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Discover the Skytop Golf Course, which was designed by the talented Robert W. White at the height of the Roaring Twenties.

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Skytop Lodge’s golf heritage dates back to the 1920s.


The creation of Skytop Lodge was an incredibly extensive undertaking. Beginning in 1925, a group of five men—John Stubbs, Charles Thompson, Frederic Smith, Earl Mayne and Samuel Packer—decided to build a grand resort on a high plateau located deep in the Poconos. Recognizing the area’s inherent beauty, the entrepreneurs were resolute in their belief that the prospective resort would become one of the most popular places to visit in all Pennsylvania. They subsequently purchased eight contiguous tracts of land around a village named “Skytop” that totaled some 2,500 acres in size. The actual spot destined to host the main resort resided upon an abandoned homestead that was overrun with all kinds of brush. Through their collective business, “Sky Top Lodges Inc.,” the men started the extensive process of creating the facility. They spared no expense, enlisting the help of accomplished professionals like architect John Muller and the Olmsted Brothers to help in the resort’s overall design. The group also commissioned the accomplished golfer Robert W. White to craft a magnificent 18-hole golf course a year into the resort’s development. A former president of the prestigious Professional Golfers’ Association of America, White proceeded to construct a stunning collection of fairways and greens that masterfully traversed the surrounding wilderness. He made the course a fair, yet challenging experience, weaving pot bunkers and water hazards with purpose throughout the holes. The course made its triumphant debut alongside the rest of the new Skytop Lodge on the eve of the Great Depression, although some general landscaping remained a work in progress. Despite the onset of the financial crisis not long thereafter, the newly christened Skytop Lodge emerged as the luxurious woodland retreat that its founders had intended. The golf course contributed heavily to this reputation, as the unrivaled scenery quickly captivated all the golfers who walked it. Now known as the “Skytop Golf Course,” it has since remained a top site for golf in the commonwealth. Indeed, golfers today continue to thoroughly enjoy its 6,656 yards of unspoiled mountain views.

  • About the Location +

    Skytop Lodge is located on some 5,500 verdant acres of woodland in Skytop, Pennsylvania. High in the Poconos, the resort sits at an elevation of 1,500 feet. Among the outdoor attractions featured around the Skytop Lounge is a historic 18-hole golf course, a 75-acre lake, and nearly 30 miles of hiking trails. The Poconos themselves are a massive mountain chain that shades the Delaware River before ending near the Lehigh Valley. Its northern reaches drift into New York, where they link up with the Catskills. Some of the summits in the Poconos can reach several hundred feet in elevation, with the highest peak measuring some 1,800 feet. People have long inhabited the region, as many Native American societies—including the Lenape, Iroquois, and Shawnee—once called the Poconos home. In 1742, English and German settlers began arriving en masse, although the Dutch had created a few outposts on the fringes of the mountain chain a century prior. Small sustenance farms populated the areas where the land was flat and the soil arable. But the Poconos were soon celebrated regionally for their serene environment. The area, thus, gradually built a reputation as a secluded retreat, with the first hotel opening in 1829. Yet, its true metamorphosis into a major holiday destination did not truly come to fruition until the mid-20th century. World War II heavily spurred this development, as American soldiers returning from overseas took their loved ones up into the mountains for a much-needed vacation. Its popularity exploded tenfold once the war ended, with families travelling from all over the nation to enjoy its natural beauty. Since the 1990s, the Poconos have been among the most cherished vacation getaways in all of America, with tens of thousands visiting every year.

  • About the Architect +

    Robert W. White: Known by his colleagues as “Bob,” Robert W. White was among the generation of late 19th-century Scottish golfers to originally popularize the sport on an international scale. Like many of his contemporaries, White immigrated to the United States to find work at one of the many new American golf clubs that had just begun to open. Interestingly, White first studied agronomy at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, which he used to find gainful employment as a greenskeeper across the country. He specifically worked for several noteworthy golf courses, including the Myopia Hunt Club and the Shawnee Country Club. In that span, White gradually developed a reputation for his talented landscaping abilities. He also briefly competed on the professional playing circuit, playing—but not placing highly—in a couple U.S. Open tournaments. White nonetheless became one of the most preeminent figures in the world of golf. In fact, younger Scottish golfers sought his guidance upon arriving in the country to pursue their own careers. His influence had grown so much that he was eventually selected to help administer golf on a professional scale. Starting with is role as the head executive for the Western Professional Golfers’ Association in 1908, White eventually ascended to be the first president of the Professional Golfers’ Association of America during World War I. All the while, White continued to command respect for his mastery of golf course design. Indeed, he received numerous commissions to craft new golf courses across America, primarily in the Northeast. White remained a respected fixture in golf course architecture for the rest of his life, eventually becoming one of the founding members of the American Society of Golf Course Architects in 1947. A legend ever since, White’s impact on the game has been honored via a posthumous admission into the PGA Hall of Fame decades later.

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