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Whiskey Creek Golf Club: A Splendid Maryland Escape

By Travis Espenlaub, Contributor

Ijamsville, MD - Ernie Els is currently one of the premier players on the Professional Golf Tour and has been at the top for a while now. He is now getting involved in golf course design and has become a design consultant for the brand new course located in Ijamsville, Maryland, called Whiskey Creek.

If we can use this course as an indication of things to come from Els in the golf course design World, his designs will take no time at all to catch the brilliance of his actual golf game.

Whiskey Creek is a great place to get away from it all for a few hours. The course was officially opened on August 7, 2000 but from the great playing conditions, it looks as if it has been opened for at least a year or more.

Although Whisky Creek is only located 35 miles from Washington, D.C., it gives you the feeling that you are hours away from any cities or any distractions other than trying to hit that golf ball as straight as you possibly can. The course takes full advantage of its natural setting and uses the ponds, trees, rocks, and even the ruins of a 19th century stone house as obstacles to maneuver around.

This is one of those courses that is very easy to write about because pretty much all 18 holes are beautiful little pieces that make up the Whiskey Creek puzzle. Each hole has its own charm and individuality, which makes for a beautiful day on the links.

One of the things I liked the most about the course is the lack of blind shots I had to deal with during my round. There were barely any off of the tees and that took a lot of the guesswork out of my club selection. Another feature that Whiskey Creek has is the GPS Pro-link System which helped a great deal with determining which club would keep my ball out of a fairway bunker or which club would be the perfect one to hit into one of the enormous greens.

Some people don't like to use any kind of GPS system because they would rather play by feel. That is fine too, but at least every cart at Whiskey Creek comes equipped with GPS for those of us who do like the benefits of it.

Another feature I enjoy about the Pro-Link system at Whiskey Creek is the fact that on every hole on the course it gives you tips of how to conquer each hole. This came in handy on more than one hole for my playing companions and me and it is especially beneficial for first time players of the course.

Although this course isn't easy by any means it does have many different bail out areas for errant drives from us, non-Ernie Els types of players. There were many holes that I could take a big rip at a drive and not be punished by missing the fairways by a few yards here and there.

Actually, I used more irons to tee off with at Whiskey Creek than I am used to. The course does play a tad over 7,000 yds from the back tees but on many of the holes positioning takes a front seat to distance. The greens are also very large on a majority of the holes, which makes for many 3-putts but also at least gives you a chance to sink a nice long birdie putt every once in a while.

Another great feature that I love about Whiskey Creek is the fact it allows those people who aren't so adventurous to play their game, but also allows those who play more of a risk taker game to play that kind of game too. Like I stated before, placement is very key on many of the holes, and on a few of the par 5's placement and distance will allow the brave at heart the ability to go for that ever illusive eagle.

One of those par-5's is the much anticipated number 18 hole. It is probably one of the most spectacular finishing holes in the area. It is a 550 yd hole from the back tees and it is the hole with the aforementioned ruins of the 19th century stone house located 275 yds away in the middle of the fairway. The bold player looking for that eagle can hit their drive to the left narrow side of the ruins, but takes a big chance of losing their ball in the stream or trees that line that side.

The right side of the ruins is much wider and safer to aim for but it leaves a long shot that has to clear a pond that lies in front of the narrow green. Many bets or tournaments could be won or lost on this great hole. This is one of those rare holes that a drive down the middle of the fairway may get you in more trouble than one that hooks or fades a bit off of the tee ecause you don't have the ruins of the house to deal with on the 2nd shot.

Hole number 11 is one of the signature holes on the course with its 30-yd narrow green that has a rock wall and bunker running down the entire right side. If that isn't intimidating enough, the green slopes toward the rock wall where I'm sure many balls can be found.

The hole plays 198-yds from the back tees and depending upon where the pin is that day, it could be a 3 club difference between the front of the green to the back. Much thought and skill has to happen before getting a par on this hole.

Whiskey Creek is located only a few short miles away from the PB Dye Golf Course. Both of these courses are great to play and give you many different shots that will use all of the clubs in your bag. If you are looking for a place to play a couple of days of golf, be sure to check out Ijamsville, Maryland on your next vacation.

Weekday Fees (Monday-Thursday): $69/18 holes
Weekend Fees (Friday-Sunday and Holidays): $85/18 holes
Fees Include green fee, cart, practice balls, Pro-Link System and tax.

Black Tee Course Rating: 74.5
Black Tee Course Slope: 137
Black Yardage: 7,001

Blue Tee Course Rating: 72.0
Blue Tee Course Slope: 136
Blue Yardage: 6,525
Par: 72

White Tee Course Rating: 69.3
White Tee Course Slope: 128
White Yardage: 5,979
Par: 72

Whiskey Creek Golf Club
4804 Whiskey Court
Ijamsville, MD 21754
Pro Shop Phone: 1-888-883-1174 / 301-694-2900
Web: www.WhiskeyCreekGolf.com
General Manager/Head Golf Professional: Tom Saathoff

Travis Espenlaub, Contributor

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