In the early 1930s, Milton S Hershey directed Scottish golf course architect Maurice McCarthy to create a nine-hole course on the grounds of the Hotel Hershey for the exclusive use of its guests. The par 34 course opened in May 1934 on the grounds to the rear of the hotel on its north side.
Located in a pine forest atop a ridge on Pat's Hill, the course is challenging both because of its narrow fairways and its steep slopes. In many places a well-struck ball landing in the middle of a fairway can roll into the woods, especially toward the end of summer when the ground is hard and the grass is dry.
Renamed the Hotel Hershey Executive Golf Course, it was managed by American Golf Company from 1994 until 2002. It is now owned and operated by Hershey Entertainment and Resorts Company and it has been renamed The Hotel Hershey Nine-Hole Golf Course.
There is a full-service clubhouse at the first hole to the west of the practice green which serves light refreshments during the summer. Parking is not a problem as the hotel has plenty of spaces for guests and players.
Greens fees are about $13 per player (at the time of writing) and slightly more for cart rentals. But really, the course is short enough that there's no need to rent a cart - plus the walk will probably do you some good.
- Number 1 (Par 3) - What appears to be a relatively straightforward 158-yard par 3 can, in fact, be a total nightmare if you hit the ball even slightly to the left of the fairway as the ground slopes off downhill into the pine forest.
- Number 2 (Par 4) - This 307-yard par 4 dog-legs to the left and has a pretty severe slope to the woods out of bounds along the left-hand side. Compounding your difficulties is that if you hit too far to the right, you'll have a difficult approach shot to the green.
- Number 3 (Par 4) - This par 4 is challenging in that the green is hidden 291 yards away to the right. Hitting to the left to get a good approach angle to the green risks losing your ball down the hillside into the woods.
- Number 4 (Par 4) - This hole shouldn't cause any difficulties as long as you are able to avoid the trees off the tee to the left. At 343 yards, this par 4 gives you a nice view of the hotel from the green.
- Number 5 (Par 4) - Mentally, this hole can be murder as you are forced to hit over an asphalt driveway. At 252 yards, this par 4 isn't necessarily long, but the centre of the fairway is lower than the tee and the green.
- Number 6 (Par 4) - This is the longest hole on the course at 410 yards and on a clear day it is also one of the prettiest with a nice view of Blue Mountain to the north. The left side of the fairway slopes off into the woods, but the hole itself is a straight shot from the tee.
- Number 7 (Par 4) - Bunkers guard the green on this 363-yard, par 4 hole. The fairway slopes dramatically to the left and a ball hit a little of the left of centre in the fairway has a chance to disappear into the woods.
- Number 8 (Par 3) - At 137 yards, this par 3 is the shortest hole on the course. The green is guarded by several bunkers, but is easily reached in one with a straight shot off the tee.
- Number 9 (Par 4) - This 326-yard, par 4 is all uphill. The fairway takes a dogleg to the left at about 175 yards and the rear of the green is steeply sloped so precision is critical on your approach shot.