Drive to the Top
Lookaway Golf Club leads the way as “a memorable experience for people who are passionate about golf.”
by Bill Donahue

Whether they joined recently or years ago, Partners at Lookaway Golf Club say they enjoy playing Lookaway as much today as they did when they first joined. They credit the club’s distinctive spirit, the people involved, and the superior level of golf. Lookaway has thrived by retaining the qualities that first set it apart from other courses in Bucks County, but also by evolving in a thoughtful manner. 
“Lookaway has done anything but sit still,” says Jim Collins, President of Lookaway’s Board of Directors. “It’s been exciting to see how the club has changed, by adding amenities, by enhancing the course, and by bringing in good people who are passionate about delivering a memorable experience for people who are passionate about golf.” 
The 7,000-yard championship course was designed by nationally renowned architect Rees Jones in the late 1990s. In 2019, Lookaway brought Jones back with an eye toward making the course more engaging for golfers of every skill level. Lookaway has already adopted several of the 20 or so “tweaks” Jones suggested. For example, the par-4, 434-yard finishing hole has been updated to include a chipping area to skirt the green.
Medium handicappers say the hole has become more enjoyable to play, while the area’s most talented players—men and women who play the game professionally—say it has become more challenging. That’s precisely the kind of feedback the team at Lookaway likes to hear.
A Different World
Partners continue to embrace the many evolving amenities Lookaway offers. A newly added roof to the clubhouse patio, which overlooks the 18th hole, provides guests protection from the elements while they dine and enjoy others’ company. On tournament days, the patio buzzes with camaraderie as golfers watch their peers play the finishing hole against the backdrop of Bucks County’s majestic charm.

Lookaway’s indoor training facility is staffed all year long by a team of PGA professionals. The two-bay facility includes a TrackMan golf simulator designed to help Partners improve multiple aspects of their game. Partners enjoy lessons, club fittings, and virtual technology that enables them to take swings on the world’s finest courses, including Lookaway. Similarly, the club’s driving and short-game practice areas help Partners finetune their game, with or without professional instruction.
Some of the most exciting developments at Lookaway involve new team members. 
General Manager/Chief Operating Officer Chad Fleming joined the club in December 2021, after 20 years at TPC Jasna Polana in Princeton, New Jersey. Fleming fell in love with the game of golf while caddying in his youth, and he later studied professional golf management and hospitality at Penn State University. He spent several years working as a golf professional before moving into the operations side of the business. In his current role, he says he’s most excited about “the opportunity to create a culture that permeates the entire club.”
Fleming says he appreciated Lookaway’s “sense of uniqueness” when he visited the property for the very first time: “When you step onto the property, it’s like you’re stepping into a different world. From the phenomenal terrain, to the instruction we provide, to the indoor training center and short-game practice area, to the food-and-beverage offerings, our goal is to provide a relaxing, fun, welcoming environment where someone can come and enjoy the game of golf.”
Fleming is certain the recent addition of Head Golf Professional Chad Halvonik will further enrich the on-course experience. Like Fleming, Halvonik is an alumnus of the professional golf management program at Penn State and has built an exceptional résumé, including his most recent tenure at Wilmington Country Club. Halvonik’s love of the profession stems from the relationships he built playing the game since his youth, and he intends to develop close relationships with Lookaway’s Partners by engaging with them both on the course and off. Fleming says Halvonik’s “mentoring skills, personable and humble style, and strong work ethic” will surely resonate with Partners.      
Director of Instruction Mark Sheftic joined Lookaway nearly one year ago, having spent the prior 13 in the same role at Merion Golf Club. Prior to working for two of the area’s premier golf destinations, he played golf professionally and was mentored by “some of the best teachers in the country.” He realized over time that he, too, had a gift for teaching. 
“I enjoy watching people have breakthroughs,” he says. “I always start with the question, ‘What are your goals and expectations?’ No matter what their goal is, I’m here to teach them how to practice, how to play, and how to manage their expectations. I’m going to create a roadmap so they can get to where they need to go and find the most enjoyment in the process.”
Sheftic connects with Partners each day, whether it be pointers on the practice range, a clinic at the short-game area, or teaching at the indoor training center. This year, he looks forward to spending more time on the course engaging with Partners. He anticipates other members of the team to do the same, including Assistant Golf Pro Laura Schiavo, a longtime golf professional who adds a unique facet to Lookaway’s instruction.
The Path Forward
With Partner support, Lookaway recently linked arms with the Golf Association of Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania Golf Association in its quest to become stewards of the game of golf. These partnerships have brought several high-profile tournaments to Lookaway, thereby exposing the club’s best features to a wider audience. The club is excited to welcome the area’s junior golfers during the GAP’s 23rd annual Christman Cup, to be held in July. 

Every member of the Lookaway team believes the added exposure will reinforce the club’s commitment to being a place where enthusiastic golfers come to play the game they love. While players of all abilities will find the course enjoyable, the events Lookaway has hosted so far suggest the course can be set up to test the mettle of even the finest players from around the region and across the state.
Lookaway’s evolution has been well received, and its leadership is excited about further enhancements to come in the months and years ahead. In the meantime, they continue to scout for new opportunities to elevate the Partner experience.
“We have seen a real uptick in golf over the past two years, in part because of the changes we’ve made,” Collins adds. “The path forward is to make sure we continue to deliver a great golf experience for our Partners and people who are passionate about golf.” 
Lookaway Golf Club
4219 Upper Mountain Road
Buckingham, PA 18912
(215) 794-5727
Photograph courtesy of Lookaway Golf Club
Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Life magazine, March 2022.