I'll come right out and say it, this was hands down the best golf course we played on our trip. I read a few reviews about this course prior to going that were negative and after playing it, I'm shocked. The Jack Nicklaus designed course does not disappoint and is as challenging as it is scenic.
I was able to play this course on Wednesday when I arrived which helped my playing the tournament round on Saturday. Although no blind shots come to mind, the course provides carts with GPS and yardage books to each player. It is very useful especially when wondering how far you need to carry a shot.
Bayside Resort Golf Club: The Course
As I mentioned above, this course did not disappoint at all. The layout, the scenery, the conditions and the challenge made this one of the most enjoyable courses I have ever played. I'd love to call it the best at the Delaware Shore but not having played all of them, it would be premature.
We played the "Member" tees at 6,418 yards and a rating slope of 71.5/140, making it the most challenging course we played on our trip. On the front 9, water comes into play on 8 of the 9 holes and a extreme wayward approach on the 9th might bring water in.
The moment you step on the first tee this course intimidates (see picture above). The firt 3 holes all have forced carry off the tee. Although the first tee might look like the toughest, your tee shot on the 2nd hole requires perfect accuracy. Too far left and you're in a hazard, just a little right, and your in the hazard. There is almost no room for error.
As you make the turn to the back 9, it's more of the same. All 9 holes have water hazards protecting them and Nicklaus has you exit the course the same way you entered, by hitting your tee shots over water. The 17th and 18th are similar to the 9th & 18th holes at Rum Pointe. Your tee shot will require you to hit over water and have a mid to short iron into the green, also protected by water.
The Par 3's
The par 72 Nicklaus design has two par 3's on the front and 2 par 3's on the back. Unlike the other courses we played, these par 3's are memorable if not by the challenge of the hole, then by the scenery. The 3rd hole is a 172 yards and requires a forced carry tee shot over the marsh. A bailout area short or to the right makes this hole a little easier. It's counterpart on the front side is the 7th hole which plays 149 yards and offers no bailout. Left of the green is all water and right of the green is sand. If you hit your shot into the sand, you'll be hitting out of the bunker at a narrow green towards the water... good luck.
On the backside you're treated more "fun". The first par 3 is the 13th hole, a 142 yard shot over water to a long narrow green with a run-off on the back left. the green slopes down towards the front and is protected by marsh on the left and sand on the right. The next par 3 is just two holes later on number 15. The 181 yard par 3 is challenging especially with a pin placement on the left side of the green. Anything short will be wet as will anything long. You can bail out to a bunker short of the green on the right if you choose.
This has now become one of my favorite courses to play and I hope to play it again in the futures. We had no wait to play, no problem finding the beverage/snack cart, and the halfway house had everything you need. The touch screen GPS was a cool feature, something I had never used before.
If you're looking for a well designed course in excellent condition with some good scenery, I highly recommend Bayside Golf Resort.
Location: Selbyville, DE
Cost: Included in golf trip but paid $79 to play with cart, gps and driving range
Range: Yes and practice green
My Score: 94 (46-48) & 92 (50-42)
Play Again: Put this on your must play list.
Website: Nicklaus Bayside Resort