Sunday, October 3, 2010

Whiskey Creek: as good as it gets in D.C.

I don't think I will ever be able to say enough good things about Whiskey Creek, but I plan on spending the next 300 words trying.

Set in the foothills south of Frederick, MD, Whiskey Creek has all the beauty, elevation changes and views of a mountain course and it has all the thoughtful design features, undulating greens and pristine upkeep of a parkland course.  It runs you $99 dollars at peak rates, but it is the best $100 dollars you can spend on golf in the D.C. area.

Almost every hole on the course is unique; which, believe it or not, is hard pretty hard to do.  Whether it's the signature par 5 18th, with its split fairway and 19th century farmhouse; or the down hill dogleg left par 4 5th with views of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the distance; or the par 3 11th with its huge, deep bunkers and narrow glassy green; this course has the variety to please avid and recreational golfers alike.

The staff is friendly.  The practice facilities are good.  The food at the turn is way above average.  And for a daily fee course, the pace is surprisingly fast.

My favorite hole on the course is the long, uphill par 5, 4th hole.  On the card, the hole only plays 532 from the blues which would be reachable on a good day for some better players.  But after a slightly down hill tee shot to a generous fairway, the elevation starts to climb and the hole gets tougher.  Although I always try to reach the green with my second shot, the approach is played about 20 yards uphill to an inverted bowl-shaped three tier green.  In the half dozen or so times I've played the course, I have always been left with a 20-30 pitch to the green, and it was this final approach shot that determined my score.  If you leave the ball on the correct level, its birdie time.  Miss the green, or trickle it past the hole to another level, be ready for a bogey.

The Signature 18th hole has a 19th century
farmhouse in the middle of the fairway.
Another great hole is the 14th.  The hole plays 420 yards into the prevailing wind and is framed by water on the left and a line of trees on the right.  From an elevated tee box with views of the surrounding mountain ranges, players are faced with a challenging first shot.  Pull the ball too far left or play too hard of a draw and your ball will find the water.  Push the ball off line or slice it, you will have tree troubles.  Even with a big drive right down the middle (which I did this go-round), you will still be left with a mid-iron approach over water to a small green.  The only safe play here is to bail out short and right and hope to two putt your way to par.

I could go on and on about each hole on the course, but for brevity's sake I will call it here.  The bottom line is that Whiskey Creek is a great golf course that anyone living in, or visiting the DC area should play.

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