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Greystone: A Hidden Gem in Northern Baltimore County

July 18, 2006

By Matt Hombach

In the early 1990s, a group of businessmen from Baltimore brought in world-renowned golf course architect Joe Lee to design an exclusive new private golf club on a tract of land in northern Baltimore County. Unfortunately, when Lee's masterpiece was nearly 70 percent complete, funding for the new private club fell through.

Located just north of Hunt Valley off I-83, Greystone has 80 strategically placed bunkers and more than 140 feet of elevation changes. (Photo courtesy of Greystone Golf Court

The Baltimore County Revenue Authority, which already controlled several public golf facilities in the area, purchased the nearly-completed course. After the funding was in place, construction was wrapped up and the Greystone Golf Course was open to the public in 1997.

Awards and Accolades
The golf world quickly took notice of Greystone. Golfweek named the course one of "America's 30 Best Municipal Golf Courses" and one of "America's Best Courses You Can Play." Golf Digest has ranked Greystone as a "Four-Star Places to Play" award winner, one of the few courses in the state to receive that designation.

Located just north of Hunt Valley off of I-83, Greystone boasts bent grass playing surfaces tee to green, 80 strategically placed bunkers, dramatically undulating greens and more than140 feet of elevation changes.

A Diverse Layout
Greystone's layout offers a unique and stimulating mix of holes. Several holes are tree lined from tee to green while others have open fairways.

Greystone's five par-3 holes, each one offering a unique obstacle, highlight the round. The third hole is a picturesque par-3 with forced carry over an environmentally protected area. The green is set well below the tee, making club selection difficult and distance control of paramount importance.

The other par-3 on the front side, the eighth hole, also features an elevated tee. A pond guards the left side of the green and strategically-placed bunkers protect the right side of the hole. The hole can vary greatly in yardage from 192 on the high end to 105 on the low end.

While the first two par-3s on the back nine are both short in length, they require some serious shot making ability. The twelfth hole is a favorite of many Greystone golfers. It plays just over 160 yards and pot bunkers on either side of the putting surface put a premium on accuracy off the tee. The green slopes severely from back to front and there can be a three- or even four-club difference between a pin in the front and a pin in the back.

The fourteenth is the shortest hole on the course, measuring 149 yards from the back tees. Mature trees add to the ambiance and frame both the tee and green on this classic hole. The green is large and pin position plays a key role in club selection. A large ridge separates the two sides of the green and forces a player to land his or her shot on the correct side of the green or face a definite three-putt possibility.

The sixteenth hole, the longest par-3 at Greystone, plays 235 yards from the championship tees. It forces golfers to thread an accurate fairway wood shot slightly downhill over a bunker covering much of the front left portion of the green and a large bunker behind the putting surface.

The finishing holes to both the front and back nines offer gorgeous views of Greystone's stately clubhouse and a significant test of golf. The ninth hole is a long par-4 measuring 446 yards from the back tees and 416 from the whites. Not only is this hole long, but the topography slopes up the entire length of the hole leading right up to the green and the clubhouse behind it. An accurate tee shot is required with water on the left and woods on the right. From there, a long iron or fairway wood needs to be fairly accurate to find safety on the well-bunkered green.

Greystone's finishing hole is also the longest on the course. The par-5 measures 572 yards from the black tees. The right side of the fairway is marked by towering pine trees. The fairway bends slightly to the right at first, but is fairly straight on from 250 yards and in. Lay up with the second shot to allow for a shot from a comfortable distance. The elevated green requires a high, accurate iron shot to land the ball safely on the pad.

Greystone Golf Course
18-hole rate with cart
Weekend: $69
Weekday: $49
Twilight: $33
Slope and Rating
Grey 73..5, 139
Black 71.9, 136
White 69.6, 132
Green 66.6, 126
Red 67.5, 112

Issue 1.13: July 20, 2006