Philadelphia’s Union League adds a third golf course

Ace Club acquisition includes conference center and hotel

by Hil Anderson

The Union League of Philadelphia recently added a third golf course, with the acquisition of the ACE Club and its associated hotel and conference center from the Chubb Insurance company.

The formerly public course, located in the Philadelphia suburb of Lafayette Hill, will be rebranded Union League Liberty Hill and made available for the exclusive use of  Union League members, who will also have access to the conference center and its 120-room hotel.

“Liberty Hill is now an amenity of The Union League of Philadelphia, and as such is private and for the use of our members and guests,” said Erica Martin, the club’s communications and marketing director. “Members may host events and sponsor guest events as they can do at all of our locations.”

The Union League, based in downtown Philadelphia, was founded in 1862 by men who supported the Union cause during the Civil War. The club has been growing at a fast pace, driven by state-of-the-art dining and aggressive programming. It has more than 3,500 members. 

It acquired its first course in 2014, with the acquisition of the Torresdale Frankford Country Club, an 18-hole Donald Ross-designed course. It renamed it Union League Golf Club at Torresdale. 

That acquisition helped expand the club’s facilities beyond downtown, to communities where members live. 

In 2017, the club acquired the 27-hole Sand Barrens Golf Club in Swainton, N.J., now known as the Union League National Golf Club.

That club is located at the Jersey shore, 71 miles from the main club building in Philadelphia, but in an area where a lot of members have second homes. The club also owns a restaurant in Stone Harbor, which is ten miles from Swainton. 

When it picked up ACE Club, the Union League acquired a 311-acre layout designed by Gary Player. The clubhouse measures 35,000 square feet and is equipped for business meetings. It also includes extensive practice facilities, including a two-tier driving range. The Chubb Hotel and Conference Center, which has not yet been officially renamed, was designed as a classic venue for business conferences and other meetings. It features a menu of banquet and other food-and-beverage services as well as indoor and outdoor function spaces. 

Although the Union League has not commented on any specific changes that might be coming, the Philadelphia Business Journal said there were plenty of areas for possible expansion, including pool and spa facilities and outdoor tennis. It also noted that the course itself, which opened in 2003, was not in immediate need of any major improvements.

“We have a lot of wonderful things in the works,” said Martin. “We are in the planning process and surveying our members as we onboard staff and prepare to open Union League Liberty Hill.”

The club is also renovating its headquarters in downtown Philadelphia that will enhance its ability to host weddings and other gatherings.

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