New Operator for Reading CC

After officials with Exeter Township (Pa.) acquired the formerly private Reading Country Club late last year, they hired Billy Casper Golf (“BCG”) to operate the now-public 18-hole course. The company will also oversee the operations within the club’s historic clubhouse.

Located about an hour from downtown Philadelphia, Reading Country Club enjoys a storied history. Designed by early-day architect Arthur Findlay, the links were completed in 1926, with the clubhouse following in 1931. One of Reading’s first golf professionals was the legendary Byron Nelson, who took over the job shortly after winning the 1937 Masters.

Many of the game’s greatest players, including Sam Snead, Walter Hagen and Tommy Armour, have been challenged by the layout over the decades. In 1953 the course hosted the U.S. Ryder Cup team prior to its matches at Wentworth in Great Britain. Reading’s narrow fairways and devilishly small greens prepared the Americans for a hard-fought 6 ˝ to 5 ˝ victory over a strong European team that featured Henry Cotton and a young Peter Alliss.

The tree-lined track boasts greens ringed by collection areas and strategic bunkers. The 6,200-yard layout demands accuracy and solid course management. Low handicappers find the course tough, as their miscues will find an assortment of streams, woods and bunkers. Yet with four sets of tees, the course is adaptable for older players, women and juniors.

In addition to a classic test of golf, Reading CC is augmented by a clubhouse that has become one of in Berks County’s most popular facilities for weddings, family functions, proms, corporate meetings and special events. The ballroom seats up to 300 people with other rooms to accommodate smaller parties. With BCG on board and Reading County Club now open to the public, menu enhancements are planned also for the restaurant.

“Golf is extremely popular in the Keystone State and we are thrilled with the opportunity to manage a facility with an extraordinarily rich history,” said BCG regional vice president Brian O’Hare. “Reading Country Club has also hosted an array of social functions over the years, and we’re excited to continue providing the community with a peerless outing venue.”

“From managing Reading’s golf operations to maintaining course conditions to overseeing the food and beverage facilities, BCG brings its considerable course-management experience and proven track record to deliver a tremendous golf and event experience for all Reading’s players and customers,” says Exeter Township Manager Troy Bingaman.