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Golfweek Magazine List of Top Courses You Can Play in Delaware

 Juan73 ·  
Juan73Juan73 JuanTheGolfer 555WRX Points: 119Handicap: 7.3Members Posts: 555
Joined:  in Mid-Atlantic #1

Looking at planning a trip this summer. I have played all the courses on Golfweek Magazines List of Top Courses You Can Play ... in Florida, Nebraska and South Carolina and more than 1/2 of those listed for New York.

Since I will be in the Phiily area, I thought I would knock out the five courses that are listed for Delaware... below are the 2019 list of courses, any comments, insights, suggestions would be appreciated.

Bayside Resort GC, Fenwick Island

Bear Trap Dunes, Bethany Beach

Baywood Greens, Long Neck

White Clay Creek, Wilmington

Deerfield Golf & Tennis Club, Newark

At another time, I will look into doing the same thing in Maryland, then PA



  • cristphotocristphoto  3587WRX Points: 262Members Posts: 3,587
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    I've played Bayside, Bear Trap, and Baywood but not the other two. To me Bear Trap was a distant third compared with Bayside and Baywood. Baywood is adding another 9 holes. Bear Trap does have 27 holes while Bayside is standard 18.

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  • DrOldSchoolDrOldSchool Noblesville, IN 620WRX Points: 310Handicap: 3.9Members Posts: 620
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    Before I comment on the courses, I feel I should note that coming from Philly, you're looking at roughly 2 hours to Baywood, 2:15 to Bear Trap and 2:30 or so to Bayside depending on where you're leaving from and when as they are down in lower Delaware near the beach. So keep that in mind if you were thinking about going back and forth.

    Bayside is my personal favorite in that area. It's a tough Nicklaus design, with its fair share of different challenges along the way. Sand, water, long holes, target holes, etc. When the wind blows it's hard as well, especially on the back.

    Baywood is a great course as well. Not sure if they opened the 3rd nine or not (and if they haven't will they ever?). If you go in season it has tons of flowers everywhere and is very pretty. Course is tough but fair, not as difficult as Bayside. Very fun play start to finish.

    Bear Trap like the post above suggested is a rather large step down. 27 holes, some play through a neighborhood though the house do not encroach too much on most holes. Lots of sand, but it's not up to the level of the two above design or conditions-wise whenever I played it.

    White Clay Creek is at the Delaware Park Casino/Racetrack not far off 95. So this is probably your closest course from Philly. When it's wet it stays wet for a while. Has a bit of a target layout. It's not bad, but it wouldn't be on top lists in states with more public courses (neither would Bear Trap).

    Only one I haven't played one the list is Deerfield. It was private back when I was at UDel, MBNA owned it and for whatever reason when I lived or visit back east I never got around it. The state bought it (I think) after I left college and made it public about 12-15 years ago. Friends that have played it said it was a tight layout.

  • Juan73Juan73 JuanTheGolfer  555WRX Points: 119Handicap: 7.3Members Posts: 555
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    DrOldSchool thanks for your insights. My plan is to drive from Philly to Bayside, and work my way back to Philly.... then fly back home to Sarasota, if I do not get to play Merion (which is a strong possibility).

    As you noted, with a lot fewer courses in the state of Delaware compared to many other states, the list of top courses , will probably not match those I have played in others. However, it will be a fun adventure since I will be playing the courses with a buddy of mine from Philadelphia. He and I played on the same high school golf team back in 1965!! And if will be my 4th state that I have completed.... only 46 more to go! :-)

  • ArtMBgolfArtMBgolf  446WRX Points: 76Handicap: 8Members Posts: 446
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    That is a good list for Delaware. Bayside, Bear Trap and Baywood are part of the Ocean City MD golf package business, being right across the DE/MD line.

    Those 3 courses are near each other. DROldSchoold listed drive times from Phila. You should consider staying in Rehobeth, Fenwick or Ocean City and playing

    those 3 over 3 days, if you can or a 36 hole day.

    White Clay + Deerfield would be half the drive time from Phila. White Clay Creek has the creek wandering around a lot of holes.

    It's next to DE Park Racetrack.

    Deerfield, is a hilly course with a number of tight holes and an old style course.

    All these courses have bent greens.

    I live in DE. We met in Myrtle Beach.

  • Juan73Juan73 JuanTheGolfer  555WRX Points: 119Handicap: 7.3Members Posts: 555
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    HI Art

    THANKS..... I do remember meeting in Myrtle Beach about 3 years ago. I appreciate your insight. Is there a packager that puts together the three courses near Ocean City that you would recommend?

  • ArtMBgolfArtMBgolf  446WRX Points: 76Handicap: 8Members Posts: 446
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    The biggest Ocean City packager is Pam's. http://www.pamsgolfoc.com/ Even if you don't book with them, you can request their Ocean City golf book.

    I have gotten quotes from them, but I have only been to OC once. I booked the hotel directly and booked a 4 course Ruark Golf package with Ruark, since they own those 4 courses.

    OceanCityGolf.com also has info and a book.

    For 3 unaffiliated courses, it may cost basically the same to book with the courses, for 1 or 2 players. You can see the rates per season or time of the day on the course websites.

    LIke Myrtle, packagers are more useful for a big group or booking a certain group of courses that get you a bonus/discount.

    Fri-Sun rates in OC can be a lot higher than Mon-Thurs. If you stay more days, Lighthouse Sound is a Top MD course.

    I have played Baywood + Bayside. Since someone earlier ranked Bear Trap lower, IMO Baywood is the best of those 3 "OC" courses, with Bayside 2nd. Oddly Bayside is not

    really on the Bay for scenry, but close to it.

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  • dankil13dankil13  69WRX Points: 73Members Posts: 69
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    If you are going to play Bayside and Baywood Greens, I definitely suggest playing the Links at Lighthouse Sound and/or Rum Pointe on the MD side and stay in OC, MD. Lighthouse is definitely on the MD list so it could save you a trip down the road when you plan to knock our the MD courses.


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