The Links at Lighthouse Sound golf course is set alongside the tidal marshlands of Assowoman Bay off the coast of Maryland. The course, which opened in 2000, was designed by course architect Arthur Hills, who had as his goal to allow Mother Nature to show off her beauty, including views of the Bay and Ocean City skyline. The result is a course where ten of its 18 holes border the pristine marshlands found within the 1,000-acre site, while the other holes play through mature hardwood trees.
The par-72 course plays to 7,031 yards from the back tees, with a USGA rating of 73.3 and a slope rating of 144 on Bent grass. Among the noteworthy features to be found on the Links at Lighthouse sound are water, shots over marshlands, an abundance of wildlife, great seaside views of Ocean City, and the longest cart bridge golfers are ever likely to encounter. The bridge, which stretches nearly 1,500 feet, carries golfers from the bay-side holes to the marshland side of the course.
Some of the more noteworthy holes include Nos. 2 and 3, which both play to the same green and are the only consecutive holes in the country to do so. Hole No. 2 is a picturesque par-5 that plays to 508 yards from the longest tees. From the tee, golfers may choose to shorten the hole by driving over a lengthy water hazard, or play more conservatively to a wide fairway. A lengthy sand bunker picks up where the water hazard leaves off, running the length of the remaining fairway on the right.
Once that hole is completed, golfers will drive to Hole No. 3, a par-3 that plays to the same green with a different flag. The 16,000-square-foot shared green is guarded on all side by marsh, bunkers, trees and water beyond.
Another noteworthy hole is No. 5, a par-3 and the signature hole for the course. This hole plays to a lengthy 218 yards from the Black tees, but only 153 yards from the Whites. It features beautiful views of the water and the Ocean City skyline in the distance, and a dogleg right configuration that includes a forced carry over marshland. The green is only 18 yards deep and the ocean breezes may come into play, making this one of the most difficult par-3s on the course.
Hole No. 7 is called the "Devil's Elbow,'' and is as devilish as it is picturesque. This par-5 plays to a hefty 622 yards from the back tees, 516 yards from the Whites. It's been said that golfers might run out of golf balls on this hole, as the tee shot has a forced carry over marshland to a landing area bordered by water on the left and long. The second shot then plays to another landing area which features twin bunkers at its center. Approach shots must then carry a long, narrow water hazard to a green guarded by bunkers and marshland behind.
The back nine holes transition to the St. Martin's River, and play through trees and more marshland, with some holes playing directly along the river.
Practice facilities at the course include a driving range with 100 tees and a short-game practice area. Lessons are also available through a choice of golf schools.
The course also features a large, stately clubhouse that houses the Lighthouse Restaurant, which overlooks Assowoman Bay and the Ocean City skyline, and features upscale cuisine.