I will always list PB Dye, in Ijamsville, MD, as one of my favorite courses in D.C. But god damn its hard. Maybe even too hard.
Still, PB Dye is one of those courses you need to play if you ever get the chance. Its a semi-private club that is located quite a ways out from the city, about 50 minutes from downtown, that often offers steal of a deals to entice people to come visit. Standard rates will run you about $100 on weekends but if you play a bit later in the day its not rare to find tee times on GolfNow for about $50 bucks. And at that price, it is far better than most courses at comparable rates.
So I will quit trying for now, but just keep that thought in the back of your mind.
The course plays 6,292 from the blues and is set on the rolling hills Catoctin Mountains. There is some decent elevation change that will make you think about your shot types, and club selections, but there are no dramatic elevation changes. While lacking in the spectacular, I actually think that this lack of dramatic elevation change makes for a much better golf experience. We have all had to play to many of those tee shots where we are 4,000 feet up in the air and there is nothing but fairway in front of us. Sure it makes you feel great to hit a 300 yard drive in the fairway, but it is definitely a gimmick.
My favorite hole on the course is the par 5 4th hole. You have to be a man among men to reach this bad boy in two. The tee shot is simple enough; thread your tee shot through a two hundred yard shoot, that is never wider than about 60 yards. Assuming you've accomplished this, you will hit a generous fairway that runs out at about 300 yards. Even with a great drive though, you will be left with hefty 260 yards way up a hill, across a river, and to a three tiered green that is protected by a large bunker just in front of the most common pin-placement. Assuming you've hit the fairway, it sets up nicely for a 5 iron or hybrid layup shot then a short wedge in. The fairway is severely undulating for the whole 540 yards, and the thick, brambly Forrest encroaches along the right hand side of the fairway, ready to consume an errant sliced ball. Par here is an excellent score.
Overall the course is great. It's in great shape, its a great layout, and it is reasonably priced. I can't really fault a course for being too hard, especially when I can't even explain why. I certainly recommend this course, and will continue to, but just be ready to get punished.
Grizzly Golfer Rating: 7.5