Hampshire Greens Golf Course - 11th hole
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Hampshire Greens Golf Course - 11th hole
Hampshire Greens Golf Course has a beautiful collection of par-3 holes, all straightforward and playing over scrub-filled vegetation basins. Kevin Dunleavy/Golf Advisor
Hampshire Greens G.C. - 1st hole
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Hampshire Greens G.C. - 1st hole
Hampshire Greens Golf Course opens with a green complex typical of the course, guarded by a sprawling, deep bunker. Kevin Dunleavy/Golf Advisor
Hampshire Greens Golf Course - 2nd hole
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Hampshire Greens Golf Course - 2nd hole
At 578 yards, the second hole at Hampshire Green Golf Course is the longest par 5 and completely visible from the tee. With a narrowing fairway, it provides an interesting decision on the second shot. Kevin Dunleavy/Golf Advisor
Hampshire Greens G.C. - no. 2
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Hampshire Greens G.C. - no. 2
The vegetation-filled basin that fronts the second hole at Hampshire Greens Golf Course is nice to look at but tough to play from. Kevin Dunleavy/Golf Advisor
Hampshire Greens Golf Course - 4th hole
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Hampshire Greens Golf Course - 4th hole
The 202-yard fourth at Hampshire Greens Golf Course requires a shot over knee-high fescue grass and a yawing bunker. Kevin Dunleavy/Golf Advisor
Hampshire Greens G.C. - 5th hole
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Hampshire Greens G.C. - 5th hole
The 417-yard fifth is one of the most demanding at Hampshire Greens Golf Course, with a tee shot over water and an approach to a raised, bunker-guarded green. Kevin Dunleavy/Golf Advisor
Hampshire Greens Golf Course - 6th hole
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Hampshire Greens Golf Course - 6th hole
Even with a wedge at the par-5 sixth at Hampshire Greens Golf Course, hitting sloped green, guarded by deep, penal bunkers, is a difficult chore. Kevin Dunleavy/Golf Advisor
Hampshire Greens G.C. - 8th hole
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Hampshire Greens G.C. - 8th hole
No. 8 is the continuation of a theme on the par-3 holes at Hampshire Greens Golf Course -- over scrub and a daunting bunker. Kevin Dunleavy/Golf Advisor
Hampshire Greens Golf Course - 10th hole
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Hampshire Greens Golf Course - 10th hole
Some of the approaches at Hampshire Greens Golf Course, like this one at no. 10, are a mystery unless you've played the course. Kevin Dunleavy/Golf Advisor
Hampshire Greens G.C. - 12th hole
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Hampshire Greens G.C. - 12th hole
This shot at the 12th green -- a 544-yard par 5 -- is one players don't want to have at Hampshire Greens Golf Course in Silver Spring, Md. Kevin Dunleavy/Golf Advisor
Hampshire Greens Golf Course - 18th
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Hampshire Greens Golf Course - 18th
The tough tee shot on the 18th hole at Hampshire Greens Golf Course is the longest par 4 at 428 yards. Kevin Dunleavy/Golf Advisor
Hampshire Greens G.C. - 18th green
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Hampshire Greens G.C. - 18th green
Enjoy the flowers behind the green at no. 18 at Hampshire Greens Golf Course in Silver Spring, Md. Kevin Dunleavy/Golf Advisor
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Hampshire Greens Golf Course in Silver Spring, Maryland.: An upscale muni near Washington, D.C.

SILVER SPRING, Md. -- Ultra-liberal Montgomery County isn't the easiest place to build a golf course. Government regulations and environmental interests can stifle the development of even a municipal course.

And so it went with the creation of Hampshire Greens Golf Course, which took 14 long years.

When Hampshire Greens finally arrived in 1999, it was worth the wait. Today it remains the most modern and upscale of the courses in the portfolio of Montgomery County Golf.

Hampshire Greens is the centerpiece of a ritzy housing development, a quality course with excellent conditions and every bit worthy of its affluent zip code.

Designed by Lisa Maki, the course has dramatic twists and turns; canted fairways; deep, sprawling bunkers; undulating greens and several blind tee shots. Playing longer than its 6,837 yards, Hampshire Greens is a rigorous challenge, especially for a first-timer.

But there is no denying the thrill of the layout, as well as the convenience and the value provided by Montgomery County Golf's signature facility.

Kevin Dunleavy is a longtime resident of northern Virginia, a graduate of George Mason University, an award-winning reporter covering golf, colleges, and other sports for the Washington Examiner, and a single-digit handicap still seeking his elusive first hole-in-one. Follow Kevin on Twitter at @KDunleavy.

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Hampshire Greens Golf Course in Silver Spring, Maryland.: An upscale muni near Washington, D.C.