Club-swingers at Heritage Shores Club launch aerodynamic orbs over 7,000 yards of greens and fairways, aiming to shoot a par 72. The Arthur Hills–designed course is built to be both challenging and fun, with water flanking many shots, bunkers creeping just out of view, and clowns waiting in the bushes to juggle lost balls. Five varying tees dot the start of each hole, making rounds customizable according to skill level and preference, and building in variation for future visits. Pairs and foursomes follow their mini globes in carts, gliding over the course's undulating fairways and celebrating good shots by steering donuts on well-manicured greens.
In 1962, designer Ed Carmen masterfully crafted each hole to weave into the natural lay of the land, yielding a 6,600-yard golf course that melds bucolic surroundings with his own architectural style. A member of the USGA and PGA, Centerton Golf Club strings together 18 holes that meander through acres of dense forest replete with mature arbors, strategically placed bunkers, and Kick Me signs on the backs of fellow players.
Course at a Glance:
At Elkton Golf and Batting Center, visitors get to hit spheres of varying sizes; the family-friendly sports complex houses an 18-hole miniature golf course, a 30-station driving range, and eight batting cages. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, overhead flood lights keep athletes awash in an electric glow even after the sun goes down, as they smack line drives back at the pitching machines and run through driving range buckets in attempts to knock that smirk off the man in the moon’s face.
Rolling hills, wooded terrain, and shimmering waterways serve as the canvas upon which Beckett Golf Club’s 27-hole, 9,577-yard golf complex shines. The swath of verdant playing grounds forms three distinct nines that golfers mix and match to create varied 18-hole rounds. The longest layout, the blue course, confronts players with bends and jumps in the form of dogleg fairways and water hazards on three holes. A fast-starting swing is a must for golfers starting on the red course, where the first hole—a 498-yard par 5—is also the layout’s most difficult, bending sharply to the left with a lush patch of trees that prevents shortcuts and golf-cart drag races. The shortest of the three nines, the white course puts water in play on two holes and revels in the rolling fairways and medium-size greens that characterize the entire 27-hole layout.
Since 1999, the tall oak trees and massive bunkers of White Oaks Country Club's golf course have hindered many a golfer as they've tackled the 6,240 yards of verdant fairways. The layout features obstacles both great and small, presenting an equal challenge in both the 600-yard-long 7th and the difficult par 3 on the 17th. Between rounds of arranging clubs into teepees, players can head into the 10,000-square-foot clubhouse, where drinks from a full-service bar complement a menu of wings, bacon cheeseburgers, and quesadillas at the Oak Room restaurant.
With a total of 36 holes that wind through the wetlands at the northernmost tip of the Chesapeake Bay, Chesapeake Bay Golf Club maintains links-style courses in Rising Sun and North East, Maryland. Patrons have voted their approval of the golf club, which is a host of the 2012 Special Olympics, in Maryland Life's Free State's Finest 2011 list.
As players guide their golf balls through tree-lined fairways at the North East Course, they encounter blooming azaleas ringing the greens in the spring and offering adorable opportunities to express affection for a caddie. Budding golf enthusiasm continues to flower at the Rising Sun Course, where seven ponds poke their way into the line of play and remain a constant inconvenience. Rising Sun’s signature fourth hole, also known as Lookout, offers a prime example, with a vicious pond on the right swallowing up sliced tee shots and unsuspecting bunnies that graze too close to it.
North East Course at a Glance:
Rising Sun Course at a Glance:
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).