Course Architects: Brian Ault, Tom Clark & Associates
Year Opened: 2003
Location: Beltsville, Maryland
Slope: 129. Rating: 71.5
Par: 70
Yardage: 6,356
Hole-by-Hole: 1 - Par 5 517 Yds    10 - Par 4 355 Yds
                      2 - Par 3 163 Yds    11 - Par 4 436 Yds
                      3 - Par 4 431 Yds    12 - Par 3 175 Yds
                      4 - Par 4 397 Yds    13 - Par 5 515 Yds
                      5 - Par 3 210 Yds    14 - Par 4 457 Yds
                      6 - Par 5 492 Yds    15 - Par 3 206 Yds
                      7 - Par 3 187 Yds    16 - Par 4 389 Yds
                      8 - Par 4 341 Yds    17 - Par 4 302 Yds
                      9 - Par 4 366 Yds    18 - Par 4 417 Yds
                      Par 35  3,104 Yds     Par 35  3,252 Yds

Key Events Held: Children's Hospital Futures Golf Classic (2004).

HISTORY:  Although  opened for just  a short period  of time, Cross Creek Golf
Club  has already  started  to  develop a  special  history.  The LPGA  Tour's
developmental tour, the Futures Golf Tour, made its first visit to Cross Creek
in  2004.  Originally scheduled for 54  holes, the tournament was shortened to
just  two rounds due  to heavy rain which forced the cancellation of the final
round. When it was all said and done, Courtney Wood finished as the winner, as
she  carded rounds of  67-69 to edge Allison Hanna by one for her first career
Futures  Tour title. The  low round of the week was carded by Kim Augusta, who
shot  66  in round  one. Cross  Creek played  very difficult during tournament
week,  as only seven  players in the field finished under par. The Cross Creek
layout  is quite  unique, as  three holes  (13-15) are  located in  Montgomery
County  while  the rest  of the course  is laid out  in Prince Georges County.
The course was crafted by Ault, Clark and Associates, a design firm located in
nearby  Kensington, Maryland.  The  architects have  done  some exciting  work
around  the  east coast, including Ballamor  Golf Club in New Jersey, Diamante
Golf  Course  in Arkansas  and Worthington  Manor in  Maryland. Not to mention
redesign  work at  Kingsmill  Country Club's  River  Course and  Congressional
Country  Club in Washington. Cross Creek was created on an old quarry site and
features  rock  cliff walls on  some of  the holes and  uses some of the large
boulders  from  the quarry as  its 150-yard markers. Water significantly comes
into play on seven holes of the elevated and wooded layout.

REVIEW: The course opens with a dogleg left par-five. A tee shot from the back
buttons  will  require a  200-yard carry  over a  pond. To  have any chance of
reaching  this hole in  two, your opening shot must skirt the left side of the
fairway,  which  of course will  bring the trees  into play. Two large bunkers
guard  the left  and right side of  the lay-up area, but a successful approach
will leave a simple pitch to a fairly deep green. A great hole to start on, as
a  birdie here can  really kick-start your round. A medium iron is all that is
needed  at  the par-three second. However,  the correct club is made difficult
due to the tall oaks that surround the smallest green on the course at just 26
yards  in depth. Leave  your tee shot short and a grass hollow awaits, left or
right  and you'll  be bunkered with little  chance of getting up and down. The
first  real  test at Cross  Creek comes at  the third, a straightaway par-four
with  danger  down the  entire right side.  Not only that,  your tee shot must
favor the left side, as all shots will kick toward the right. A medium to long
iron  will  be needed to  reach the two-tiered green  that slopes from back to
front  with sand and water on the right. Making par here will be a real bonus.
Although  under 400 yards  in length, the fourth is no simple Simon. Miss left
off  the tee  and you're in the midst  of a hazard and trees, and right, well,
you  get  sand. If you're lucky  enough to hit  the fairway, only a short iron
awaits,  however  the  slightly  elevated  putting surface  is  guarded  by  a
horseshoe  shaped bunker on the left. Your best bet is to play to the right of
the  flag and hope  your approach kicks down to the hole. Despite its downhill
appearance,  the  par-three fifth  plays its entire  210 yards. Club selection
will  be difficult, as the left side is guarded by water, allowing the wind to
play  havoc with your  shot. By the way, a devilish little pot bunker short of
the  green  is no bargain  either. One of the  few benign putting surfaces, so
getting  up and down  shouldn't be too difficult. Tempting as it may seem, the
sixth  hole  is a par-five  you should play with  caution. Just 492 yards, one
might  think that this  is an easy birdie hole. Well, with trees guarding both
sides  of the fairway,  an exact tee shot is a must. When and if this happens,
then  a decision  must  be made.  Most  likely a  fairway  metal remains,  but
remember  water and  OB left and sand  and trees right could sway our decision
process.  To  top it off, the  green is the third  longest on the course at 39
yards  deep and the tightest at 21 yards in width. There is no shame in making
par.  The  seventh is certainly  one of the signature  holes at Cross Creek. A
beautiful  par-three of 187 yards with water and wetlands protecting the front
left  and around the  rear perimeter. The putting surface is the widest on the
course  and with a  left pin placement, sure torture on a windy day. Favor the
right  side,  make par and  move on.  The final two  holes on the outward nine
require  brain, not brawn.  Both holes are just in the mid-300s from the tips.
The  eighth requires just an iron off the elevated tee to a very wide fairway.
But hitting it straight is a must, as OB looms left and trees right. The green
is uphill and is a two-tiered, severely undulating surface. With a front flag,
use the slope to your advantage to get close enough for birdie. The ninth is a
dogleg  to the right with water protecting the right side of the green and out
of bounds to the left. Once again, a long iron or a fairway metal will leave a
simple  wedge  to a green tilted  to the right,  protected up front and to the
left  by sand.  The  putting surface  is  undulating with  a  front right  pin
placement  the most difficult. The front nine are the holes you want to go low
on,  as you'll see with the inward nine. For the third straight hole, the 10th
is  another short par-four that necessitates just a long iron or fairway metal
off  the tee.  The hole  bends slightly  to the  left, but  back to  the right
towards  the  green. Fescue grasses protect  the left hillside while a lateral
hazard  guards the entire right side through the green. The putting surface is
one  of  the smallest on the  course at just 27  yards in depth with a pair of
bunkers  protecting the right front. A back right could be tough to get close,
so play left and make par. One of the hardest holes on the course, the 11th is
a  rugged straightaway par-four  of 436 yards from the Black Gold tees. A long
and  straight  tee shot is  needed, as water left  and trees right protect the
landing  area. What  makes this hole even more difficult is the approach shot.
Water  extends all  the way through the  green on the left side and any errant
shot  just  off the green  right will kick directly  into the rough and trees.
With  the pin back-left  and the wind blowing, you'll be happy if bogey is the
best  you  score. The 12th  is a downhill  par-three that features three large
bunkers  that  protect one  of the  smaller greens on  the course. The putting
surface  slopes from  back to front and  left to right, so play below the hole
for  your best opportunity for birdie. The first of the quarry holes, the par-
five  13th is  a beaute. The tee shot  is uphill and blind to the landing area
and  cannot be missed  left. From the top of the crest, the player is rewarded
with  a fantastic view of the green, just in reach of your second shot. Laying
up will leave an uphill pitch over a pair of bunkers to a fairly simple green.
Anything  worse than  par will  be a  severe disappointment.  Two of  the most
difficult  holes on the course, the 14th and 15th cause plenty of concern. The
number  one handicapped  hole, the 14th is  a bear at 457 yards. Out of bounds
protects  the  entire left side  along with  rock outcroppings. But what makes
this hole even more difficult is the mound the stands on the right side of the
very  narrow landing area. This makes it hard for the big hitter to use driver
off  the tee. So now you have a long iron to a very tight green, just 28 yards
in  width.  This hole  has double-bogey written  all over it.  Now its time to
tackle the 15th, a difficult par-three of 206 yards. Playing over water and an
environmental  area,  this one-shotter  requires pinpoint accuracy and length.
The  putting surface is  fairly flat, but it is the second widest green on the
course  at  36 yards. If the  wind is blowing,  another double could be in the
offing.   On   paper,  the  final   three  holes   don't  seem  to  pose  much
trouble...wrong.  The  16th is a sharp,  90-degree dogleg to the right. A long
iron  or fairway metal will leave a medium to short iron to the green. The key
to  this hole  is not to drive through  the fairway or miss left, as a lateral
hazard  envelopes the entire left side. Although just slightly undulating, the
putting  surface  is one of  the hardest  to hit, as  it stretches 42 yards in
length  and is just  22 yards wide. A back-left pin placement can add 20 yards
to  your approach.  This hole  will produce  a few  three-putts. Every  course
should  have a hole like the 17th. If you need a birdie, then grab the big dog
and  let it rip.  Just 300 yards and bending slightly to the left, the 17th is
one  of  those great short holes  that can make  or break your round. A stream
travels down the entire left side of the hole and a deep bunker well below the
putting  surface guards the  same side of the green, the longest (44 yards) on
the  course.  The 18th is  a solid finishing  hole that features water, trees,
sand  and possibly wind.  The further you hit your tee shot, the straighter it
needs  to  be, as the  fairway narrows at the  200-yard marker and only widens
slightly thereafter. To make matters more difficult, trees flank both sides of
the  fairway and two  bunkers protect the landing zone on the left. Now you're
faced  with  an approach into  the widest green on  the course, with water and
sand  looming  right. With  a back  right pin, this  is one exciting finishing

OVERALL:  Called "The  Best Drive of I-95",  Cross Creek Golf Club is a lot of
fun  for all  players. Not the longest  of courses, but remember it's a par 70
layout, very tight with plenty of hazards. It features numerous bent grass tee
boxes,  a mix  of  small and  large putting  surfaces,  and a  well-maintained
facility.  "Man and Mother Nature have given us an unbelievable opportunity to
create  something that looks like the high country of Colorado, versus the low
lands  of  Maryland," commented the  course designers.  How about a $2 million
clubhouse  and full-service  restaurant and bar? Located just minutes from the
expressway  and downtown  Washington, D.C., Cross Creek is an enjoyable layout
with  beautifully framed  fairways and greens. Let's not forget affordability.
Even during weekends and holidays, it's less than $70 to play while during the
week, just under $50. Sounds like a deal to me.