17th Green

Since the crew here at Tuna Golf are obviously stellar golfers who are often times comp’d rounds at various courses around the country, we figured to provide our readership with the skinny on some of the courses they may or may not be interested in playing during their travels. Just please keep in mind that dropping any of our names will not guarantee a comp’d round and, in fact, may lead to a speedy escort from the premises.

Located in the small historic town of St. Michaels, MD, Harbourtowne Golf Resort was my home course growing up. The course and facilities are very appealing and well-maintained, but the “resort” addition to the club attracts assholes from all over the country (which, ironically will be you). Get an early tee time if you want to avoid getting stuck behind a group of tourists (again, you) and consequently playing a five-hour round. Slow golf SUCKS…

The course itself is tucked away on a peninsula bordered by the Chesapeake Bay. It plays as a modest 6300 yards, par 70/71 (the weaker gender is given an extra par 5). There is a fair amount of water, though not nearly as much as expected on a course in its location. What the course lacks in water hazards is not made up for with sand traps. While not overwhelming in numbers, there are several extremely deep well-placed bunkers that, should you find them, will add a few strokes on your round. So nothing too challenging, right? False. Harbourtowne is unnecessarily narrow and has OB on every single hole on the course. It’s absolutely ridiculous the amount of penalty strokes and provisional balls you’ll hit off the tee during a bad round. Hell, even a good round will likely include a penalty or two; they’re just that hard to avoid here. For a better picture, let’s take a look at several holes:

Hole #2 – One of the few longer par 4s on the course. It’s a slight dogleg left that forces you to hit an accurate driver or 3-wood because of the huge sand trap, bordered by trees, on the left and OB not far off the right edge of the fairway. A long iron is an option only if you’re prepared to hit another long iron into a tiny green with an enormous right-side sand trap. A very demanding tee shot if you’re looking to score at all, but par or even bogey is acceptable here.

Hole #6 – The lone par 5 on the front. It’s basically a “what you see, what you get” hole. A long 570 yards, it is only reachable in two for the longest players. However, woods and fairway bunkers hug the entire left side of the hole so getting aggressive can prove costly. The smart player will make this a three shot hole and take advantage of a rare par 5 at Harbourtowne.

Hole #8 – One of my dumbest things in golf: a par 4/5, where females are handed an extra stroke as a gift from the horny golf gods trying to get a piece. There’s absolutely no reason for women to get an extra stroke on this hole. It’s one of the more open holes on the course and if you avoid the 10ft deep green-side bunkers, par is likely.

Hole #12 – The narrowest hole ever. There’s a landing strip, surrounded by forest, the width of a patch of hair leading to a girl’s vagina for your drive and that continues all the way to the green. My least favorite hole on the course.

Hole #14 – The only other par 5 is a short one. Water splits the fairway and makes you choose between laying up with a long iron off the tee and playing a 3-shot hole, or carrying the water with driver off the tee and having a 7-iron into the green for your second. Again, the landing area off the tee is narrow but carrying the water off the tee will almost lock up a legit birdie opportunity.

Hole #17 – My favorite par 3 here. Normally, no more than an 8 iron but wind typically swirls here because of its proximity to the surrounding bay. There’s nothing but water between the tee box and the green except for a narrow stretch of bunker that resembles a moat around the raised green. If you hit an easy short iron, you should have no problem here. However, find the bunker and it’s a demanding up and down.

A few other quick notes: The 9th hole snack shack is owned by two old people who rarely are present. They leave behind a bowl that functions on the honor system, so you decide the price tag on your beer and dog. Also, the 18th green backs up really close to the clubhouse. Often times after a round, I’d sit at the outdoor patio and watch some other groups finish while drinking a few beers. People catch thin approach shots all the time here that frequently smash the reinforced windows of the clubhouse. It’s high comedy, unless it’s you.

Harbourtowne is a beautiful, short, narrow course that’s a stones throw away from several excellent waterfront bars that are a relaxing way to forget how many balls you just lost OB.