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Boston Golf help.

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

End of May I will be traveling to Boston for business, but have two days that I can use to play golf.  I would like to stay within an hour each way travel time. Here are some options, and I would love to get some feedback if there are other recommendations.  


My home course is in the same network as Ipswich golf club, so I can essentially play for nothing.... Is this course worth the time?


The other courses I am considering are: Pine hills,Granite Links, and Shaker Hills


Obviously I would love to play The Country club, Boston Country Club, or the TPC Boston, I just dont know how strict the guest policy is.


Any recommendations are appreciated.  Thanks.



post #2 of 12

Pinehills and Granite Links should be at the top of your list, unless of course you can find a way into TPC or The Country Club, but I doubt that will happen.

post #3 of 12

I'd agree, both Granite Links and Pinehills (Jones course) are worth  playing and are within an hour from the city.  Shaker Hills has always been a favorite, although it might be over an hour from Boston.  Red Tail is next to SH as well and a good course too.  Don't count on getting into The Country Club or even TPC (although that's easier).  A few other courses to consider include Cyprian Keys and Blackstone National, but they're both over an hour from the city as well.  Good luck and enjoy your trip.

post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the feedback.  I have zero experience with New England golf.  Im pretty stoked to have the chance to play two courses there.  I do see that Cyprian and Blackstone are similar distances from Boston as Pine Hills.  Since Granite Links is so close I think that is a no brainer as first choice... Which of those three would you recommend for the second?  


If there is a definite must play within a few hours, I am willing to travel a bit more.  I just didnt see anything that jumped out as far a public golf goes.  Again thanks for the info. 

post #5 of 12

Granite Links is a great first choice. As stated above, the views are unbelievable looking back towards Boston.  I would probably say Pinehills (Jones course) is your best second choice.  Basically just drive past GL and keep going until you're almost on the Cape and you're there.  Red Tail is also a good choice, but a little harder to find (it's on a former army base).  Can't go wrong with either one or any of the other courses mentioned.  Again good luck.

post #6 of 12

Ipswich CC is a very nice private course. It is an hour North of Boston. Granite Links is 15 minutes South and Pinehills is 45 minutes South. Waverly Oaks is another very nice course across the highway from Pinehills. Shaker Hills, Red Tail & Cyprian Keyes are probably an hour and 15 minutes NorthWest and a more difficult commute. If you only have two days, stick to Ipswich and Granite Links. All drive times are with-out traffic delays. Avoid rush hour (7-9 am/4-6 pm)

post #7 of 12

I would also throw in the 'international', in bolton,ma  which should be around an hour or so west of Boston. I played there last year on a groupon and thought it was great. They have two courses there, 1 is private and 1 public, we played the public track and heard from a few people that the public course was the better of the two.  One annoying thing is that the golf carts will sense that you are off course and slow to a crawl, never seen anything like that before. I have never played Granite Links but heard it's nice, out of my price range and they don't seem to offer any deals. I have played pine hills many times and that is great too as well as the other courses mentioned by others. Another course I played last year which was nice is a bit farther up in maine called the ledges. You could also get some maine lobstah while your up there. Oh and hey, if you play ipswich and can get a guest on , i'll play with you.

post #8 of 12

A major tip: Getting from the south of Boston (even a few miles out) to north of the city can be a pain at any time of day. If you are going to play Ipswich (north), make sure you stay either right in the city or just north of it. Granite Links is just south of the city (10 miles if that). While it may seem like a no-brainer travel wise, at the wrong time of day, it can take you 45 minutes from downtown Boston. Pinehills is in Plymouth, farther south, but not much worse of a drive (getting through the immediate city traffic is the hardest part).


As far as Ipswich, very nice course. I like it, but it is a little quirky. Fairly tight off the tee. Relax, club back, and pick your spots, you should be OK. Expect to lose a few balls - some holes, right off the fairway is New England never-never land (pine trees and a layer of leaves and undergrowth). Greens can be fast there, but my guess is in May they will still be getting up to speed. Nice clubhouse, everything is in a gated community (condos around the course). It is a nice take.


Greater Boston area (north, south, west) has some great private courses. If your local pro can call in a favor for you, it may be worth it. Between Ipswich and Boston, if you have a place in your heart for Donald Ross (and who doesn't?), see what connections you can work to get on at any of the following: Charles River, Braeburn, Winchester, Essex or Salem. Not coincidentally, not only are those Donald Ross courses, but those five are probably on anyone's top 10 courses in Massachusetts (and many might have them as their top five). Another public option, if you are staying north of the city is Bass Rocks in Gloucester (prounouced "glawstah"). It is pretty (on the ocean), short but public course.


In terms of public courses, there are some nice tracks, just not maintained, within the city limits. Franklin Park (aka. Devine) and George  Wright are two great city courses (you will have to cab to them as driving in Boston is as hazardous as playing Pebble Beach in a typhoon, blindfolded, on one leg). No country club environment at those courses, but some history (Devine is a Ross layout), and a good reminder that golf cuts through the normal demographics that separate cities and suburbs. If anyone mentions Newton Commonwealth to you, un-friend them instantly. Once (circa 1930) a great golf course, over the years, it has been carved up and sold off for apartments and condos. It is a hard-hat-required course as I swear holes cross each other there. Brookline (very close to the city limits) has a public course (formerly Putterham Meadows, now called Lynch). It is a decent track that abuts The Country Club (if you are lucky enough to have in at TCC, by all means take it). If you ever read "Missing Links" by Rick Reilly, the juxtaposition of these two courses is the real life basis for the Mayflower and Ponkaquoque muni course (given the name, part of the basis too, undoubtedly was Ponkapoag - a 36 hole muni layout, not far from Boston, that is a mere shadow of its design. Ponky's architect? Donald Ross of course). Like Bostonians, golf in the city is more than meets the eye. Under a lot of rough exteriors lies some genuine charm.

post #9 of 12

@ joe pete - wicked pissa report, man.

post #10 of 12

Has anyone here played Fall River Country Club or know anything about it?

post #11 of 12

I've played all three of the ones you've mentioned (made it my quest to play the nicest publics around Boston last year) and can say that they're all great, though I think I'd probably put my order at: Pinehills, Shaker Hills, and Granite Links. Pinehills is awesome and has two great courses. Either would be fantastic. Shaker Hills is a really solid layout, but I actually think that if you're going over there, Red Tail is a better and slightly more interesting course (though both are pretty great). I would actually put Red Tail as my favorite around the 495 area ahead of any of the others. I wasn't a huge fan of Granite Links probably due to the ridiculous elevation changes that you get because you basically start at the top of a mountain and work your way down on each of the nines. Great views of Boston but a somewhat gimmicky (in my opinion) course. I'm glad I played it once but I would take any of the other three I've mentioned over it. Of course, the drive to all the others is worse, but, there's a trade-off for most things right? 

post #12 of 12

Older thread but.... Franklin Park (no one calls it "Wm. Devine") is a Ross re-design, while George Wright is a Ross original design. Ross had to work with the existing course (second oldest public course in the country) at Franklin Park, but he was the initial and only architect to design George Wright. The two courses play very differently - FP relies on length, whereas the Wright is a shot-maker's course. One must think more one on and hit farther on the other, although some length is needed on some of the Wright's holes. The third course nearest to in-town Boston is Putterham Meadows or the Brookline Golf Club (why they named a course after a guy - Lynch - that wanted to close it down remains a mystery). It's a relaxed kind of course with not too much required other than consistency. Everything is right in front of a golfer except for the tee shot on the 10th hole. Every hole is reachable in regulation, although 15 has become more challenging with the creek near the green that was opened up. The 14th hole can be a round-destroyer as it requires some control off the tee and then a tucked green with water on the front left. The beauty of all three courses is that they are best enjoyed by walking. (Rant warning)There are very few things as upsetting on a course as a group of twenty- or thirty-somethings in carts, smoking cigars and drinking beer. Otherwise healthy people acting as if golf and NASCAR are co-joined is enough to make a sunny day dark. They also slow the pace of play and rarely replace divots. But, that's not unique to any one course anywhere, sadly. 

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