It’s all about the course at Eagle’s Landing in Ocean City, MD. Located adjacent to the Ocean City airport, Eagles Landing is technically a muni because it’s owned and operated by the city, but the impression of “muni” ends when you step on the first tee. This is one of my favorite plays on the Delmarva and my stop here on October 28 again lived up to lofty expectations. Tees and fairways were in excellent condition and the Bentgrass greens were running surprisingly fast. Bunkers were well maintained and had good consistent sand.
First time players will not be wowed by the facilities but when play begins, everything changes as you enjoy excellent hole routing and a wide variety of shot choices around the greens. Along with the superb conditions there are several spectacular views of holes running along the salt marshes of the Sinepuxent Bay.
Eagle’s Landing is buffeted by fresh coastal breezes and the later your tee time the more certain you are to play in the wind. Managing the wind and knowing how to safely negotiate some placement holes are key.
Playing tips: The par-3 fifth has a prevalent two-tier green. If the flag is in the front or middle, play from below the hole. A chip or putt from the upper tier is dead. The par-5 seventh hole is a beauty and doglegs 90 degrees to the left. From the gold tees, play your tee shot at 200-210 yards. Take the maximum yardage to the end of the fairway for your second shot as there is ample room past the end of the fairway. You do not want to be short because the third shot is to a green out in the marsh and you must get enough distance to clear the tall pines guarding the left side of the approach. #10 is a short par four and the woods creep up fast on the left. Hit your 3WD or driver but favor the center or right rough for an easy approach. On the par four 15th, lay your tee shot back with a 3WD or hybrid to stay out of trouble. Water is hidden on the left and sneaks up fast and there is no advantage to hitting driver. #16 is a deceiving short par-4. When the pin is cut on the left (front or middle), do not attack it as most shots will roll through and over the green. Even putting at this crowned pin position is tough so take the middle of the green. The 18th hole is termed “The Beast of the East” and is an awkward play because it takes the driver out of your hands as the fairway runs out at about 210 yards and is guarded by marsh on the left and right. The second shot is difficult the farther you lay back so get as close to the end of the fairway as possible. If you land in the marsh, you want to minimize the distance for your third. Good luck!
Value (4.0 out of 5.0)
Greens fees are quite reasonable for a course of this caliber. High season weekend rates top out at $79 and we played for $55 on the weekend fall rate. Being city owned and operated allows the course to keep fees low and provides excellent value.
Facilities (2.5 out of 5.0)
The major investment at Eagle’s Landing has been placed in the 18 holes of golf. A medium-size clubhouse hosts a no-frills snack bar and pro shop which serve little more than their functions of getting golfers out on the course and providing basic refreshment. There are no locker rooms and rest rooms are a bit dated and could use some modernizing. Players looking to warm up need to use the short game area because there is no driving range. The pitching green is ample in size and provides a variety of lies as well as two practice bunkers that are kept in excellent condition. I’ve warmed up adequately by hitting partial sand wedge shots but if you need to hit balls, stop at the Assateague Greens Golf Center on the left side of the road prior to entering the course. The large practice putting green is located close to the first tee and and conditions usually mirror those on the course.
Customer Experience (3.5 out of 5.0)
This is a popular golf course because of the quality/conditions and the reasonable greens fees so get your tee times early. I had no problem booking an advance time for my late-October round, but in season, the tee sheet fills up fast. You can call or book your times on-line. One minor inconvenience is how you get a prerecorded phone message to call back when the shop staff doesn’t pick up, and then you are disconnected. I can wait and listen to some elevator music.
At the course, the bag drop staff and starters are friendly and accommodating. We were visited several times on the course by the beverage cart which was offering free coffee refills on a cold blustery day, which was much appreciated. The take offs and landings of small aircraft at the nearby airport were a pleasant diversion and didn’t prove to be irritating or distracting. GPS has been installed recently on all golf carts which is very helpful and we found play moved at an excellent pace with our round taking slightly over four hours to play.
On this day, I played the gold tees at 6,306 yards and carded a six-over 78.