GLENN DALE, Md. — I can already tell, even though we’re just on the fourth one of these, that the term we’re going to have to be cognizant of overusing the most is “hidden gem.” There can only be so many gems, and just because something was unbeknownst to us doesn’t necessarily mean others don’t know about it.
With that disclaimer out of the way, I feel safe saying Glenn Dale Golf Club qualifies as the biggest hidden gem we’ve visited to date.
Situated just off 193 halfway between the Baltimore-Washington Parkway and Highway 50 out toward Bowie, Glenn Dale is just 20 minutes from RFK Stadium, but feels a world away from D.C. With major elevation changes and a course protected around the edges by tall forest, the play itself is far different from that of the Washington courses.
When this course is in pristine shape, it’s as well-kept and the greens are as tough as any in the area. Even when we played, after the worst of the summer heat, it held up well, though the greens were cut a little longer due to the conditions. Consider that a U.S. Open qualifier held there when the course was in prime condition produced just a single round under par.
Glenn Dale provides the level of quality and challenge you’d expect from a private or premium public course at a fraction of the cost. If you’re willing to walk during the week, it’s just $26 regular rate, and still a modest $55 on the weekends with a cart included.
There’s a teaching academy, along with a range and practice green on site.
We started on the back nine when we played, due to some routine course maintenance. I prefer to play the course starting from #1, though, which I’ve done several times. The scenic vista from the tee box before the fairway drops down below offers a grand welcome to your round.
I really liked this course — it’s great for the casual golfer. I’m a little biased, but not because I live in Maryland. I chipped in for birdie (only my second since I’ve been playing) on 17. My form during the shot would’ve made Phil Mickelson cringe or laugh, but it went in. Hey, there are no style points on the score card.
The course is short, but by no means easy. There is water and of course I found it on #3. There are houses nearby on #9 so be careful — if not, you could be the inspiration for the next commercial by an insurance company. Overall, a wonderful experience, if you try it, you’ll be back.
Dates and Rates
Dates: Open year-round
Rates: Mon-Fri until 5 p.m.: $42 with cart, $26 without; after 5 p.m.: $25/$17
Weekends until noon: $55 (cart included); noon-3:30 p.m.: $42/$26; after 3:30 p.m.: $25/$17
Seniors: $36 including cart on weekdays
Ladies’ Day Wednesday: $36 including cart
Family days on weekends: Child plays free with adult
$3 off regular rates for active police/fire/military
Associate: $125/year, includes USGA card, $4 off per round and entry into 3 club championships
Weekday: $1,350/year, includes Mon-Fri greens fees
Every day: $1,750/year, includes any time greens fees
Restaurant/grill in pro shop
No outside alcohol allowed, but beer sold from bar on site
Banquet facilities on site
No drink cart service
Pace of Play
Average pace 3:45-4:15 during week, 4:45+ on weekends
Collared shirt, no cutoffs, no tank tops
Address: 11501 Old Prospect Hill Road, Glenn Dale, Maryland.
From Washington, take 50 East to MD 704. From north of the city, take the beltway east to the BW Parkway to MD 193 East. From Virginia, take 50 East or the beltway north to MD 193 East.
Flip through the slides above to make your way through the course, and we’ll see you back here next month as we head out to Raspberry Falls Golf & Hunt Club.