Checking In On Some New Neighbors

Bay Creek's new Nicklaus Course: Plenty of sand by the shore.
Bay Creek's new Nicklaus Course: Plenty of sand by the shore. (Bay Creek Golf Club)

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Friday, May 5, 2006

Laurel Hill is the most noteworthy public course opening in recent years. But dial out a couple hundred miles, and you'll find several other newcomers that may be worth a visit.

Mattaponi Springs Golf Club

weekends, with cart: $89

22490 Penola Rd., Ruther Glen, Va. 22546

804-633-7888, http://www.mattaponisprings.com

Going into its second full season, Mattaponi Springs is the epitome of the "out of the way" golf experience. Located between Richmond and Fredericksburg, it's not in a place you're likely to be for any good reason. But for regional course collectors it's worth a day trip. Designed by Chicago-based architect Bob Lohmann and constructed practically from scratch by owner Jim Oliff, the course travels over some dramatically rolling terrain bordered by lakes and natural areas. Not a house in sight.

White Clay Creek Country Club

weekends, with cart: $110

777 Delaware Park Blvd.,

Wilmington, Del. 19804

302-994-6700, http://www.whiteclaycreek.com

Surrounding the Delaware Park racetrack area, White Clay Creek has woven the racing theme into its Arthur Hills/Steve Forrest design: Jockey helmets are used as tee markers and "flags" on the greens. Hills is known for difficult tests, and this is no exception, with two meandering creeks coming into play on 16 of 18 holes. Five sets of tees temper the challenge, as do GPS yardage systems on the carts. While in a busy suburban neighborhood, White Clay Creek retains a natural feeling with a bald eagle, hawks, fox and deer finding a home here.


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