Whether you’re just thinking of getting into golf or you’ve been golfing for years, Anne Arundel County offers a wealth of golf courses, both public and private. There are also training grounds for those looking to refine their game.
One such course is The Preserve at Eisenhower, the popular public course located in Crownsville near Generals Highway, which reopened in May 2021 after being closed for 2½ years for a massive renovation project. Anne Arundel County has spent $5 million improving every aspect of the course, originally designed by Ed Ault and first opened in 1969.
Towards the end of its course as an Eisenhower Golf Course, the course set in 220 acres of wooded landscape was criticized by golfers for its poor conditions. Damian Cosby, the former Anne Arundel County golf manager who oversaw the restoration, has made it a priority to improve the caliber of every hole, from tee to green.
Renowned golf course designer Andrew Green was hired to reinvent Eisenhower, and he implemented cosmetic changes that involved altering the topography of the fairways and the shape of the greens.
All fairways and greens have been dug, regraded and replanted. Almost every hole has been redesigned to some extent, with the fairways being significantly widened and the green complexes enlarged and differently shaped.
Green and Cosby agreed to use Latitude 36 Bermuda grass for the fairways, A1A4 bentgrass for the greens and tee boxes, and turf-type tall fescue for the rough. It was the most durable set of grasses and required less water, fertilizer and pesticide treatment.
Indigo Golf Partners manages The Preserve at Eisenhower and has spared no expense to ensure conditions remain excellent. Visiting golfers now rave about the quality of the game.
“I think the public has been very excited about the changes to the course,” said Mike Senneca, Regional Managing Director of Indigo Golf Partners. “Everyone I spoke to really liked the layout and the conditions.”
Green has lengthened the course to 7,100 yards from the tips and incorporated five different sets of tees to meet the needs of players of all skill levels.
By far the most significant change was the removal of all bunkers, a decision driven largely by the cost of building, maintaining, and ultimately replacing this type of hazard. Instead of bunkers, The Preserve at Eisenhower now has new hazards called hummocks – small mounds covered in thick grass placed generously along the surrounding fairways and greens.
Senneca said golfers have largely accepted hummocks without complaint, although there are still traditionalists who believe every course should have sand bunkers.
From its reopening on May 1, 2021 through the end of December, players logged 35,374 rounds of golf at the Eisenhower Reserve. Senneca said Indigo Golf Partners chose not to book many tournaments in the first year to give the general public more opportunities to play the course.
As it was before the renovation, The Preserve at Eisenhower hosts groups of seniors and women for regular weekly games. Indigo Golf has implemented a 12-minute gap between tee times to ensure foursomes have proper spacing.
Senneca said the new pavilion to be built at The Preserve at Eisenhower is currently in the design phase and is expected to open within two years.
Indigo Golf Partners also manages the Compass Pointe Golf Course on behalf of the Anne Arundel County Parks and Recreation Department. While the reopening of Eisenhower offers golfers another option, foot traffic on the Fort Smallwood Road course in Pasadena has not been affected at all.
In fact, Compass Pointe has set records for the number of rounds played in each of the past two years. From January to December 2021, Compass Pointe hosted golfers who played 75,199 rounds.
Compass Pointe has two 18-hole courses – the northeast and the southwest. Senneca said players like having two different setups to choose from and both are in exceptional shape.
“Compass Pointe has earned a reputation for always being in top condition and that’s the main attraction for golfers,” he said.
Here are some of the courses located in and around Anne Arundel County.
Anne Arundel County
Bay Hills Golf Club: 545 Bay Hills Dr., Arnold. 410-974-0669. Designer: Ed Ault. 18 holes, par 70, 6,423 yards, rating 70.8/slope 118. bayhillsgc.com.
Compass Pointe: 9010 Fort Smallwood Road, Pasadena. 410-255-7764. Designer: Lindsay Ervin. North/East: 18 holes, par 72, 7,134 yards, 74.1/137. South/West: 18 holes, par 72, 6,979 yards, 73.6/131. compasspointegolf.com.
The Reserve at Eisenhower: 1576 Generals Hwy., Crownsville. 410-571-0973. Designer: Ed Ault. 18 holes, par 71, 6,659 yards, 71.5/126. Eisenhowergolf.com.
Returns: 1380 W. Central Ave., Davidsonville. 410-798-9798. Designer: David Edsall. 18 holes, par 72, 6,762 yards, 72.2/130. renditionsgolf.com.
Walden Country Club: 1500 Reidel Road, Crofton, 410-721-8268. Designer: Robert Trent Jones/Lindsay Ervin. 18 holes, par 71, 6,384 yards, 72.1/132. www.waldencountryclub.com.
Out of county
Bowie Country Club: 7420 Laurel Bowie Road, Bowie. 301-262-8141. 18 holes, par 70, 6,142 yards, 69.0/120. bowiegolf.com.
Blue Heron: 3270 Romancoke Road, Stevensville. 410-643-5721. Designer: Ed Ault/Richard Mandell. 18 holes, par 63, 4,130 yards, 61.1/97. blueherongolf.org.
Presidential Lake: 3151 Presidential Golf Drive, Upper Marlboro. 301-627-8577. Designer: Landmark Design. 18 holes, par 72, 7,230 yards, 74.6/134. lakepresidential.com.
Port of Queenstown: 310 Links Lane, Queenstown. 410-827-6611. Designer: Lindsay Ervin. Lakes course: 18 holes, par 71, 6,569 yards, 71.0/126. River course: 18 holes, par 72, 7,110 yards, 74.2/137. qhgolf.com.
Anne Arundel County
Chartwell Golf & Country Club: 1 Chartwell Drive, Severna Park. 410-987-0400. Designer: Ed Ault. 18 holes, par 72, 6,513 yards, 71.6/133. chartwellgcc.com.
Crofton Country Club: 1691 Crofton Pkwy., Crofton. 410-721-3111. Designer: Ed Ault. 18 holes, par 72, 7,186 yards, 7447/129. croftonclub.com.
South River Golf Club: 3451 Solomons Island Road, Edgewater. 410-798-5865. Designer: Ault, Clark & Associates. 18 holes, par 72, 6,523 yards, 71.4/136. golfclubsr.com.
Heritage Harbour: 875 Harry S Truman Pkwy., Annapolis. 410-224-3580. Designer: Ed Ault. 9 holes, par 27, 1,050 yards, 25.2. heritageharbour.org.
Naval Academy Golf Club: 64 Greenbury Point Road, Annapolis. 410-293-9747. Designer: William S. Flynn. 18 holes, par 71, 6,611 yards, 72.3/129. marinesports.com
The Cannon Club: 699 Marlboro Road, Lothian. 410-741-1793. Designer: Lindsay Ervin. 18 holes, par 72, 6,779 yards, 73.3/134. thecannongolfclub.com.
Out of county
Prospect Bay Country Club: 311-A Prospect Bay Drive W., Grassonville. 410-827-6924. Designer: Herndon Kilby. 18 holes, par 72, 6,659 yards, 71.8/131. prospectbay.com.
Night Hawk Golf Center: 814 Route 3 S., Crofton. 410-721-9349. Designer: Bill Forthofer. 9 holes, par 27, 733 yards. nighthawkgolfcenter.com.
Severna Park Golf Center: 1257 Ritchie Hwy., Arnold. 410-647-8618. Designer: George Reich Sr. Also features a 9-hole, par-27, 969-yard course. www.severnaparkgolf.com.
Arundel Golf Park: 1501 Dorsey Road, Glen Burnie. 410-761-1295. arundelgolfpark.com.
Pasadena Golf Center: 4358 Mountain Road, Pasadena. 410-439-4653. pasadenagolfcenter.com.