Maryland has some of the nicest golf courses you can play on the East Coast, and the temperature is warm enough to play roughly nine months a year without any issues.
The team at PG Golf Links review the 13 Best Public Golf Courses you can play in Maryland on your next visit. They range from beginner-friendly to links-style courses that will challenge any level of golfer.
Best Maryland Public Golf Courses
Worthington Manor Golf Club, Urbana, MD
The Worthington Manor Golf course includes a challenging mix of well-suited holes for players of all skill levels. The front nine is tight with narrow landing areas, elevated greens, and small tee boxes that shape the play for bogey or better golfers.
The back nine is more forgiving than the front with wider fairways, but the greens are just as difficult.
Worthington Manor golf course is located in Urbana, Maryland, just off of 270, and is currently ranked at #13 of the best public courses in Maryland and voted one of Maryland’s best courses by Golfweek Magazine.
Worthington Manor Golf Club is a well-known and highly regarded course that uses every possible advantage to provide interesting challenges for golfers of all skill levels.
The course’s layout, ranging from “Best Courses You Can Play” Golfweek to “Middle Atlantic’s 50 Best Courses,” allows for numerous options for strategy. Play Urbana’s best course and see why people think Worthington Manor is one of the best courses in Maryland.
Hog Neck Golf Course, Stevensville, MD
Hog Neck is an 18-hole public golf course located in Stevensville, MD. It is one of the most popular courses in Kent County and for a good reason too. The par 72 course features four sets of tees to meet every level of golfer’s needs.
The par 72 Championship Course and the par 32 Executive Course are difficult tests for any golfer, with tees ranging from 2,000 yards to just over 7,100 yards. Hog Neck Golf Club has the Talbot County golf you’re looking for, with tees ranging from 2,000 to almost 7,100 yards.
The 18-hole Championship Course is challenging for low, medium, and high handicap golfers, with two nines of contrasting styles. The first hole features an outward nine that plays out of the woods and immediately puts the golfers in front of them across wide-open wind-swept holes with numerous bunkers and water hazards to negotiate.
After turning inward nine, golfers must contend with far longer approach shots through a seemingly never-ending wood of loblolly pines to well-bunkered greens.
The beautifully landscaped grounds are filled with mature trees that play to the water hazards that come into play on several holes. With its rolling hills, creek beds, and scenic views of Kent County, Hog Neck is a joy to walk through.
Many golfers are not aware of the practice facilities at this fine course. The driving range features five tees with two target greens for players to work out their swings. Five practice holes allow golfers to fine-tune their putting and chipping before heading off the main course.
Blue Mash Golf Course – Laytonsville, MD
Bring along your A-game for this one! If you want to test your game with every shot in the bag, head to Blue Mash Golf Course in Laytonsville, MD. The course has a mix of short and easy holes for beginners and some long, challenging ones that will weed out all but the most experienced golfers.
Blue Mash is a Links-style course with parkland, wooded, and water holes designed by renowned architect Arthur Hills. It has no forced carries, so it is easy for both novice and high handicap golfers to play, although low handicap players will find the length of the course, strategic bunker placement, and devilishly well-placed greens to be a challenge.
Blue Mash is an easy drive from Washington, DC, and Baltimore. The course features a practice range with target greens, individual putting greens on each hole, a chipping green and sand trap, a large pavilion for gatherings of up to 100 golfers at one time, and lighted driving areas for night golf.
The Blue Mash Golf Course’s practice facility includes a 10,000 square foot putting green, grass tee driving range, and short-game practice area with world-class teachers.
Blue Mash offers a “Twilight” special: $19 for 18 holes and a cart Monday through Friday after 3 pm, and $34 for weekends and holidays after 1 pm. These prices don’t include the sales tax of 6%.
Whiskey Creek Golf Club in Ijamsville, Maryland
Ranked #9 in the state and #49 in the Mid-Atlantic region. The course was built by renowned architects Arthur Hills and Jerry Matthews with the intent to build a championship golf course that blended seamlessly into its woodsy surroundings.
Whiskey Creek stands out for many reasons: it’s long, tight, and tough but also fair and fun for all golfers.
Whiskey Creek is difficult to top when it comes to excitement. The course has several elevated tees, including the stunning fifth tee, where the tee box is framed by enormous boulders, and the fairway drops 100 feet to a green below. It appears as if Maryland is stretching out before you. The 14th hole isn’t quite as high up, but it’s still impressive with its elevated tee and green perched on top of a plateau.
On virtually every hole, the player is forced to weigh risk and return. A long drive is required to reach two par 4s at Whiskey Creek. If the golfer is attempting to hit the green drives straight, he must be ready to pay the price if he misses. The final strategic hole is the par five 18th, which has a split fairway that forces the golfer with a shorter drive to decide whether he wants his second shot to go left or right.
The course is so well prepared. I’m not sure why this course isn’t in the top ten in Maryland. It’s extremely difficult for golfers of all skill levels, which is incredible when you consider how much influence Hills and Matthews had on the design.
Whiskey Creek may be the finest Arthur Hills and Jerry Mathews design in Maryland, and it deserves to be ranked higher than where it stands.
Musket Ridge Golf Club, Frederick County, MD
Located in Thurmont, a town about 70 miles west of Baltimore and 50 miles north of Washington D.C., Musket Ridge Golf Club is a course that was designed by Joe Lee and opened for play in 1984. It’s a track that plays to a par-71 over 7,160 yards from the tips.
Two things make Musket Ridge particularly worth checking out. First, this is one of the best public golf courses in Maryland for sure-footed players who like to bomb it off tees that are more than generous. Second, there are some really interesting terrain features on the layout, especially off the tee.
Musket Ridge’s golf course, with its distinctive natural beauty and rolling topography, is one of the most beautiful areas of Maryland. Its magnificent vistas, as well as meticulously maintained fairways and greens that provide a difficult golf course that both occasional and expert players appreciate, make it an outstanding golfing experience.
The distinctive bunkering strategically placed visible hazards from elevated tee boxes and variegated greens are hallmarks of this meticulously maintained golf course.
Renditions Golf Course, Davidsonville, MD
With holes from major championship courses located in a quiet and peaceful region of Anne Arundel County, minutes from the Capital Beltway and Annapolis, Renditions is home to exact replicas of holes from iconic golf courses.
The location is ideal for a one-of-a-kind, massive slam golf experience with the Patuxent River flowing through the back nine, which offers pristine views and beautiful surroundings. Replicas have even earned a spot on Golf Magazine’s “Top 100 Greatest Public Courses in America,” and you should take advantage of the opportunity to play it while it is still affordable.
Renditions Golf Club has three courses, which provide a variety of tee time alternatives. The Shenandoah is ideal for novices since it has a few straightforward par-3’s. It’s also the only 9-hole course open in the winter months.
The Potomac is a moderately more difficult course, but it’s still ideal for golfers of all skill levels since there are water hazards on seven of the 18 holes. The Chesapeake course is the most challenging, but it offers simple approaches to the greens as long as you can manage your distance.
Golf’s Grand Slam Experience is a tribute to the world’s greatest holes. Renditions, conveniently located near Washington, DC, is the ideal location for a unique round of golf, world-class golf party, or one-of-a-kind wedding event.
The Links at Lighthouse Sound, Bishopville, MD
The Links at Lighthouse Sound is a premier golf course in the heart of the scenic Eastern Shore. It’s found on an expansive piece of land with rows and rows of luscious trees that line up along a pristine shoreline, which makes for some beautiful views while you play 18 holes.
Golfers will find it tough to get their eyes off the water or trees, but they must keep their minds on the game since there are plenty of bunkers and hills to get in the way.
Not only is it tough, but The Links at Lighthouse Sound is also a challenging course. While you make your journey from hole to hole, you’ll encounter all sorts of elevations and undulations in the green, which makes it one of the more difficult courses found in Maryland.
It’s a scenic course, to say the least, and you’ll truly appreciate your surroundings when you can admire water and trees while you make your way around the greens.
Rum Pointe Seaside Golf Links – Berlin, Maryland
The only Ocean City, MD region course with bent-grass fairways and greens is at Rum Pointe Seaside Golf Links, which is a Scottish-style link. With several holes having direct bay frontage and the ability to start your ball over the water to shorten the hole, no fewer than 17 of the 18 holes offer a view of the bay.
Even the signature 18th hole, a par-3, benefits from bay views. Located on the edge of Tilghman Bay, where it snakes back through marshland grasses before reaching the Atlantic Ocean, this green is surrounded by water and protected by three sand bunkers fronting its flanks.
It’s also elevated off the fairway, with the hole playing to a massive green that falls toward the water.
The Dyes have set up numerous holes with ample risk/reward type shots that will appeal to all levels of play. This championship quality course is capable of hosting a PGA Tour stop from the back tees, but it forgives enough from the middle tees to satisfy players of all skill levels.
You can also read more about Rum Pointe and Lighthouse Sound in our Best golf courses near Ocean City, MD post.
Maryland National Golf Club, Middletown, MD
The 18-hole, par 71 courses at Maryland National Golf Club is nestled in the lovely rolling hills of central Maryland, with views of the Catoctin Mountains.
Maryland National was designed by world-famous architect Arthur Hills, who took full advantage of the spectacular topography and marshes surrounding the course.
From wide, undulating greens to gorgeous holes carved out of natural wooded lowlands and various water hazards, each hole on this 6800 + yard course offers a distinct challenge sure to excite any player.
The practice area and short game area are worth the drive if you are looking to spend some time working on your game.
The short game section is built to treat whatever ails your short game, with two separate practice greens, one for chipping and one for putting.
A true test of your ability is available in the chipping green, which features a practice bunker, an approach area, and a long rough stretch that allows you to replicate any shots you may encounter on the course.
The putting green has various little bumps to help you practice different degrees of break. To improve distance and accuracy, practice putts ranging from three feet to fifty feet.
Bulle Rock Golf Course, Havre De Grace, MD
Located just 20 miles northeast of Baltimore, Bulle Rock is one of the area’s oldest and most prestigious public courses. The course has hosted some unforgettable competitions, including several LPGA tour events, USGA qualifiers for the U.S. Open, and East Coast PGA tournaments.
Over 3600 yards long with a par-72 rating, this course is home to four sets of tees.
As always, the establishment offers its own practice facility with both a grass and mat driving range, as well as a putting green and chipping area.
The course itself boasts an outstanding mix of short and long holes that will challenge all players’ skills. Some notable holes are number nine, a 438 yard par-5 with water coming into play on the second shot; number 14, a dog-leg left par-4 hole at 240 yards; and of course the 18th, which is nearly 600 yards long and requires at least two accurate shots to reach.
Waverly Woods Golf Course, Frederick, MD
Waverly Woods Golf Course is a challenging and beautiful course in Maryland. The tree-lined fairways add significantly to its beauty, with greens that are smallish but well maintained. Rough around these parts can be deep – so make sure you have enough club from tee boxes on the back nine!
The signature hole is 17, a par 3. As you tee off to the left and consider your shot to the green, keep in mind that there are several mounds behind the green which can, if hit correctly, result in a hole-in-one. The best thing about Waverly Woods is that it is very reasonably priced compared to other area courses.
P.B. Dye Golf Club, Ijamsville, MD
P.B. Dye Golf Club is nestled in the rolling hills of Western Maryland, just minutes from Frederick and Baltimore. This 18 hole par-72 course was designed by P.B. Dye, one of golf’s most accomplished designers, who has shaped courses throughout the world known for their great beauty and difficulty.
The course features 6 par 5s, 8 par 4s and 2 short par 3s. The layout presents a challenge to all golfers with spacious fairways framed by deep roughs and large undulating greens that are guarded by sand traps.
The front nine is framed by dozens of towering hardwoods and maple, sycamore and oak trees. The back nine features more open vistas with the trees giving way to flowering dogwood, weeping willows and cedar groves.
At almost 7,000 yards (from the championship tees), P.B Dye Golf Club is among the longer courses in Maryland. It is also one of the most beautiful, with rolling hills and meandering creeks that frame many of the holes.
Rocky Gap Golf Course, Flintstone, MD
This Allegany County gem is a short and scenic drive from Cumberland. The front nine, with its wide-open feel, features mostly open field shots while the back nine heads into the hills for more challenging holes. Every hole offers something different, but several are true standouts.
Highlights include the par 5 6th which plays downhill and requires a well-placed drive over a ravine. The short par 4 8th is the best risk/reward hole on the course as it can be driven or easily reached with a mid to short iron from the tee.
The beautiful surrounding landscape makes this an ideal place to visit with your significant other, family, or a small group of friends. A trip to Rocky Gap is a must for golfers looking for a high quality, low stress round in an amazing setting.
Opened in 1969, the layout features water hazards on six holes, which come into play on half of them. Rocky Gap offers a challenging design that rewards accuracy over power off the tee, with narrow fairways and small greens, many of which are protected by strategically-placed bunkers.
Rocky Gap is a true test of golf, but the course conditions are some of the best in all of Maryland. The greens roll fast and smooth, leaving no surprises for those who hit quality shots into them. Rocky Gap earned 4 1/2 stars from Golf Digest, and it would have earned a perfect 5 stars if not for its lack of length.