For quite some time, Baltimore County’s Municipal Golf circuit has garnered acclaim for its diverse collection of venues.
Among the five properties, there’s a little bit of everything — ranging from the stunning views at Rocky Point, to the rolling terrain of the Woodlands, to the expansive practice facility at Fox Hollow.
In the eyes of most, however, the Greystone Golf Course in White Hall serves as the crown jewel of the group. The 18-hole, par 72 course located in the Northeastern portion of Baltimore County in many ways takes all the best features of the other facilities and rolls them into one.
There’s 140 feet of elevation changes, expansive views over the country side from the clubhouse, a large practice area, and a multitude of hazards mixed in along a trek that features five par 5s and five par 3s. And, to go along with all of that, Greystone is also known for having some of the best public course conditions —highlighted by bent grass from tee to green — in the state.
“First and foremost, it’s the conditions and that consistency day in and day out that I think separates us. But beyond that, it really does pull in a lot of the better qualities of some of the other area courses,” said head PGA Golf Professional Bob Mokros, who has been at the course since January 2012. “There are picturesque views from the clubhouse and on the course as well, particularly on those four or five holes with elevated tee boxes. Throw in the sloped greens and the five different ponds on the golf course, and overall it’s just a very fun golf course to play.”
Opened in 1997, the original concept design was actually for Greystone to be a private course. But during the development process in the mid 90s, plans changed and eventually the Baltimore County Revenue Authority took control of the property to create the property’s current set-up as one of the county’s five municipal courses.
That fluctuation along the way from being private to public, though, has resulted in an experience that is extremely rare for a daily fee facility.
“We like to think of this as the general public’s private course for the day. From the conditions, to the staff, to the restaurant … we take pride in providing that private club feel to go along with a layout that was originally designed to be private,” Mokros said. “Here at Greystone, I think there’s a lot of value in terms of the product that you get for the dollar that you spend.”
From a playability standpoint, the course officially features five sets of tees that range anywhere from 4,800 to 6,925 yards. And in 2016 the course took even further steps toward providing “opportunities for players of all skill levels” by adding a sixth set of “family tees” that play to around 3,000 yards.
Designated by plaques in the middle of the fairways on par 4s and par 5s, beginner players are able to cut most of the holes in half. Special scorecards are available for those interested.
Regardless of where golfers start each hole, they all get to experience what truly is a diverse layout from start to finish.
There are open holes, particularly in the early stages of the front nine. But there are also five ponds in play, more than 80 sand traps and a variety of environmental areas running alongside and intersecting several holes.
Each of those hazards come into play during the course’s signature stretch of Nos. 7-9, which features a strategic par 4, a dramatic par 3 and an uphill par 4 that is arguably the toughest on the course.
“Those closing three holes on the front are kind of the backbone of the course and they test you in very different ways,” Mokros said. “On all three holes par is a good score and I think when golfers look back on the round, those are the ones that probably stick out the most. Being able to look out from the back of the clubhouse and see clear views of No. 8 and No. 9, I think just adds to it.”
The back nine is unique in its own right with an even split of three par 3s, three par 4s and three par 5s.
Consistent throughout are the slick greens. Many of the putting surfaces are dramatically pitched from back to front and, while some are large in terms of square footage, most feature a multitude of tiers.
Greystone, along with all of the other Baltimore County municipal courses, received brand new E-Z-go gas-powered golf carts in February that are equipped with rain-guard technology and USB chargers.
The practice facilities include a driving range featuring both grass and mat stations, a short-game area that includes a pair of sand traps, and a sizable putting green.
Overlooking everything is the clubhouse, which sits perched atop the property and offers great views from both out on the patio and inside the Greystone Grille. The grille itself underwent significant expansion in the spring of 2017, doubling its seating capacity and adding an improved restaurant menu to go along with more offerings in the bar area as well.
The grille offers Happy Hour specials Monday-Friday. For more information about hours, specials and a detailed look at the menu CLICK HERE.
As one of the five Baltimore County Golf courses, Greystone offers several discount opportunities on the golfing side as well. The Advantage Card, Frequent Player Card and Loyalty Reward Program each provide unique savings opportunities for regular players. Visit www.baltimoregolfing.com/rewards for more information.
Additionally, there are also a limited number of annual memberships available that offer unlimited use of the course, range and practice facilities seven days a week — to go along with other benefits and discounts — for a cost of $1,999.
Address: 2115 White Hall Rd., White Hall, MD 21161
Miles from downtown Baltimore: 33
Driving Range: Yes (16 mat stations and 16 grass stations – grass open Thursday thru Sunday during peak season. Range included with greens fees)
Putting Green: Yes (large surface located directly behind clubhouse)
Chipping Green: Yes (short game area featuring two bunkers and an extended fairway for pitching up to 40 yards)
In-season weekday morning round with cart: $59
In-season weekend morning round with cart: $76
Full rate breakdown: http://www.baltimoregolfing.com/course/greystone/greystone-rates
Locker room: Yes (Showers and lockers for both men and women; towels available upon request in pro shop)
Best Par 3: 8th hole
There are several strong par 3s, including the third and 12th holes that both feature tee shots over environmental areas. But it’s this mid-length test toward the end of the front nine that is arguably the most memorable and difficult. With a pond flanking the entire left side of the green and trouble just off to the right as well, accuracy is at a premium from the slightly elevated tee box. Pay attention to the wind, as this is one of the more exposed tee shots on the course as well.
Best Par 4: 9th hole
The final hole of the front nine plays to the No. 1 handicap on the scorecard, featuring a little bit of everything and playing over 400 yards. With the clubhouse serving as a backdrop, players must navigate between water left and a fairway bunker right on the drive. The uphill approach then requires a longer club to one of the toughest putting surfaces on the course in terms of slope from back to front.
Best Par 5: 13th hole
While the drive over a ravine comes out through a chute, the rest of this slightly uphill par 5 is fairly open. Tee shots in the fairway for longer hitters will afford the risk, reward opportunity to reach this well-protected green in two. Wayward approaches, however, are at risk of finding one of the seven sand traps scattered within 50 yards of the putting surface — which provides another undulating test.
Overview: It’s not hard to see why Greystone has been ranked among the top 30 municipal golf courses in the country by several publications, capitalizing on a picturesque layout with top notch conditions to go along with it. While there are certainly several memorable holes, it’s undoubtedly the greens that stick out more than anything else. From a playability standpoint, they are smooth and quick. But, more distinctively, they are also some of the most sloped surfaces in the region. Particularly, Hole Nos. 3, 7, 9, 12 and 13 are downright diabolical depending on the pin position. Outside of the golf itself, the staff is friendly and the revamped restaurant and bar provides guests with lots of options either prior to or after a round. It’s a little off the beaten path, but those that make the drive up Interstate 83 will find the trip well worth it at a price that won’t break the bank.
Course Work: Do you have a golf course you would like to see featured here? Contact Brent Kennedy at email@example.com or on Twitter at @BKBSunSports