Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Glen Riddle Golf Courses Celebrate their Horse Racing Heritage

by Isabella Coker
Thursday, May 10, 2012
War Admiral Golf Course at Glenn Riddle
War Admiral Golf Course at Glenn Riddle
If you have not seen the historically documented movie Seabiscuit, or do not know the significance between Ocean City and the horse races then you do not understand how important Glen Riddle is to the surrounding area. Do not worry for there is still hope! As I sat down with Rob McDonald I was not expecting to get a history lesson on how famous Glen Riddle is.
McDonald has been the head pro at Glen Riddle for four years. In his prior years in the profession he has worked at courses in Miami and Baltimore. While speaking with him he explains why he believes the course cannot be compared to the other ones within the area.

“This is a unique property, and in my opinion the best one. I think the history to the place is excellent; the horse racing history is great.”

– Rob McDonald

Man O War
Man O’ War, 1920

The history to the course is rare in its passion and relativity to golf. McDonald elaborates by going on to say, “If you’ve seen the movie Seabiscuit you know that Seabiscuit raced War Admiral in that great race. War Admiral was a Triple Crown winner and the son of Man O’ War, who was considered the horse of the century back then. Both Man O’ War and War Admiral were housed on the property.” These beautiful creatures and their talents give the courses a level of quality that cannot be achieved artificially.
As we turned the conversation to focus more so on golf McDonald speaks of another unique quality the course has. He told me, “Typically on a 36 hole facility both courses replicate each other. Our courses are nothing alike. Man O’ War is your typical link style golf course, and is all Bermuda grass. That course is open to the public, whereas the other course is a parkland type of course, which will go private eventually.” Until they have filled all of their membership positions, War Admiral will remain open to the general public.
It goes without saying playing on the Eastern shore is different from playing on courses in the South or Midwest. An argument made on how the experience differs focused in on water breeze, wind and humidity; however, McDonald brings up the difference in elevation. He says, “More than anything down here, on the eastern shore compared to the western shore, there’s a difference in elevation. There’s a little more of the lowlands down here and golf is usually played on level ground. While we don’t have a lot of elevation changes, we do have rolling hills and fairways which will alter your stance and make you play a different shot.” These rolling hills are found to be helpful to golfers who are dealing with the ever-changing East coast weather.
One would assume that in order to play at such unique courses pricing would be very high. McDonald acknowledges that “Mr. Ruark has brought high quality prices to the Ocean City area, but we do have various packaging.” If you are looking into getting great golf packages, make sure to call Harrison Group Golf. It will be a decision you will never regret!
Tip of the Day: Enjoy yourself. Golf can be frustrating if you take it too seriously. You’re out in a beautiful place with your friends, you have to just enjoy yourself.

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