The course at Whiskey Creek Golf Club was Ernie Els’s first foray into the world of design. It was here that The Big Easy collaborated with architect J. Michael Poellet of JMP Design to lay out a stellar set of strategic golf holes.
Given that I unfortunately played this course on one of the windiest days I can ever remember playing golf, affecting my game to the point that it was almost not fun, my day at Whiskey Creek was not the most memorable one. What I do remember is that the course is big and bold-featured, with large elevation changes, sweeping views, big, sloping greens, and bunkering galore. It sits in an area of Maryland that feels like the middle of nowhere but is not particularly far outside the large Baltimore-Washington megalopolis.
The front nine is more wooded and hilly, while the back nine has more open terrain and water hazards coming into play. Memorable holes include #3, a semi-blind uphill par thre; #6, a nasty little uphill short par four that tempts the player to take a shot at the green when downwind; and #18, a massively wide-corridor par five with an old stone building in the middle of the fairway. There are some unpleasantly quirky holes (#1in particular) as well as some boring holes as the routing isn’t great, but the condition was as good as expected for a high-end daily fee layout and the landscape is beautiful. I think if there were ever a candidate for a “three and a half” ball rating, this would be it, but I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt and give it four.
Played October 15, 2011