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Golf in Wyeth Country

Randy Harris Golf in Wyeth Country

Photo: Randy Harris

Day Three Ready to play thirty-six?The first stop is Wyncote Golf Club. Though it lies at the tip of Amish country in Oxford, Pennsylvania, some fifteen miles west of Kennett Square, when you arrive there you'll think you're in Brigadoon. In true Scottish fashion, architect Brian Ault's award-winning heathland adventure is treeless and prey to the winds. Be sure to pack your best knock-down shots and bump-and-runs. In addition to skilled shotmaking, Wyncote requires a stout heart, especially if you're walking: Each nine begins with a long par five around a lake and ends with an uphill three-shotter.

Afterward, backtrack a half hour into Delaware and experience an entirely different challenge at the two-year-old White Clay Creek Country Club, located between Wilmington and Newark. The layout wraps around Delaware Park race track—on most holes you can hear the bugler calling horses to the post. Arthur Hills wove the routing beside, around and over creeks and marshland to create a layout demanding forced carries and prudent decision making. Unless you have a bazooka in your arsenal, choose your tees wisely.

If two rounds is too much, spend the afternoon strolling through Longwood Gardens. The former estate of Pierre S. du Pont, great-grandson of the conglomerate's founder, this 1,050-acre spread (roughly a third of which is open to the public) offers testament to his curiosity and his wealth. It's a wonderland of cultivated flora and Italianate fountains. Year round, Longwood's four-and-a-half-acre conservatory is aromatic with orchids, roses and other floral and arboreal displays.

Toast your stamina afterward by sampling some of the twenty-seven beers on tap, including local suds from Victory, Yuengling, Yards and Troegs, at the Half Moon Restaurant & Saloon in the heart of Kennett Square's revitalized State Street. They all complement the house specialty: game, from native bison (ranched next door in Unionville) to far-flung imports such as ostrich, kangaroo, alligator and wild boar.

If you're in the mood for something more formal, the candlelit Dilworthtown Inn in West Chester, a former stone-and-brick home that predates the nation's independence, is consistently ranked among the region's poshest establishments. It began service as a tavern in 1780, having been trashed by the British three years earlier following their victory in the Battle of Brandywine. The inn has been serving the public ever since.

Day Four Getaway day starts with a wake-up call amid the wild elevation changes and tree-lined corridors of Deerfield Golf & Tennis Club in Newark, just west of Wilmington. Originally a satellite facility of DuPont Country Club, the course functioned for several years as the private reserve of MBNA executives until Bank of America swallowed the credit-card giant in 2005 and posted its interest elsewhere. That decision is paying off: These days Deerfield is a superb state-owned course.

Finally, take a tour of Brandywine Battlefield Park in Chadds Ford, site of the largest one-day confrontation of the American Revolution. Both Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette slept here. It's a shame they were too preoccupied to bring their clubs.


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