lush and the ball really sets up nicely. A great deal of time and effort was put into the development of the greens so that they hold shots. The putts are quick and true, as if they have been here for decades.

Sometimes people equate "championship" with toughness. While this course can be very tough from the tips, there are five sets of tees on evey hole, so a player has a choice of how hard the individual wants to make it. There are challenges out there, just decide how much a player wants to "bite off" on a given day. Like any good championship course, a player will have to hit a variety of shots and decide how much risk to take on certain holes. The landing areas are very fair and well-placed shots are amply rewarded. Of course, if a player hits it sideways too often, an individual will run into some penalty strokes.

The real beauty of Commonwealth National is in the variety of holes played as the course winds its way around the open rolling terrain, across the streams and water, and through the woods and wetlands back up to the clubhouse. A golfer never gets tired of playing the course, no matter how many times a player tees it up.

All in all, Commonwealth National is what is called a "serious" golfer's golf course. By serious, it doesn't mean that a player must be a single digit handicap. Quite a few members who are between 20 and 30 love the course as much as a scratch player. Our members appreciate the design. Where the low handicapper feels good making a birdie, other individuals feel good making a par. That is what our members want, and what they get, day in and day out at Commonwealth National.

Arnold Palmer was challenged at Commonwealth National to create something unique to the Philadelphia area and he obviously did.

The staff at Commonwealth National is committed to delivering a golf experience to members and their guests which matches the quality of the golf course. Golfers won't touch their golf bag from the time their car pulls up to the bag drop area, until their clubs are counted, cleaned, sorted and placed back into their car's trunk for the drive home.

The feelings that you've had at great clubs around the country and around the world - feelings of the traditions of golf, of the simple pleasure of being out in nature playing a memorable course, of good food and a shared drink - can all be found at Commonwealth National.

Commonwealth National Golf Club is owned by Matrix Golf & Hospitality, a subsidiary of Matrix Development Group of Cranbury, N J. Among the other clubs owned and/or operated by Matrix are: Hanover Country Club, Wrightstown, NJ and Jumping Brook Country Club, Neptune, NJ.