Swan Point Yacht & Country Club golf course is located in southern Maryland along the banks of the Potomac River, but the terrain may have golfers thinking they're in the barrier islands of the Carolinas. That's because the course is situated amid marshlands and trees, secluded from the customary hustle and bustle of the Washington, D.C. area. Water or marshland comes into play on 12 of the 18 holes, and it's also not uncommon for golfers to share the fairways with wildlife such as deer, osprey, herons, and even bald eagles.
Originally, Swan Point Yacht & Country Club began as a quaint nine-hole course, but in the late 1980s it was expanded and redesigned by world-renowned golf course designer Bob Cupp. The par-72 course now plays to 6,859 yards from the tips, with a USGA rating of 73.1 and a slope rating of 130. Because of the overall layout, which is for the most part circular, most holes play end-to-end, with only a few holes side-by-side, giving golfers the feeling of being alone and secluded from the world.
Among the more noteworthy holes is the par-5 No. 4, which is generally regarded as the signature hole on the course. The hole plays to 520 yards from the back tees and is one of the most scenic and intimidating holes on the course. Right from the tee, golfers will have to contend with the lake along the entire left side of the fairway as the hole doglegs around it. For long hitters, or those playing the shorter tees, the green is reachable in two, but that involves carrying the water to an island green, where even a short pitch requires some steady nerves.
Another hole that tends to be a favorite is No. 6., a par-5 and the hardest hole on the course. The hole plays to 571 yards from the Black tees and another lake comes into play on the left as golfers approach the green. The fairway is also tree-lined and features a number of undulations, with the prevailing wind off the Potomac River typically playing against every shot. The approach shot is challenging as well, playing to a small, elevated green guarded by four deep bunkers.
Another noteworthy hole is the par-3 No. 11. The hole only plays to 171 yards from the Black tees, 137 from the Whites, but the tee shot is all carry over marshland to the smallest green on the course. Adding to the challenge, the green is surrounded by a very long wrap-around bunker that will collect any shots that go short, left or long.
Since the course's expansion and redesign, it has received a number of honors, including a 2007 Must Play Award from Pros N' Hackers, a Top 10 ranking in the state from Golf Digest magazine, along with 4?-Stars as one of the best courses in the Mid-Atlantic region.
Practice facilities include a driving range and short-game area. The course also features a pro shop, and lessons are available.
The Swan Point Yacht & Country Club also features a clubhouse with a restaurant, as well as smaller meeting rooms and a banquet room that can accommodate up to 200 people.