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Right now the AWITP team is on 95-S in the teeth of a snowstorm. Not the greatest omen for golf, but as we have not yet reached VA, hopefully we’ll see 50s, maybe even 60s by journey’s end. I would shudder to think of trying to walk and play Tobacco Road in blowing 40 degree cold. The course would prove most cruel indeed. On such days, always remember that 40 and blowing, possibly even raining, is the norm in Scotland or Ireland, so get used to it if you want to be ready for that trip.

Even so, as I was driving down 95, it occurred to me how many excellent places are just a scant few miles off the highway and are perfect for an afternoon jaunt – weather permitting of course. So here are two great choices.

Also, as I feared, my off-hand comment this week that I like Outback Steakhouse provoked a flurry of food-related responses and emails;) (almost more than the golf related responses!) Rather than get into that debate here, I will instead make the subject of food an amusing diversion thoughout my reports this trip. So without further ado:

101 Back Creek Drive
Middletown, DE 19709

Architect: David Horne
Par – 71
Excitement Level – 5/12
Difficulty – 5/12
Conditioning – Three and ½ stars
Cost – $65 Peak, $55 Off-Peak/Reduced
Yearly memberships – No
Value – Three and 1/2 Stars

Tees Yards Rating Slope

Back Creek 7003 74.2 134
Blue 6505 71.8 128
White 6105 69.9 126
Red 5014 69.3 115

More than one magazine has called Back Creek the best course in Delaware. While it is not the kind of course you build a vacation around, it’s great for a low impact, high comfort, convenient round at the beginning or end of a trip up/down 95, or for a weekend trip to DelMarVa. Yes houses line a few holes, but there are many interesting holes, a wide variety of terrain, challenging shot values and shot shaping requirements, good conditioning and an affordable price. Top is $62, but $40 is most common. We like holes 5, 6 and 16 for there beauty and shot values.


Aberdeen, MD

Architect: Tom Doak
Par – 71
Excitement Level – 8/12
Difficulty – 6/12
Conditioning – Four stars
Cost – $90 Peak, $60 Off-Peak/Reduced
Yearly memberships – No
Value – Three and 1/2 Stars

Tees Yards Rating Slope

Black 7023 74.9 142
Blue 6656 72.6 135
White 6086 70.1/74.8 130/134
Red 5363 70.4 121

Tom Doak is again the master of subtlety and understatement. Beechtree
Features scalloped bunkering, rolling fairways, large undulating greens, impeccable conditioning and naturally occurring streams and lakes. The price tag is a bit high, but Doak provides an extraordinary diversity of holes and a comforting playability at Beech Tree that even Fazio would envy.

From the viewpoint of quality, Beech Tree is in that highest echelon of public courses on the eastern seaboard, along with Royal New Kent, and Bulle Rock. The price tag still exceeds $80, but the conditioning and layout are still superb. Plus it is less than 10 miles off 95.

Burger King
Clara Barton Rest Stop
Pennsgrove, NJ

Architect: The Donald’s Lickspittles
Par – NA
Excitement Level – 0/12 despite the hype
Difficulty – 10/12
Conditioning – One star – for the “Smoky BBQ Sauce”
Cost – $5
Service: Excellent actually, bubbly and effervescent
without being unctuous or obsequious
Value – 1/2 Star

When a sandwich is unleashed with such fanfare as its own reality TV episode and comes with its own life-size cut-out of a scowling Donald Trump it must be the raison d’etre for creating the sandwich as a food form in the first place, right? Oh, wait…its Trump flavored.

Somebody got fired for this sandwich and I for one am glad. It tastes no different than the other Burger King burgers. (Must be the flame broiling). Whoever had the idea of putting breaded onion rings on burgers should foot the bill for the corresponding spike in coronary treatments. Thank god they were smaller than fingernails…and for extra BBQ sauce.

When they said “Have it your way” may way apparently means dry, stringy, miniscule and on a flavorless, doughy hard roll. I could have opted for the “Fire Grilled Shrimp Salad” or the “Wake up with the King Croissanwich” but I didn’t. Oh well. Live and learn. Or maybe not.

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