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Best New England Public Golf Course Experience 2011

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What NE public golf course this season has provided you with the best experience?  Was this based on price/value, course conditions, course challenge, weather, playing company, location...?

What NE public courses would you strongly recommend that others play this season?

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I've only played golf in NE once this year, but I played George Wright in Hyde Park, and I would recommend it, especially in the summer. It's pretty inexpensive and the course conditions are better than ever. In the last few years that have recommitted to improving the course, and are making renovations to some of the holes. It's not super long, but it's a pretty decent challenge from the long tees, and you need to hit it straight to score well.

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So far this year I've played George Wright, Bungay Brook, Juniper Hills, Cyrprian Keyes,and Hopedale CC. Bungay is an easy but underrated 9-hole course that's always in pretty good shape. Juniper is always in great shape, and it usually plays at a pretty steady pace. Cyprian Keyes is one of my favorite courses, but it is always extremely slow. I played there last week and, although I paid for 18 holes, I left after the first 9 took 3.5 hours. Unfortunately, that seems to be the trend at that course. Hopedale is quickly becoming my favorite 9-hole course in the area. It's in good shape, plays really quickly, and is a good test. A couple shorter birdie holes mixed in with a few longer ones.

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This year, I have played at Maple Gate and Red Tail.  MG is a nice layout; it needs a major maintenance boost and some better course rules (with regards to carts, play...).

I have played Red Tail twice over the past two weeks, and really enjoy that course.  Greens each time were around 10.5 feet (stimp meter) which is akin to putting on hardwoods after playing MG so many times (with the shag greens).

I know a few members at Hopedale, and will be playing there in a few weeks.

Also, have Shining Rock and Highfields on the list to play this month (hopefully).

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This year, I have played at Maple Gate and Red Tail.  MG is a nice layout; it needs a major maintenance boost and some better course rules (with regards to carts, play...).

I have played Red Tail twice over the past two weeks, and really enjoy that course.  Greens each time were around 10.5 feet (stimp meter) which is akin to putting on hardwoods after playing MG so many times (with the shag greens).

I know a few members at Hopedale, and will be playing there in a few weeks.

Also, have Shining Rock and Highfields on the list to play this month (hopefully).

I haven't played Maple Gate this year yet. My main issue with it is that it is just not worth the cost. It's not bad, but I think it's pretty overpriced. Shining Rock and Highfields are both great. Make sure you bring your A game to Shining Rock's greens, they are some of the hardest I have played. Fast and a lot of big hills.

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I'm a fan of Den Brae in Sanbornton NH. A nice course to play that's a great value. Too bad it's over an hour drive to the North or I would definately play there more!

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I have a group of guys I play with once a week.  We're in CT and travel around.  I set up trips for groups as my semi retired occupation.  Predominantly to three locals. Scotland/Ireland and Bandon Dunes. There's a group that operates out of Boston called BAGS-Boston Assoc Golf ...They also have a CTBAGS.  They have tournaments every weekend and travel all over.  They get on a number of private courses too.  It's a pretty substantial group.  I use Golfnow and EZ Links to procure discounted teetimes.  Our rotation this year has included Wintonbury, Gillette Ridge, Both at Lyman Orchards, The Shattuck, Ledges, St Annes, The Ranch, Ipswich, Great River, Oxford Greens and Lake of Isles.  My fav is Great River. It's quite challenging, in great shape.  We got on Ipswich by me buying a teetime off Bidding for good. I got the 4some for $340. Ipswich is fabulous.   My motto is try to play the best available, but try to get it discounted.  Hit em straight. Doug

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The area around Springfield, MA has a ton of good cheap clubs....Check out Golfnow to see.  Most can be played for $30 bucks.  The Ledges my view to best value.

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So I played Great River and Lake of Isles this past week.  Played them both from the middle tees.  Prior to this week my opinion was that Great River was the best public facility I had played in New England.  The Isles was a bear. If you stray by more than 10 yards off the fairway on about 14 holes your ball is about gone. Great River gives you a little more room mostly.  Both in great shape. But I have to say Lake of Isles might have just climbed ahead.

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I live in WMass, and work in CT. Gillette Ridge is great. My wife works at MetLife which is right on the course, so when she needs rides to work for whatever reason (car in shop, ect...) I try to get there 5 hours early!!

I was just at Wintonbury in Bloomfield. Great course also.

I am a member at Hampden Country Club, try that one out. Hampden is on the CT line, bordering Somers and Stafford, CT. 40 minutes from Hartford.

I also play a few rounds per year with a friend of mine from NH. We meet halfway, which , for us, happens to be right at Bernardston, MA and Crumpin Fox. The Fox has been voted best course in MA, so if you haven't played there, i'd give it a try. 30 minutes north of Springfield, MA.

other good courses are the Ranch in Southwick, MA, and the Ledges in South Hadley, MA. Both 20 minutes from Springfield.

Anybody wanting to play Hampden, let me know. I'm always up for a round.

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I've been playing a lot of Hopedale Country Club. It; $20 for nine holes and it's in pretty good shape. I just wish it was a tiny bit harder. Not longer, but harder.

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Originally Posted by jamo

I just wish it was a tiny bit harder. Not longer, but harder.


That's-What-She-Said-180X180-Blue.jpg

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I got a Groupon this summer to Waverly Oaks in Plymouth and loved the course. Nice mix of long and short holes to use everything in the bag. I little out of the way (depending on where you are of course) but worth the trip. Just played Halifax CC with a friend who won a month long membership and liked what I saw of the course. They scheduled our 18 just after a huge member tourney went out so the front nine took 3+hours. The first tee was empty on the turn so we just replayed the front. Awesome greens and a nice layout but if that's an example of trying to woo members not sure they know what they are doing.

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Scored best deal a few weeks ago.....4some at Yale for $201 off eBay....Was a great day. That week where every day was 80 in CT in October....Yale is such a great track. It's public too. Many don't realize that.

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