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.
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).
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.
Perched on a hilltop, the Inniscrone Golf Club clubhouse is an enchanting colonial structure made of stone walls with a white porch and columns. But that's not the only feature that draws inspiration from the past. Carved through the rolling hills of Chester County, the 18-hole, par 70 course conjures an old world feel with fairways threaded through mature trees, mounds, and thick rough. The layout also reflects strategic course design, especially on the par-four 18th hole. Though only 350 yards from tee to green, the signature finishing hole plays into an elevated green guarded by a gauntlet of bunkers, like the secret lair of a paranoid greenskeeper.
Course at a Glance:
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.