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 »  Home  »  Regional Editorials  »  New Jersey, Pennsylvania  »  PERFECT DRIVE - Rocky Gap Lodge and Golf Resort
PERFECT DRIVE - Rocky Gap Lodge and Golf Resort
By John Torsiello | Published  10/23/2007 | New Jersey, Pennsylvania | Unrated
Rocky Gap Lodge and Golf Resort: A Hidden Jewel in Western Maryland
olfers love variety, convenient access, value and unforgettable courses in their golf experiences.

Rocky Gap Lodge & Golf Resort, located in Flintstone, Md., offers all the above and more. Nestled in the heart of the Cumberland Valley, Rocky Gap is a scenic, 3-hour drive from the Newark (a bit less or more from other locales in Eastern Pennsylvania, Southern New Jersey).

Situated around 243-acre Lake Habeeb, the resort features a picture-perfect landscape along with a well-manicured, challenging course – the lone Jack Nicklaus Signature design in the state.

Rocky Gap is a must play for any golfer wanting a challenging course that will reward good shots and test abilities. The bentgrass layout from tee to green provides golfers with top notch fairways, while well-placed traps and bunkers, and undulating greens that roll true offer ample challenges.

Wildlife is abundant throughout the layout as is the blending of the natural greenery of the mountain terrain. The front nine was carved out of the landscape with many elevation changes and the fairways are tight and challenging to hit from each tee box. The back nine features wide fairways and scenic vistas surrounding the lake and Evitt’s Mountain. From the tips, Rocky Gap brings all of its 7,002 yards into play and a slope rating of 142 will challenge even the single digit handicappers on every hole.

Course Layout: The Front
Rocky Gap’s front nine starts with a short cart ride to the adjacent driving range to warm up and boasts a very nice “snack shack” for that morning cup of Joe or favorite beverage to start the round. The service throughout the course is top notch and a pleasant starter group gets golfers ready to begin their round. 

The first hole, a par 4, will reward a nice tee shot aimed slightly left of the fairway bunkers. After that, it’s a short iron to a challenging green guarded by a bunker. The par 4 third hole is possibly Rocky Gap’s most challenging hole. After a good drive, golfers are left with a long iron or fairway wood to the tiered green. The fifth hole, a scenic par 5, requires a well-placed drive to a fairway with a drastic elevation change. Golfers who are brave can reach this one in two and have a nice story to tell their friends after the round.  The par 3 sixth hole offers another dramatic elevation change that will test long-iron or hybrid club skills to an upside-down L-shaped green that holds tee shots very well. Two putt this one and be happy with a par.

After a quick snack and refreshment at the “snack shack” golfers are ready to attack the back.

Course Layout: The Back
The back nine plays like a different course with wide open fairways but challenging putts remain. The tenth hole is a par 5 with a wide fairway that will leave most with a long-iron lay-up. The green is guarded by water on the left and a rock wall in front. The par 3 13th rewards a precise tee shot that lands on the tiered green. Birdies are abundant on this short gem. The 15th Hole, an intimidating par 5, requires a precise tee shot to a narrow fairway. A long iron can be used to reach the green, but watch for the stream that runs along the left side of the fairway and green. 

The Golden Bear offers back to back par 3s on the 16th and 17th holes. Both have well guarded greens and provide scenic looks across the resort. The finishing par 4, 18th hole has a wide open fairway with a beautiful view of the lake and lodge.
 
Following the round, there is plenty of atmosphere in the Signatures Bar and Grill and the pro shop is well equipped to allow visitors to remember their round at Rocky Gap.

Resort Offerings
Rocky Gap can accommodate the weekday or weekend golfer all the way up to a corporate outing and conference. The resort provides:

• Full-service conference, meeting and banquet facilities;
• Tented outdoor banquet areas by the lake;
• Specialty locations for wedding ceremonies and receptions by the lake; and
• Private hospitality suites for special occasions, meetings or group functions.

The property has received the prestigious AAA Four Diamond award for six consecutive years and all guest rooms are handsomely designed with custom-made Shaker furniture. Rocky Gap has also boasts a well-appointed Lakeside Restaurant which can accommodate any occasion. A Wine Spectator award winner, Lakeside Restaurant offers candlelight dining and a renowned wine list.

Don’t forget to hit the Garden Spa before leaving as the resort provides a great facility to unwind, relax and rejuvenate.

Activities
In addition to golf, the resort offers a wide variety of outdoor activities including hiking, biking fishing, kayaking and sporting clays. The entire family can enjoy walking and hiking through the mountain area or boating on the adjacent lake. The resort also offers an indoor and outdoor swimming pool, the Rocky Gap State Park Beach, fitness room and tennis courts.

For more information on Rocky Gap Lodge & Golf Resort, call 800-724-0828  or visit www.rockygapresort.com.