- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 27, 2007

With another Washington winter behind us, it’s time to shake the sticks out of hibernation and head for the closest set of fairways and greens.

Over the past dozen years, it’s been our mission to provide readers with a thorough and objective assessment of the area’s public facilities.

With a few exceptions, the courses below met the four criteria we considered when compiling our list of places you can play: Each is open to the public, has 18 holes, measures 6,200 yards or more from the back tees and is located within 60 miles of the District (as the crow flies) or in Ocean City.

We ranked each course on a scale of one to five, based on the creativity and integrity of the layout, the average quality of the course’s conditioning and the overall service and experience provided by the facility.

We understand that there are some layouts we haven’t visited in several years and others we might have missed altogether. If one of your favorites falls into this category, please e-mail us at the following address and we’ll make it a priority to make a visit this season: bdavis [at] washingtontimes.com

EAST POTOMAC **

Location: Ohio Drive

Yardage/par: 6,303 yards, par 72

Rating/slope: 68.5/109

Architect: Robert White/Walter Travis (1920)

Fees: $-$$

Phone: 202/554-7660

Range: Mats

Layout: Opened in 1923, East Potomac is the oldest public course in the area. Often referred to as Hains Point, this massive driving range complex also includes two nine-hole tracks. The Washington Monument lines you up on a couple of holes, and the Tidal Basin and cherry trees frame the horizon. Once-shoddy conditioning has improved over the last several years, but there’s still work to be done.

www.golfdc.com

LANGSTON **

Location: Northeast

Yardage/par: 6,340 yards, par 72

Rating/slope: 69.2/115

Architect: William Gordon (1939)

Fees: $-$$

Phone: 202/397-8638

Range: Mats

Layout: An unorthodox design, not necessarily in the negative sense. Plays to breezes generated by the nearby Anacostia River, making some par-4s difficult. Conditions suffer from various factors, mainly the course’s foundation atop a landfill. Only one par-4 of 400 yards, no par-5s longer than 492.

www.golfdc.com

ROCK CREEK PARK *

Location: Northwest

Yardage/par: 4,715 yards, par 65

Rating/slope: 73.0/121

Architect: William S. Flynn (1923)

Fees: $

Phone: 202/882-7332

Range: None

Layout: Incredibly tight set of par-4s is defined by treacherous, hump-backed fairways that seem to fall off to oblivion. Leave the driver in the car and pray for windless, soft conditions. A nice place to work on 5-iron accuracy and wedge-play, but most players prefer a full-sized layout in better condition.

www.golfdc.com

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