“A lot of players look at the card and think because it’s short that they’re going to play their all-time best round of golf and end up spending a lot of time in the woods,” says head professional Joan Lovelace of the course at Fairway Hills Golf Club. The Ron Pritchard–designed course —which stays neatly within the bounds of 6,158 yards—doesn’t just get its bite from the woodlands about which Lovelace warns. Water comes into play on 12 of the 18 holes, and the second fairway’s wicked dogleg right and stream-guarded bentgrass green costars with collarless shirts in many golfers’ nightmares. The links wind down with a hope-inspiring 18th hole, where golfers with the right mix of skill and luck can make a birdie.
Adjacent to the course’s bermuda-grass fairways, the club’s practice facilities invite players to demolish buckets of balls at a turf range, cleat across a chipping area, or practice whipping a putter out of its holster and twirling it around their thumb. Lessons with the club’s PGA professionals are also available to help hone games.
Course at a Glance:
Fairway Hills Golf Club’s tee-time rates vary throughout the day and week.
Waverly Woods takes club-toting competitors careening through an emerald labyrinth of kempt fairways, towering tree lines, and boldly contoured greens designed by prolific course architect Arthur Hills. Begin a day filled with merciless divot-tearing and tender driver-coddling with a stint at the club's range, where a bag of 30 range balls rains like ballistic spheroids onto distant targets. Though the relatively challenging course features few sand traps and only one hole with threatening water hazards, ever-sloping topography and treacherous landforms filter imprecise shots into unfavorable lies that force off-balance side-hill stances. The course's difficulty is tempered by five sets of tees—with aggregate distances ranging from 4,808 to 7,024 yards—though bentgrass greens await duffers of any ilk with fast-breaking putts more difficult to read than a toddler’s attempt at calligraphy. After an exhilarating round, players can redeem their $20 lunch voucher for Black Angus hamburgers ($7.25), hot buffalo wings ($7.25 for 10) and other noshes from Waverly Woods' menu of savory grill fare.
Arundel challenges Mother Nature herself with its covered and heated driving range. At night, swingers can stay in the game thanks to extended hours (until 8:30 every night except Sundays) and lit facilities. With four rounds of mini golf, perfect putting skills or rustle up friends for a round on Arudel's well-manicured little greens. The golf park also boasts batting cages, allowing visitors the chance to hone their hitting skills. A staff of PGA gurus keeps the facilities all-age friendly.
Argyle Country Club accommodates a variety of upscale physical activities amid beautiful outdoor landscapes centered around a clubhouse of 25,000 square feet. The one-day membership includes one round at the club’s private golf course, where linksmen enjoy a serene 18 holes of rolling hills and picturesque woods after polishing the rust off of swings with a turn at the driving range and a pint of tendon-tarnish remover. For racket wielders, the club sports five well-maintained Har-Tru tennis courts for games of long-lasting volleys and nimble returns. After a day on the course or the courts, take a dip in the 25-meter swimming pool with a diving area, or watch the kiddies splish-splash around in the wading pool. Temporary members can utilize the showers and changing rooms to freshen up before using the included lunch voucher ($15 value) at the club’s restaurant, refueling ravenous stomachs after a full day of tennis, swimming, and using the 14th hole's putting green as a stage for a medley of songs from The Sound of Music.
Bayview Golf Center gives players space to hone their swings all year long with an outdoor driving range and an indoor golf simulator. In warmer months, golfers can send range balls skyward from any of 36 tees, but if the conditions get too cold for even the 18 covered and heated stalls, players can head indoors to hammer drives into the P3ProSwing's simulator screen. Players can practice on their choice of 36 famous golf courses and receive instant swing feedback on every club in their bag, from driver to tire iron. The simulator tracks the entire swing path through the impact zone and provides a detailed breakdown of swing and ball-flight data, ranging from swing tempo to total carry. Former PGA Class A member Norm Vacovsky draws on 34 years of coaching experience to help players get over learning plateaus during lessons held at the center.
On its perch high atop Prospect Hill, the resplendent manor house stands overlooking the 18 holes of Glenn Dale Golf Club as they unfurl outward among rolling hills and dense foliage. Though the house has been there since 1742, it wasn't until 1956 that the course was carved around the base of the mount. Terrell Brazelton oversaw the building of the course using a design by George Cobb, who later became the resident architect at Augusta National Golf Club and the author of many of its architectural renovations.
Today, golfers find their short games put to the test by dramatically sloped greens, a difficulty encountered by many top players when the course hosted a U.S. Open Qualifier in 1994 and just one player broke par. As players herd their golf balls throughout the course, they tread over land steeped in American history. The fairways and greens reside on a tract that once served as a meeting place for Native Americans.
Course at a Glance:
Pasadena Golf Center lets visitors create the satisfying thwack of a club hitting a golf ball in one of two locations. They can make out the sound on the 18-hole mini-golf course—where ears will also pick up the sound of trickling waterfalls and the gurgling of landscaped streams and ponds—or at the driving range. Golfers can manipulate a variety of clubs there since targets are set up at different lengths, and 20 of the range’s 34 hitting stations are covered to provide shade during warm months and heat during cold ones. In addition, a full setup of lights let them swing away into the evening or when Apollo's chariot of fire is in the shop. To assist in swing mechanics and proper alignment, the center organizes lessons led by Golf Academy of America–certified instructor, Brett Francisco.
Pasadena Golf Center is also equipped with a nine-station batting cage that challenges visitors with baseball pitches of varying speeds as well as slow- and fast-pitch softball. A 1,600-square-foot patio nearby can facilitate birthday parties or other special events.