Located inside a large estate that lies along the spectacular coastline of Chesapeake Bay on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, the two signature courses at Bay Creek were designed by two of the best golfers to have ever played the game.
The first layout to open was the Arnold Palmer course in 2001 and Arnie’s 18 holes were followed five years later by an 18-hole design from the Golden Bear himself, the Nicklaus course. Unfortunately nine holes of the Nicklaus course have since closed, so Bay Creek is now only a 27-hole facility.
The Palmer fairways traverse wetland areas and glide past sizeable water hazards – such as Plantation Creek on the 17th – with unique “beach bunkers” incorporated into several of the holes, typified best at the two par fives on the back nine at holes 11 and 18.
The signature hole is found early in the round at the 460-yard 3rd, rated the hardest hole on the scorecard. Here, the raised green sits above a lovely low stone wall that fronts onto the Allegood Pond, a tidal bay of stunning beauty.
The back nine holes move away from the bay, but water still comes into play at several holes, none more so than at the 171-yard par three 12th, where tee shots require a full carry to a green fronted by another stone wall.
Arnold Palmer was obviously very happy with his work at Bay Creek when he was recorded as saying, “I don’t know if you could pick a better spot, better terrain, for a golf course than this. It’s remarkable to be out here... I could play this golf course every day and love it… It’s just perfect.”
Bay Creek Palmer is a wonderful course along the Chesapeake Bay just north of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. The course was in great condition when I played there this summer. There is a great variety of holes with much water and waste areas in play. The par 5's are the stand out but the 3's and 4's are very good as well. They shuttered 9 holes of the Nicklaus which candidly is a slightly better playing field in my opinion. The 27 holes that remain are very good golf. Very much worth a visit if in the area.