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Written By: Chris Conley

Queenstown Harbor – The Lakes

On Monday, April 16, I played Queenstown Harbor – The Lakes, located in Queenstown, Maryland on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. I have played this course more than any other course I have played but continue to come back to it. Besides the local municipal 9 hole course I learned to play on, the Lakes was the first course I ever played. When I was a junior in high school, I made the golf team and Queenstown Harbor was our home course, so I have played this course a ton.

Last Spring, Queenstown decide to redo their fairways and put in Bermuda grass; the fairways are soft and you rarely have a bad lie if you are in the fairway. However, the fairways have not fully come to life yet this year while the grass is alive and soft; there are a few brown spots throughout the fairways. Overall the course was in good condition there were two greens that were dry, hard and uneven but those greens have been problem greens since last summer so I knew to expect it. The Lakes course is mildly affordable for the average golfer, and offers and fun but challenging experience.

The practice facilities are nice at Queenstown and a real positive for the course. Unlike many public courses you play, Queenstown has a range already stocked with balls, no reason to buy a token and get balls out of a machine here. Right behind the driving range, a large putting green; which is a short walk away from the chipping green. There is also a large bunker to practice out of. The club house is nice, and has recently been redone, they have a large dressing room for those playing before or after work to change and get ready in. The one downfall to the practice facility is they have the green mats which are perfect for every club but driver; the mats do not have the rubber tee built in and it is hard to get a consistent height when putting a regular wood tee into the mats.

The front nine of The Lakes, is par 35 and is made up of six Par 4′s, two Par 3′s and one Par 5. If you want to score low on this course the front nine is where you need to make your move. Holes 1 and 2 are pretty straight forward Par 4′s with wide fairways, you can pretty much hit your drive anywhere on these holes and have a playable second shot into the green. On hole number 2 you do have to carry about 50 yards of environmental area, before you reach the fairway. Hole 3 is a straight forward Par 3 with bunkers on the front right and left of the green. The green is severely slopped from back to front, so you want to leave your first shot short of the flag so you have an uphill put. Hole 4 is dog leg right Par 5 with a lake covering the length of the fairway on the right. A slice on this hole, will certainly result in a water ball, but this hole is very reachable in two depending on your drive. Hole 5 is the toughest hole on the course, and is a dog leg left over two different environmental areas. 5 wood, 5 wood for first and second shot is not uncommon on this hole. Hole 6 is a dog leg right that plays pretty simple, only issue here is the lake to the left of the green; this is another green you want to leave your second shot short so you have an uphill putt. Hole 7 is short, it is not reachable but your second shot shouldn’t be more then 60-80 yards, and yet again another green where staying short will help result in an uphill putt. Hole 8 looks to be an easy Par 3 but when you look closer this is a challenging hole. There are bunkers in the front right and back left of the green; the back right of the green backs up to the woods and if you miss it here you will result in a penalty stroke. If the flag is in the back right of this green you are basically hitting a 6-Iron into a 10ft target area or you are in trouble. Hole number nine brings you back to the club house the same way Hole number one took you out, a simple straight forward Par 4 where no drive can really be that bad. The green is surrounded by bunkers here, but you should have a decent second shot no matter where your drive ends up, as long as it travels more than 50 yards.

The clubhouse at the turn, offers the normal sandwiches, drinks and adult beverages. You can relax and eat on the outdoor patio, or inside in leather chairs in front of the TV hung above a huge stone fireplace. Either way you have a great few of the course. Once it gets closer to summer, there will also be a burger/hot dog trailer set up, on your way to Hole 10 for those who don’t want to run inside after the turn.

The back nine of The Lakes is a Par 36 that will challenge you in every aspect of your game; it consists of five Par 4′s, two Par 3′s and two Par 5′s. Hole 10 is a long straight forward Par 4, lined on the left with woods and on the right with trees, mulch and two cart paths. If you hit a decent straight drive you will have no problem getting to this green in two, however if your drive goes array, you will be playing your third shot from somewhere other than the green. Hole 11 is a fun par 3, over water, depending on the position of the flag you will generally be playing a 7 or 8-Iron into this green. A bunker surrounds the back of the green, and water in front, get over the water and this hole is parable from anywhere your shot lands. Hole 12 is a long, dog leg left Par 5 with woods lining the left of the entire fairway. To the right you have environmental area for a good portion of the fairway; your goal here is to hit the fairway. Generally speaking this is not a hole you will reach in two and should be playing your third shot from less than 100 yards away. The green is pretty simple, and only one bunker is on this entire hole, the problem with this hole is strictly length. Hole 13 didn’t want to be put to shame by Hole 12 so it is long but only a Par 4. This hole is reachable in two but you will be playing a longer Iron to make that possible. Bunkers line the right of the fairway and the left of green, and the green backs up to the woods so a shot to long will result in a lost ball. Hole 14 is another long par 4, that dog legs a little to the left, the fairway however is very wide and you should have no problem putting a ball in play here. Your second shot is challenging as two huge bunkers guard the front right and front left of this green; as you approach this green you will notice the woods behind the green open up and as you get to the green the beautiful Chester River appears and off in the distance you will see the Bay Bridge sitting in the sun light. This is one of the prettier holes on the entire course, and something that I like to enjoy every time I play the course. Hole 15, is a long Par 5 with a slight dog leg right; on the dog leg side is a lake and the entire left of this fairway are long fairway bunkers. This green is raised and set in between 4 green side bunkers making this a challenging hole. When you first play this hole, distance comes to mind to make this hole easier but this hole is all about accuracy. Hole 16 is a short Par 4, with a green guarded on all sides by bunkers, leaves your second shot on the right side of the green to make your putt easier and more uphill. Hole 17 is a long Par 3 that can average between 175 and 210 yards depending where the flag and tee box are placed that day. Bunkers surround this green, and it is heavily slopped from back to front, accuracy with a long Iron is the key to this hole. Hole 18 is a fun Par 4, where you can pretty much close your eyes and hit and have a playable second shot, trees do line the right side of this fairway but normally if you are over there you have a pitch under the trees to the green. Two large fairway bunkers sit in the middle of this hole, avoid them and you should have no problem.

Well that is my first review, hope you enjoyed it and I hope to be able to write many more.

Feel free to comment if you have played this course or want to play this course in the future.