Baltimore Sun

Carroll Park

Carroll Park, located in southwest Baltimore, has a charm all its own and a very devoted group of duffers that swear by its unvarnished, industrial ambiance.

The course borders the newly renovated Montgomery Ward building, which can be seen from most of the holes on this short course. Located in the shadow (and noise) of I-95, golfers must also contend with CSX trains running next to two of the holes. Since the last time we reviewed Carroll Park, it has shrunk from 12 holes to 10 and plans are to reduce it to nine holes in the next year or so. This Baltimore institution has no par 5s.


Carroll Park is a good course for beginners because of its length, general flatness and lack of hazards. Seniors appreciate the course, which many choose to walk. For someone shooting in the low 90s, Carroll Park is more like a practice course. There is no driving range, but there is a chipping and putting green large enough to accommodate several golfers.

Few of the holes are scenic in the sense of a traditional golf course. But Carroll Park's gritty feel and extremely friendly staff make it a pleasant experience. It's common to see friends gathered in the snack bar area, playing cards, eating and just talking.


The red tees give women a decent advantage. The second hole features a blind shot to the green from the fairway, making it one of the most difficult holes on the course. One of the longest par 4s on the course at 343 yards from the white markers, the challenge is knowing where the green is in relation to your tee shot.

The finishing 10th hole is to an elevated green, protected by bunkers on either side. But, like most of the holes, the fairway is wide and forgiving. If you stay in the middle of the fairway, the approach shot should avoid the bunkers.

A couple of pin placements were reasonably tricky this particular day, offering a reasonable challenge in an otherwise straightforward course.

The cafeteria offers a good selection and excellent service. The pro shop is stocked with basics. The men's and women's bathrooms are clean and include lockers and showers. The fairways are generally in good shape, but some show their age.

The greens are relatively flat and are ideally shaped for approach shots from the fairway. Like a couple of other Baltimore municipal courses, it would be nice if improvements were made to the cart paths and fairway drainage.

Low cost ($10.50 weekdays) and player volume can contribute to slow play, but Carroll Park is a good option if you're not up for 18 holes. It's a walkable, short course for those who desire a unique blend of golf and grit. The regulars swear by it.