Longview Golf Course is a Baltimore municipal course that welcomes players of all abilities. Conversely, players of all abilities like Longview. It is perfect for beginners, women and even jaded veterans who just want an outing to lower their handicap and boost their esteem.
Longview plays short (5,880 yards from the white tees), with a mostly open layout from tee to green. Most greens are undulating and well-bunkered, making for good tests of a golfer's short game. The course is walkable, and somewhat scenic, now that trees have matured. In fact, the view from the 2nd tee is as pretty a par 3 as you'll see on local courses.
With more than 66,000 rounds played each year, Longview can be crowded and play can be very slow, especially on weekends. Course conditions, particularly on the back nine, can be a little wet, even days after a rain. There are also a few bare spots on the fairways.
One of the best features of the course is the first hole, a par-4, 342-yarder. It plays straightaway, with two greenside bunkers the only impediments to scoring.
The fourth hole is a long par 4 (415 yards), featuring a blind tee shot with a slight dogleg right. Placing your tee shot in the center or left-center of the fairway gives you an easy approach. Your second shot is downhill to a fairly large green, bunkered in the front.
The course's signature hole is No. 16. A 195-yard, par 3 from the white tees, this hole appears easier than it plays. Trees line both sides of the fairway. Those who hit short of the green face a steep uphill second shot with plenty of bunkers ahead. Trees behind the green will penalize long hitters.
No. 18 is a challenging par 4 (363 yards) for the average golfer. Trees line the left of the fairway, so stay right, since missed tee shots to the right could still allow good lies for favorable second shots. Second (or third) shots are played to a severely elevated green, making club selection difficult.
The clubhouse is limited with a small pro shop, snack bar and vending machines. Women do not enjoy a significant advantage here, which is less of a problem since the course plays short. The women's tees do sport their own ball washers. Portable bathrooms are conveniently located.
The final three holes border housing developments, which can spell trouble. On the day we played, a group of teens wandered the course near dusk, pestering us and picking up my ball after my tee shot. At least that's my story for my missing ball, and I'm sticking to it.