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Bayside Resort Golf Club

Challenging and scenic, one of the best courses in Delaware is the perfect gathering place at a coastal community that offers a dynamic lifestyle for its active residents

By: Tom Mackin

Appeared in 2011 Nicklaus Premier Clubs

Delaware may be small in size, but it has some big-time golf, most notably at one of the state’s best courses, the Bayside Resort Golf Club. With views of Assawoman Bay and the skyline of Ocean City, located just across the Maryland border, Bayside showcases the natural beauty of its coastal location near the Atlantic Ocean.

Delaware’s first Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course is at the heart of a luxury community that promotes a vibrant lifestyle with a mix of home types, variety of recreational activities, thriving arts presence and a retail shopping center.

That’s just within Bayside’s 867 acres. Nearby are waterways, beaches, shopping in Rehoboth and restaurants of Ocean City. Considering all that Bayside offers its residents, it’s no surprise Where to Retire recognized it as one of “America’s 100 Best Master-Planned Communities.”

Built with respect for the environment—half of the property has been dedicated to open space—Bayside has attracted homeowners to a variety of neighborhoods. Currently, the community is offering Energy Star-rated homes and villas from nationally renowned NV Homes. These residences, which range in size from 2,064 to more than 4,000 square feet, offer luxurious first-floor living spaces, spacious kitchens and owner’s suites. Two furnished model homes are open daily.

In addition to touring the houses, prospective buyers should play the 7,545-yard layout, which plays through salt marshes, meadows and woodlands so the round offers an ever-changing landscape—as well as challenges. Nicklaus dotted the course with pot bunkers that help defend the smallish, elevated greens, many of which are surrounded by tightly mown chipping areas.

First-time players often find it difficult to stay focused on each shot—the gorgeous views have proved to be distracting. Members and frequent visitors have learned to manage their way around the course, often eliminating large scores on certain holes by missing their shots into spots that are less punitive than others.

On the 416-yard 4th, for example, hitting the second shot to the front—or even short of—the small, well-bunkered green leaves a straightforward putt or chip for a good chance at par. The same cannot be said for misses to the side or over the green. One key to good scoring at Bayside is a mastery of the greens—their subtle breaks—and the chipping areas.

A good round also requires staying out of the numerous water hazards, which come into play on more than half the holes. As a group, the best collection of holes may be the memorable one-shotters, especially the 174-yard 13th, which features a carry over water to a green framed by soaring pines and Drum Creek.

“The layout is the most significant amenity at Bayside,” says Vice President Doug Brown. “It was enhanced last May with the opening of a 7,300-square-foot clubhouse facility, which has
a fully stocked pro shop, outdoor deck and fire pit, and the Cove Bar & Grill, already a favored gathering spot for golfers and residents.”

In the clubhouse, members and their guests trade war stories of their exploits on the course, which opened in 2005. Since then, the club has made several improvements, including the addition of numerous mature trees to frame fairways and help direct tee shots. The renovations have made a round at Bayside an even more enjoy-able experience.

“I’m pleased that it’s serving its purpose,” says Nicklaus. “It’s a course that hopefully from the back tees will be a stern test. But the members stay at about 6,400 yards, so we hope that they can play it and have fun. That’s what we want them to do.”

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