My Grandpa taught me how to hunt and fish. To this day, those are my two favorite activities besides playing golf. Though he passed a long time ago, I distinctly remember him telling stories of hunting Ruffed Grouse in Maine’s Northwoods. Tales of great dogs, fine shotguns, and camaraderie have romanticized our nation’s northernmost state for me. Unfortunately, those whims from long ago are the closest I’ve ever come to visiting Maine.
While an October Maine grouse hunt is a bucket list item, I’ve heard nothing but tremendous things about the state’s golf courses. I wanted to learn a little more, so I did what I always do, I reached out to our readers for help. Their feedback came swiftly and was nothing short of plentiful like always.
Sugarloaf Golf Club
During the winter, Sugarloaf Golf Club is caked in snow. During this time of year, the area’s visitors are hitting the slopes on the nearby mountain. Come spring however, Sugarloaf Golf Club is the center of attention.
Designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., Sugarloaf is classic mountain golf. Tremendous elevation changes abound, and sloping fairways make for some uneven lives.
I wouldn’t recommend trying to walk this course, the changes in elevation are more suited for a mountain goat.
The views are some of the best in North America so be sure to bring your camera.
If you have a junior with you, play after 2:00pm when juniors play for free.
Sunday River Golf Club
Sunday River is one of the most scenic golf courses in all of New England.
Another Robert Trent Jones Jr. design, 18 holes make their way through a dramatic mountain setting. Bring your camera for this round too as the Mahoosuc range is breathtakingly beautiful.
Down below, the Sunday River Valley is full of lush green meadows and verdant fir trees.
This course doesn’t claim to be the most difficult course in the world. Rather, the emphasis is on fun.
As far as I can tell, this course looks amazing.
Falmouth Country Club
Even though Falmouth Country Club is one of the premier private clubs in Maine, it’s open to the public as well.
Known as Maine’s “premier competitive venue,” Falmouth Country Club is a player’s course.
Tree lined fairways and small, undulating greens mean you’ll have to bring your best stuff from tee to green.
Even though this track is playable for anybody, it’s most enjoyed by better players.
Mere Creek Golf Club
Located in the quaint community of Brunswick Landing, Mere Creek is one of the most recognized municipal courses in Maine.
Built in 1958, the course retains its original design features to this day. That means narrow fairways and small greens.
The course is meant to be enjoyable. And that’s what everyone that plays this course seems to think.
The perfect spot for a casual round of golf with family or friends at a reasonable price.
Cape Neddick Country Club
Voted “Maine’s most welcoming golf course,” there’s no such thing as a bad day at Cape Neddick.
The fairways and greens are bent grass which is something you won’t find too often in Maine. The surfaces are a dream to play off and the course is always in tiptop shape.
Cape Neddick was designed by Donald Ross and dates all the way back to 1919. The old school design has narrow fairways and small, crowned greens. Stay below hole.
If you’re a fan of classic layouts, Cape Neddick is a must play.
Sunset Ridge Golf Course
Sunset Ridge is touted as one of the best nine-hole layouts in the state. You know I’m a huge fan of special nine-hole tracks.
Risk and reward can be found on almost every hole at Sunset Ridge. That alone makes it fun to play.
The views aren’t anything to sneeze at either. This is Northwoods golf at it’s best.
Located just a short 10-minute drive from Portland, Sunset Ridge is a fun, affordable option for anybody.
Nonesuch River Golf Club
Built on a beautiful 203 acres of hardwood forest in Southern Maine, Nonesuch River is a preferred public course in the Portland area.
Known for being in supreme condition during the peak season, you’ll find plenty of character at Nonesuch River.
Classic target golf dictates you find the fairways off the tee and play smart approaches into the greens.
If you’re looking to improve your game, the course’s two PGA Professionals are renowned as some of the best teachers in the region.
An affordable round and pleasant views of Nonesuch River make this course an excellent choice.
Blink Bonnie Links
I don’t know about you, but I’m always on the lookout for hidden gems. Blink Bonnie Links fits that bill.
This seaside links layout is only nine holes. That’s ok though, it’s been a locals’ favorite since 1916.
Views of the rugged Maine coast and Flounders Bay can be had from every hole.
The bent grass greens are fast and true.
If you happen to swing by in the afternoon on a Wednesday, have a blast with some locals playing in the twilight scramble.
Fox Ridge Golf Club
Variety is the spice of life and that certainly holds true at Fox Ridge Golf Club. Right and left, up and down, you might get a little dizzy playing this course for the first time.
The mixture of holes is what makes this place special though. Each hole lends itself to risk and reward strategy. Fox Ridge even features the only island green in Maine.
Don’t be surprised if you’re visited by whitetail deer, black bears, or even a moose during your round. Wildlife abounds.
Known for being in outstanding shape, Fox Ridge sounds like a round not to be forgotten.
The Links at Outlook
If you’re a fan of seaside links, don’t forget about the Links at Outlook. This course is considered one of the truest links layouts in the Northeast.
Rolling hills and sea breezes are the norm here.
Fescue lined fairways and eyebrow bunkers frame this course that makes you feel like you’re playing in the British Isles.
Maybe golf isn’t the choice for everyone in your party. Not to worry, there’s plenty of other activities in the area to take in.
As I said, I have an idealized, romantic idea of what Maine holds even though I’ve never been there. Sure, the stories my Grandad used to spin about hunting in the Northwoods are still a vivid and pleasant memory. More and more however, I’ve realized that Maine is filled with storied iconic golf.
A special thanks to our many readers that provided so much valuable insight about the state’s public tracks. You’re the ones that made this article possible and I couldn’t be more thankful.