Gardner Municipal’s par 71 course takes golfers on an 18-hole odyssey through immaculate, well-maintained fairways hugging the north end of Crystal Lake’s waters. Astride a whirring golf cart or advancing on foot, golfers bob and weave through the course’s tight tree lines, rein in wayward balls, and bribe woodland creatures to improve their lie. Rounds reach their crescendo at the 538-yard, par 5 seventh hole, where drives must trace the fairway as it doglegs to the left while avoiding a vanguard of towering trees along the left side of the fairway.
A multifaceted training area fosters straighter swings and confident putts with a three-tiered practice green and a two-level driving range with space dedicated for long drives, shorter iron shots, and blindfolded sprints through the barrage of practice shots.
Gardner Municipal Golf Course showcases the latest golf styles and equipment in Dan Berry's Golf Shop, which is run by a savvy staff that will help golfers find the clubs and clothes that best suit their style. Zoe's 19th Hole Restaurant and Bar awaits greenside, where golfers can peruse a menu of savory grill fare while deciding whether or not spinach leaves would make a good putting surface.
Course at a Glance:
18-hole, par 71 course
Length of 6,131 yards from the farthest tees
Course rating of 69.8 from the farthest tees
Slope of 128 from the farthest tees
Four tee options for golfers of all abilities
First laid out in 1926 by influential course architect Donald Ross, whose 413-course resumé includes Pinehurst No. 2 at Pinehurst Resort, Winchendon Golf Club’s 18-hole course stretches over 5,512 yards of tree-dotted New England countryside. The par 70 layout remains true to its original design, with narrow fairways cut through thick curtains of trees that part intermittently to reveal scenic views of Mount Monadnock and squirrels changing clothes. Small, undulating greens await at the end of each hole, offering a slick blend of bent and poa grass that presents more challenging putts than golfers may expect upon their first visit. Golfers can prepare for their rounds with a bite at the onsite bar and grill or by loading up on golf balls at the pro shop, which sells an array of golf equipment and apparel emblazoned with the Winchendon Golf Club logo or pictures of clients’ favorite mini-golf obstacle.
Course at a Glance:
Designed in 1926 by Donald Ross
18-hole, par 70 course
Length of 5,512 yards from the farthest tees
Course rating of 67.8 from the farthest tees
Slope rating of 122 from the farthest tees
Bent- and poa-grass greens
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
With beautiful greens and scenic views, The Woods of Westminster Golf Course in Westminster is one of the finest golf courses in the area.
Parking is plentiful, so guests can feel free to bring their vehicles.
Named after the majestic red-tailed hawks that soar serenely overhead, the course is crafted from a site of natural beauty. Down on the ground, Red Tail has soared metaphorically, with plenty of press and awards to back up its status as one of the best golf clubs
in Massachusetts and New England.
The course flows over rolling wooded hills and meanders among numerous streams and ponds. The terrain varies from classic New England landscapes of maples, birches and oaks to tall grasses and sands evoking coastal courses. Each hole has an individual character and name, such as “Bunkers”, from which old Army ammunition bunkers can still be seen off the right fairway. It is nearly impossible to pick a signature hole because there are so many choices.
Course at a Glance
18-hole, par 72 course
Total of 7,006 yards from the back tees
Five tees per hole