A weathered starting gate—its rusted doors still hanging from their hinges, a painted 10 still visible over the leftmost stall—seems to sink into the faint remains of an old horse track, a relic of the grounds’ past life as a venue for racing and training thoroughbreds. A portion of the old track cuts across three holes at Glen Riddle Golf Club’s 7,163-yard Man O’ War course, the longer and more difficult of the club’s twin 18-hole layouts. In truth, the legendary thoroughbred from which the course takes its name once lived on the historic Glen Riddle grounds, but the layout is more than just a locus of equestrian trivia: with massive greens, double fairways, and deep pot bunkers swept by the gales from the eastern shore, its mounded terrain pays homage to the old, links-style layouts that populate the shores of Scotland where horses first climbed out of the sea.
Of course, Man O’ War is named for the legendary thoroughbred who sired a legendary racer of his own—the 1937 Triple Crown champion War Admiral, which also serves as the namesake for Glen Riddle’s second course. Though slightly shorter than its grassy patriarch at 6,892 yards, the foal winds its fairways through forests and tidal marshland to form a much less forgiving layout.
Man O’ War Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Length of 7,163 yards from the farthest tees * Course rating of 74.9 from the farthest tees * Slope rating of 137 from the farthest tees * Four tee options * Scorecard
War Admiral Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Length of 6,892 yards from the farthest tees * Course rating of 73.2 from the farthest tees * Slope rating of 145 from the farthest tees * Five tee options * Scorecard
A true golf legend with nine major championships to his name, Gary Player became a highly sought-after golf-course architect once his playing days were over. River Run Golf Course is one of his designs, which he saw to completion in 1991. The golf course exhibits many elements that highlight his skills as both an architect and a golfer, including fast greens that require a deft touch; shots over water that demand steely nerves; and dogleg turns that reward shot shaping and sharp x-ray vision through the trees. Golfers can cap off rounds with a visit to The Players Club, where they can dine on gourmet burgers, sandwiches, and seafood.
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: * 18-hole, par 71 course * Total length of 6,600 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 69.2 from the back tees * Course slope of 120 from the back tees
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.
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.
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: