Architect: Tom Fazio (1991), redesign (1997)
Year Opened: 1991
Location: Owings Mills, Maryland
Slope: 135. Rating: 73.1
Par: 71
Yardage: 7,165
Hole-by-Hole: 1 - Par 4 426 Yds    10 - Par 4 365 Yds
                      2 - Par 4 385 Yds    11 - Par 4 463 Yds
                      3 - Par 5 519 Yds    12 - Par 3 192 Yds
                      4 - Par 3 224 Yds    13 - Par 5 585 Yds
                      5 - Par 4 439 Yds    14 - Par 4 335 Yds
                      6 - Par 4 471 Yds    15 - Par 3 219 Yds
                      7 - Par 5 564 Yds    16 - Par 4 430 Yds
                      8 - Par 3 202 Yds    17 - Par 4 480 Yds
                      9 - Par 4 406 Yds    18 - Par 4 460 Yds
                      Par 36 3,636 Yds      Par 35 3,529 Yds

Key Events Held: Constellation Senior Players Championship (2017),                                          International Crown (2014),
                 NCAA Women's Division I Championship (2009),
                 U.S. Senior Open (2002),
                 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship (1995),
                 Chesapeake Cup (1991-present).

Awards Won: Rated #3 - Best in State by Golf Digest (MD) (2013-16), ranked #132 by Golf Digest in America's Second 100 Greatest (2015-16).

HISTORY: Although this venue has been open just a short period of time
compared to the other great courses in America, it does possess a very
interesting background. Caves Valley is the smallest of three valleys north of
Baltimore, and was named for the natural caves found in the area. Originally a
land grant from Lord Baltimore, the property was owned and farmed for nearly
two hundred years by Charles Carroll -- a noted barrister and a patriot during
the American Revolution, and author of Maryland's Declaration of Rights -- and
his heirs. In 1988, a group of prominent business and civic leaders got
together in an effort to build a world-class golf facility. Their intent was
to mold a course in the finest tradition of this country's great golf clubs.
As luck would have it, the founders came across 962 acres of pristine
countryside located in the rolling hills of Baltimore County's estate and hunt
country. Famed architect Tom Fazio was commissioned to design a course that
"is a collaboration of the client, the architect, and Mother Nature." Caves
Valley is privately owned and managed, and operates exclusively as a golf
club. Membership is made available by invitation only to outstanding citizens
across the nation who share a commitment to the highest standards of
sportsmanship and responsibility. The club's membership is not restricted by
race, color, creed or sex.

REVIEW: The course starts off innocently enough with a 426-yard, downhill
par-4 that slopes gently from right to left. The fairway is flanked with two
bunkers on each side with your second shot approach slightly uphill. Be aware
that on the first tee there is a sign that simply says: "No Mulligans." It's
not meant as a joke, but as a code of honor. Another birdie hole, number two
features a wide variety of teeing areas to a sloping fairway that bends
towards a pond all along the right side. The green is tucked behind a gaping
bunker and is relatively small, but very quick. It's risk-reward time when the
players step to the third tee box. This reachable par-five features water from
top to bottom on the right side. The green, guarded by a pair of bunkers, is
accessible and can be had. By the time you get to the fourth hole you're
thinking, "This course is fairly simple, a birdie or two and a par, piece of
cake." Wrong. This is where the course starts growling. The fourth is a
titanic par-3 (224 yards from the tips) over water with the largest green on
the course as your target. Although the putting surface is expansive, the
green is extremely narrow and hugs the bank of the pond. The straightaway
par-4 fifth is one of the most underrated holes on the course, stretching 439
yards from the back tees. This brute requires an accurate tee ball, as two
huge bunkers border each side of the fairway. Second shot selection depends
upon the wind and pin location, as the green is 40 yards long. This hole
becomes the transition from the links-like opening stretch and the wooded,
parkland interior holes. The hardest hole on the course is the sixth at 471
yards, bending from left to right. Only two bunkers adorn this hole, one on
the right side of the fairway and one fronting the left side of the green. One
of the more secluded holes, the sixth is carved right through the forest. The
par-5 seventh is a true three-shotter at 564 yards from the back markers. The
opening shot must carry 220 yards to the fairway and must negotiate between
three fairway bunkers. The approach shot must be placed to the correct portion
of the green, as the putting surface is one of the fastest and most sloped on
the course. At 202 yards, the eighth plays shorter than the yardage due to the
downhill slope from the tee. Two huge bunkers guard the entrance to the green,
which slopes from back to front, but is generally one of the slowest on the
course. The signature hole on the course is the uphill, par-4 ninth. Only 406
yards, this hole features a meandering stream that runs the entire length of
the fairway and curls around to the back of the green. To make matters worse,
the two-tiered green is 40-yards deep, so a back pin placement can add a club
or two to your approach. Downhill from the tee, the 10th is a short, par-4
just 365 yards in length which requires the correct club off the tee to a
narrow fairway guarded by bunkers left and right. The small green, which is
hard to hold, makes what looks to be an easy birdie hole into a tough one to
par. The most difficult hole on the inward nine is the 11th at 463 from the
tips, featuring a fairway that slopes left while the hole itself doglegs to
the right. Even a perfect tee shot will leave the player with an approach to a
green that is 40 feet above the fairway. It's another hole where par is a
great score, but the scenery is the real winner. The course just gets better
and better as you reach the downhill par-3 12th, with its beautiful view from
the tee box to a narrow green that slopes from left to right and is guarded by
three bunkers. The first par-5 on the back nine is the 585-yard monster 13th,
where the best angle to attack is from the left side of the fairway, leaving
yourself a short approach to a long sloping green that runs left to right and
is extremely fast. The 14th, another short, testing par-4, should yield plenty
of birdies at just 335 yards. Placing your tee shot in the fairway is a must,
as your approach will be uphill and from short range. The small difficult
green features a hogback crossing the center that runs from left to right. The
219-yard 15th is the most demanding par-3 at Caves Valley. Not only are you
asked to hit over wetlands and through trees, but uphill as well to a 40-yard
long green. If the pin is placed back right, your shot must clear a large
bunker. Down the stretch, the 16th is one hole that should not be taken
lightly at 430 yards. The tee shot must avoid the collection of bunkers on the
left while the approach shot must guard from missing the green to the right or
long, as an up-and-down is unlikely. Birdies can be made, but post a par and
you'll walk away with a smile on your face. If you thought the fairway was a
must at 16, well 17 is a definite. This 480-yard, par-4 requires a strong tee
shot, leaving yourself with a long, slightly uphill second shot to a green
saturated by bunkers, mainly left and short. Make par and consider yourself
"The Man". One of the finest finishing holes in golf, the 18th is a long par-4
that stretches 460 yards from the tips and features a slightly uphill tee ball
to a fairway bunkered left and right. The tee at 18 originally sat 50-60 feet
higher than the 17th green, but Fazio tinkered with the course and now the two
are virtually at the same level. After a successful first shot, your approach
will travel downhill to a two-tiered green that is surrounded by five bunkers.
The green can feature great pin locations and is extremely fast from right to
left. To break 80 on this track, not only do you have to have game but you
also must experience a little bit of luck.

As they say at Caves Valley, this course looks as good backward as forward.
The vistas and scenery are breathtaking and don't forget the golf. What a
supreme test of golf situated in the Maryland countryside, just 20 minutes
from Baltimore. "If I could write a program for what I'd like to do as a
course designer and a golf fanatic, this is it," said Fazio, who created a
layout that takes a back seat to no course.