Designed by renowned course architect Gilbert S. Hanse, Inniscrone Golf Club combines vintage golf design with awe-inspiring vistas and marked elevation changes. After recruiting a cart, a pair of ball-whackers can reconnoiter the par 70 course while enjoying the lush scenery accented by impeccably manicured fairways and misplaced football players. Draw on years of pin the tail on the donkey with several tee shots that arch over hills, then unveil a newly swaggered putt and strut on greens that send balls speeding across the emerald ground like greased bowling balls down an ice luge. Although now a public course, the once-private Inniscrone Golf Club has a challenging design, intricate details, and troves of slumbering elephants in the fairways.
Cleaved into a pristine expanse of rolling hills and dense woodlands, Chisel Creek Golf Club’s 18-hole course gently rises and falls across 6,203 yards of moderately challenging terrain. Large, undulating greens supply the bulk of the difficulty at the par 70 course, complemented by tight tree lines and dramatically sloped terrain that forces more awkward stances than a middle school dance. A duo of duffers can loop the lush labyrinth astride a nimble golf cart before retiring to the Creekside Grille to refuel with a homemade chicken-salad sandwich (a $5.50 value) or a zesty buffalo-chicken wrap (a $6.50 value).
Dover Par’s public full-size greens invite putters and drivers of all ages to play 18 holes and practice swings in the batting cages or on the range. The relaxed par-three course caters especially to beginner or medium-level golfers. Before tackling the links, feel free to practice knocking down satellites or lecturing caddies on the full-length driving range. Meanwhile two-sport stars can swing lumber or aluminum in the newly renovated batting area, where all-new pitching machines, balls, and bats lend a modern touch to each at-bat and batting cages prevent nearby mascots from trying to hug you midswing. Both softball sluggers and baseball champs can step up to the plate.
Groups of two or four can swivel putters during the day or night with a round of mini golf on the Village Square– or Safari Trail–themed course, which obstructs hole-in-one putts with exotic animal statues. Both packages dish out 45 tokens guests can use at the arcade or the indoor batting cage, which features 40-foot ceilings and a grandstand looming 140 feet from home plate to nab homerun balls. Guests can amble toward the snack bar for a pitcher of ice-cold soda and a large pizza to feed hungry brain cells with fraction problems.
Interspersed with rolling hills, meandering woods, and rippling water obstacles, each of these featured courses provides a challenging round for golfers of any skill level. Rock Manor's winding 6,405-yard layout of subtle fairways and pristine greens—designed by renowned course architect Lester George—was named Best Public Course in Delaware by Delaware Today. Putting-placement wizard Edmund B. Ault designed a previous winner of the same award, Delcastle Golf Course, in 1971. The course welcomes players to three separate tee boxes, from which clubbers can drive balls toward rolling hills, wide fairways, and caddies performing cartwheels. Then park your course-tour caravan at the Ed Oliver Golf Club, which rests on the original site of the Wilmington Country Club. Golfers digging their spikes into the manicured 18th hole will notch views of a 100-year-old chimney, which puffs out a smoky likeness of Jack Nicklaus eating a hero sandwich during each birdie.