Nick Price teamed up with architect Steve Smyers to produce the 7,102-yard golf course at the private members club at Four Streams in 1998.
It’s a layout that sits quietly on the pleasantly rolling Maryland landscape, far from the sprawl of housing developments.
Despite its rural, bucolic setting, Four Streams has played host to a number of important events, including the Maryland State Open and U.S. Open local qualifying.
It's hard to imagine why there is a shortage of top tier golf experiences in Maryland. The State has a rich diversity in it overall topography from land that is quite rolling to that which is located along the coastline of the Atlantic Ocean.
The old line clubs in and around the DC area still are the ones most often features but there's one located in Montgomery County that has gotten little attention and deserves far more than it has received to date.
Four Streams is the handiwork of Steve Smyers. He is the man responsible for such quality layout as Wolf Run in Indiana and Southern Dunes just outside Orlando.
The 18-hole course benefits from a piece of land with just enough movement to assist in giving a good differentiation in terms of hole challenge and presentation. It also helps to have enough financial resources to keep the course in tip top conditioning which helps brings to life the various design elements Smyers has included.
Smyers has an architectural sense that straddles the border between those modern designers who favor the "less is more" approach and those believing excessive designs featuring non-connected elements bolstered by well conditioned layouts are worthy of one's time and attention.
One of the real strengths of the course is the location of the numerous bunkers Smyers has provided. Being a quality golfer has given Smyers a good appreciation of what top tier shotmaking encompasses. It also helped him to have former world-number-one player Nick Price assisting with the effort at Four Streams.
How good is Four Streams?
I've played most of the acclaimed courses in Maryland and there's no doubt in my mind Four Streams is comfortably in the top five. So much ignorance exists about the club because of its low key situation -- clearly a prerogative of the membership. Hats off to the club in having the good sense in using Smyers. He clearly has shown a capacity to create holes which blend in with their surroundings and work in concert with an overall routing that gets the most from the property without an end product that clearly looks forced or unnatural. If one can secure an invitation to play -- be sure to go.
by M. James Ward