Golf is well on its way to becoming a way of life in the greater Ocean City area.
For years, there were only two full-size courses, the Ocean City Golf and Yacht Club and Ocean Pines Golf and Country Club, along with an excellent smaller course in Pine Shore Golf. Now they have been joined by the Bay Club and the Beach Club Golf Links, both a short distance away in Berlin, the Eagle's Landing Golf Course in West Ocean City, and the River Run Golf Club, designed by Gary Player, which is alongside Ocean Pines.
Farther away are Nutter's Crossing in Salisbury and Nassawango Country Club in Snow Hill. Both are about a half-hour drive from Ocean City.
I will give you more details on all of these courses in the next few weeks and will start today, alphabetically, with the Bay Club.
Most golfers are impressed with the Bay Club, which opened almost three years ago and has had a chance to mature into a finely manicured layout. I'm impressed with the stated goal of the Bay Club, which is to make every player feel as if he or she were a member at a nice country club for a day of golf. Pro Denny Dennis and his staff do a great job of reaching that goal.
The golf course was designed by Russell Roberts, who carved it through the naturally wooded land. Several lakes are strategically placed to create dramatic challenges, and the signature hole is the 14th, with its dramatic "island" green that sits 189 yards from the blue tees for the big hitters, 155 for the average person, 98 for people out for pure fun on the golf course and 89 for the ladies.
The smooth and fast greens, some of the best in the region, are framed by many bunkers. Par is the standard 36-36--72, and the distances are 6,956 yards for the blue, 6,511 the white, 6,033 for gold and 5,609 for the women.
More than 24,000 rounds were played at the Bay Club last year, and the golfers also enjoyed the large, open-air clubhouse, which features a fully stocked pro shop and a restaurant. There is also a large practice range and a putting green. The Bay Club is on Libertytown Road, Route 374, northwest of Berlin and is about 16 minutes from the Route 90 bridge or 13 minutes from the U.S. 50 bridge, the major exits from Ocean City. Call (410) 641-4081 for more information and ask about reserved tee times and the limited number of club memberships that are available.
Some local scores:
Nancy Wells won a Flag Day event in the Ocean Pines Ladies Golf Association-9 Holers when her second shot on the 10th hole played stopped inside the 150-yard marker. Joan Sarisky was second with a tee shot off the 10th tee.
In the OPLGA-18 Holers, an Odd Hole tournament, in which the players counted only the odd-numbered holes and subtracted only half of their handicaps, was taken by Jane Chufar with a 31 over Ann Delaney and Peggy Teeter, tied at 32, and Mary Boteler at 33. Ms. Chufar had a birdie on 16, and Elsie King got one on 3.
The Ocean City Golf and Yacht Club women held their annual John Scott Tournament, played over two days at 36 holes. The gross winner this year was Sandy Anderson with a 169 total over Liz McClary at 176.