Initial ThoughtsWe don't do a ton of individual course reviews on oobgolf but this course is an interesting case, because it has a famous architect, a great plot of land and a high-traffic area in Maryland, just 25 miles or so outside of our nation's capital. The course opened in 1999 to some fanfare, but was slowly run into the ground by bad management. The main complaints were maintenance which you can clearly see in comments on its course page on oob.
The good news for golf enthusiasts from DC and beyond is that Billy Casper Golf Management now runs the course and it's definitely on its way back. It's not 100% there yet, but signs are positive that it will again become a great place to play, and for those in the area who've ignored the course for the past 2 or 3 years, it may be worth checking out again.
Date PlayedSunday, May 10th, 2009
Value - 7.0Like most courses the cost of playing PB Dye has multiple variables like what day of the week and what time you play. If you want to play in the morning on a weekend it's going to cost you $99. Summer twilight rates start at 1pm and reduce the cost by about $25. Weekday rates are $78 for morning starts and $53 after 1pm.
Based on the DC area which is a bit overpriced in general it's reasonable, though I'd suggest sneaking out on a weekday if possible. I think those prices are a better reflection of the course quality in comparison to others around it.
Pace of Play - 8.0Pace of play was not an issue for me at the course. Tee times are spaced well and in general we moved well. The only real issues we ever had was looking for balls, either us or groups in front of us. It still amazes me that courses try to adjust their tee boxes to speed up play, when the number one thing they could do is mow their rough. Northeast courses have been blessed with great rain this spring and the grass is growing like crazy, but unless you're holding a US Open qualifier, it seems running those mowers would be a good idea for speeding up play. That's a general rant- not specific to PB Dye.
Course/Maintenance - 7.5The course was in good if not great shape. Everything was green, the fairways were tight and the greens rolled true. I think the course was fair, despite my previous comments about the rough. It's a delicate balance for a course that prides itself in being tough but also for the general public.
Some of the greens were a little scarred, but that's to be expected when you have 125 yard par 3's that have a 40 foot elevation change. Wedges dropping balls from the heavens are going to make marks.
I'd say most of the issues people have complained about in the past are being taken care of. There were no signs of neglect or abuse on the course and I can't say I had one instance in our group where anyone felt like the course cheated them.
Hospitality - 9.0I didn't have a ton of interaction with the staff but checking in was painless and everyone was friendly. The clubhouse is huge, clean and gorgeous. They had a couple rangers on the course checking on it, but it didn't feel overdone. Sometimes I feel like I'm always being watched, but not here.
As a side note- they cook real food. Real GOOD food. I bought a breakfast sandwich on the turn for $4.50 that I would've paid $10 after eating. I may start traveling to the course for that sandwich. It had about 4 eggs, a slice of real ham, and perfectly melted cheese. It also came with a side of fresh breakfast fruit. The fact that the snack stand had people in chef's gear and not spinning hotdogs on a spit was very nice.
Scenery - 8.0PB Dye is a mix of natural landscape and subtle man-made features that lend to a positive look for the course. There are pot bunkers, railroad ties and even an island green. The two holes into the clubhouse 9 and 18 play into opposite sides of a waterfall and pond which definitely come into play and look great. Dye did a good job using natural features of the land with a couple forced carries over dense vegetation and drop offs.
The only real eyesore is unfortunate for the course because I'm guessing it wasn't there originally and there is nothing they can do about it. On the 2nd hole, a beautiful downhill par 3, there is a huge cell phone tower directly in line with the hole in what looks to be just off the course's property. It takes away from what would otherwise be a perfect hole.
Overall - 8.0 (not an average)It's time to put PB Dye on your list of "to plays" in the DC area, even if to just see where it's going. I still think it has room for improvement, but I think Billy Casper Management is probably carefully choosing where to put the money first- like on the course. A course the quality of PB Dye really should have nicer carts with a GPS option. In the meantime, the course could do a better job of showing you the course's layout with a more clear scorecard or with some sort of simplified yardage book. Playing a course for the first time shouldn't require 5 extra strokes for not knowing the course.
Take an afternoon off and catch a weekday 1pm tee time and enjoy the fruits of labor from one of the more well known architect names in golf. Keep it in the short stuff and you'll be real happy with the way PB Dye treats you back. Oh- and don't forget an egg sandwich at the turn.
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Nice write up. Are you looking for course reviewers? Is there an email address I can submit one?
We're not looking in the sense of "paying" but if you send a course review- we'd likely use it. Also- don't forget you can post mini (or extensive) reviews on every course page by rating the course and sharing your two cents. firstname.lastname@example.org
I'd love to submit articles to you guys, voluntarily, including course reviews. If you're okay to have your inbox crowded, I'll get cracking. :)
Man, I used to play this course all the time when I was living in the area...absolutely loved it...the best hotdogs (on those pretzel rolls) ever!
I see these are a little old and with my first time to the 'course review' page, maybe 'reviews' are not that popular. Regardless, I played it just prior to my oobgolf days, likely 2009 and then again June 2011; yes it was very nice overall, but the only agreement I have with the review is Scenery. In my comments that day for that score I mentioned a few things, condition of sand, no ball marks fixed and there was more, but didn't make note. For the cost, 'on a weekend', I'd pass...now THAT was a year ago, maybe it's cleaned up...but at that price, Hummm??? Overall rating based on your 'ratings key', I'd say 6.5-7.
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10.0 - 9.5 World Class
9.4 - 8.5 Awesome
8.4 - 7.5 Very good
7.4 - 6.5 Above Average
6.4 - 4.5 Solid
4.4 - 3.5 Below Average
3.4 - 2.5 Save Your Money
2.4 - 0.0 Pay NOT to go