Baywood Greens has evolved into a destination for great golf, fine cuisine, elegant weddings and grand resort living in one all-inclusive community
Even for non-golfers, the scene at Baywood Greens is opulent and captivating — stunning green fairways, remarkable water views, exquisite landscaping.
But it’s more than just a pretty view for those golfers who want a challenge or for those who want a sophisticated but simple dining experience. Baywood Greens’ reputation for charming elegance has reached far beyond Sussex County.
“It’s become a destination,” said Robert Tunnell III, the principal of Tunnell Companies, whose father, Robert Tunnell Jr., opened Baywood Greens in 1998.
In fact, Golf Digest named the Baywood Greens golf course the “Top 5 places to golf in Delaware” in 2017, and Golfadvisor.com has consistently named the course among its top-50 golf courses in the U.S.
Still, there’s more. Baywood Greens is the region’s wedding destination, named in Brides magazine, as well as Southern Living, as a 2017 top East Coast venue for brides and grooms.
And the food — none other than SoDel Concepts is the driving force behind the culinary offerings at the Baywood Greens clubhouse, special events and golf-course dining.
All told, there are few destinations in the Mid-Atlantic quite like it. Located in Long Neck, near historic Millsboro, Baywood Greens also boasts a location near the beach and the shopping opportunities of Rehoboth.
“It’s a good place to get away and have a wonderful time,” said Tony Hollerback, PGA, head golf professional at Baywood Greens.
A UNIQUE GOLF EXPERIENCE
Golfing has evolved over the years, according to Tony, and it’s obvious that Baywood Greens has grown with it.
“The golf industry has changed,” said Tony. “It’s now more an experience. Along with the challenge of the course, what we’re known for is the landscaping. It’s a different look. It’s a lot more landscaped than most golf courses.”
In fact, Tony’s task — along with the golf staff of 20 — is to ensure the players’ experience is pleasant. Technology, including golf carts equipped with GPS capability, enables staffers to track golfers and offer help or advice if needed.
The course offers 18 holes, including the Woodside Course and the Waterside Course. A third course, the Dune Course, is currently under construction. Golf is integral to the community at Baywood Greens, and players can drive everywhere in their carts, including to the clubhouse and other facilities.
Baywood Greens also offers tailored golf packages, which include a stay at one of the facility’s brand-new “golf home vacation rentals,” where players can relax in luxury between rounds of golf. The homes are only a short golf-cart ride from The Clubhouse at Baywood, the driving range and the Baywood Pro Shop.
There are also regular golf leagues and frequent tournaments. It’s a course with challenge and exceptional charm, said Tony, but it also has the feeling of community among the players, many of whom are frequent guests, full-time or part-time residents he knows well.
“I know a lot of them,” said Tony, calling out to several by name on a drive around the course. “There are a lot of nice people. They’re just so happy to be here.”
THE COMMUNITY, THE CLUBHOUSE AND SPECIAL EVENTS
At Baywood Greens, the small-town lifestyle of yesteryear is melded with every modern convenience. All of the homes have front porches, many of them wrap-around style, some even on a second story. The lots are smaller and close to the street, and there are large areas of open space. All of it encourages a sense of belonging, Robert said.
“I think that’s one of the draws,” he added. “You do get a sense of community. There’s a lot of socialization.”
Residents organize many of their own community events, plus Baywood Greens and SoDel Concepts hold everything from a Fourth of July cookout to “Movie on the Green” events, with big-screen movie showings on the lawn.
Residents, along with the general public, can dine at The Clubhouse at Baywood, with its spacious lobby and sprawling veranda spectacularly decorated according to the season. There, they can enjoy coastal cuisine created by a highly trained chef who serves it with a simple elegance.
Open for lunch and dinner daily and brunch on Sundays, the restaurant is surrounded by stunning views of the golf course. The seasonal displays of flowers and lush greenery are so meticulously maintained, even garden clubs come to tour the grounds. It’s all part of the
SoDel Concepts family of restaurants, which owns nine other coastal restaurants in Delaware.
“It’s been a great venture for us, as well,” said Danielle Pannarello, director of operations for SoDel Concepts. “Our chef really is spectacular.”
Indeed, lunchtime guests pour into The Clubhouse at Baywood, even on a weekday. Not only do Baywood Greens residents and the general public dine here, the venue frequently hosts corporate retreats, bridal showers, celebrations of life, reunions and wine parties. Additionally, in 2017, about three-dozen weddings were held at the resort, where the ballroom can accommodate 250 guests.
‘EVERYONE IS HAPPY’
In all, Baywood Greens is known as an event and vacation treasure in Sussex County, one the fastest-growing areas in Delaware and wildly popular with residents of urban areas of Northern Virginia and Washington, DC, among others. With taxes very low compared with neighboring states, many urbanites have purchased second homes and retirement homes here.
Baywood keeps several vacation homes for anyone considering purchasing a home there, making it easy to sample the laid-back but luxurious and rewarding life at a major resort golf community near the beach.
“You see it with the residents; everyone is happy being here,” Robert said.