Baltimore Country Club (Five Farms East) – Played April 2018
- Rankings: Golf Magazine #94
- Location: 11500 Mays Chapel Road, Timonium, Maryland
- Year: 1926
- Original Architect: A.W. Tillinghast
- Additional Work By: Brian Silva & Keith Foster
- Course Access: Private
- Walking Rules: Caddies & Carts Available
Score Card Information:
- Black: 7,181 yards, Par 70, 75.1 Rating/141 Slope
- Blue: 6,664 yards, Par 70, 72.9 Rating/136 Slope
- White: 6,201 yards, Par 70, 70.6 Rating/129 Slope
- Gold: 5,948 yards, Par 70, 68.8 Rating/128 Slope
- Red: 5,725 yards, Par 75, 73.6 Rating/140 Slope
The second of my Maryland double dip was the East course at Baltimore Country Club.
I was really excited to play here due to the Tillinghast design and the competition history of the club. The club has played host to a murderer’s row of tournaments including the 1899 US Open, 1928 PGA Championship, 1932 US Amateur, 1965 Walker Cup, 1988 US Women’s Open, 2007-2009 Senior Players Championship. BCC is one of only two clubs to host this lineup of events.
The original location of the club was the Roland Park location. In the 1920’s the club made the decision to have the East course built at the Five Farms location. Golf no longer exists at the Roland Park campus, but it is still home to tennis and squash.
With two courses the Five Farms location is the club’s golf hub. It is one of only 12 clubs nationwide that operates on two different campuses. The club has been recognized as one of the most prestigious clubs in the country. It is also recognized as one of the first 100 clubs established in the US and has been a USGA member since 1898.
Once I got to the course I got to meet the head pro, Greg Jones, who was an excellent host. I was set up with a cart and range balls to warm up. I was playing solo late in the afternoon so I was able to take my time with photos and enjoying the course.
I played the white tees so all yardages are listed from those.
Hole 1 – 408 yards – Par 4 – Gateway
You get no easy introduction here with a longish par 4 to start. The landing area is open for a big drive.
The tee shot here is set up to be a long one. Drives will land on a downslope and get big bounces forward. The road and trees run tight along the left side so err on the right.
The second shot is an awesome visual. The tabletop green is raised from the bunkers surrounding it and provides a great target. You definitely want to avoid the bunkers on the left that sit well below the green.
This is a truly interesting hole. The fairway slopes heavily from left to right. The tee shot needs to be carefully played to avoid having it run through the fairway on the right.
This is the type of hole I was waiting for when I got this course booked. I love the raised green with bunkers surrounding it at lower elevations. This look just makes me think of classic architecture. Up and downs from the sand are going to be super difficult.
The tee shot here plays uphill to a blind landing area. The trees on the left are in play. The fairway is pretty wide so driver is the play here.
This is a very interesting hole. Per the GPS system is was well under 500 yards to the green. However, the area to the left is occupied by a huge barn. You can see the corner of it below. Big hitters can take aggressive lines over the structure, but it you play out to the right the hole plays its full yardage.
The first time around it may be tough to find a good line here. Long players can challenge the trees on the left for a shorter second shot. However, the angle is not as good from there. A good line for most players will be just right of the bunker in the distance.
This shorter hole still provides plenty of challenge. The fairway slopes more to the right than it seems. Drives should favor the left side for flatter lies.
This extremely uphill one-shotter is difficult to get right. The distance needs to be spot on. You can see the outline of the large bunker that is in front of the green. It really shouldn’t be in play.
This was one of my favorite holes on the course. A large hill occupies the right side with rough transitioning to the fairway. Shots up the side should get kicks back to the left. There is a creek up the left side to be aware of.
I played through a group on this hole so I only got a picture from the tee. The tee shot plays to a flat landing area that moves on to an uphill approach shot. The green is guarded by a large bunker front, right.
While it is a shorter hole there is plenty to keep your attention. A creek runs up the right side around the corner of the dogleg. The bold line is to play a fade off the hazard.
Playing back into the grove of trees the green here is shrouded in shadows. The target is pretty big considering the short distance. A miss long is the worst outcome.
This just might be the best hole here. The tee shot is blind as you can see below. Due to the length of the hole you’ll want to save your best drive for this one.
As you get to the top of the hill the rest of the hole reveals itself. This is the start of Tillinghast’s “Great Hazard’. Andy from The Fried Egg gives a good explanation of the Great Hazard here.
I’m starting to get the feeling that Tilly liked his blind tee shots. If you can bomb one here it will get a lot of roll down the fairway.
With a fairway canting to the right tee shots should be played up the left side of this hole. The longer the better.
It was starting to get to the point in the day with long shadows. I love the way a golf course looks at this time of the day.
This tee shot plays slightly uphill with a large slope in front covered in rough. The omnipresent bunkers provide an additional challenge.
The final hole plays up to its name with a small orchard on the left. The sun washed out a bit of the view, but a fade plays well here.
The members here are truly blessed with an awesome golf course. I also applaud the restoration work throughout. I’ll leave you with the view of the clubhouse below where plenty of members were enjoying their Sunday afternoon.