Address: 811 South Stepney Road
Professional: Dave Altemus, PGA
Superintendent: Russ Davis
Course architect: Tom Doak
Opened: June 29, 1998
Open: All year (First tee-off at dawn)
Par: 71/72 (women)
Yardage: 7,023 (back tees), 6,616 (middle) and 5,363 (forward)
Greens fees: $65 Monday through Thursday; $75 weekends/holidays
Carts: Use of riding cart or Power Caddy included in greens fee.
Tee-time policy: Times reserved up to eight days in advance.
Additional features: Clubhouse, driving range, putting green, practice area with chipping green and bunkers, snack bar, pro shop.
Directions: Take I-95 to Exit 80 (Route 543 East). Turn left on Route 7 (second light) for two miles, and left on Stepney Road. Club will be three-quarters of a mile on right.
Review: Beechtree's designer, Tom Doak, has taken the 200-plus acres of Chesapeake farmland the James F. Knott Development Company of Baltimore once intended to use for an industrial park and transformed it into one of the area's newest and most challenging tracks.
Doak, who also designed the popular Heathland Course at The Legends near Myrtle Beach, favors a minimalist approach when designing a course and that is evident at Beechtree, where he made a concerted effort to keep the existing wetlands and woodlands intact.
The course, which plays from 5,363 to 7,023 yards -- depending on which of the sets of tees you play from -- has bent grass from tee-to-green. The front nine is more open than the back, which plays to a par of 35 and is 257 yards shorter.
While it may be shorter, the inward nine is more of a grind with only one par-5 -- No. 18. The hole, which plays to 557 yards from the tips, is appropriately entitled "Amen." Each hole is named and many are self-explanatory, including "The Pond" and "Sahara".
The greens fees are a bit steep, especially considering the course that hasn't fully grown in yet, but with nearby Bulle Rock charging $126 per round, Beechtree appears to be a bargain.
Pub Date: 7/30/98