Golf is alive and well on the DelMarVa Peninsula with men’s, women’s and mixed leagues that range from mostly social to mostly competitive. Courses range from easy and very affordable Par 3s like Midway and Milton’s Shamrock Farms to the finely sculpted terrain at private membership clubs like Rehoboth’s King’s Creek and Rehoboth Beach Country Club. Another upscale but public course is Baywood Greens in Long Neck.
One of the largest leagues is associated with the Indian River Senior Center in Millsboro. Baltimore transplant and current Millsboro resident Albert Herman who played in the league for approximately thirteen years and “assisted in setting up formats for play for those wanting to challenge themselves in a team competition”. Senior Center membership ($40 annually) is required to participate.
“The league is divided into five divisions, East, West, North, South and Central. The majority of play is scheduled on Mondays. The Central division plays on Thursdays,” he said. Nearly 800 players are registered over the five divisions with weekly turnouts averaging 75-100 players. Play is scheduled by the division directors prior to the start of each season which runs from mid-March through late November. The group, that includes men and women, utilizes approximately 24 courses in the Delaware-Maryland region.
If you are just breaking into the game, you may be more comfortable at public courses American Classic Golf Course between Rehoboth and Lewes or The Rookery in Milton. Both offer lessons for all ability levels and organize ladies and men’s leagues but on a smaller scale than Indian River.
Becky Caprano is an avid golfer who is actively involved with the ladies’ program at The Rookery. “The Club has an 18-Hole League, 9-Hole league and a Thursday night scramble league during the Delaware golf season. Rules vary for each. “Our 18-hole league had 59 members in 2022”, she said. “You must be 18 years old and have an active GHIN handicap of 40 or less to play”. GHIN stands for Golf Handicap and Information Network. It is the software the World is now using for handicap management.
For Caprano, golf is a sport that combines being outdoors, exercise, challenge, and time well spent with friends no matter your age. “It’s a game that challenges me every time to play & score better than the last time. You can’t beat it”, she says.
For better and more serious players, Caprano recommends the Delaware Women’s Golf Association and the Women’s Peninsula Golf Association. Her favorite “local” course is Rum Pointe south of Ocean City, MD.
Rum Pointe and Eagles Landing are Herman’s favorites. “Both are well maintained and offer a variety of tee box locations that make the courses fair for all levels of play,” he says. “The two courses are adjacent to Assateague Island lending themselves to some spectacular vistas and possibly a glimpse of a bald eagle or two”.
Herman and a few golf buddies no longer play with the league but have memberships at Glen Riddle, a course that has a unique history of its own. The club house is built on what was the stable of the Glen Riddle Farm, home to racehorses Man O’ War, War Admiral and the incomparable Seabiscuit. Arguably, the biggest horse racing event in history was the match-up between Man O’ War’s son and grandson, War Admiral and Seabiscuit, held at Pimlico Racetrack in Baltimore on November 1,1938. Seabiscuit beat the reigning Triple Crown winner.
For those who always wanted to live near a golf course, King’s Creek, RBGYC and Baywood are some options. Baywood is a land-lease operation. American Classic is surrounded by town houses.
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By Mary Jo Tarallo, Guest Journalist
Mary Jo Tarallo spent much of her career in public relations with various non-profits and spent 40 years involved with the ski industry as a journalist, public relations director for a national trade association and as executive director of the Learn to Ski and Snowboard initiative. Prior to her ski industry involvement she worked for the Maryland International Center in Baltimore and United Way of Central Maryland. She won a Gold Award for TV programming for a United Way simulcast that starred Oprah Winfrey. She has been cited for her work by numerous organizations. Mary Jo grew up in Baltimore, attended the University of Maryland and Towson University, lived in Washington, DC for 21 years and has been a full time resident of Rehoboth Beach and Milton since May 2019.