Jay Wright and Ron Jaworski to Play in BMW Championship Pro-Am

Villanova men’s basketball coach Jay Wright and legendary Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Ron Jaworski are scheduled to play next week in the Gardner Heidrick Pro-Am on Wednesday, Sept. 5, at the 2018 BMW Championship at Aronimink Golf Club in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania.

Wright and Jaworski are expected to tee it up alongside some of the top players on the PGA TOUR in next week’s Pro-Am, which will help fund full tuition and housing Platt Evans Scholarships for caddies attending Penn State University in University Park.

“The Gardner Heidrick Pro-Am is such a special part of tournament week, and we’re honored that Coach Wright and Jaws are planning to join us for this exciting day of golf at Aronimink,” said Vince Pellegrino, Senior Vice President of Tournaments for the Western Golf Association.

All proceeds from the 2018 BMW Championship will be used to fund Platt Evans Scholarships for caddies attending Penn State University and to establish a scholarship house at Penn State-University Park, where scholarship recipients will live together. Since 2007, the BMW Championship has raised $27 million to fund college scholarships for caddies of modest means.

About the BMW Championship
The BMW Championship dates back to 1899 when it debuted as the Western Open, making it the third-oldest tournament on the PGA TOUR schedule, behind only the British Open and U.S. Open. BMW has sponsored the tournament since 2007 when it became the penultimate event of the PGA TOUR’s FedExCup Playoffs. The BMW Championship features a field of the top 70 players in the FedExCup standings to determine the final 30 players for the FedExCup finale at the TOUR Championship in Atlanta. Since 2007, the BMW Championship has contributed $27 million to the Evans Scholars Foundation, the event’s charitable beneficiary. To learn more, visit www.bmwchampionship.com.

About Aronimink Golf Club
Founded in 1896 in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, Aronimink Golf Club is regularly rated among the top golf courses in the United States. The club’s par 70 course, designed by renowned golf course architect Donald Ross, plays 7,190 yards from the championship tees. Named for a Lenape Native American chief, the course is framed by evergreens and hardwoods and is a classic American parkland design.

About the Western Golf Association
The Western Golf Association conducts three national golf championships and sponsors the nationally acclaimed Evans Scholars Foundation. Headquartered in Golf, Illinois, the organization was founded in 1899 by 11 Chicago-area golf clubs to promote their interests in golf. In addition to the BMW Championship, the WGA conducts two prestigious amateur championships, the Western Amateur and the Western Junior. To learn more, visit www.wgaesf.org.

About the Evans Scholars Foundation
Established by famed amateur golfer Charles Chick Evans Jr., the Evans Scholars Foundation provides full housing and tuition college scholarships to high-achieving caddies from across the country. The Program, supported by the Western Golf Association, is funded by contributions from more than 31,800 donors nationwide, including Evans Scholars Alumni, as well as proceeds from WGA championships. Since the Program’s inception in 1930, more than 10,600 caddies nationwide have graduated as Evans Scholars. To learn more, visit www.wgaesf.org.

About the J. Wood Platt Caddie Scholarship Trust
Since its inception, more than $20 million in tuition grants have been provided to 3,450 caddie scholars. Established in 1958 by the Golf Association of Philadelphia, The Trust honors J. Wood Platt, who was a premier amateur golfer and two-time President of the Golf Association of Philadelphia. As a partial scholarship program, each caddie scholar can receive up to $10,000 per year is in tuition assistance. The J. Wood Platt Caddie Scholarship Trust has partnered with the Evans Scholars Foundation to equally fund full housing and tuition college scholarships to Penn State University. To learn more, visit www.plattcaddiescholarship.org.

About the Platt Evans Scholarship
Started in 2013, the Platt Evans Scholarship is co-sponsored by the Evans Scholars Foundation and the J. Wood Platt Caddie Scholarship Trust. Awarded to caddies from Golf Association of Philadelphia clubs, Platt Evans Scholars earn full tuition and housing scholarships to Penn State-University Park. Recipients meet the criteria of both programs and are considered Evans Scholars and Platt Scholars.

Golf's Top 70 Tee off September 6th in the BMW Championship at Aronimink Golf Club

Tiger, Dustin, Rory, Phil, Jason, and Bubba are all coming to town in just a few weeks.  But there’s been a buzz in the air for months now, as Delaware County prepares itself to welcome thousands of visitors to the BMW Championship, September 4th through 9th at Aronimink Golf Club in Newtown Square, PA.  Fans will be streaming into Aronimink, not only to see their favorite players, but also to get a first look at the Club’s newly restored course, which was a major restoration back to its original Donald Ross design. 

As the penultimate event of the PGA TOUR’s FedExCup Playoffs, the BMW Championship purse is a cool $9 million with $1.62 million to the winner and only the top 30 pros will qualify for a shot to hoist the Winner’s Trophy at East Lake in Atlanta.

Past performance is usually predictive, so this event is in very good hands, as Vince Pellegrino, Senior Vice President of Tournaments for the Western Golf Association has been the driving force behind the success of the BMW Championship for many years – and his passion for golf is as contagious today as it likely was when he began his journey as a caddie more than two decades ago. Rising through the ranks, he and his team have an amazing track record of success. He was kind enough to give us a preview of what to expect in September.

BL: “I read that in 2008, 2012, 2013 and 2014 the PGA TOUR named the BMW Championship its TOURNAMENT OF THE YEAR.  That’s no small feat.  What does it take to make this event the best of the best?”

Pellegrino began his relationship
with the Western Golf Association as a
caddie in the late 1990’s. He rose
through the organization, and under
his supervision the BMW Championship
was named "Tournament of the Year" four
times by the PGA.

VP: “You need a great course, with a history of hosting big events – and the fan experience needs to not only meet, but beat their expectations.  Our planning committee needs do its job; but maintaining our standard of success is a testament to the tireless efforts of the hosting clubs, the commitment of the event sponsors, and the warmth and participation of the host communities that support it.  BMW is an automotive industry leader, and our goal is to bring the same level of excellence to the event that bears their name.”

“It also helps when you get great volunteer support, and in Delaware County and surrounding areas more than 2,200 people will fill critical roles that include everything from player transport to venue services, cart drivers, marshals, greeters and food service assistants.” 

BL: “How would you describe the BMW Championship experience to someone considering buying a ticket vs. watching it on TV?”
VP: “TV is great, but compared to attending a golf event in person, there’s no contest.  These top courses are stunningly beautiful, and few sports allow spectators as close to the action.  This event will also feature incredible social experiences with exciting BMW interactive displays.  Another reason to buy a ticket is that golf, like football, doesn’t compete as often as baseball or basketball.  Eagles’ fans will have only 8 chances to see their reigning Super Bowl Champs play in Philly this year – but for golf fans, only a handful of cities in the entire country will host a single top golf event.” 

Another great way to get up close and personal with
your favorite golfers is to get tickets for practice
rounds leading up to the event.  Picture above is the
crowd from last year’s event, watching and
listening in as several golfers warm up.

BL: “This has been a huge year for golf, with Tiger’s resurgence, Phil ‘s 43rd PGA TOUR win,  Bubba’s big bounce back taking home three trophies, and the youth movement racking up majors like they are billiard balls.  What will these and the other top golfer’s need to do to win here?”

VP: “Anyone who played in Tiger’s AT&T event here 7 years ago, is in for a big surprise.  Aronimink has taken the original Donald Ross design, and brought it ‘back to the future,’ so to speak.  Doubling the number of bunkers both guarding the greens and some fairways, will make every drive off the tee worth a second thought.  But the most challenging part of the course will be in and around the greens.  Short play will be very important and only those at the top their game will be high on the leaderboard.”

BL: “I understand the BMW Championship is the oldest event on the PGA TOUR. (The British and U.S. Opens are older, but are not PGA TOUR events.)  When did it reincarnate into its current format?Ú

VP: “As we made the turn into the 21st century, the Western Golf Association was approached by the PGA TOUR with an opportunity to become a championship event as part of a playoff where the best players in the world would compete at the end of the year for both a trophy and a huge $10,000,000 purse.”
At the 2017 BMW Championship, a hole-in-one
by Jason Day meant an extra $100,000 for the Evans
Scholars Foundation which has sent more than
11,000 student caddies to college since 1930.
There are currently 965 Evans Scholars enrolled
at 20 universities, and this year they will award
funding for 270 more.  Their Evans Scholars
have a 95% graduation rate.

“Accepting the challenge, we debuted as the BMW Championship in 2007, and now, every other year, we go beyond our original western boundaries to rotate through other markets across the country. This has also given us a national stage for promoting our outstanding Evans Scholars Foundation which provides full-tuition college scholarships for caddies of modest means and shines a light on the development of young talent. And this year we have the opportunity to spotlight our partnership with the Golf Association of Philadelphia to support the Platt Evans Scholarship.

“When it officially became the BMW Championship, the event also changed from a full field event of 156 players, to the top 70 players – with no traditional cut on Friday. That’s important because when you have a favorite player, you’ll be able to walk with him all four days.”

BL: “Aronimink has hosted several PGA TOUR and Amateur events, the most recent being the AT&T in 2011. When did Aronimink first appear on your radar as a site for this year’s BMW Championship?”

VP: “The East Coast location is great, and the Philadelphia market is an important one that we started looking at in 2014. Aronimink had a long history of hosting top events, and the Club had both an engaged membership and a strong volunteer base which are critical in hosting this event.  Plus, they had a master plan to restore the course, and we valued the fact that they were restoring it both for their own membership – and for the opportunity to host more top golf events in the future.  This mentality is exactly what earns a serious look by a major event planning committee.“

BL: “Recent BMW Championship host courses include Conway Farms, Crooked Stick and Cherry Hills. What traits do those sites share with Aronimink?”

VP: “It’s simple, really - they are all iconic courses and all have the ability to stand up and test the best players in the world.”

BL: Any final thoughts you’d like us to share with people throughout the five county area? 

VP: “This event isn’t just big for the players, it’s very special to all of us at WGA because the proceeds from the 2018 BMW Championship benefit the Platt Evans Scholarships for caddies attending Penn State University and to establish a scholarship house where scholars will live together on campus.  Currently the Evans Scholars Foundation and our partnership J. Wood Platt here in Philadelphia to create the Platt Evans Scholarships combined are supporting nearly 1,000 student scholars in college this year, and we’re adding 270 more – including some who will attend Penn State from local Philadelphia-area clubs.  That means every ticket sold to this BMW Championship event provides outstanding educational assistance here in Pennsylvania, and is also helping to “drive” the growth of golf into the next generation.”

Few sports allow fans as close to the players as Golf.  Here is Dustin Johnson, the current #1 player in the world, shaking and bumping hands with his fans during the 2017 BMW Championship. There are a variety of tickets, including Practice Round. Get yours now and follow your favorite players at Aronimink Golf Club in Newtown Square. Click Here.
Several staff members at Destination Delco are big golf fans.  Some have even been lucky enough to attend a TOUR event.  But if you haven’t, think about the last time you watched a Ryder Cup competition on TV.  Even the players become part of the crowd, finishing their rounds and then racing back to the course, to follow their team-mates, hole to hole.  

During the recent PGA Championship, the announcers talked each day about the return of the ‘Tiger roars’ echoing all over the course. Your voice, your passion are an integral part of the game.  Experience for yourself the sound that both thrills and chills players and fans alike… “Was that a Birdie? An Eagle? Who’s charging up the leaderboard? ”  

Come watch the best golfers in the world do business in Delaware County.  And let’s face it, their office is pretty magnificent.  

An Interview with Joe Fabrizio, President of Aronimink Golf Course

The 2018 BMW Championship, the third of four events in the PGA TOUR’s FedExCup Playoffs, is coming to Aronimink Golf Club in Newtown Square, Pa. the week of September 4-9. The top 70 players in the FedExCup standings will go head-to-head vying to be among the 30 players advancing to the TOUR Championship where a $10,000,000 bonus awaits the winner.  Aronimink’s Club President Joe Fabrizio and his fellow members are eager to introduce the newly restored Aronimink course to the international golf world, as well as to golf fans throughout the Delaware Valley and beyond.

Here is our recent interview with Joe Fabrizio, President of Aronimink Golf Club and Managing Shareholder for Rainer & Company, Certified Public Accountants and Business Consultants.
– by Barbara Lehman, Director of Communications, Destination Delco Tourism Bureau.

As Destination Delco’s Director of Communications, you might suspect I’m a people person.  And you’d be right.  I’m fascinated by people’s stories. I also happen to be fascinated by golf, which is why I was thrilled to speak with Joe Fabrizio, President of Aronimink Golf Club.

I interviewed Joe on March 23, just hours before the Villanova men’s basketball team would take on the physical, smart and scrappy Mountaineers of West Virginia. Like all of us in Delco, Joe , a Villanova alumni, was anticipating a Sweet 16 victory.  Now he’s anticipating another victory – for Aronimink Golf Club, its members and the entire county.  This September, when 70 of the world’s best golfers and thousands of fans from around the world arrive at Aronimink for the BMW Championship, Joe is preparing for them to have a world-class experience.

BL: “Tell us about your first experience playing at Aronimink. What captured you about the club?”

Joe Fabrizio, President of Aronimink Golf Club

JF: “I remember the first time I played at Aronimink.  Frank Rainer, who was a Senior Partner in the firm I now manage, was a member and suggested that I consider joining.  Without question the golf course made the biggest impression on me, but meeting the membership and seeing all the amenities and family activities were key factors in my decision to become a member.”

BL: “For many years you have contributed your time and talents to the club, serving as Vice President for two years, and  Treasurer for five years before taking the helm as President a year ago. What have been the biggest transformations in your time with the club?”  

BL: “In my 23 years here, without question, the renovation of our clubhouse in 2005-2006 and the current restoration of our golf course are the most significant projects undertaken. 

During our most recent restoration, we increased the number of bunkers from74 to 174, reclaimed green surfaces, restored the fairways to their original Donald Ross design, and replaced the raised rectangular tee boxes with free formed shaped tee boxes which conform with the contour of the land.  Our goal was to restore the course as close as possible to its original Donald Ross design and I believe we achieved that goal.”

BL: “Do you have a favorite place on the course, or an experience that has become part of the lore or legend of the club?”

JF: You need to see the Bronze Plaque behind our first tee.  It bears a quote from Donald Ross, who upon visiting the course after 20 years, remarked: ‘I intended to make this my masterpiece, but not until today did I realize that I built better than I knew.’” (Click here to view photo)

BL: “The BMW Championship has become a huge event for both golf fans and players. But what other prestigious events have been held here?”

JF: “We hosted the 1962 PGA Championship won by Gary Player. In addition, we hosted the 1977 US Amateur, the 1997 US Junior Amateur, the 2003 Senior PGA Championship, and the 2010 and 2011 AT&T National. In addition there are several tournaments already planned for the years ahead. 

BL: “How many people do you expect will attend the BMW Championship in September?”

JF: We expect to have 125,000 to 140,000 visitors over the course of tournament week.  Certainly there will be many local attendees, as well as fans from across the country.  In addition, our region will be in the spotlight as millions watch from across the world on television.

BL: “Which three holes should draw the biggest crowds? 

JF: “In my opinion holes #8, #17 and #18.  The AT&T event last played here in 2011 ranked hole #8 as one of the most difficult holes on the TOUR that year.  It’s a downhill par 3 with good viewing areas.  Hole #17 is a challenging par 3 over water that has great viewing opportunities, and #18 is always popular because it's the finishing hole.  In addition, considerable length has been added to the back tee of this uphill par 4 which should add to the viewing experience for spectators.”

(click here to continue reading)

Philadelphia Area Caddies Earn College Scholarships

Three students from the Philadelphia area were recently named recipients of the Platt Evans Scholarship, a full housing and tuition college grant awarded to golf caddies.

The result of a partnership between the Western Golf Association’s Evans Scholars Foundation and the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s J. Wood Platt Caddie Scholarship Trust, Platt Evans Scholars are chosen based on a strong caddie record, excellent academics, demonstrated financial need and outstanding character.

The recipients – Parker Bria of Roslyn, John McCormick of Horsham, and William Morris of Flourtown – will attend Penn State University in University Park this fall.

The three were awarded the Platt Evans Scholarship following a Feb. 23 selection meeting at Aronimink Golf Club in Newtown Square. Aronimink Golf Club will host the 2018 BMW Championship, a FedExCup Playoff event to be conducted by the Western Golf Association from Sept. 4-9.

Parker Bria
Proceeds from the 2018 BMW Championship will be used to fund Platt Evans Scholarships to Penn State University and to establish a scholarship house on campus, where Scholars will live and learn together.

The Aronimink Golf Club selection meeting was one of more than 20 such meetings the Evans Scholars Foundation will hold across the country through the spring. When the 2017-18 selection meeting process is completed by April, an estimated 275 caddies nationwide are expected to be awarded the Evans Scholarship.

The recipients are:

Parker Bria, from Roslyn, caddies at Huntingdon Valley Country Club. A senior at Abington Senior High School, she plans to study engineering. Parker is involved in many activities including student council, Key Club and National Honor Society. She plays on the varsity golf team and also participates in basketball, softball, ballet and competitive canoeing. She says, “I enjoy caddying and working alongside such great people. College education is very important to me. I am excited for the future of my college career.”

John McCormick, from Horsham, caddies at Manufacturers’ Golf & Country Club. A senior at Hatboro-Horsham High School, he plans to study finance, a path he discovered through caddying for members at his country club. A member of the National Honor Society, he also started an investment club at his high school. He says, “I will always be grateful to
the many individuals I caddied for over the years. They were generous, intelligent, humorous, motivating and, without realizing it, teachers. They taught me to have a stronger sense of myself, look for a purpose and maintain the discipline to achieve my goals.”

John McCormick
William Morris, from Flourtown, caddied at Philadelphia Cricket Club. He is a senior at Springfield Township High School, where he is a member of the National Honor Society, captain of the golf team and captain of the academic team. He also has played on the baseball team. William plans to study chemical engineering. He says caddying helped him to form relationships with people he would never have otherwise met. He says, “I realized something significant was happening. I saw the chance to make a true connection with someone; a chance that can only come from learning their story. So I decided to delve deeper.”

The three recipients will join seven other Platt Evans Scholars this fall at Penn State. This is the fifth year of the partnership between the ESF and the J. Wood Platt Caddie Scholarship Trust.
“Based on their excellence in the classroom and their service to their schools and communities, these young students have certainly earned this life-changing opportunity,” said local WGA Director Frank Polizzi. “We welcome them to the Evans Scholars family.”

“This partnership with the Evans Scholars Foundation is fabulous, and I compliment our trustees for approving the initiative," said J. Wood Platt Caddie Scholarship Trust Chairman Jonathan P. Warner. "To have caddies like Parker, John and William involved strengthens our mission of making a difference in the educational lives of young men and women.”

William Morris
About the Evans Scholars Foundation

Established by famed amateur golfer Charles Chick Evans Jr., the Evans Scholars Foundation provides full housing and tuition scholarships to high-achieving caddies across the country. The Program, which is supported by the Western Golf Association, is funded by contributions from more than 32,000 Evans Scholars Par Club members, including Evans Scholars Alumni, as well as proceeds from the BMW Championship. Since the Program’s inception in 1930, more than 10,600 caddies nationwide have graduated as Evans Scholars. To learn more, visit www.wgaesf.org.

About Aronimink Golf Club

Inscription on plaque mounted on a rock overlooking the fairway to Hole #1
– Donald J. Ross 
Aronimink Golf Club was founded in 1896 and moved to its current location in 1926. Donald Ross, the Scottish pro who became one of America’s foremost golf architects, was commissioned to design the course.

Even today we sense this tradition every time we enter the club grounds and approach our clubhouse. Over the past century we have hosted many prestigious tournaments most notably the 1962 PGA Championship, the 1977 U.S. Amateur Championship, the 1997 United States Junior Amateur Championship, 2003 Senior PGA Championship,the 2010 and 2011 AT&T National Championship, and the 2018 BMW Championship. In 2020, Aronimink will be hosting the Women’s PGA Championship, and in 2027 scheduled for the PGA Championship.

Aronimink Golf Club is rated #10 in the top 50 Golf Clubs in America. The 265 clubs were evaluated on universal recognition, excellence in amenities and facilities, caliber of staff and professional service levels, quality of membership, governance and prudent fiscal management, adapting to changing times, and overall experience. Platinum Clubs of America represents the very finest private clubs throughout the United States.

An Interview with Alex McCarty, Manager of the 2018 BMW Championship

Alex McCarty
In November 2017 representatives from Destination Delco visited Aronimink Golf Club and spoke with Alex McCarty, Manager of the 2018 BMW Championship conducted by the Western Golf Association.

According to Alex, “Aronimink Golf Club is in the second stage of a major restoration of the course that will return the terrain to its original configuration as designed by Donald Ross in 1926.”

The first part of the restoration was completed in early 2017, and when we arrived in November much of the landscape was filled with heavy equipment in the process of refurbishing bunkers, seeding fairways, and leveling driving tees and putting greens.

“Over the years,” Alex continued, “banks of individual bunkers had worn down to become one bunker. The course reconstruction will separate them and bring back the views and shadow lines as envisioned by the designer.”

“The rebuilding was a members decision,” said Alex. “And the golfers have been very understanding of the inconvenience while looking forward to playing the course the way it was intended…. as well as having the
BMW Championship here in September.”

The fairway between holes # 7 and #8 is one of the most picturesque on the course.The views are breath taking even in late November and through course reconstruction.
When asked about “why” BMW selected the Aronimink, Alex had no problem replying, “Well, it is a magnificent course, and the setting and location of the Club are superb. Plus the BMW Championship has raised more than $19.6 million for the Platt Evans Scholars Foundation. Supported by Western Golf Association, the Foundation awards full tuition and housing scholarships to caddies of modest means. Of the 870 Platt Evans Scholars enrolled at 18 universities across the country 8 are from Pennsylvania. Proceeds from the 2018 BMW Championship will be used to fund Platt Evans Scholarships to Penn State University. Funds will also be used to establish a scholarship house at Penn State-University Park, where Scholars will live together.  (Click here for more information on the Evans Scholarship Program)

“What many people don’t realize is that many Clubs have discontinued the ‘caddie’ concept, while Aronimink and its members continue to support the program, realizing that it is a tradition that is valuable to the game and to the young people who it helps support.”

Alex drove us past Hole 7, one of the most photogenic on the course past some current construction to Hole 9 which will share a tee box with number 17 when completed.  The fairway of #9 is a long uphill walk to the clubhouse where we concluded our interview.

When asked about sponsorship opportunities, Alex explained that BMW was the title sponsor, but that there are many opportunities for businesses and organizations to participate. For more information on corporate opportunities click here.

“One of the greatest features of the BMW Championship is the 70 top players who will be here to compete for a collective prize of $10 million,” said Alex.  “That’s impressive!”


The BMW Championship will make its inaugural visit to Aronimink Golf Club September 4-9, 2018. Come see the top 70 players in the world compete in the penultimate event of the PGA TOUR’s FedExCup Playoffs. Please Click Here to review ticket options.


Sean M. O'Hair
Born: July 11, 1982 Lubbock, Texas
Home: Chadds Ford, PA

Best results in major championships

Masters Tournament  T10: 2009
U.S. Open  T12: 2010
The Open Championship  T7: 2010
PGA Championship  T12: 2006

Achievements and Awards

Four PGA TOUR wins
PGA Tour
Rookie of the Year  2005

Though born and raised in Lubbock Texas, pro golfer Sean O’Hair has lived nearly half of his life in the Delaware County area. Sean entered golf early and knew by the age of five that he wanted to devote is life to the sport. With hard work and resolve he turned pro at the age of 17 and qualified for the PGA Tour in 2005, winning Rookie of the Year honors that same year, winning his maiden PGA Tour event at the John Deere Classic and finishing second at the AT&T Byron Nelson.

Sean, who now lives in Chadds Ford, has been a member of Aronimink Golf Club since 2005 and is currently on the PGA Tour and hoping to qualify for the 2018 BMW Championship, which features the top 70 players in the season-long FedExCup in September.

At the age of 35, Sean has already enjoyed a long career, and is looking forward to the competitions ahead in 2018. At the time of our interview, Sean was on a break at home before heading off to Pebble Beach, the Pacific Palisades, and on to the first event of the Florida Swing in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

DD:  Sean, since you live in the area, you must be quite familiar with the course at Aronimink, what would you say are the biggest challenges of the course?

Sean O’Hair: Aronimink is a beautiful course, and I am looking forward to playing on “home turf.” It is somewhat intimidating to play “where you live” in that many of the people you know as a husband, father and community member will be watching you with high expectations. I would say that Hole No. 8 is the toughest, and requires everything from a 5 iron to a 5 wood. It’s a long par 3 with par being a good score. Hole No. 4 is also quite difficult in that the green is fairly small for such a long drive and can be tricky to get to.

DD: The course has been refurbished and the bunkers rebuilt. Does the renovation make the course more difficult to navigate?

Sean O’Hair: I played the course this past year with many of the changes made, and for me it seemed somewhat easier. Aronimink is an “old school” course and was well received some years back by the golfers in 2010 at The National. The course could be challenging for the “everyday golfer” since the bunkers frame the fairway, but I think that with some off the trees removed, the fairways have opened up.  I haven’t played the course after the full renovations, but I suspect that it will be made tougher for the pros.

DD: Aronimink is very much a “caddie club.” Proceeds from the 2018 BMW Championship used to fund the Platt Evans Scholars Foundation for caddies at Penn State University.
What is your opinion of the need for “caddies” in the modern world of golf?

Sean O’Hair: You’re asking a guy who has had both his wife and father inlaw as caddies and does in clubs like Aronimink. Carrying clubs is only a part of what a caddie does for the golfer, in part because it benefits both parties. The golfer can learn from a caddy’s experience what he’s learned from watching and assisting other golfers who have played the course, and the caddy benefits from meeting and commiserating with people in all fields of life. The caddy learns how to communicate with others, learn the values and the quirks of various players, and earn money to support schooling or other endeavors.  Caddying provides life lessons and gets kids out of doors and help make them responsible. Sometimes I worry about the world my kids live in today where video games and text messaging replace real world communication and experiences.

DD: Speaking of your family, your wife grew up around here. Where did you meet her?

Sean O’Hair: My wife is from Aston, but I met her at a practice session at Heron Bay in 2001 and we were married in 2002. She’s close to her family, so I moved into the area. We have four children: Molly, Luke, Grady and Trevor.

DD: Golf today is year round sport. Does your travel schedule make it difficult for family life?

Sean O’Hair: The travel can be difficult, but I love golf and I’ve made it my life’s work. Any commitment can be “selfish,” but as in many fields, a golfer needs to build balance into his life. I try to juggle my priorities and stay grounded. My family is important and essential to me, and I need to be there for them.

DD:  How do you spend your down time?

Sean O’Hair: With four kids its pretty much with them and my wife. My wife and I enjoy restaurants in West Chester and the Chadds Ford area. I travel so much that staying home is a vacation for me.

DD: As you get older, what have you learned most about the game of golf?

Sean O’Hair: I have been with it so long that I feel I have learned everything in life from it. My greatest weakness is my own expectations of myself and I try to deal with that on a regular basis. I think what I’ve learned most is that to remain viable in any field a person must be able to adapt to change. The game has changed a lot since I started out. Rookies are 21 and under rather than 22 to 24 years of age. They start out of the gate quicker, and have grown up in a world of rapid changes. As I get older I have to be careful not to extend myself too far both physically and mentally. I have to use my experience over my ability to beat the ball where I want it to go. And I have to keep the motivation to win…always. When I lose the motivation, it’s time to retire!

DD: What would you do if you retired?

Sean O’Hair: I don’t think I’ll ever lose my passion for golf and I hope that I will always be able to play the game without the pressures of earning an income. Golf is expensive and stressful. Unlike most team sports where you get a contract and are paid even if you’re injured, golfers only get paid if they play…and only paid well if they win. If I retired I’d like to teach clinics or be involved in it the game in some other way. Golf is my life and it has taken me a long time to become self-aware, know who I am and what’s valuable. If you don’t learn that, you never will gain anything.

Aronimink Golf Club Hole-by-Hole Descriptions

Click each hole to view outlines of tees, fairways and greens; photos of holes; and tips on playing each hole of the course.

Ross designed Aronimink to put even the best golfers to the "supreme test" - that of exceptional long-iron play. The Ross challenge is evident from the very first hole, which presents a sharp drop right off the tee, followed by a 250-yard uphill climb to the green. The course also requires endurance - especially on the 16th hole with its 545-yard,par-5 challenge.

To assure players are at the top of their games, Aronimink is balanced with well-crafted shorter holes that make strategic excellence and accuracy essential. However, in classic Ross style, the ingenuity of the course's design opens it up to all levels of abilities-presenting a rewarding challenge to the most skilled professionals, while giving average golfers a course on which they can play with confidence.