Ocean City has been Maryland’s best-loved summer beach retreat since the turn of the 20th century. Over the years, this 10-mile stretch of skinny barrier island, with Assawomen Bay on one side and the Atlantic on the other, has evolved into one of the hottest destinations on the East Coast. Mild year-round temperatures, a large selection of award-winning, distinctive courses… designed by notable guys such as Nicklaus, Furyk, Player, Trent Jones, and Dye, and a huge choice of accommodations set the stage for an unforgettable golf-getaway. The upscale improvements added to the area haven’t diminished Ocean City’s nostalgic appeal. With its 1920s three-mile, old-school wooden boardwalk, rides, steamed crabs and retro treats, Ocean City offers a fun-filled trip down memory lane.
As for golf, there’s about 16 courses in the surrounding area that offer uniquely diverse golf experiences incorporating wetlands, woodlands, parkland and links style golf with beautiful vistas connecting the natural environment. So many outstanding courses make it a difficult choice when deciding where to play.
Bayside Resort Golf Club is Delaware’s first Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course, voted the “Top 10 Best New Courses” by Golf Digest in 2006. Located just outside of Fenwick Island, it features breathtaking views along the Assawomen Bay within sight of Ocean City. True to its name, Bayside highlights the unspoiled beauty of its natural setting… meandering through salt marshes, meadows, and woodlands…about as diverse a set of scenes as you’ll get from one facility. Because of the complex environment and water, in the form of a pond, creek, marsh or the bay, on each hole, Bayside presents strategic golf. The course is long, but offers five tee boxes ranging from 7545-5125 yards with a slope range of 139-112, and fewer forced carries than you’d expect. However, you still have to carefully maneuver your shot down the meandering fairways to avoid the lateral water hazards. Another defining feature is the pot bunkering, eye-catching as well as penal, partially covered with grass. Strategically placed adjacent to water features they help collect errant shots prior to entering the hazard, but a challenge to exit! Although the green complexes are large, the putting surfaces are smaller and raised for an old-style look on most holes. If you’re looking for diversity in one course this is it!
If you haven’t had your fill of water holes and lost balls then The Links at Lighthouse Sound is a must play. An exquisite 18-hole championship course, designed by Arthur Hills, it overlooks the Ocean City skyline and the St. Martin’s River. Given a 4.5 star rating by Golf Digest for “Places to Play”, it offers five tee boxes ranging from 7031-4553 yards with a slope range from 144-107. Known as the “Pebble Beach of the East”, this course features marsh, river and bay on fifteen holes. The signature par-3 fifth hole will definitely get your attention as it plays directly over the marsh to a green surrounded by water on three sides and it provides spectacular views of the Ocean City skyline. If you haven’t had enough visual excitement on the front nine holes then get ready for the ride of your life…over the longest cart bridge in the U.S… It stretches nearly 1500 feet, taking you from the bay side front nine across to the pristine marsh side along the St. Martin River for the back nine. Another unique feature is that it has the only consecutive holes in America playing to the same double green. Ladies, you’ll love this course…more player friendly, offering distance advantage along with the challenge of navigating your shots around this certified Audubon Sanctuary.
Rum Pointe Seaside Golf Links, a spectacular seaside design by Pete Dye, is located on the Sinepuxent Bay overlooking Assateague National Seashore in Ocean City. This championship course, ranked ‘Top 5 in Maryland’ by Golfweek, offers direct bay views on 17 of the 18 holes. It features four tee boxes ranging from 7001-5276 yards with a slope range of 122-113. This Scottish-style links is the only area course to feature bent-grass on the fairways and greens. However, it certainly doesn’t lack in its share of risk and reward situations. Opportunities for more experienced golfers to start their ball over the water to shorten the hole are offered on several direct bay frontage holes.
Spring and autumn are perfect times to visit Ocean City—less crowded than summer and temperatures are still warm enough for golfing…high temps generally range 65-75 degrees. Besides great golf, Ocean City offers many nostalgic scenes and tasty treats reminiscent of times past including homegrown classics dating back to the 1930s like — Thrasher’s French fry stand, known for the best French fries in America, Dolle’s Candyland for the biggest variety of saltwater taffy you’ve ever seen, and Fisher’s famous popcorn, best you’ve ever tasted!
Where to stay? There are a wide variety of accommodations to choose from. Whether you are looking for a luxurious suite, condo, townhouse or just a comfortable room, there is several stay and play packages available, many including free breakfast and group specials. If you’re planning a “buddy trip” Pam’s Ocean City Golf Getaways offers a variety of seasonal specials.WHAT'S YOUR REACTION?