Play a round at Potomac Shores Golf Club.

It has only been a few months since the Potomac Shores Golf Club opened, but that has been plenty of time for it to generate a buzz about its exceptional offerings. As the first publicly accessible Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf course in the Washington, DC area, it has all the earmarks and meets all the expectations that come with any course designed by Nicklaus’ firm. That includes enhancing the natural environment and working with the landscape to create a course that is filled with as much breathtaking beauty as it is rife with challenges and pleasure.

While Nicklaus Design is responsible for nearly 400 courses to date, Potomac Shores stands out as one in a million. The 18-hole course boasts a par-72 layout that takes full advantage of the lush beauty of its setting in Potomac, Virginia, about 30 minutes south of downtown Washington, D.C.

Using the natural lines of the land, the course is carved through carefully preserved mature hardwood forests, which creates a dramatic and inviting environment. Working with the natural terrain, designers created buffers from native wetlands and used the 200-plus feet of challenging elevation changes to add exciting elements to the game. Together, it adds up to an experience for golfers of all skill levels who want to take their game to a new level. Jack Nicklaus himself was on hand for the grand opening celebration in May, and said he was extremely proud of the quality of the design and the level of play offered at Potomac Shores.

“My job was to create an aesthetically pleasing course with great shots, and that is what we hope we have done here,” he said during the event. “We’ve created a golf course of quality that people can enjoy and that serves the community. The course has beautiful terrain, beautiful vistas and a certain ‘wow’ factor.”

18th hole and Clubhouse Potomac Shores

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18th hole and Clubhouse Potomac Shores

Patrick Boucher, director of club operations, says that Potomac Shores delivers a knockout experience that combines “extraordinary service delivered by a trained staff of professionals” with an unparalleled course.

“The challenging yet forgiving features of the green complexes allow golfers of all skill levels to fully enjoy the course,” he says. “The golf course has many of Jack Nicklaus’ signature design features, paired with beautiful elevations changes that add to the picturesque image portrayed by all guests seeking a great golf experience.”

The efforts to create an exceptional golfing experience have not gone unnoticed; in addition to receiving high praise from those who’ve hit the course, Potomac Shores Golf Club caught the attention of Golf Digest, which ranked it No. 8 on its list of the nation’s “Best New Courses” for 2014. The esteemed magazine called it a “roller coaster routing on river bluffs” and praised its wide playing corridors.

“We strive to give all of our guests the service and atmosphere that they would receive at a private country club, while still having the accessibility of an up-scale daily fee golf course,” Boucher says.

For those interested in joining the club, Potomac Shores has created an annual program for both individuals and families, so each program participant can tailor the experience to their personal needs. As part of the program, they are offered such privileges as unlimited use of the driving range and access to practice facilities during normal business hours. Guests of program participants also receive many benefits, such as a 15-percent discount on posted rates.

“This is the only publicly accessible Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course in the DC Metro area,” Boucher points out. “Once you’ve played it, you won’t want to play another course around.”

Of course, the experience doesn’t end when the clubs are put away; a visit to the Tidewater Grill—a full-service restaurant overlooking the 18th hole—is always in season. Its prime location, just off the Potomac River on Powell’s Creek, makes it a scenic and relaxing way to wrap up a day of golf. Enjoy views of the course and northern Virginia’s wildlife, while also enjoying a menu that is inspired by the region’s meats and produce. Among the favorites on the menu are Executive Chef Matt Blazey’s signature crab roll, smoked sausage and made-to-order beignets.

Whether you want small bites to share, sandwiches that put a fresh spin on classic favorites (the grilled cheese sandwich includes brie, apples and arugula on multi-grain bread) or large plates like the pork tenderloin or New York strip and fries, the Tidewater Grill offers an exceptional dining experience in an environment ready-made for socializing with old friends or meeting new ones.

There’s also a happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m. every Monday through Friday, which is the perfect time to try out one of the grill’s signature cocktails.

On Sundays, check out the brunch, which features such indulgences as Turtle French Toast (made with cinnamon, chocolate, caramel and pecan brittle) and the crab cake eggs benedict, which melds delicious crab cakes with the brunch standby, eggs benedict.

Like everything else at Potomac Shores, Tidewater Grill offers an experience that is both memorable and unmatched.

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Photos courtesy Potomac Shores/Troon Golf