Pin Hunting: Bayside Resort Golf Club
The Maryland and Delaware coastlines are renowned for their summer hotspots, their vast selection of restaurants and, of course, their golf courses. The versatility that Bayside Golf Resort Golf Club, in west Fenwick Island, offers is well known, and it provides patrons with one of the most testing, yet scenic, backdrops along the pristine Assawoman Bay.
In 2005, Carl M. Freeman companies welcomed the addition of Bayside Resort Golf Club, a Jack Nicklaus signature golf course, with the intention of bringing a high level of play to the Delmarva Peninsula.
Since then, the course has ranked as high as 88th on the list of America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses, was named in Golf Digest’s Top 10 Best New Courses in 2006 and GolfStyles’ “Must-Play Courses of 2009,” and has ranked as Delaware’s No. 1 course in Golfweek’s “America’s Best Courses You Can Play,” every year since 2007.
“Being a Jack Nicklaus Signature course,” said Bayside head golf professional Robert Crowther, “and consistently ranking as high as it does, really puts Bayside in its own class.”
Over the years, Bayside Resort Golf Club has hosted the Delaware Open and Junior Open tournaments, served as a United States Golf Association (USGA) Mid-Amateur qualifying course, and has been the site for a variety of community-based events and tournaments.
“[Superintendent] Eric Hindes does a great job keeping the course in great condition,” said Crowther. “Before passing away, [former Carl M. Freeman president] Joshua Freeman had a vision to bring to the area an esteemed golf course that could host tour-quality events, and we definitely have that today.”
The course, open to members and to the public, traverses salt marshes, meadows and woodlands over 7,545 yards of golf from the longest tees and 5,125 from the shortest, stretching for a par of 72. A healthy number of obstacles throughout the links — 11 bunkers and at least one water hazard on every hole — keep golfers on their toes, which gears the course toward golfers who want that extra test.
“It’s a very challenging course,” Crowther noted, “and I think that’s why a lot of people enjoy playing it. They like playing it for its complexity. If it was easy, no one would play it.”
The goal of the management, he added, is to usher in at least 25,000 rounds of golf on the 18-hole course every year.
What makes the course particularly challenging are the variations of the green’s slopes.
“Many of our greens are elevated,” Crowther observed, “and because of how they’re set up, there are a variety of ways to play a chip shot up onto the green. It makes each time out a new experience for the golfers.”
Holes such as the lengthy No. 2 or a winding No. 18 may cause even the most experienced golfers to take an extra fairway shot or wedge when approaching the green, but Bayside Resort Golf Club’s most scenic and notable hole is No. 13, a 174-yarder that tests golfer’s’ accuracy, despite being the shortest of the course’s three par 3’s.
A tee shot over water to the fairway and green, surrounded by pine trees and a salt marsh, will set up golfers nicely, with one of the most unspoiled and secluded backdrops on any local course in the area.
“When you’re out on Hole 13,” Crowther said, “you can’t help but just stand there and take a look around. It really is amazing when you take it all in.”
Bayside Resort Golf Club is located at 31806 Lakeview Drive, near Selbyville, just a few miles west of Fenwick Island, at the intersection of Routes 54 and 20. For more information about Bayside, including tee times and green fees, contact the club house at (302) 436-3400.
Keep up with Coastal Point throughout the summer as we explore the wide range of golf courses and clubs that the region has to offer. After a brief look at the area’s neighboring courses, and singling out a signature hole from each, we will customize our own round of golf, sure to intrigue anyone, from the casual golfer to the die-hard fairway jockeys.