Rough weather in the late winter and early spring, not to mention all the rain of the past several weeks, has not offered the best situation for getting a golf course ready for a May tournament in the Northeast, much less a first-year event.

But when Raven's Claw Golf Club welcomes 132 Symetra Tour contestants for Thursday's start of the inaugural $100,000 Valley Forge Invitational, the Limerick Township course will be ready to provide a test over 54 holes.

Jim Bromley, head professional at the club, said the weather made it difficult to get ahead of what needed to be done, but he credits greens superintendent Randy Kresge, the grounds and club staff, and Symetra Tour officials for rounding the course into shape.

"We had snow up until the first of April so it was really hard to get ahead of it," Bromley said. "Then last week we got four inches of rain. It's been incredible what's gone on in the last three or four days here.

"The tour's been great. They've been here since December keeping up with us on what we need to get done and get those things accomplished. Randy has just been unbelievable, what he's been able to get done in such a short period of time."

Bromley said the course has been draining well despite all the rain and will be in "beautiful" shape if the rain stays away the next three days as forecast.

Raven's Claw, which opened in 2005, will play at 6,421 yards and par-71 for the event. The course is notable for large greens with rolls and mounds to them, and elevation changes, especially on the back nine.

In watching the contestants play practice rounds this week, Bromley said he was "totally impressed with what they can do.

"They drive the ball incredibly straight and pretty darn far," he said. "So I think it's going to come down to getting the ball in the right position on the greens and being able to make some putts."

The players in the field represent 28 countries. Jenny Haglund of Sweden, winner of last week's rain-shortened Symetra Classic in Davidson, N.C., comes in as the tour's leading money winner with $41.454 in four events.

The ages of the contestants range from the five players at 18 to 45-year-old Silvia Cavalleri of Italy, the 1997 U.S. Women's Amateur champion. If you like the long ball, watch Laura Wearn of Charlotte, N.C., who is averaging 291.2 yards per tee shot. Statistics show the most accurate player in the field to be Natalie Sheary of New Britain, Conn. — 88.7 percent driving accuracy, 80.8 percent greens in regulation.

In addition to Emily Gimpel of Lafayette Hill and amateur Isabella DiLisio of Hatfield, a third contestant with ties to the area is Ginger Howard, whose parents are originally from Philadelphia. Howard, 24, who lived for a time in Delaware County and now resides in Bradenton, Fla., is in her seventh year on the Symetra Tour, and will be playing in her third event in 2018.

Valley Forge Invitational primer

The inaugural Valley Forge Invitational, a 54-hole Symetra Tour event, will take place Thursday, Friday and Saturday at Raven's Claw Golf Club in Limerick Township. Admission is free. Parking is available throughout the neighborhood of the club. Portable chairs are allowed. There will be a food tent on the grounds.

The 132 players will go off Thursday and Friday in groups of three, all from the first tee. Starting times will begin at 7 a.m. and run continuously until 2:53 p.m. The field will be cut to the low 60 scores and ties for Saturday's final round, with tee times ranging from approximately 7 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Could you be seeing the next LPGA Tour star this weekend? Check out some of the notable graduates of what was known as the Futures Tour until it became the Symetra Tour in 2012.

Karrie Webb

Member, LPGA Hall of Fame and World Golf Hall of Fame

Played on Futures Tour: 1994

LPGA wins: 41

LPGA major championships: 7

Career LPGA money: $20,198,245

Inbee Park

Member, LPGA Hall of Fame

Played on Futures Tour: 2006

LPGA wins: 19

LPGA major championships: 7

Career LPGA money: $14,312,800 (6th)

Lorena Ochoa

Member, World Golf Hall of Fame

Played on Futures Tour: 2002

LPGA wins: 27

LPGA major championships: 2

Career LPGA money: $14,863,331 (4th)

Cristie Kerr

Played on Futures Tour: 1996

LPGA wins: 20

LPGA major championships: 2

Career LPGA money: $19,400,125 (3rd)

Stacy Lewis

Played on Futures Tour: 2008

LPGA wins: 12

LPGA major championships: 2

Career LPGA money: $12,480,405 (9th)