Longue Vue Club is a classic Golden Age course that adds to the impressive list of golf courses in the Greater Pittsburgh Area. The historic club is comprised of a world famous clubhouse designed by Benno Janssen, and a Golden Age golf course designed by Robert White.
The golf course winds it’s way through the hillside situated high above the Allegheny river, making for some of the most scenic views in all of Pittsburgh. Vistas are present on many holes, the best being from behind the par-3 17th tee box looking out over the Allegheny. The holes are strategically placed, utilizing the lay of the land to perfection which presents a variety of different holes that require careful strategy. Recently, an aggressive tree program has helped restore the course to it’s original design.
The front nine consists a mix of holes that make great use of the elevation change. The first hole is a beast of a starting hole, playing roughly 400 yards uphill from the tee. The third hole is a par-3 over a canyon to an elevated green that is well protected by a deep bunker short and left of the green. The fourth hole is a short par-5 with a tough tee shot from atop the hillside down into the valley. Good drives are rewarded with a look at reaching the green in two, but missing the fairway makes for a tough layup. The sixth hole resembles the famous golden age design feature, Cape, with a tee shot over a large gully (formerly a forest) to a left to right sloping fairway. The more you cut off the tee shot, the less yardage to the green but also the more risk taken. The seventh hole is a great short par-4 measuring just over 300 yards. Going for the green can make for tough approaches as the green is small, undulating and well protected. The ideal approach is with a full swing, from 100+ yards out, which requires a tee shot of roughly 180-200 yards. The eighth hole is another par 5 with an elevated tee shot to a left to right sloping fairway. Similar to the fourth hole, a good tee shot allows for a look at the green, but getting out of position is easy to do and makes for a tough layup. The ninth hole is one of the toughest par-4’s on the front nine measuring 430 yards from the men’s tees. The fairway is wide but the approach is to a green sloping away, which makes the green tough to hold with a long iron.
The back-nine has it’s own mix of holes, starting on the short par-3 tenth, which was designed by A.W. Tillinghast. The hole resembles Tillie’s ‘Tiny Tim’ design feature which can be seen at many of Tillinghast’s courses. The thirteenth is a short uphill par-4 to a punchbowl green, which is a blind shot from the fairway. The large front bunker guards all pin locations in the front and back pin locations. The 14th hole is a beast of a par-4 with a slight dogleg left. The premium is on the tee shot, which set’s up for a long but wide open approach to a large green. Anything left get’s blocked out and right is out of play. The par-5 fifteenth starts one of the toughest stretch of finishing holes in Western Pennsylvania. The straight away par-5 has O.B. right and a large drop off left making precision important. The sixteenth is a tough uphill par-3, and easily one of the toughest par-3’s on the course. The elevated green is tough to hit and pitches are difficult from the surrounding bunkers, par here will pick up one on the field. The seventeenth hole is the number one handicap hole, measuring 440 yards from an elevated tee to a narrow fairway with a steel drop off to the left. A good tee shot is crucial, setting up for a straight away approach to a big green. The finishing hole is one of the most scenic on the course with the famous clubhouse in the backdrop. The second shot is downhill to a massive right to left sloping green. It requires two solid shots in order to have a putt at birdie, and is a great finishing hole for championship golf.
Longue Vue Club is an underrated championship course that has hosted many championships, including the State Amateur Championship. The combination of a Golden Age golf course and one of the most famous clubhouse designs, makes it stand out as one of the best clubs in Pennsylvania with no shortage of rich history.