The Links at Perry Cabin
18th hole / 487 yards / Par-4
St. Michael’s, MD
Architect: Pete Dye with Alice and P.B. Dye (2018)
The Links at Perry Cabin, located on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, has the distinction in being the last course design by the famed architect Pete Dye. Now 92 years old and turning 93 at month’s end, the Ohio native’s final effort in St. Michael’s will clearly stamp an exclamation point on a career that has been both transformative and revolutionary for his overall impact on golf architecture.
Pete was quite familiar with the property having assisted his late brother Roy who designed the former Martingham Country Club in 1971 which would later be renamed HarborTowne Resort Country Club. The new effort is now named The Links at Perry Cabin and features a completely different course.
The 18th provides a glorious setting in tandem with an equally monumental challenge. You stand on the tee of the 487-yard par-4 and are usually greeted with a win pattern blowing into your face from the northwest. If one’s knees aren’t already buckling you encounter a hole which dog-legs left around a massive pond. The putting surface is a feint outline in the nearby distance hugging tightly to the same pond to the immediate right.
The initial task is staying away from the water but tee shots pulled left can be just as daunting with a much longer approach shot to follow.
One of the strengths of the hole is its overall elasticity. There are five sets of tee boxes — from 487 to 302 yards. No matter the distance the water must be negotiated — either over or around.
The most lasting aspect of the 18th is the massive green. The total square footage is 14,500 or roughly 1/3 of an acres. The green is also 56 yards long and includes a 6.5 feet of elevation change from back to front. There are also three distinct areas within the green itself. A frontal area — along with one to the far right and an elevated back area on the left. The key for any approach is being able to flight one’s ball to the correct area. Those missing will find a range of penalties — with water just to the right and elevated mounding and bunkers to the far left.
The 18th makes for an exciting conclusion with the final three holes named, “The Goodnight Kiss.” Pete’s son P.B. named the holes because of his belief you never forget the goodnight kiss on your first date. Whether golfers leave with the remembrance of a kiss or a quick slap to the cheek will undoubtedly be determined on how they fare on the scorecard.
In all of Dye’s outstanding designs — the 18th at The Links at Perry Cabin will be seared into the memory banks of all golfers attempting to tackle this unforgettable hole.
Photos credits: Joann Dost