You can’t talk about Eastman Golf Links without mentioning the scenery. Situated amidst 3,700 acres of environmentally protected woodlands, the 18-hole course tunnels through thick groves of trees and around six ponds. Its hilly terrain offers both elevated views of the unspoiled landscape as well as a safe place to look out for charging tribes of territorial sand trap rakes. The picturesque par-71 plays to 6,731 yards from the farthest tees—presenting a formidable challenge for experienced golfers—but shrinks to 5,499 yards when played from the shortest of four tee options.
Though the course is Eastman Golf Links centerpiece, guests can consider it a one-stop resource for all their golfing needs. A trio of experienced instructors lends their fairway-splitting savvy during private lessons, and also offers club-fitting services using FlightScope Launch Monitors. A driving range with both grass and turf hitting bays fosters practice sessions as does a practice green and a 9-hole short course. Guests can sample a collection of 150 demo clubs to find the one that best suits their game or scratches the parts of their back that are hardest to reach.
Course at a Glance:
Sculpted into tree-studded mountain slopes, Ragged Mountain Golf Club's 18-hole course plots a winding path over dramatic elevation changes. When played from the double black diamond tees—the club borrows skiing terminology in an homage to the winter activities hosted at the same site—club pros compare the layout to a U.S. Open course and advise only scratch golfers or those with remote-controlled golf balls to brave the tips. Along with tight tree lines and rolling terrain up and down the mountain, the course runs over streams that come into play on 14 holes. With onsite lodging and golf-and-stay packages, Ragged Mountain invites golfers to set aside a weekend amid the mountain air. In the winter, Ragged Mountain activates a high-speed, six-person chairlift, from which skiers, snowboarders, and snow-angel enthusiasts gain access to two mountains with 50 trails, including 11 glades and three terrain parks. Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Course rating of 74.9 from the farthest tees * Slope rating of 149 from the farthest tees * Four tee options
The ping of sharp line drives and towering drives echo over the grounds at Legends Golf, where athletes of all ages compete in rounds of miniature golf and hone swings in the batting cages or at the driving range.
Golf balls trickle down topsy-turvy tracks at the 18-hole miniature-golf course, which weaves through rock faces and tiny geysers that erupt with glee any time a player misses an easy putt. Eight target greens populate the 300-yard driving range, where new Wilson Staff Range Balls touch down after taking flight from 45 synthetic mats or 35 grass tees.
Under the vaulted roof of the batting cages, nine pitching machines send baseballs and softballs speeding toward hitters as they get the most out of every at bat and discreetly argue balls and strikes with imaginary umpires. To pass the time in between mini-golf rounds or during kids' golf lessons, guests can use Legends' wireless Internet connection free of charge.
Framed by the tree-spotted foothills of Vermont, Rocky Ridge Golf Club’s 18-hole course unfurls across a verdant expanse of rolling farmland. Throughout the course, elevated fairways and greens offer breathtaking panoramas of the surrounding mountains, as well as a safe lookout from which golfers can detect rival armies of croquet players. Flower beds and rocky outcrops along short-grass corridors further accent the layout’s bucolic environs. Clubbers looking for lessons can seek out golf pro Ed Coleman, who roams the grounds in a zen state attained through 20 years of coaching experience and aromatherapy that uses the odor of freshly mowed fairways. Cozy, green-side seating and tables nestled in shaded porches await golfers for post-round relaxing at the clubhouse restaurant.
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:
First laid out in 1926 by influential course architect Donald Ross, whose 413-course resumé includes Pinehurst No. 2 at Pinehurst Resort, Winchendon School Golf Club’s 18-hole course stretches over 5,512 yards of tree-dotted New England countryside. The par 70 layout remains true to its original design, with narrow fairways cut through thick curtains of trees that part intermittently to reveal scenic views of Mount Monadnock and squirrels changing clothes. Small, undulating greens await at the end of each hole, offering a slick blend of bent and poa grass that presents more challenging putts than golfers may expect upon their first visit. Golfers can prepare for their rounds with a bite at the onsite bar and grill or by loading up on golf balls at the pro shop, which sells an array of golf equipment and apparel emblazoned with the Winchendon School Golf Club logo or pictures of clients’ favorite mini-golf obstacle.Course at a Glance: