If you’re like me, you eagerly look forward to the spring when Golfweek magazine publishes their annual ‘Best You Can Play’ list for each state. Their 2017 list appears here however like far too many websites, they have auto-play video and audio that made me want to punch my laptop (seriously- if your website has this make it stop for everyone’s benefit), so if you don’t want have that torture subjected to you, below is Golfweek’s 2017 list for Maryland:
- Bulle Rock
- Links at Lighthouse Sound
- Lake Presidential
- Whiskey Creek
- Musket Ridge
- Worthington Manor
- Hyatt Chesapeake Resort (River Marsh)
- Queenstown Harbour (River)
I have a few quibbles. Playing conditions at Lake Presidential have been uneven at best and a couple folks I trust have said that while they have improved, I’m not sure it merits being ranked 4th. Whiskey Creek is another. When I played it I thought it was okay. Not blow the doors off outstanding. Good. I thought that playing conditions at Worthington Manor were better and I think the layout is a better test (however it does not have a historical relic in the centre of the 18th fairway as a photo opportunity, and Whiskey Creek has that).
The ratings were done by Golfweek and their course raters (and for the record I’m not a Golfweek rater, nor do I play one on television however in full disclosure I am a subscriber to their magazine).
Looking at this list the other night got me thinking (which can be a dangerous thing) about the best of the rest. Being opinionated and being someone who tries (when possible) to be an advocate for golf in the state, I decided to pour myself some thinking juice (otherwise known as scotch) and ponder a ‘next 10 best you can play’ in lieu of playing this weekend (Friday and Saturday’s rains meant everything’s pretty soggy and not exactly my idea of fun). It was hard. It took two glasses, 30 minutes, and what came of this was a list of courses that I’d gladly offer up as good examples of that ‘next tier’ of great courses in the state. Rather than rank them I’m going to list them in the order I wrote them down and a comment or two about each one. Feel free to disagree.
- Blue Mash: Why this isn’t in their top 10 amazes me. Fantastic layout with the toughest stretch of opening holes in the region.
- Rum Pointe: Underrated Dye designed course near Ocean City. Half the price of Lighthouse Sound.
- Little Bennett: At one point it was used for Monday Qualifying for the old Kemper Open. Still a solid test and almost always in great shape.
- Northwest Park: Always in great shape. Classic parkland-style course holds up to big hitters and shorter hitters alike.
- Waverly Woods: Blue Mash sister course is the best public course in Howard County. Period.
- UMD Golf Course: Former Nationwide Tour Stop. Everything public golf should be. I’m not saying this because She Who Is Really In Charge is a Maryland alum, I’m saying it because it’s a fantastic track that’s a challenge but playable.
- Maryland National: Fantastic layout just west of Frederick. Bring plenty of ammo.
- Queenstown Harbour (Lakes): Same great conditions as the River course.
- PB Dye: Playing conditions have improved. A few odd holes but overall a great layout
- GlenRiddle (Man O’War): Solid layout on the eastern shore that features bermuda tees and fairways.
If you’re inclined, ABC has put together a list of ways to donate if you want to help out the people in Texas. I donated through the Houston Humane Society (they have a wish list on Amazon of things they need).
Here’s hoping Irma will stay far, far away from North America and go out to sea and become a fish storm.