As with many golf clubs around the United States, Bethesda Country Club’s course is at least partially defined by the expansion of the highway system during the early to mid-20th Century.
Ed Ault faced an interesting challenge in that Bethesda was already relatively limited for space before the state highway came through during the late ‘50s. The current course is a reflection for his ability to efficiently use space without sacrificing challenge or distance. The result was a par 70 route that maxes out at more than 6,800 yards, utilizing as much of the land as possible. One advantage to this approach is that the course never moves in the same direction for too long; Ault wiggled to make the route fit and players will accordingly be facing a shift in the winds on almost every hole.
Arthur Hills took part in an extensive, four-year project during the ‘90s to both maintain Ault’s features while adding bunkers to further challenge players with higher-caliber technology at their disposal.
One of the signature holes is one of the few featuring water: The par three No. 17 crosses a pond to a green sitting right alongside the drink.