If you’re planning a holiday to the glorious golf destination of Ocean City, Maryland, you will doubtless be agonizing over which of the 20 or so top-quality courses you should play. There are so many outstanding tracks featuring the work of more than a few of the game’s greatest architects that you could easily spend the first half of your vacation trying to decide where to tee it up. So let’s try and make that task a little easier by taking a quick trip to see what golfing delights Ocean City has to offer.
Invariably ranked either number one or two in the state of Delaware by Golf Digest, the Jack Nicklaus signature course at Bayside Resort Golf Club is simply outstanding. Blessed with great views along the Assawoman Bay coastline and with impressive pine forests, the course is truly three courses wrapped into one. Some of the holes weave through forest, others cut across marshland, while the remainder are delightfully open with wide and inviting fairways. All are hugely rewarding.
Another course that enjoys an extremely high ranking is Baywood Greens [the photo at the top of this article is of Baywood Greens]. Meticulously manicured, it is often referred to as the “Augusta of the North” but, thank goodness, it’s much easier to get on than its cousin in Georgia. With woodside and waterside halves, the course boasts no fewer than eight timbered bridges, 27 acres of man-made ponds, two tunnels and over 300,000 flowers, plants, shrubs and trees.
One of the most popular courses in the whole area is beautiful River Run. This Gary Player designed masterpiece opened in 1991 and embraces impressive woodland as well as numerous sparkling water features. There’s certainly no shortage of visual interest with plenty of elevated tees and stunning views of the St. Martin River. However, don’t be fooled by its pretty appearance, as dangerous pot bunkers and contoured greens make it doubly tough.
Eagles and Bears, but It’s Not the NFL
Three miles to the west of Bethany Beach is the intriguingly named Bear Trap Dunes Golf Club. With genuine dunes, winding bent grass fairways and native wetland grasses, this 27-hole challenge can honestly claim to be about as natural a golf course as you will find anywhere. The greens are huge, which make them a bit easier to hit but the subtle borrows render them hard to read. The four sets of tee-boxes provide flexibility and encourage players of all ability to tackle this glorious course.
Another wonderfully natural course is Eagle’s Landing, which was the very first course in Maryland to receive the prestigious Audubon Sanctuary award, given to courses that have protected the environment and enhanced the valuable natural areas and wildlife habitats Rather “linksy” in character, it has rolling Bermuda fairways and significant marsh and wetland areas that are wonderfully rich in wildlife.
One of the most requested and “must play” courses of Ocean City is Rum Pointe Seaside Golf Links. This Scottish-style links designed by Pete and P.B. Dye is features bent-grass on the fairways and greens. No less than 17 of the 18 holes have a bay view with several holes having direct bay frontage, where the killer views will test your skills when the wind whipping off the bay comes into play.
Adding to the truly spectacular variety of golf in the Ocean City area is the GlenRiddle Golf Club. There are 36 holes of exceptional golf here and the Man O’ War course has all the features you would look for in a genuine links-style course including huge greens, double fairways, pot bunkers and sand dunes. Interestingly, and not something you would find on many links, a former racetrack canters across the course and is employed as a strategic hazard on three of the holes. Measuring 7163 yards off the tips, it’s quite a challenge for golfers of all skill levels. The second 18 holes of this golf wonderland is War Admiral. This Joel Weiman and Jim Furyk designed course is routed through mature forest, contains some wonderfully rugged bunkers and offers a completely different golf experience.
The Longest Cart Bridge in the USA
Water flanks a majority of the holes at Heritage Shores Club where the Nantucket-inspired clubhouse is an attraction in its own right. And if you like great clubhouses, then the classic colonial-style one adjoining the lovely course at Nutters Crossing Golf Club is one you should not miss.
Measuring 1500 feet and linking the bayside to the marsh and riverside holes at The Links at Lighthouse Sound is the longest cart bridge in America. This superb championship course will leave you awestruck with its breathtaking views of the Ocean City skyline and the St. Martin River. Featuring marsh, river and bay on 15 of the 18 holes makes this unforgettable course a one-of-a-kind and a genuine must-play course.
Ocean City Golf Club has two outstanding courses. The Newport Bay Course has been redesigned and rebuilt so to feature some fantastic marsh and bay vistas, while the Seaside Course continues to offer a truly classic layout.
Also blessed with a cracking pair of courses is the Bay Club. Set in 426 acres of glistening lakes, natural and man-made wetlands, they have pretty well everything you could want for a memorable day of golf. More specifically, the East Course features tour quality Zoysia grass fairways, while the West Course is most famous for its island green, Devil’s Island.
One of the greatest names in course design was responsible for the magnificent layout at Ocean Pines Golf and Country Club. Robert Trent Jones Sr. has created a veritable jewel amidst the natural wetlands and woodlands of the Delmarva Peninsula.
Pam’s People Are There to Help
If choosing from so many top quality courses presents a problem or you want help putting together a perfect itinerary, you should do the sensible thing and seek the advice of the undisputed experts at Pam’s Ocean City Maryland Golf Getaways the “Official Golf Packager” of Ocean City Maryland.
Not only are the staff hugely knowledgeable, but they’re also remarkably friendly, incredibly helpful and will happily guide you through the relative merits of all the courses. Believe me, they really know their fescue from their Bermuda.
And their expertise extends beyond the out-of-bounds markers on the courses to the most comfortable accommodations, best beaches and finest restaurants. They will cheerfully guide you through the splendid attractions in this wonderful part of the world to ensure your vacation provides an abundance of happy memories, as well as plenty of pars.
Not only will they advise on where to stay, play and eat, they can also secure exclusive deals and put together customized packages that will save you and your friends an awful lot of money, leaving you free to focus fully on splitting fairways, avoiding bunkers and holing those slippery downhill putts.