Top 100 You Can Play: Beechtree GC

june5_ochoa2_600x399_19.jpg
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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