The I-95 corridor between Baltimore and Philadelphia is better known for its traffic and parking lots on a Friday afternoon than for its golf courses.
However, as recent weather trends allow several golf courses in this mid Atlantic region to remain open all year, renown golf course architects have combined to build an impressive stretch of golf courses.
Along the 25 mile stretch of I-95 between Aberdeen, Maryland and Newark, Delaware, there are 10 upscale golf courses with two more scheduled to open by 2002.
While not all of these courses have famous architects, five of these twelve courses were designed by Pete Dye, Tom Fazio, Brian Ault and Tom Doak. Pete Dye is the only name on this list who has designed two courses along this portion of I-95.
Both Pete Dye courses are at Bulle Rock, a state of the art, public, upscale facility which is like your own country club for the day.
The Bulle Rock Course, which is now open, will be joined by the South Course at Bulle Rock, scheduled to open in 2002 when the turfgrass root systems strengthen enough to allow play.
Bulle Rock and the Tom Fazio design Hartefeld National are the only two facilities along this stretch of I-95 which can be called premiere upscale golf facilities.
With green fees exceeding $100 at both facilities, a round of golf is not cheap. However, the practice facilities are amazing and the aesthetics of these golf courses are so pristine, you feel guilty each time you take a divot.
Bulle Rock opened to amazing reviews in 2000 and is likely to host a major on the P.G.A. Tour before 2010.
Meanwhile, Hartefeld National hosts a Senior PGA Tour event and is situated on one of the finest pieces of property I have ever seen. For specific details see travel reviews of Bulle Rock by Travis Espenlaub and Hartefeld National by Jay Mankus.
The remaining nine courses are located between 15 to 20 minutes off the six exits which line this 25 mile stretch. Only the Perryville exit, U.S. Hwy. 222, does not have a golf course.
The Aberdeen exit, Route 22, is home to two courses: The BeechTree Golf Club and The Wetlands.
The Havre De Grace exit, Route 155, is home to the two courses at Bulle Rock.
The Rising Sun exit, Route 272, contains three courses, one south, the Chesapeake Bay Golf Club and two north: Chantilly Manor in Maryland and Wyncote further north in Oxford, Pennsylvania.
The Elkton exit, Route 213, is home to a new course in Elkton, Maryland which is still under construction.
The final exit along this 25 mile stretch is the Newark, Delaware exit, Route 896. This exit has four courses, two south in Middletown: Back Creek and Frog Hollow and two north just across the PA border, Hartefeld National and Chisel Creek Golf Club.
Of these nine facilities, three have golf courses that rival Bulle Rock and Hartefeld, minus the clubhouse atmosphere. The BeechTree Golf Club, Wyncote and Back Creek all have great layouts along with excellent bentgrass fairways, tees and greens that come with upscale golf facilities. With these conditions come somewhat hefty prices: $65-$90 green fees.
The other six courses in this region are affordable upscale facilities under $65 per round. If you travel this portion of I-95 on business, pass by on your way to the beach or simply in the area to visit family, take one of the five exits listed above, follow the golf signs and see for yourselves the golf paradise that is being built along I-95 between Aberdeen and Newark.
While each exit has a smorgasbord of hotel chains to choose from, Bulle Rock is in the process of building a guest lodge for travelers who simply come to this area for golf.
Beside traffic and golf, this portion of I-95 is located just north of the Chesapeake Bay, home to Maryland Blue Crabs. Look for future articles on which restaurants along I-95 and the Delaware / Maryland shore have the best blue crabs!
Bulle Rock - (410)-939-8887
Hartefeld National - (800)-240-7373
Back Creek - (302)-378-6499
Beechtree - (410)-297-9700
Wyncote - (610)-932-8900
Chantilly Manor - (410)-658-4343
Chesapeake Bay G.C. - (410)-287-0200
Chisel Creek G.C. - (610)-255-3432
Frog Hollow G.C. - (302)-376-6500
The Wetlands - (410)-273-7488