Turf Valley Resort & Conference Center

May 07, 1998|By Steven Kivinski

Address: 2700 Turf Valley Road,

Ellicott City, Md. 21043

Telephone: 410-465-1504

Professional: Craig Day, PGA

Superintendent: Mike Gilmore

Course architect: Eddie Ault

Opened: 1959

Open: All year (First tee-off at dawn)

Status: Resort (Open to members and hotel guests)

Holes: 54

Par/Slope: North (71/123), South (70/114), East (71/128)

Yardage (middle tees): North (6,187), South (5,931), East (6,150)

Greens fees: Hotel guests -- $37 weekdays and $52 weekends

Carts: $13

Tee-time policy: Times reserved seven days in advance in person and six days in advance by day telephone.

Additional features: Heated and covered public driving range, pro shop, three practice greens, 223-room hotel, European spa, restaurant, full banquet facilities, 75-seat amphitheater for business functions, 40,000 square feet of conference space.

Review: The operative word here is huge. The resort, which occupies 1,000 acres in Howard County, debuted with 27 holes in 1959, added another nine the next year and two more nines in 1988 and 1991.

The East course has the tightest of the three layouts with trees lining many of the fairways. Ault, who also designed TPC Avenel, site of next month's Kemper Open, used the terrain to create this shot-maker's golf course.

The 13th hole on the East course is a picturesque but challenging par-3 that requires a tee shot over an L-shaped lake.

The North course, which has the newest nine holes, has several environmentally-protected areas the golfer must traverse. No. 5 on the North is one of the most demanding holes the resort has to offer. This long, narrow, par-4 requires accuracy off the tee and an approach shot over an environmental hazard.

The high handicapper will enjoy the South course, which is generally open and forgiving. A moderate amount of fairway bunkers and a few streams, however, force the golfer to place some shots.

All three courses are well-maintained and have bent grass from tee to undulating green, and the friendly staff treats everyone like a member.

Pub Date: 5/07/98

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