A stately colonial clubhouse overlooks Ballymeade Country Club's 18-hole course, where golfers roam across a fertile expanse of rolling Cape Code terrain. The par 72 course presents undulating fairways that give way to multitier greens where even gentle putts send balls rolling over deviously steep slopes. As golf carts ascend to grassy hillcrests, golfers can bask in views of the surrounding landscape, such as the cerulean waters of Buzzards Bay, which is most visible from the 11th green. Journeys through the horticultural haven conclude with majestic flair at the 581-yard, par 5 18th hole, where the fairway doglegs right on its path to a large green stationed behind a small pond.
Stretching across immaculate greenery and pristine waters that run alongside Cape Cod’s Melody Tent, Twin Brooks Golf Course’s 18-hole, par 3 layout is a treat for players of all abilities. Only one hole exceeds 200 yards in length on the par 54 course, though the design still manages to fit in plenty of obstacles, including five ponds and 36 strategically placed sand traps, each one filled to the lip with soft Cape sand and disoriented sunbathers. Players who have stepped into the tee box recently may have noticed a difference: the teeing grounds have all been leveled, reshaped, and covered with new turf. The improvement is just one of many the course has undertaken in the last several months. Others include repairing the cart paths, upgrading the landscaping with railroad ties and new plantings, and reshaping the tree line along the fairways to make the course feel more open and remove potential obstructions. Players can expect a round to take between two and three hours, and Twin Brooks offers both pull carts and gas-powered carts for an additional fee.
An 18-hole layout that has earned plaudits from The Boston Globe and The New England Journal of Golf, Atlantic Country Club unfurls a circuit of bent-grass fairways and greens across 178 acres of rolling terrain. Mature trees pinch these fairways throughout the course, impeding the passage of wayward golf balls or carts hauling heavy loads of bacon to the clubhouse. The team behind these features is the prolific architectural trio of Cornish, Silva, and Mungeam, who designed the course to be a narrative. It begins with an easy starting hole, with the most difficult hole (the par-four 8th) positioned in the middle of the round. Games conclude with a dramatic finish at the 18th, a par-four known as being the second most difficult hole. After playing, golfers can relax at the bar and grille, where an outdoor deck overlooks the 9th and 18th greens.
The weather in Boston doesn’t always provide for ideal golfing conditions. In 2003, a record storm buried the city under nearly 28 inches of snow. Other years have simply been cold. In either case, On The Tee Indoor Golf Club lets players work on their swings year-round with an advanced golf simulator that re-creates some of the world's finest courses. Standing in front of a high-definition 14'x9' screen, golfers shoot actual balls as 3-D Doppler tracking radar—not unlike the radar used to track stray caddies—accurately follows the shots and relays the results within the simulated course. Computers also help visitors take their games to the next level during lessons with professional golfer Russell Quigg, who uses video-analysis software to diagnose and fix problems in players’ swings.
Incandescent fish, turtles, and dolphins illuminate the underwater-themed wonder worlds of Oceans 18’s glow-in-the-dark mini-golf course and two lanes of mini bowling that provide indoor fun year-round. Oceans 18 keeps links-lovers entertained with a full-size golf simulator while mini bowling promises all the fun of the alley without the hassle of wearing rental shoes or a bedazzled bowling glove. Patrons can also carry on their competitive spirit in Oceans 18’s extensive arcade.
Club members, golfers, and casual diners congregate in LeBaron Hills Country Club's 45,000-square-foot Cape Cod–style clubhouse nestled amid verdant fairways. As members luxuriate in steam rooms and bulk up in the health club, visitors chat in the fireside lounge while waiting on dining reservations. Inside Lilly's restaurant, patrons gaze on the golf course's 18th green while dining on a seasonal menu of sandwiches, steaks, and seafood and discussing whether jumbo shrimp or fried calamari would be easier to drive down the fairway.
Pembroke Country Club’s green, foliage-packed 6,532-yard course is known for its well-maintained landscaping, its challenging par 5 holes, and its sensual Jacuzzi water hazards. After warming up on the straight-shot first hole, you might find yourself sucker-punched by the well-bunkered third’s undulating green, leftward water hazard, and punishing par 3. If you thrive on challenge, attempt to go where eagles dare with the sharply dog-legged 561-yard 13th hole or the pond-sloping greens on the 11th. Navigating the extensive grounds in the included golf cart will keep fatigue to a minimum. To improve their odds of overcoming the course’s steepest obstacles, perfectionists can hone their wrist action at the practice area. Stock up on a last-minute package of golf tees at Pembroke's pro shop, as well as a replica of the golf clubs that Jimi Hendrix rebelliously set on fire at the Monterey Country Club.