Seasoned ace Jim Fenner steadies unstable swings and smoothens out wobbly putts with lessons tailored to individuals, groups, or players hoping to address specific ailments within their golf game. A veritable Johnny Appleseed of golf, the passionate pedagogue roams about courses and teaching centers throughout the greater Worcester area, spreading golf wisdom and burying dimpled orbs that soon blossom into VHS copies of The Legend of Bagger Vance. Clients can catch Jim refining pupils' motions at one of the area's outdoor ranges and courses on sunny days or remedying trust issues between clubs and their owner at the indoor golf simulator of The Perfect Game, where he hibernates during the off-season chill.
Twin Springs Golf Course presents memorable shot-making challenges in a nine-hole, par 34 course that meanders through tree-speckled meadowland and small, rolling hills. The course's two eponymous springs come into play on all but three holes, forcing players to fight off swirling winds, large sand traps, and the impulse to chop down intervening trees with underperforming irons. At Twin Springs' signature hole, the 318-yard, par 4 sixth, golfers can opt to reach the green in two with conservative, 150-yard shots around a dog-leg left fairway or go for the green in one by cutting the corner with a Herculean drive that must soar over a gallery of towering pine trees. Golfers can stretch their swing at Twin Springs' driving range, where PGA teaching professional Bob Keene presides over private and group lessons. The aromas of sandwiches and appetizers emanate from the Twin Springs Bar & Cafe, which lets guests enjoy a post-round nosh while watching live sports or catching a cool breeze on the spacious outdoor deck. Visitors can also relax in the club’s new lounge or host small events such as a bridal shower, birthday party, or team meeting in the banquet space.
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
Golfers across the handicap spectrum practice bogey-thwarting skills at Natick Golf Learning Center, where PGA- and LPGA-certified pros preside over a multifaceted outdoor practice facility. The center?s outdoor driving range offers 75 artificial and natural-grass hitting mats; two chipping greens, a putting green, and a practice bunker let players practice their finesse shots. During daily lessons, the pros enlist video analysis and other teaching aids to help pupils tackle new skills or correct recent on-course weaknesses.
Sandy Burr Country Club is a golf course in good company. It's among the nation's ever-dwindling stock of courses designed by Donald Ross, master architect of such notable courses as Pinehurst No. 2 and Inverness Club. The legendary designer unveiled the 18-holer in 1922, at the outset of the decade that would soon become known as the "Golden Era" of golf course design—due to the proliferation of course construction, not because stockbrokers refused to play with anything but golden clubs. Adding to the historical pedigree, professionals Walter Hagen and Gene Sarazen played the course in the 20s and 30s, even participating in the 1935 Massachusetts Open. Golfers today walk in their large footprints as they take on the 6,550-yard course and its three water hazards, before retiring to the English Tudor-style clubhouse—a charming piece of history in its own right.