Ocean City’s about to give Canadians an even better deal
By TIM BAINES
While the Canadian dollar is getting the crap kicked out of it south of the border, one popular east coast golf destination is looking to turn a great value into something even greater.
Ocean City, on the Atlantic Ocean in Maryland, is giving Canadian golfers even more bang for their bucks with a Canadian-centric offer which will be introduced at golf shows in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City and Moncton in the coming weeks.
Really, it’s hard to beat $238 (U.S.) for five nights and four rounds of golf (Sunday to Thursday stays), but Ocean City is about to do it and make it even more enticing for Canadians to make the drive that’s shorter than you think. With a nod to the tremendous support they’ve gotten from Canadians over the years, the Ocean City Golf folks are shaving a few loonies and toonies off their pricing for their friends north of the border.
“We realize the Canadian dollar, the exchange, is an issue,” said Ocean City Golf Getaway COO Walter Brooks. “We’ve addressed it and we’re about to come out with even stronger packages. It puts our deal at closer to par.”
For golfers in Quebec and Ontario, Ocean City is very drivable … less than 10 hours from Ottawa and Montreal and less than 11 from Toronto.
“Everyone is talking about traveling south to play golf, but we’re half the distance of a place like Myrtle Beach,” said Brooks.
It’s certainly not a knock on Myrtle Beach, but Ocean City’s proximity to Canada gives it a big checkmark on our gotta-go-there-in-spring golf to-do list.
Ocean City is truly a must-play American golf destination. How about this? There are 17 championship golf courses (a couple of them ranked in the Top 100 in major golf publications Golf Digest and Golf Magazine), a 10-mile white sandy beach, a three-mile boardwalk, oceanfront access, a nice climate, great restaurants and a vibrant nightlife. There’s also outlet shopping close by, tax free if you drive into Delaware. Sounds pretty good, right?
“For the golfer, it really comes back to the championship golf and the great value we offer,” said Brooks. “But we really do have a lot more than that. We have something for everybody.”
Also, take this into consideration: Even cheaper gas prices, outlet shopping with no taxes in nearby Delaware, happy hours where they practically give the drinks away and delicious meals at a portion of the price. There’s also the fun factor from a town that’s built to host about eight million visitors annually.
All the bells and whistles aside, it really boils down to the golf, which begins to hit full stride in late February and early March.
“We’re getting into our spring golf season,” said Brooks. “We’re in full swing. Golfing down south is closer than you think. We like to use the motto, ‘Save the long drive for the golf course.’ ”
At the core of the Ocean City golf success story are the large groups that get together and populate what’s a golf town through spring and summer and then transitions into a family beach town in the summer. During the spring and fall, hotel rates drop substantially.
Among the golf course gems in the Ocean City area are Links at Lighthouse Sound, Eagles Landing and Bayside Resort Golf Club. There’s a reason why the courses have won awards – there’s a natural beauty that goes with the majesty.
“The courses on those lists, when they give out the awards, you’re looking at Pebble Beach and other great venues – and we’re in there with them,” said Brooks. “That shows the quality of golf we have here. We have legends of the game and renowned architects that left their mark in Ocean City – Arthur Hills, Jim Furyk, Pete Dye, Robert Trent Jones, Sr. and Jack Nicklaus.
“Not only do we have the championship golf, the great courses, but it’s the view, the vistas … you can play coastal golf. Most golf courses are inland; you come here and it’s coastal golf. We maybe take it for granted a bit, but it’s something to be proud of. It’s not every day you can wake up and look out at the Atlantic Ocean or hit golf balls from a teebox right on the bay.”
Lighthouse Sound offers great variety in terms of visual excitement and strategy. You get expansive views of the bay and Ocean City skyline. Ten holes border the pristine marshlands found within the 1,000-acre site, while others are framed with mature hardwoods.
It’s back to nature with Eagles Landing, the first certified Audubon Sanctuary in Maryland. A variety of links-style holes, marsh and wetland carries with rolling Bermuda fairways make this the shore’s most unique course.
Bayside is neighbouring Delaware’s first Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course, minutes from Ocean City. The course offers three distinctly different golf experiences in one – some holes are tree-lined, others wind through marshland and others have wide-open fairways. There are gorgeous views along the Assawoman Bay coastline and magnificent pine forests.
During your stay, among the hang-out musts is Dockside at Sunset Grille, a place to be. You’ve got to be there at least once for the sunset. With an awesome wine list, it’s a great bar to just sit back and chill.
For information on golf or to book your next stay in Ocean City, Maryland, check out OceanCityGolf.com.