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.
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:
White pines, hemlocks, and white birches flourish on the 140 acres of New England countryside that golf-course architect Ted Manning—a Robert Trent Jones protégé—and US Women’s Open champ Mary Mills sculpted into a championship golf course for Townsend Ridge Country Club. Golfers can leave breadcrumb trails to find their way back as they swing through the forested links, hitting over the stream that splits the 3rd hole’s ryegrass fairway before heading uphill on a 474-yard, par-5 12th hole. The course’s signature par-4 14th hole demands a cautious approach, as balls that land past the pin find themselves rolling down a steep slope. At last, with the clubhouse in sight, golfers finish up at the 18th by launching their balls over a pond to land on a double green shared with hole 9.
Although it’s a daily-fee course, Townsend Ridge creates the feel of a private club with a driving range hemmed by 35 hitting stations and a pro shop that hosts two swing simulators. These let players keep in shape during wintery months by tackling digital recreations of the links at Pebble Beach and St. Andrews. For more structured practice sessions, golfers can join lessons and get professional answers as to what’s the best grip for hitting out of the sand and what kind of bird lays golf balls.
Course at a Glance:
Golf, swimming, summer camp, and weddings: these disparate activities and events all take place at Groton Pool and Golf Center, a city-owned recreational venue. Here, guests can head to the nine-hole, links-style golf course for a heated game or practice for an underwater marathon in the Olympic-sized pool. During school's off-season, youngsters can partake in Groton's summer camp programs that instill tennis, golf, and swimming skills that help boost self-confidence. The verdant, undulating grounds also make an ideal backdrop to events such as weddings and graduation parties.
There are 55 trails to the bottom of Ragged Mountain, and all involve gliding along fresh powdery snow. The routes range from beginner to black diamond, with a vertical drop of 1,250 feet. Ragged Mountain also hosts three terrain parks, which sprawl across 220 acres for all abilities, a new beginners area, new tubing park, and snowmakers provide 85% coverage on the days when the sky decides not to cry snowflakes. Six lifts, including one rare six-seat unit, glide up through the cool air, carrying riders back to the mountaintop. For guests who’d like to stay overnight, Ragged Mountain partners with local bed-and-breakfast establishments to keep guests and their skis well rested.
Twin Springs Golf Course presents memorable shot-making challenges in a nine-hole, par 34 course that meanders through tree-speckled meadowland and small, rolling hills. The course's two eponymous springs come into play on all but three holes, forcing players to fight off swirling winds, large sand traps, and the impulse to chop down intervening trees with underperforming irons. At Twin Springs' signature hole, the 318-yard, par 4 sixth, golfers can opt to reach the green in two with conservative, 150-yard shots around a dog-leg left fairway or go for the green in one by cutting the corner with a Herculean drive that must soar over a gallery of towering pine trees. Golfers can stretch their swing at Twin Springs' driving range, where PGA teaching professional Bob Keene presides over private and group lessons. The aromas of sandwiches and appetizers emanate from the Twin Springs Bar & Cafe, which lets guests enjoy a post-round nosh while watching live sports or catching a cool breeze on the spacious outdoor deck. Visitors can also relax in the club’s new lounge or host small events such as a bridal shower, birthday party, or team meeting in the banquet space.