GolfStyles Spring 2016 : Page 37

H OW S WEET IT S TILL IS at Bulle Rock B ack in the day – the day being 18 years ago – when accolades for new golf courses actually meant something, Bulle Rock Golf Club earned more than its share of best new course awards. And for almost two decades since its 1998 debut, the Pete Dye-design has continued to plaster the clubhouse walls with award plaques. Every publication from this magazine to Zagat has recognized the beauty of the layout, the quality of the shot values, the plush conditions and the personalized service. No, Bulle Rock didn’t invent the country club-for-a-day experience, but no course delivers better on the promise. “The directive I’ve always given to the staff from Day One was to treat every golfer like you would want to be treated if you paid $130 for a round of golf,” general manager Rick Rounsaville says. “We try not to have the golfer touch his or her bag from the time they arrive until it’s back in their trunk. Our facilities are top-notch with a locker room attendant on staff, the personalized bag tag, a great restaurant with a great chef.” Often overlooked in the private club-for-a-day model is the practice facilities. But not at Bulle Rock. The grass practice range is huge, with plenty of target greens rising from the practice fairway to hone any shot you want. The short-game area near the clubhouse includes three bunkers, a putting green and two target greens with enough practice fairway to hit shots from about 70 yards and in. The massive main putting green is alongside the first tee. The land lent itself naturally to a golf course, but probably few other than Pete Dye could have coaxed as much from it. There are tell-tale Dye holes like the waterlogged par-3 12th with a green held up out of the water by railroad ties. Or the par-4 18th with a rock-lined water hazard protecting the left side of the fairway all the way to the green. You’ll recognize both holes if you’ve played The Pete Dye Club in West Virginia or TPC Championship Course in Jacksonville. At Bulle Rock, Dye does what he is the best at – intimidation. He’s the bully (pun intended) who looks like trouble, but if you stand up to him you see he is not as tough as he appears. Get past the visual intimidation Dye throws at GOLFSTYLESONLINE.COM THE PAR-5 SECOND AT BULLE ROCK IN HAVRE DE GRACE, MARYLAND 35

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