Course: Timbers at Troy
Tees: Blue (In front of tips)
Weather: 98 and Humid
Played With: Mark and Bill
Written By: Chris Conley
Rating: At bottom of Review
On Saturday morning I was supposed to be heading over to the PGA tour event at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda but due to the previous nights massive storm, in which some people in our area are still with out power, the course was closed to spectators. So I decided to play golf instead, and we headed to Timbers at Troy in Elkridge, Maryland for a noon tee time. I had played this course a few years before, I remembered it being very challenging but score-able if you had good course management and was excited to play the round, even though it was unbelievably hot outside. We found the deal on golfnow.com that morning and my buddy Mark and I headed to the course, where we were meeting Bill, my girlfriends father. The course was in pretty good shape, except for 90% of the bunkers were filled with rocks or were under repair; so we made a rule that if you were near rocks or in a repair spot you could move to a better part of the trap in order to play your sand shot, this came into play a few times as there are a lot of bunkers on this course. The fairways and rough had debris (leaves and smaller branches) through out but this was of no fault to this course but due to the storm that rolled through the night before, this debris was never an issue other than finding a ball that is surrounded by a lot of down leaves can sometimes be difficult.
When pulling up to the course, you drive past a large shopping center and a large business building before pulling into the course parking lot; at first I was worried this was going to be a very urban style course mixed into office buildings and a very populated area but once you hit the first tee box you realize this course is very serine and peaceful for the most part. We walked into the pro shop to pay for our round and I noticed the pro shop is on the smaller the side, however it did have a few clubs, lots of clothing, hats, gloves, balls and other things you might need for your round. The staff was very friendly, and the pro shop employee actually worked at the same police department as Bill had years before. We were told because of the storm that it was 90 degrees but to be extra cautious because the fairways and rough had some wet spots that could be torn up easy by the carts. We got there in enough time to warm up and hit balls but with the heat we decided to just hit the putting green and relax till our tee time; if we did want to go to the range you had to pay for a bucket of balls. The range was a full range with plenty of room to work all your shots, and had stations set up with driving range mats for each golfer. The putting green was very large and had a lot of undulation to it, which was good because the greens on the course were very undulated and had a lot of elevation changes in them. We noticed putting against the grain on the practice green the ball rolled very slowly and with the grain on the green the ball rolled very quickly, which are a signature of bent grass greens. The snackshop/grill inside had hot and cold sandwiches, drinks and snacks and a large dinning area with a very large flat screen playing the PGA tournament on it; at the turn we sat down and had a hot dog to cool off and relax. On cooler days there is a patio to eat, that over looks the first and 18th holes and allows you to watch others enjoy the course as you relax.
We checked in with the starter and he told us after the next group was on the green we could go ahead and tee off; it was nice because there was no one waiting behind us so we could take our time and enjoy the course.
Hole 1: The first hole, helps you understand a lot of the shots you are going to have to make for the day wrapped up in one hole. This is a 400 yard par 4, that is dead straight but has fairway bunkers to the right, trees/woods to the left; your approach shot will have to be well placed into a green surrounded by bunkers on all sides and a wooded area behind it. The hole is sloped from back to front, so you want to stay below the hole to hopefully have an uphill putt, as a downhill putt on these greens moves very quickly.
Hole 2: A reachable par 5, your tee shot has to go over an environmental area, and avoided the fairway bunkers on the right and left of this fairway. The hole then dog legs to the left leaving you a shot into a green surrounded by bunkers to the sides and a drop off to an environmental area in the back. It is a risk reward hole if you do go for this green in two; the green is almost two tiered and it is very hard to get to the pin if it is in the back left.
Hole 3: Hole three is a short par 4, and around 320 yards but in my opinion is one of the harder holes on the course. This hole slightly dog legs right, and your tee shot has to go over an big environmental area but it can’t go to long or you will be in heavy grass on the other side of the fairway. For the bigger hitters if you can’t shape the ball left to right you are going to need to use something besides driver on this hole.
Hole 4: From hole you three you go through a tunnel and long bending cart parth that takes you under the highway that passes by the course and onto the other side of the road. This is a very pretty hole, as your tee shot has to again go over an environmental area, into what looks to be a wide open fairway. However a fairway bunker on the left and woods and a hazard to the right make the hole smaller then it seems. Your second shot is going to be into a large two tiered green guarded by a large bunker on the right. You will need to be on the same tier as the flag stick to make a good score on this hole.
Hole 5: The first par 3 on the course looks to be easy but once you get up to the tee box, the hole totally changes. This hole was about an 8 iron for me, and you have to play over an environmental area that ends about 5 feet before the green begins. A large bunker short and thick rough to all sides make this hole difficult, factor in the two tier green and the severe drop off in the back left of the green where the pin was for us, this was a difficult little hole.
Hole 6: This is a short par 4, which has a pretty wide open fairway, just avoid the fairway bunkers that we were able to hit past and you will be fine. This green is long and has three levels and is elevated from the fairway with two bunkers guarding it. Miss the correct tier and you could be in for a three putt on this hole.
Hole 7: This is another shorter par 4, that dog legs slightly to the left. Your tee shot has to carry about 175 yards worth of environmental area and if you land in the fairway you are sure to not have a level lie. Your approach into this green is difficult if you are in the left of the fairway but a tree blocking your angle to the green; bunkers and drop off to the side of the green make your approach shot very important on this hole.
Hole 8: A long par 3 playing just shy of 200 yards, this hole is very difficult. The green is long and two tiered and has a large bunker on both sides of the green; hit your tee shot long and you are OB, short and you will have a hard chip depending which side of the big ridge in the green the flag stick is placed.
Hole 9: Rated the hardest hole on the course, you can see why when you get to the tee box. This hole almost dog legs to both sides at one point or another; it is a long par 5 in which your tee shot has to avoid a fairway bunker and OB right but can’t go to far left or you will find woods or a hazard. Your second shot will be into an elevated sloping fairway that if you go to far left will trickle down into another hazard. When you finally do get to the green you have a long tiered green with bunkers to avoid.
After relaxing and watching some of the PGA event we headed back out to the number 10…
Hole 10: A difficult medium sized par 4, this hole has an environmental area run across the fairway just about where my drive would normally land, so you have to lay up on this hole, and have a mid to long iron into this elevated green with a bunker to the right. Good news here is if you land on the green, you will have a flat putt for a change.
Hole 11: Hole 11 is a medium sized par 3, that looks a lot easier than it is; two large bunkers on both sides, woods to the back and a sharp drop off to the left make this hole very challenging. This is a large green and you could possible have to go up to clubs between and front and back pin location.
Hole 12: A long par 5, in which your tee shot and second shot will have to carry an environmental area. Your tee shot will have to avoid trees to the left and you can’t go to far or you will be in the environmental area. Your second shot has to carry another environmental area and avoid fairway bunkers to the right. Your third shot should be a pitch or chip into an elevated green with bunkers on both sides.
Hole 13: This hole is drive-able by many players but you don’t know how well you hit your shot till you get over the hill in your fairway. This short par 4, has a fairway that disappears over the horizon; a well place tee shot will follow the fall of the fairway and leave with a short pitch into a very undulating green. I actually was on the fringe and 3 putted for par because of the difficulty of the green. This is a very cool hole and the one that stood out the most from the last time I played this course.
Hole 14: This short par 3 is rated the easiest hole on the course but I disagree, I see how it can be easy but I also see how it can play very hard. This hole is about 20 yards below the tee box and has woods to the left and behind the green as well as bunkers guarding the green. This hole is easy if you make the right club selection with a down hill green, but if you pick the wrong club you will be OB and taking a penalty stroke.
Hole 15: This a shorter par 4, which has a wide open fairway where you can let your driver go; the green is guarded by bunkers and is two tiered so while you will have a shorter approach shot you have to make it count.
Hole 16: A medium sized par 4, this hole leaves you with another blind tee shot, from the blue tees you can hit it to far and put it in an environmental area if you are a longer hitter. If you go to far left on this hole you will be OB, to far right and your approach will be blocked by trees; your second shot into this green is over a large environmental area into a smaller two level green surrounded by bunkers. This hole is visual one of the nicest holes on the course and the green set up makes for a fun experience.
Hole 17: A long par 5, that dog legs to the right which is reachable in two by longer hitters if they cut the corner correctly. Your tee shot could disappear over a sloping fairway and you will have an uneven second shot into a green surrounded by a lake and bunkers. The safest play is to lay up short of the green on this hole, so you can chip to the correct level of the pin and have a birdie opportunity.
Hole 18: A straight away par 4 ends your round for the day, a straight tee shot is needed to avoid trees to the right and fairway bunkers to the left. This green is two tiered and surrounded by bunkers but you should have a short iron or wedge into this green allowing you to attack the pin location and maybe end your day with a nice birdie.
I had a great time at Timbers at Troy and would recommend the course to players of any skill level. The biggest obstacle this course has are the environmental areas it seems you have to carry on every tee shot, which can be a mental challenge golfers have to get out of their head. I found myself in a few bunkers as there were bunkers all over this course, and the bunkers were in bad shape but were under repair so more then likely they will be back operating as true bunkers shortly. That was the only real issue I had at this course and hope if you are in the area you will go and check it out. The course is short allowing you to attack some holes but course management is the key to this course as you have to plan two or three shots ahead on some holes to avoid the hazards, bunkers and sloping fairways.