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
Established in 1896, The Country Club of Greenfield's rolling fairways challenge bands of comrades with an 18-hole, par 72 golf course. Teams of four enjoy a rollicking round of golf, traversing the course split up in two golf carts to ease the burdens of golf bags and to engage in fairway games of chicken. The course boasts 6,337 yards of golf from the longest tee, with a 69.2 course rating and a 117 slope rating. After tackling perilous obstacles such as sand traps, water hazards, and ball washers filled with maple syrup, friends can sip a drink in the full bar amid the dining room stocked with three TVs and outdoor seating with expansive views of the course.
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