Donald Ross, America's first great golf course architect and designer of legendary loops such as Pinehurst No. 2 and Seminole Golf Club, had a way with the land. He seemed to be able to bend the earth to his will. Where lesser architects might have just laid down a bunch of green yoga mats, Ross punctuated the landscape with subtle, artful flourishes – such as crowned “turtle back” greens and deep bunkers – that were perfectly integrated into the landscape. These nuanced touches can be witnessed at Orchards Golf Club, a 1922 Ross creation. The famed designer splayed the 18-hole course across 160 acres of terrain marked by dense forest groves and an enduring mystique, attributes that earned the course hosting duties for the 2002 NCAA Women's Championship and 2004 USGA Women's Open Championship.
Course at a Glance:
The course at East Mountain Country Club escorts golfers over lush fairways buffered by thick groves of pinewood forest. In order to challenge the par of 71, golfers must tread carefully over 6,010 yards of golf anchored by SR 7200 velvet bentgrass greens. The putting surface grows in thick to keep out weeds and magical beanstalks, allowing a smooth roll. Course manager and PGA Professional Ted Perez Jr. conducts lessons on East Mountain's driving range and putting and chipping greens. His teaching philosophy emanates from 34 years of golf instruction, centering on improvement of the short game and fundamental mechanics in order to achieve lower scores. Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 71 course * Total length of 6,010 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 68.8 from the back tees * Course slope of 120 from the back tees * Three sets of tees per hole
Gardner Municipal’s par 71 course takes golfers on an 18-hole odyssey through immaculate fairways hugging the north end of Crystal Lake’s waters. Astride a whirring golf cart or advancing on foot, golfers bob and weave through the course’s tight tree lines, rein in wayward balls, and bribe woodland creatures to improve their lie. Rounds reach their crescendo at the 538-yard, par 5 seventh hole, where drives must trace the fairway as it doglegs to the left while avoiding a vanguard of towering trees along the left side of the fairway.
A multifaceted training area fosters straighter swings and confident putts with a three-tiered practice green and a two-level driving range with space dedicated for long drives, shorter iron shots, and blindfolded sprints through the barrage of practice shots.
Gardner Municipal Golf Course showcases the latest golf styles and equipment in Ben Egan's Golf Shop, which is run by a savvy staff that will help golfers find the clubs and clothes that best suit their style. William's Restaurant and Tavern awaits greenside, where golfers can peruse a menu of prime meat cuts and savory grill fare while deciding whether or not spinach leaves would make a good putting surface.
Course at a Glance:
With five distinct courses etched into the New England countryside, Sterling Golf Management promotes pin-hunting recreation for Boston-area golfers of all abilities. The longest and most difficult of the five, The Shattuck Golf Club's 18-hole course kicks off with a 409-yard par 4 where players hack their way toward a green that is visually wreathed by the rising red rocks of Mount Monadnock, setting the tone for a scenic, 6,764-yard round. Groves of trees ensconce the fairways and barter over carbon dioxide at Norwood Country Club's recently renovated course, a relatively flat layout characterized by smallish greens and flanked by a lighted driving range. Designed in 1921 in the Donald Ross tradition is Maynard Golf Course, a picturesque par 70, 9-hole course with a full-service clubhouse. The same sylvan makeup returns at Newton Commonwealth's course, where lush tree lines cast shadows over a creek as it snakes across the fairways of seven holes. Rounding out the grassy quartet, Chelmsford's nine-hole course takes golfers careening across 2,467 yards of narrow fairways, placing straight drives or skilled golf ball pilots at a premium.
Skyline Country Club is a semi-private club that welcomes golfers with sweeping views of the Berkshire mountains and glimmering waters that intersect the grounds. Elevation changes and blind tee shots are frequent throughout the 6,075-yard course, as seen on the 4th hole, which rewards precise tee shots of roughly 110–165 yards with an easy 110-yard shot to the green. The par 5 12th, the course's most difficult hole, forces players to drive onto a tight fairway along the straight 490-yard layout that ends with a false front, a greenside slope that often tricks golfers and sends balls rolling back toward the player like an industrial-grade pop-a-shot. After finishing the course with two consecutive par 4's, golfers can retire to the Club's pub for drinks and eats on the open-air deck, which offers views of the surrounding landscape.
Course at a Glance:
Rolling hills, towering pine trees, and burbling streams convene on Shaker Farms Country Club's 18-hole course as it gently rises and falls across 6,285 yards of bucolic terrain. Golfers must be mindful of a tranquil creek that runs in a wishbone pattern throughout the course, as its rippling waters—which come into play on eight holes—are often camouflaged by grassy banks and waterfowl that snack on errant golf balls. The distinct farmland layout conjures a sense of rustic antiquity, a characteristic furthered by the presence of a dilapidated farmhouse on the par 4 second hole. Clubbers hoping to gain control over runaway swings can warm up at the driving range or tap their spikes together three times to summon seasoned ace Keith Ornelas, who roams the club's verdant hillsides on a never-ending quest to vanquish mulligans once and for all. Alongside its verdant golf course, Shaker Farms boasts tennis courts and a versatile array of dining options.
Course at a Glance: