Coastal Golf Designed by some of the Greats of the Game: Dye, Nicklaus, Robert Trent Jones Sr. to name a few….
Unbelievable Stay & Play Rates with Spectacular Vistas.
By TIM BAINES
Ocean City, a wonderful seaside community on the southern tip of Maryland, has built a bit of a reputation on the pricing from its golf courses – basically, it’s tough to beat.
What sometimes gets lost is the quality of the courses, something that’s also tough to beat. There are 17 championship golf courses (a couple of them ranked in the Top 100 in major publications Golf Digest and Golf Magazine), and they’re already in top shape. Once you get a chance to play one of a number of superb Ocean City golf courses, you can see why they’re so highly thought of.
“Rankings add credibility,” said Ocean City Golf Getaway COO Walter Brooks.
Through April, most of May and well into June, Ocean City offers up some amazing deals on some fabulous golf courses.
“Even though we’re year round, the season is March-November,” said Brooks. “By the time late March, then April, rolls around, with the warmer temperatures, the courses are green and they’re in great shape.”
One of the big advantages for Ocean City is its location – very close for neighbouring U.S. states to the north and less than a 10-hour drive from Canadian cities like Montreal and Ottawa and less than 11 hours from Toronto.
“It is championship coastal golf,” said Brooks. “In April, you’re looking at temperatures in the 70s, in May it’s in the 80s. Our weather is really consistent through our Thanksgiving, the end of November, which would still be 65, 70 degrees.”
Ocean City has plenty of accommodation options, a great selection of restaurants, eight miles of nightclubs (one of the restaurant/bars, Seacrets, has gotten plenty of attention as a fun place to hang out), outlet malls, 10 miles of beautiful beaches and a three-mile boardwalk. It’s a happening place in the summer, when it becomes one of the country’s best-known family Oceanside destinations, with the population skyrocketing from 10,000 to about 400,000.
“We have something for everybody,” said Brooks. “Ocean City was just ranked 10th-best beach in the U.S. by Trip Advisor. Ocean City is the total package. It’s a great area. ”
Also, take this into consideration: 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.
While many golfers head further south to find their golf vacations, Ocean City’s location on the map is a big plus.
“Everyone is talking about traveling south to play golf, but we’re half the distance of a place like Myrtle Beach,” said Brooks. “Golfing down south is closer than you think. We like to use the motto, ‘save the long drive for the golf course.’ Great golf is just the beginning, but its championship golf at great value.”
Among the golf course gems in the Ocean City area are Links at Lighthouse Sound, Eagle’s Landing, Bayside Resort Golf Club and Baywood Greens. 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 tee box right on the bay.”
Lighthouse Sound, ranked 75th in Golf Magazine’s nationally ranked courses, 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 Eagle’s 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. “It’s owned by the town of Ocean City and there are always pristine conditions,” said Brooks. “And they keep their rates in that lower tier for the public. It’s always ranked high in the state as far as best golf courses.”
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.
Baywood Greens is just outside the Ocean City area, in Delaware, and is, according to Brooks, “definitely a must-play. The aesthetics are great.” Baywood Greens is an “exclusively public” 18-hole championship course comprising 27 acres of man-made ponds, eight timber bridges, two tunnels and over 200,000 flowers, plants, shrubs and trees. Described as the “Augusta of the North,” Baywood Greens was not long ago given the No. 1 ranking by Golf Digest’s Best in State.
Stay & Play Golf Packages: 5 nights / 4 rounds of golf from $216.00
For information on golf or to book your next stay in Ocean City, check out OceanCityGolf.com.