Although it is one of the smallest states in the country, Maryland has a long and illustrious golfing tradition that dates back to the mid 1800’s. With over 150 courses, many of which are championship level tracks, golf in Maryland is thriving. The state has varied landscapes, elevation changes, and just about every type of course you can think of.
To help you navigate your way through all the great courses found in The Free State, here are five Maryland courses you need to play.
Bulle Rock Golf Course (Best Overall Course)
Bulle Rock is routinely ranked among the premier courses in Maryland, and it’s not hard to see why. The course features a twisty, turny layout replete with mature trees, tall prairie grasses, and deep, elevated bunkers.
The first hole is a microcosm of the entire course and doglegs to the left. Tall grass on the left requires you shape your shot accordingly. This par 4 finishes with a mildly sloping green that runs to the right.
The second hole is even more striking than the first and is a long par 5 with a meandering creek running across the fairway about 50 yards in front of the green. The presence of the creek creates a true risk/reward scenario as you will have to decide whether it is worth it to try and muscle your second shot onto the green.
The back nine continues the themes found on the front. Hole 10 showcases an ultra narrow landing strip and fairway surrounded by a thick rough and tall grasses. This par 5 is a dog leg left and ends with a contoured, undulating green.
From the blacks Bulle Run measures 7375 yards long and is a regulation par 72.
Twilight rates can dip as low as $55 for 18 in the spring but climb as high as $99 during the day in the summer.
Congressional Country Club (Best Private Course)
Built in the 1920’s, Congressional Country Club has redefined itself several times over the last century and has emerged as the premier private club in Maryland. Starting the in the sixties, the course began hosting major tournaments with the most recent being the 2011 U.S. Open.
Several of the holes have been redesigned and the finishing hole in particular has had a complete makeover. 18 now plays close to 500 yards from the blacks and is an ultra long par 4.
The course itself is a decent length measuring close to 7300 yards and is a regulation par 72. It is a demanding course too, with a rating of 75.4 and a slope rating of 138.
Because it is a private course located just outside of the D.C. area in Bethesda, it only open to members and their guests.
The Links at Lighthouse Sound (Most Scenic Course)
No course in the state takes more advantage of Maryland’s beautiful natural habitat than The Links at Lighthouse Sound. Coincidentally, no other course is more ascetically pleasing. Located in Bishopville, Maryland, the Links at Lighthouse Sound incorporates the marshland it is built on into the layout of the course. This includes a bridge for golf carts that stretches some 1500 feet.
The signature hole on the course has to be the par 3 5th. This stunning hole traverses the marsh on its way to a green surrounded by water.
On the back nine, the courses runs parallel to the St. Martin”s River which only adds to the idyllic feel of the course.
The Links at Lighthouse Sound measures 7031 yards from the blacks and is a par 72.
During the peak golf season, rates climb as high as $219. But in the offseason you can snag a round of 18 holes walking for as low as $49. A great deal for this breathtaking course.
Whiskey Creek Golf Course (Most Challenging Course)
Whiskey Creek Golf Course has all the trappings of a great, demanding course. The namesake creek runs throughout and can cause plenty of trouble, as can the bunkers and trees.
The first hole can be quite difficult, with two fairway bunkers known for eating wayward tee shots, and is a tough way to start your round. As a side note, the first hole also features the ruins of an old stone barn. It doesn’t really come into play, but it is fun to look at.
On the 18th hole, however, another old stone building sits in the middle of the fairway and causes you to choose either left or right. The former is riskier than the latter, but does allow you to get to the green of this par 5 in two if you can navigate the left fairway well.
All told Whiskey Creek plays at just over 6700 yards—not too deep—but still plenty challenging. The course is a regulation par 72.
A round at Whiskey Creek costs $86 for 18 walking.
Musket Ridge Golf Course (Best Deal)
Musket Ridge Golf Course boasts a gorgeous layout that takes full advantage of Maryland’s picturesque landscape. The course features elevated tee boxes, dramatic inclines, and strategically placed hazards. On several occasions, legions of uniquely shaped bunkers surround the green and make your approach a real challenge.
Musket Ridge plays at around 6900 yards from the tips and is a regulation par 72.
The best part of the course though is the price tag. While overall the golf in Maryland is reasonably priced compared to other mid-Atlantic and southern states, Musket Ridge offers high quality golf at an even better price.
The twilight rate starts at 2 pm and costs $49 for 18 walking. The super twilight rate is even more affordable. It starts at 5 pm and costs only $36 for as many holes as you can get in.
From the beltway around D.C. to the mountains in the west and the ocean in the east, Maryland’s diverse habitat is the key to its spectacular golf courses. Make sure you remember your clubs the next time you are traveling to this beautiful state. Happy golfing.
Did we miss a course? Share your Maryland golf experience in the comments section below.