Cobbs Creek Annexed by U.S. Army at Height of the Korean War
Since opening its doors in 1916, Cobbs Creek has undergone numerous changes. Its story has many authors, and they all brought us to where we are today.
Now, as we come together in hopes of writing a great new chapter in its historic legacy, we want to share a lesser-known chapter in the Cobbs Creek story.
After hosting multiple United Golfers Association tournaments and Opens for female and African American golfers throughout the late 1930’s and 40’s, Cobbs Creek suddenly found itself in the crosshairs of the Cold War.
In the early 1950’s, at the height of the Korean War, 15% of the Cobbs Creek property was annexed by the United States Army to house an anti-aircraft battery to defend against possible nuclear attack. At the time, there were several Anti-Aircraft Artillery Defenses in the Philadelphia area and surrounding suburbs. Battery B, 51st Battalion, 53rd AAA Brigade of the Eastern Anti-Aircraft Command relocated to Philadelphia from Manoa amid great controversy throughout the community.
The move caused significant acreage loss at Cobbs Creek, ultimately affecting seven of the course’s original eighteen holes.
To compensate for the loss, then Superintendent Garrett Renn worked with local professional George Fazio to create a more constricted route for the course, much of which remains today. After the battery was dismantled, the annexed area was turned into a driving range (you may know it as the City Line Sports Center).
By 1955, Cobbs Creek had already rebounded, welcoming golf greats like Arnold Palmer, Billy Casper, and Dr. Cary Middlecoff as it hosted the PGA tour’s Daily News Open.
However, the rebound was only temporary. In the 50+ years following this serious re-routing, Cobbs Creek fell into disrepair – in part due to this change in historic course architecture. Cobbs Creek’s history is filled with ups and downs, and as we prepare for this restoration, we are sure we are headed up again!