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.
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.
A golf course is where players go to test their skills, but Arundel Golf Park is where those skills are formed. At Arundel's outdoor facility, instructors teach private and group classes and hold supervised practice sessions, in which they periodically check in with students as they drive ball after ball at a driving range protected from the wind and distracting cries of caddies. During "fitting days," golfers bring in their current clubs to have one of Arundel's pros determine their ideal length, loft, and other specs.
While golf remains the focus at Arundel Golf Park, the facilities have a couple of other ways visitors can work on their swings. An 18-hole mini-golf course shrinks the game down to a fun challenge of angles and finesse, and batting cages let players set aside the elegant, nuanced game of golf to simply enjoy bashing round things with blunt objects.
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: * 18-hole, par 70 course * Total length of 6,282 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 70 from the back tees * Course slope of 115 from the back tees
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