Nestled in the rolling hills of Maryland's countryside, the Wakefield Valley Golf Club showcases three different nine-hole courses. Each course presents a unique set of challenges, with the green course showcasing lengthy par 5s and the white course challenging golfers with hilly terrain and water holes that lure errant shots and experimental scuba-tank golf bags. The gold course, meanwhile, sets up demanding tee shots into narrow fairways, as seen on its signature eighth hole, where water guards the green on all sides.
Golfers can warm up for rounds at the driving range and practice green or employ the swing-honing advice of PGA Professional Scott Magee, who teaches enough students to believe that he will find one who can pull a putter from a stone. Guests can also refuel rumbling stomachs with casual food and drinks at Fenby’s Restaurant.
Top Flite Super Range golf balls hurtle toward laser-measured targets on Westminster Island Green’s lighted range, where players practice their drives from 50 hitting stations. Guests continue to enrich their golfing skills during lessons with PGA-certified golf instructors, summertime junior clinics (with 7:1 student-teacher ratios), and ladies or couples golf clinics held every other Thursday. Westminster Island Green also accommodates putters with a fully lit 18-hole miniature golf course, with island-themed landscaping and goldfish ponds. Alternatively, baseball buffs can watch their homers fly through an open-air batting park unobstructed by nets. There, pitching machines launch softballs at up to 60 mph and baseballs at up to 70 mph, while batters control the height of each pitch and the speed at which they spit out sunflower seeds.
With four sets of tees to choose from, each of the 18 holes that comprise Flatbush Golf Course reveal rewarding mental and physical challenges for golfers of every stripe. The course's lush chlorophyll-laden carpet stretches to 6,671 yards from the back tees, and brings into play obstacles such as water hazards on eight holes, elevated greens, and sudden impulses to plant a vegetable garden. The most difficult hole on the course proves to be number 4, a 450-yard par 4 with water on either side of the fairway and a wide, shallow green guarded by a large bunker to the front right. On the back nine, number 16 grants players a clear view of the hazards that lay before them, allowing them ample time to triangulate a route to safety.
Course at a Glance:
Liberty Road Golf Center's multifaceted facilities help golfers fine-tune swings with every club in their bag. Piercing drives, pinpoint approaches, and remote-controlled flop shots take flight from the Center's 20-stall driving range before touching down in a field peppered with yardage-marked flags and realistic faux bunkers to simulate on-course targets. A stint at the short-game practice area preps clubbers for a round at the nine-hole, par 3 course, where players launch tee shots onto slick, artificial greens and punish egotistical drivers by making them sit out for the round. While practice areas sharpen swings, master club tinkerer Mark J. Diley re-grips, re-shafts, and repairs clubs, and the center offers rental drivers and 6-irons for those without their own set. The Center also encompasses outdoor batting cages, where mechanical hurlers sling softballs and baseballs at eight different speed settings.
After spending his formative years helping his father to operate multiple golf facilities, John Invernizzi decided to dedicate his adult life to spreading the gospel of the game. The PGA pro opened Hereford Golf Center in 1995 with the aim of creating a pressure-free space for golfers of all stripes to hone their swings, learn to appreciate the game, and debate about which club would be the most useful to ward off feral caddies. In the ensuing 17 years, clubbers have been hitting practice balls at the center’s 36-stall driving range, replete with eight target greens that range from 50 to 260 yards.
The adjacent Lost Falls Miniature Golf Course takes friendly competitors careening past two ponds, a large stream, and a mysterious cave as they steer golf balls toward pintsize flagsticks. True to his mission of making golf fun and accessible for everyone, John and the staff at Hereford Golf Center provide clubs free of charge, sparing clubless players from hastily purchasing one or digging in their backyard for a conveniently shaped mastodon bone.
Waverly Woods takes club-toting competitors careening through an emerald labyrinth of kempt fairways, towering tree lines, and boldly contoured greens designed by prolific course architect Arthur Hills. Begin a day filled with merciless divot-tearing and tender driver-coddling with a stint at the club's range, where a bag of 30 range balls rains like ballistic spheroids onto distant targets. Though the relatively challenging course features few sand traps and only one hole with threatening water hazards, ever-sloping topography and treacherous landforms filter imprecise shots into unfavorable lies that force off-balance side-hill stances. The course's difficulty is tempered by five sets of tees—with aggregate distances ranging from 4,808 to 7,024 yards—though bentgrass greens await duffers of any ilk with fast-breaking putts more difficult to read than a toddler’s attempt at calligraphy. After an exhilarating round, players can redeem their $20 lunch voucher for Black Angus hamburgers ($7.25), hot buffalo wings ($7.25 for 10) and other noshes from Waverly Woods' menu of savory grill fare.