Trump National Philadelphia is a great golf course that is challenging and well routed. The terrain shares characteristics with that of Pine Valley as they are only about a mile apart, which makes for a very cool experience. The Fazio design utilizes the natural sloping terrain and many of the holes have elevated tee shots and elevated greens which adds to the difficulty. The tee shots put a premium on accuracy and shot shaping and the majority of the holes have elevated tee boxes and elevated greens making for a lot of great driving holes and tough approach shots. Missing fairways can make for a long day as all of the holes are tree lined making recovery very difficult. There are a lot of great holes throughout the course – its obvious that Fazio put a lot of time and effort into this design.
The 3rd hole is one of the harder par-4’s on the course and is a great example of the many elevated tee shots at Trump National. It’s the No. 2 handicap hole as it is nearly 500 yards from the back tee box. It is a great driving hole that provides a large landing area but puts a premium on the long approach shot into a well protected green. In my mind, this is the hardest hole on the course but that may have just been because it was playing straight into the wind.
The 6th hole is a great short par-4 that requires a fade off of the tee and an approach into an elevated green. This can be a birdie hole if you hit a good tee shot but can quickly become very difficult if you hit it into one of the fairway bunkers on the left side of the hole. This is a great example of Fazio utilizing the natural landscape and making a short hole very challenging.
The 13th hole is a terrific par-3 with an elevated tee shot to a difficult and well protected green. On a clear day, you can see the Philadelphia skyline in the distance adding to its appeal. This was one of my favorite holes because it is such a simple yet cool design. The undulating green makes you have to think about where you want to be putting from because of the ridge running through the middle of the green.
The finishing hole at Trump National is by far the best hole on the course. It is not overly long but requires an accurate tee shot to have any chance at having a look at birdie. The approach is challenging as it is uphill to a well protected green. The views from the green are amazing and you can clearly see the Philadelphia skyline as well as a panorama of the surrounding New Jersey and Philadelphia region.
Trump National Philadelphia is a great golf course and is a great way for a player to get a feel for what Pine Valley is like. Although it is nowhere near PV caliber, it is still a great golf course and a fun experience. It was my first time playing a Donald Trump venue, and I have to say that what he has done with the place is great. The renovated clubhouse is beautiful and has amazing views of the Philadelphia skyline throughout. There is a great practice facility and the golf course is a lot of fun to play. The only thing that takes away from the experience is the fact that the course is not walkable but other than that is a great destination for golf.