Earlier this month, Carolyn M. Proctor and Rachel Bernstein of the Baltimore Business Journal compiled a list of the most difficult golf courses in the Baltimore area (The List -- April 2-8, 2010). Based on slope and Maryland State Golf Association course rating, Bulle Rock Golf Club, Black Course (slope: 147, MSGA rating: 76.4) in Havre de Grace topped the list.
|Bulle Rock Golf Course|
Widely seen as the best course in Maryland and ranked in the top 50 nationwide by Zagat, Bulle Rock was built in 1998 and designed by legendary golf course architect Pete Dye. The public course measures 7,375 yards from the black tees.
Joe Logan of the Philadelphia Inquirer called Bulle Rock a "must-play course for the well-traveled Philadelphia-area golfer" and the par-4, No. 13 made his "Dream 18" holes.
"I used to feel bad that this hole ate my lunch every time I played at Bulle Rock," Logan wrote, "until I spent a couple of afternoons at the McDonald's LPGA championship from 2005 to '09 watching the best women players in the world also get humbled by No. 13."
After winning the 2007 LPGA championship at the Havre de Grace course, Suzann Pettersen became a fan of Bulle Rock, saying: "You have play smart but try to be aggressive where there's room to be aggressive. Bulle Rock is all about hitting fairways. If you hit fairways, you're in a position to hit aggressive shots into the green."
Last June, rookie Anna Nordqvist took home the LPGA championship at Bulle Rock, shooting a 15-under 273 just days after celebrating her 22nd birthday.
The LPGA has a new sponsor and a new home this year, but Bulle Rock is sure to host the pros again in the near future.
The course has some interesting history. James Samuel Patton brought a stud horse named Bulle Rock to North America in the mid-1700s that was known as the “Father of All Thoroughbred Horses in America.” Decades later, Patton’s granddaughter, Cassandra Durbin, received a male colt from that same bloodline (also named Bulle Rock) as part of her dowry when she married Richard Sappington, owner of Blenheim Stud Farm in northern Maryland -- the site where the golf course is now located.
Rounding out the top five on BBJ's list of difficult courses are: Maryland Golf and Country Club, Gold Course (slope: 147, MSGA rating: 75.8); Maryland Golf and Country Club, Black Course (144, 73.9); Wakefield Valley, Green/White Course (142, 74.7); and Compass Point, North/East Course (141, 74.6).
Issue 148: April 2010