Top 100 You Can Play: Beechtree GC

Lorena Ochoa shot 69 in her first round.
Mike Ehrmann/SI

Beechtree GC
Aberdeen, Md.
7,023 yards, par 71; Green fees: $85-$95;
410-297-9700, beechtreegolf.com

With his string of acclaimed layouts — Pacific Dunes, Cape Kidnappers, Sebonack — architect Tom Doak has become as familiar a presence on Golf Magazine's Top 100 Courses in the World as Angelina Jolie is on the cover of a supermarket tabloid.

But long before he crafted any of those tracks, Doak proved that you don't need clifftop or oceanfront settings to design a great course.

In 1998, he carved Beechtree from gently rolling farmland 25 minutes north of Baltimore. While it may lack the staggering drama of his seaside layouts, it confirms one thing: Doak can do W "subtle" just fine, thanks.

Ranked No. 93 on our Top 100 Courses You Can Play, Beechtree may be short on in-your-face photo ops, but it's long on the pleasures of old-fashioned shotmaking.

Firm and fast conditions, cleverly positioned bunkers and front-to-back sloping greens place an emphasis on precision and ground-game prowess.

The tougher and tighter back nine tangles with more trees, notably at the 15th, a 475-yard, par-4. One of Doak's stated goals at Beechtree was to "mimic the classic East Coast parkland courses in style."

Mission accomplished.

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