Weather: Sunny, mid 80’s. Slight breeze.
Written By: Steave Habbert
Rating: See below
Quick Take: Cheap, Always Available, GREAT for practicing all year long. Can be challenging. Narrow Ball Eater.
Let’s get this out of the way right now… they named it right by calling it a “Golf Park”; this isn’t a Golf Course or Club by any stretch. But don’t let the modest offerings and beginnings fool you. It may be a hair on the short side with only one Par 5, and 2 Par 3’s, but this is as challenging a course as you may find in Southern Maryland.
Initially starting out as a Driving Range to accompany the turf Landing Strip (yes you read that right) for their Calvert County Farmland, the proprietors of Mellomar Golf Park, Doc and Peggy decided to up the ante a bit and develop some of the farmland they have laying around. The first thing they did was open up a Nine Hole Par 3 course. Perfect for working on your short game, and spectacular for introducing wives and kids to the game. Just off of the large Driving Range, this course is actually used as a teaching ground for the Golf Camp that Mellomar Offers.
Pulling into Mellomar, there is no mistake that this is a “mom and pop” operation. To the left you will find the start and finish of the 9 Hole Par 3, ahead of the gravel parking lot, you will see a wooden cottage that serves as the clubhouse. On the right you will find the Driving Range where for as far back as I can remember, the golfers of Southern Maryland, good/bad, young/old have honed their craft on the 300 yard range. You have the option for both off the mats, and off the grass. Grass is a couple of bucks more to hit off of. Over the years, Doc has put more targets out there for us to aim at, and as ranges go… it’s decent.
Walking into the cottage, just past the sleeping dog on the deck, you’ll see on your right a large tub of range balls, and a lock box on the door with an “Honor System” sign. However on most days (even New Years Day) you’ll find someone in there, be it Doc, Peggy, Marie or a combination of the 3. Payment is CASH ONLY for all services.
After you make your payments, you load up your cart (salvaged and garnered from other establishments) take the turn up the path to the start of the 9 hole course.
HOLE 1: One of two fairly wide open layouts at Mellomar. Plays about 328 from the Blues (like I said, short course). A direct and solid tee shot leaves you with a mid to short iron for the GIR. Hit it right, you are in the tall TALL grass (and probably a lost ball). Hit it too much left and you are looking at a line of trees and possibly the road. The green was in good shape, allowing for true roles and good lines. As this green sits in the sun at all times, it plays fast. It also plays as it reads.
HOLE 2: A very slight dogleg left, the narrowness of this course starts to show here on this hole. A pond and deep woods to the left (along with electric fences to keep the goats from roaming… yes goats) and to the right, a line of trees varying in size. Too much of a fade and it could be a lost ball, unless it finds its way far enough to end up on the fairway of hole three. Recommend a long iron or a hybrid to set up a nice 7 / 8 iron shot to the green. As the green on this hole sits under the canopy of leaves and trees for the better part of the day, expect it to play slow. Morning dew on this green is still prevalent in the late morning / early afternoon hours.
HOLE 3: Strong dog leg left (not quite 90 degrees) may tempt some bigger hitters to try and cut across the heavy rough / tall grass to try for a chip for GIR. Unless you know your driver well, and know you can hit it 280+, I recommend pulling out the hybrid or long irons to set up a 150 layup from the elbow. Keep in mind, this is also a narrow fairway. It looks wider than it is, so shape your shots with care. Hit your club off the tee more than 225, and you could end up dropping 2 hitting three. The green on this hole starts to put more of a challenge into the putting aspects of the game. The back end slopes up high, and the front left starts high, and drops right. Depending on pin placement, and your scrambling abilities, this green could make you 3 putt.
HOLE 4: The other of the WIDER holes. A major reason for this is because it sits next to the turf runway. This is the hole you want to pull your driver and to hit it big. If you have a tendency to fade or slice, aim to the edge of the runway (and hen house) and let the wideness of the hole work for you. If you are a big hitter let her rip. Playing at 519yds this is decent distance for a Par 5. It’s straight though, with no bend. The green sits a hair BELOW the fairway, so you could get there in 2 with a good fairway wood shot. Keep in mind though, that as a counter to this, the wide but shallow green can fall victim to overshoots. Sloping from back end of the green with a slight grade right, this green plays fairly fast as well. One of the firmer greens on the course.
HOLE 5: One of two Par 3’s at lovely Mellomar. Believe it or not, when the traps around this hole are manicured properly, it can be fairly picturesque from the tee box. This is a short par three playing at about 129yrds. The green sits about 15 feet below the tee box so plan your club selection accordingly. As the tee and fairway are framed by tall trees on both sides, wind is not really an issue, so if you hit a wedge pretty good, no need to fear the wind. Nestled next to the green a sand trap on the right side. On the left of the green is a “pond” that depending on how the rain has fallen, may or may not be dry. We played the pond as a pond regardless. You follow your own honor system. This is a soft green that lets the ball stick pretty much where it lays unless you putt a good deal of backspin on it. This green, as it is soft, plays a bit slow. Sloping up and away from the fairway to the right and then left, it can be a challenging putt. More than you think you need here folks, more than you think you need.
HOLE 6: BALL EATER! Ah… if there was a signature hole for Mellomar, it would be hole 6. This hole is about as narrow as they come, at least for this area. Playing as a par 4, with a yardage of 339 this challenging hole requires the strictest discipline in your swing. A variation left or right means a lost ball with DEEP woods framing the fairway. It’s a blind tee shot, as the fairway goes up about 15 feet before sloping back down again. If you can hit your driver straight, go for it. A good 250 – 260 shot will set you up with a breezy wedge shot for the GIR. This breezy shot will of course have to clear a gully / creek that runs 50 yard
s across the front of the green. Wrapped with trees from the 8 oclock position, all the way around back to the 4:30, your wedge shot needs to be straight and true. Ring the bell on the way to the green to let those on the tee box know you’re clear. The green plays like an upside down bowl, meaning if you don’t stick it in the center, expect a scramble up down to save par. This green is typically the roughest one with dead patches appearing on the edges.
HOLE 7: Doc recently changed the tee box locations for this hole, making for a blind tee shot. A shorter par 4, if you have the cajones, you can reach the green in 1 with a money drive. Keep in mind, you need to have a draw in order to pull this off, and again… it’s a blind shot. Playing about 265, this hole is best played with a hybrid or 3 wood to set yourself up for a layup to the green. The previously mentioned wet/dry pond sits up agains the front of the green. To the left is a relief area for those who would rather go around the hazard. Hole 7’s green was the nicest of the lot. Played just right, look to be in great shape respectively and was relatively flat, save for a downward shift towards the front end. There is a higher crown on the back right, but the rest, is fairly flat.
HOLE 8: The second of Mellomar’s Par 3’s. This one plays a strong 165 and due to the location of the trees and houses along the street to the left, can tend to be one of the windiest holes. The wet/dry pond sits to the right, with a sand trap on the low right of the green, and one to the high left. A straight tee shot to the pin will require you to shoot over both the pond and the trap, though there is a relief area on the left. If you are alright with Par, aim left, and get the up down from the left hand side (and safe) of the green. Now, for average golfers, like us, this could be a bogey+ Par 3, as the green on this one slops hard right and up from the fairway, before going back down. Speed control for your putts on this green is a necessity.
HOLE 9: A sharp 90 degree dogleg left with a tee box dramatically lower than both the fairway and the pin, this hole could temp some better golfers to cut the woods and try for the high lofted drive or 3 wood. The rest of us, use a longer iron or hybrid to get to the elbow, as any farther and you are in trees and the fairway of hole 4. These trees are tall and bushy evergreens, making them hard to recover from. Not impossible, but difficult. Play it smart, layup to the elbow. This will leave you with a nice easy mid club shot to the green. With sand on the right and a sloping downhill OB to the left of the small green, accuracy is required. The best way to play this may be to hit a club lower and allow a roll up to the green that sits level with the fairway. This is a SMALL green, maybe the size of a large living room. It’s also the roughest of the course. Expect a couple brown patches on the edges and LOTS of leaves from the trees. It also has a deceptive slope to the left (looking at the green from the FW). It doesn’t look it, but it will break it.