In 1903, Orrin E. Smith sculpted a nine-hole course at Windsor Lake called North Adams Gentleman's Club, challenging golfers to take on its rolling terrain and bask in the peaceful effect of its verdant expanse. Though the name of the course has changed, the Berkshire Hills terrain remains a picturesque setting for players of all skill levels to enjoy golf as a relaxing pastime. A large lake forms the centerpiece of the course, forcing players to evade its watery reaches on holes four, seven, and nine, or risk donating their balls to the course historian holding court in his underwater lair.
Course at a Glance: * Nine-hole, par 36 course * Total length of 2,899 yards from back tees * Course rating of 67 from the back tees * Course slope of 119 from the back tees * Two sets of tees per hole * Designed by Orrin E. Smith
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: * 18-hole, par 71 course * Total length of 6,075 yards from the back tees * Three sets of tees per hole
When looking for the ideal person to design your golf course, you should always seek out someone with both expertise in course architecture and an intimate knowledge of the surrounding land. Fortunately, Mark Graves didn't have to look far to find a designer for his Edge Hill Golf Course; he already had both criteria himself. Mark grew up working on his family's dairy farm on a 150-acre plot in the Berkshires, knowledge which?coupled with a degree and career in course design?he used to convert the farmland into a course that opened in 1994.
Nine current holes wind through open and wooded spaces and rolling terrain into a challenging, 3,023-yard layout. In June of 2014, a back nine will open as well, completing the scenic 18-hole masterpiece that Mark had always envisioned. Though cows no longer roam the grounds whispering golf advice into people's ears, evidence of the land's heritage still exists, as the original barn now serves as the pro shop.
The nine-hole course at Northampton Country Club was carved into the countryside in 1898. Four sets of tees make each time-honored hole manageable, whether a player can hit the long ball or prefers to throw the ball toward the green. A river comes into play on two holes, and the wide fairways cut through regions of dense forest that can ensnare errant balls.
After a round, players can head to the recently renovated clubhouse to dine at the 19th Hole bar and grill and regale fellow visitors with tall tales of booming drives and the 3-foot putt that got away.
Course at a Glance: * Nine-hole, par 35 course * Total length of 3,041 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 69 from the back tees * Course slope of 119 from the back tees * Four sets of tees per hole
Ledges Golf Club is not your typical municipal golf course. Sure, its 18 holes sweep across 244 acres of Pioneer Valley land that belongs to taxpayers, but lumping it with other publicly owned courses wouldn't fully convey the thought that's been put into it. Founded in 2001, the course is a result of five years spent drawing up its hybrid layout and executing its private club-like atmosphere. In designing it, architect Howard Maurer sought to strike a balance between links-style holes and the woodland setting, as the course is surrounded by mountain ridges and protected wetlands that many species of wildlife call home. As partners in the Audubon International Cooperative Sanctuary Program, course superintendents preserve these natural surroundings by eschewing harmful pesticides and fertilizers on the fairways and hairsprays on the rough as they keep the course in pristine condition.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Total length of 6,507 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 72.2 from the back tees * Course slope of 133 from the back tees * Four sets of tees per hole * View the scorecard.
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: