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.
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:
War Admiral Course at a Glance:
Replete with rolling fairways and picturesque wooded hills, the course at Bay Hills provides a fun challenge for ball-based beginners and putting-pros alike. The 18-hole, par 70 links feature a wide expanse of water challenges, placing a large emphasis on strategy. With a two-month membership, a bundle of benefits emerge, including waived twilight-hours greens fees (twilight hours begin at 1 p.m. until March 1 and at 2 p.m. thereafter), unlimited range balls, and merchandise discounts. Although not included with today's deal, each cart fee (usually about $17) includes two draft beers or fountain drinks for staying hydrated through gritty sand traps. Additionally, each membership comes with one anytime round of golf with both cart fee and drinks included, ensuring at least one spectacular day of wearing heavily starched knickerbockers, which historically keep the feral golf gnomes at bay.
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: