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Cobbs Creek Golf Course: An Architectural and Cultural History

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Historical Society of Pennsylvania

1300 Locust Street

Philadelphia, PA 19107

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Join us over lemonade to learn about the notable cultural history and planned restoration of the Cobbs Creek Golf Course in Philadelphia.

The Cobbs Creek Golf Course opened in 1916 to rave reviews and was quickly recognized as the number one public course in the country, playing host to Arnold Palmer and other PGA Tour legends and serving as the site of the Philadelphia Daily News Open. Cobbs Creek and its sister course, Karakung, are situated on 340 acres of Fairmount Park; the course’s namesake creek runs through a large part of the property. The site was designed by legendary golf course architect Hugh Wilson in collaboration with the Philadelphia School of Architecture.

Welcoming players of all races since its inception, Cobbs Creek became a critical site in the history of African Americans and the game of golf. The United Golfers Association—the nation’s black golf tour—held its major championship multiple times at the site, while notable black golfers like Howard Wheeler and Charlie Sifford (the latter sometimes called the “Jackie Robinson” of golf) identified it as their home course. In 2016, the course was inducted into the African American Golfers Hall of Fame.

R John Burnes and Chris Lange, leaders of the Cobbs Creek Restoration and Community Foundation, will share insights on the course’s historical significance and their plans to bring the course back to its original luster, restore its architectural legacy, and establish educational programming to engage Philadelphia’s youth.

The presentation will be approximately 40 minutes followed by a Q&A.


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Historical Society of Pennsylvania

1300 Locust Street

Philadelphia, PA 19107

View Map

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