With six 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 six, 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. The newest member to the Sterling Golf Management team is the Rockland course, where 18 par-3 holes wind between tall oaks for a picturesque par-54 round. Designed in 1921 in the Donald Ross tradition is the 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 sextet, 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.
Though most fairways and greens lie dormant during the winter chill, Rod's Golf Improvement Center's spring to life year-round. Here, golfers can land birdies and pars during rounds at famous courses vividly replicated by three golf simulators. Golfers can also fine-tune their game at driving nets or the practice putting green, which allows them to stop carefully trimming their home's carpets with scissors.
PGA-certified pro Rod Van Guilder oversees the entire operation, and zeroes in on helping golfers sharpen their skills during lessons and club-fitting services. For those looking to upgrade their gear, the center sells golf equipment and repairs broken clubs.
Nestled within 164 acres of mature pine trees and hardwood forest, the secluded golf course at Quail Ridge Country Club surrounds visitors in natural splendor. Course architect Mark Mungeam of Cornish, Silva, and Mungeam, Inc., designed the fairways to harmonize with the naturally rolling terrain, where occasional stone walls line the edges of what were once farmers? fields. After teeing off, players choose carefully among their bag?s fairway woods, long irons, and golf-ball-sized blowguns as they confront a first hole whose fairway unfurls over nearly 365 uphill yards. The course doesn?t let up after that?recently redesigned as a 9-hole, par 70 championship layout, it keeps golfers on their toes right up to the end of each round.
Off the course, players gain the skills needed to meet such challenges by frequenting the chipping area or practice putting green. During lessons held in these practice spots, head teaching pro John Carco harnesses more than 15 years of experience to help students eliminate slice and perfect their swing. The country club?s family center hosts a snack bar where golfers can fuel up for a round, stash their belongings in lockers, or build ball-driving muscles at the fitness center.
Just a hop and a skip from the family center, the club?s 3,200-square-foot outdoor pool entices visitors of all stripes with its widely varied facilities. Athletes zip down 75-foot swim lanes, parents and kids splash in a baby pool with zero-grade entry, and sunbathers bask on more than 4,500 square feet of deck. On four adjacent tennis courts, serves rebound off of Har-Tru clay surfaces, and windscreens keep out distracting breezes and lost pool-goers murmuring "Marco?" Additionally, Quail Ridge is currently offering FootGolf, a combination of golf and soccer.
As one of the only PGA-recognized indoor golf facilities in Massachusetts, Big Sticks Indoor Golf provides many of the same skill-honing luxuries as a quality golf course. Here, visitors can develop consistent swing mechanics, practice their short or long game, and receive PGA-certified instruction?the only difference is they can do it all year round, even when it's snowing outside or the streets are running red with molten lava.
Owner and PGA Class-A professional Terry Felty?an award-winning instructor and Titleist Performance Institute Certified Golf Fitness Instructor?heads the facility's instructors, who utilize the latest technology to help improve scores for golfers of all skills and ages. ASTAR and JC video swing analysis, Ag studio, and GC2 with HMT launch monitors provide visual reference as well as ball-flight feedback. This is also evident in Big Sticks' use of high-tech simulators, which use stunning graphics to replicate some of the world's most renowned courses, including the TPC Scottsdale, Pebble Beach, and many more.
To understand the origins of Red Tail Golf Club's name, just look upwards: that's where majestic red-tailed hawks soar above the region. Down on the ground, Red Tail has soared metaphorically, with plenty of press and awards to back up its status as one of the state's best golf clubs.
The 18-hole, par 72 course embodies classic New England terrain with rows of maple trees, birches, oaks, and pines. Still, other areas are mnemonic of the coast thanks to areas of ample sand and tall grasses. Cleverly named holes help break up the course even further, such as "Bunkers," a chunk of land that was once populated with ammunition storage bunkers?some of which can still be seen to the right of the green.
Course at a Glance * 18-hole, par 72 course * Total of 7,006 yards from the back tees * Five tees per hole * Scorecard
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: * 18-hole, par-70 course * Length of 6,188 yards * Course rating of 70.2 * Slope rating of 125 * Three tee options