I’ve spent minimal time in New England. When it comes to Massachusetts specifically, my travels have been limited to Boston for work. No golf unfortunately. My wife has been on girl’s trips a few times in the fall. You know, the kind where they look at the changing leaves, run up credit card bills buying useless trinkets, and spend too much time at the spa. Every time she goes, I ask her if she learned anything about the area’s golf course. I get the same dismissive answer every time along with a mind-boggling credit card statement.
In my head, I’ve romanticized golf in New England. This is where some of the country’s oldest, most iconic courses are. Someday, I’m going to make the trip and my wife can stay home with the kids.
In that spirit, I consulted our readers in the Northeast for their thoughts on Massachusetts’ best public tracks. As usual, there was no shortage of feedback.
Let’s dive in.
The Ranch Golf Club
Located in the town of Southwick, our readers say The Ranch is one of the best layouts in the state.
This semi-private design sits on the site of a border dispute between Mass and Connecticut that dates all the way back to 1642. The site is known as the Southwick Jog.
Carved out of dense hardwood forest, The Ranch is touted for its immaculate condition and thoughtful design.
The fairways are generous and fair. Should you stray too far from center however, trouble lurks.
Green complexes are where the real fun begins. Varied in size but featuring plenty of contour, you’ll need to pay close attention to the hole locations.
Even though this is a modern design, it’s steeped in history that’s centuries old. Sounds like a must play.
Designed by David Berelson and opened in 1969, Crumpin-Fox was originally called the “Field of Dreams.” The goal was to create a Pine Valley of the North.
The course underwent an extensive renovation in 1990, but the original integrity remains intact to this day. The only difference is that irrigation system, amenities, and turf conditions have been upgraded. The redesign was done to restore those features enveloped in the original design plan.
Our readers say this place is downright cool. Unusual for the Northeast, the fairways here are bent grass. That means perfect playing conditions during the prime months of spring, summer, and fall.
This course will challenge you in every facet of the game. The more I hear, the more excited I get.
Kings Way Golf Club
Kings Way is on Cape Cod. My wife has been here, and my credit card statement is all the proof I need. But hey, if she’s been here, it’s for a reason. Cape Cod sounds like a place I need to go too.
Kings Way is one of the newer venues on Cape Cod. In fact, it’s only 33 years old.
Despite all that, regulars swear by this track that measures a touch under 4,000 yards and plays to a par of 60.
Oh boy, this is right up my alley. Quaint and quirky New England golf at it’s finest.
Sounds like the perfect spot for the family, a buddies’ trip, or just about anything in between. I can’t wait.
Squirrel Run Golf Course
By now, our readers know that I’m a huge fan of courses that are different from the norm. Squirrel Run fits the bill.
Another executive course with a par of 57, everyone insists this course is full of character.
I get the sense this place is a hidden secret that doesn’t see a lot of outside traffic.
Even though seeing is believing, I have a feeling this place is one any newcomer will remember.
Boston Golf Club
Honor and tradition. Those are the words that our readers used to describe Boston Golf Club.
Even though this track is semi-private, it’s available to the public and guys like you and I are welcome with open arms.
This is a classic design that’s so good, it hasn’t needed to be changed to fit what we now call the modern game. Classic target golf with all the subtle nuances you could ever want.
If you’re a fan of old-school, well thought out, classic designs, Boston Golf Club has it all.
For any golf purest, this is a track to be remembered.
The Brookside Club
Cape Cod, here we go again. The more I read about golf here, the more excited I get. The Brookside Club is no exception.
Located an hour from both Boston and Providence, this facility has the feeling of a private club. The staff doesn’t overlook any detail in the total experience.
The course was designed by John Hurzdan and opened in 1986. Generous fairways meander through stately hardwood forests and elevation changes afford views of the surrounding coast.
Even though this course is a bit of drive from the city, locals insist that it’s more than worth the trip.
Wahconah Country Club
Located in the east half of Berkshire County, Wahconah Country Club is one of the best kept secrets in Mass. It’s been ranked the ”4th Best of the Top 25 Courses in New England” by Golf Advisor.
Wayne Stiles designed this track that dates all the way back to 1928. Believe it or not, this was a favorite course of Bobby Jones when he was in the Northeast. He played his last round of golf here on August 15, 1948.
As you might suspect, this course is old school in its design. The layout isn’t all that long, but the fairways are narrow and the greens small. Precision is key.
Even though this course has undergone some upgrades and improvements over the years, it still retains a sense of ancient wonder and a storied history.
Country Club of Halifax
The Country Club of Halifax opened its doors in 1966. The Phil Wogan layout is a classic New England design with tree lined fairways and small, sloping greens.
Even though this club maintains a private membership, the public is more than welcome.
Known for its pristine condition, the Country Club of Halifax is a favorite for both locals and visitors.
Despite its name, I’m told Shanks Restaurant boasts some of the finest post-round fare to be found anywhere.
Ledges Golf Club
The mission of the staff at the Ledges Golf Club is to provide each and every guest with the best possible experience, while being stewards of the land, and bringing value to the community of South Hadley. By all accounts, this facility more than lives up to its name.
Diversity in design is what makes Ledges a fun and memorable round of golf. Changes in elevation and well-contoured holes provide plenty of challenge for the best of players while multiple sets of tees are great for beginners.
Bordering the Connecticut River, this course offers outstanding views of the surrounding countryside. If you play here in the fall, be sure to bring your camera as the foliage is spectacular.
More than worth the price of admission, don’t miss Ledges Golf Club.
Westborough Golf Club
One of the best values in all of Mass is Westborough Golf Club.
Even though the course is only nine holes, it’s not short on character by any means. What our readers love about this course is the pace of play. If you take more than two hours for nine holes, chances are you’ll kindly be asked to pick it up a touch.
The course is easily walkable, and the design is right in front of you. If you’re accurate off the tee and into the greens, you can have a good day out here. If you get on the top side of the hole however, saving par becomes a challenge.
Great golf at a reasonable price, I’m buying what they’re selling.
Next time anyone in my family heads to New England, it’s going to be me. And yes, I’m taking my clubs. My wife has spent plenty of time, and money here on her girls’ pilgrimages. It’s my turn.
There’s more than enough great golf to play in a single trip but I’d sure like to scratch the surface.
And of course, there’s golf on Cape Cod. That’s definitely going to happen.
Per usual, you guys came through in a big way. As I stare over at my clubs collecting dust in the corner over the long winter, my mind starts to wonder like that of a kid on Christmas. Soon enough, we’ll be hitting the open road. I can’t wait.