Tees: Blue (In front of tips)
Weather: 70 and Windy
Played With: Mark and Jason
Written By: Chris Conley
Rating: At bottom of Review
The River Marsh Golf Club is in Cambridge, MD and I am sure you have driven past it numerous times on your way to the beach and never knew it was there. The course sits on the grounds of the Hyatt in Cambridge and is a beautiful course. I have played this course a few times, and the course gorgeous and is never so packed that rounds take 6 hours, it is a serine and you feel as though you are alone on the course because of the hole design. This course can be pretty expensive, but if you hop over to GolfNow.com you can always find a good deal on the course. This course is challenging and the beautiful Choptank river comes into play on a few holes; natural sandy areas were left alone to cause natural bunkers in some parts of the fairways. The finishing hole on this course is one to write home about, and is a hole that isn’t matched in beauty by many finishing holes in the area.
The River Marsh Golf Club is part of the Hyatt facility in Cambridge, and the name Hyatt should be enough to tell you about the amenities at this course. When you first pull down the lane to enter the golf club, you see the Hyatt casting its huge shadow over the Choptank River. The Pro shop sits off to the right and beside the Hyatt which is nice that it is separate and you don’t have to physically go into the Hyatt to get ready for golf. The Pro Shop itself isn’t huge, but has everything you need from clubs, balls, apparel to snacks for your round. The people are very friendly and always offer some tips on how the course is playing on that day. Right outside the Pro Shop doors sits a large putting green, in which every time I have played the course the putting green has been very accurate as to how the real greens will play that day. A short drive away, is a large driving range, with about 10 mats to hit from; you can work all your shots on this range with plenty of room to spare. The range is not pre-stocked with balls but you don’t have to pay for range balls either. You simply see the starter and he will give you a bag of balls (about 30), if you do want to warm up more there is no issue when asking for another bag of balls. This is a top notch facility, they have club pick up and drop off, as well as they will clean your clubs for you for no charge before and after the round. They have regular cart service and inside the Pro Shop they offer the Eagles Nest Bar and Grille which is a great place to grab a sandwich or adult beverage before, after or during a round. The Eagles Nest has a sports bar feel, and there is always golf or a game on the two flat screens hanging from the bar. After your round I highly suggest walking over to the Hyatt and taking a walk inside, once inside I guarantee you will stop for a drink at the Blue Point Provision Company bar/grill that is inside the Hyatt. This place is amazing, with a the outside walls being all glass this bar looks out over the 18th green and the Choptank River. It captures everything gorgeous about this golf course in one view and I highly suggest checking it out.
Hole 1, is a par 4 and offers a gentle introduction to the course and shows you what to expect for the rest of your round; this hole has a fairway bunker to the left and a larger bunker guarding the left of the green with trees lining the right of this hole. Hole 2, gives you the first peak of how gorgeous this course is, your tee shot is over a small lake into a wide fairway that gets narrow right where two large fairway bunkers lay. I tall tree guards the left of the fairway so the tee shot is very important here, once you get to where you will play your second shot the beauty of the course takes over and you see the green sitting right in front of the Choptank River. I know I say serine a lot but this is the true definition of why I love the game of golf. Hole 3, plays back away from the River and is a long par 5 because of the lake that comes into play it might be two 5 wood shots instead of driver off the tee. This green is heavily protected by deep bunkers and trees behind it. Hole 4, is another par 4 where your tee shot has to be played over a lake and avoid fairway bunkers on the left hand side of the fairway. This green has two very deep bunkers on the left, and this fairway is also very undulated, so it’s rare to have a second shot that is level and not below or above your feet. Hole 5, is another long par 5 with trouble on the right in form of water/marshy area and a fairway bunker on the left. You can reach this hole in two if you hit it long but you better bet accurate bunkers everywhere you look around this green. Hole 6, is a fun par 3 into a two level green so watch where the flag is; this green is also huge so depending where the flag is it could be a two club swing in how long this hole plays. Hole 7, is a fun little par 4 but is a high risk reward hole, hit driver accurately and you will have a small wedge into the green but bunkers are everywhere on this hole including the fairway. Hole 8, is a longer par 3 with a small lake guarding the green on the right and water over the back of the green, this hole looks simple but is very challenging. Hole 9, brings you almost all the way back to the club house and offers a tee shot that is blind because the fairway drops down over the horizon. Your second shot on this hole is very pretty as you see the raise green sitting in front of the tree line. The front 9 is beautiful and is difficult but does a great job of getting you ready for what you are going to experience on the back nine.
The back nine opens up with a short par 4 in which club selection is key, if you are a longer hitter your driver on this hole might be to much. Your second shot will be played over a marshy area/lake into a green with two large bunkers to the front and right. Hole 11, is a short par 4 that is reachable depending where they placed the tee box that day. The back of this green has a severe drop off so balls that are hit to far can go off the back, across the cart path and be lost in the woods. Hole 12, is another long par 4, with tall trees in random places to the sides of the fairway. Fairway bunkers are on both sides on this fairway in different areas and this green is slightly elevated with two bunkers in the front and back. Hole 13, is a longer par 3 with no much trouble except for tall rough around the green. Hole 14, is a dog left right par 4, try and leave your tee shot to the left of this fairway so the tall trees on the right don’t impede your second shot. Hole 15, is the funniest par 3 on the course; it is a shorter par 3 a wedge or 9 iron will do the trick but it is over a lake into a green surround by deep bunkers on all four sides. Hole 16, is a par 5 that has a slight dog leg to the left. This hole is long, and you will need to avoid the deep fairway bunkers on the left and stay out of the thick rough on the right. Your approach shot is tricky with water to the left, tall trees to the right and bunkers to the front of the green. This brings us to 17, the start of the two signature holes on the course; this is a longer par 3 into a peninsula green with Shoal Creek starring you in the face. There is no miss hit on this hole, your entire shot is over Shoal Creek into a green with bunkers to the front left and thick rough behind it, gorgeous hole. The one thing I don’t like about this hole is depending where the tee box is on the day; one of the tee boxes is a peninsula tee box you have to walk out to, which makes it an even cooler hole. The problem is the peninsula tee box is made of turf and not real grass which takes a little away from the experience. This brings us to 18, a hole that you would think would be reserved for professional courses; and long par 5 that runs parallel to the Choptank river on the left. From the tee box you look down the fairway, and you see the Choptank on the left, a long fairway bunker lining the Choptank and over the back of the green the Hyatt sits looking down upon you. Just an overall gorgeous hole, and a great way to end the day; only thing left to do is go inside the Hyatt and have a drink as you watch others finish up their round on this great hole.
There are special courses to all of us, and even though I have only played this course a few times this is one of them. The River Marsh Golf Club doesn’t let you down in any aspect of your round, yes it is a little more expensive than normal but the experience is unlike any other. This isn’t a packed public course where you just play golf and can’t enjoy the course, you get to enjoy every aspect of this course and the design and layout of the course is the best part. The amenities are great; the people are great and the experience great. I highly recommend this course!