Playing around Boston
By Brian Weis
Just driving through downtown Boston can test the most patient B types. The city streets were after all established when horses and carriages ground out the routes meandering around the buildings of the growing city. Since it takes about 120 to 200 acres to build a golf course, it's no surprise most courses are built outside Boston's city limits - except for a couple: the George Wright Golf Course in the Hyde Park neighborhood and the William J. Devine Golf Course at Franklin Park, both part of the Boston Parks and Recreation Department.
Designed by Donald Ross in 1938 The George Wright course, a classic beauty with roll-up greens and grass-lined bunkers playing 6,440 yards from the tips, was named "Best Muni in the State" by Golf Digest in 2009. The William J. Devine course, on Golf Digest's list of "Best Places to Play" and the second oldest track in the country, gives locals another good choice for golf close to home. Both are easy to walk and tee times are on a first-come first-served basis during the week with green fees $45 or less.
Just outside the city limits there are many public and private courses including The Country Club in Brookline, one of the oldest and most exclusive clubs in the United States (1882) and one of the five charter clubs that founded the United States Golf Association. TCC may be private but there are many other fine courses around Boston the public can play, some so close, you get a glimpse of the city.
Turning the corner of the fifth hole on the "Milton" nine at Granite Links Golf Course at Quarry Hills, you are rewarded with views of the Boston skyline. Aim between the John Hancock and Prudential towers and your shot should be right on target.
Just seven miles south of Boston in Quincy, Granite Links' three nines include Granite, Milton and Quincy. Designed by John Sanford (2003), Granite Links was built on fill trucked in from the Big Dig, Boston's mammoth $14 billion highway project. This allowed for dramatic elevation changes creating an award-winning track making Golf Digest's list for the "100 Greatest Public Golf Courses in America." A private membership club with limited non-member access, the Scottish links-style layout features fescue, water, sprawling bunkers, pot bunkers, granite outcroppings, tree and rock-lined fairways.
A century's- old granite quarry has morphed into a first-rate golf course at the Black Rock Country Club in Hingham 20 miles south of Boston. Designed by Brian Silva, the Black Rock course is the centerpiece of an upscale golf course community. The unique landscape of quarry, woods, wetlands, hills, tall granite walls, rolling meadows, and craggy rock formations contributes to a memorable golf experience.
Cyprian Keys Golf Club in Boylston was built in 1997 but its roots go back to 1734 when the grounds were part of a large estate. Open to the public, there is a Mark Mungeam-designed 18-hole course and a fun 9-hole, Par-3 plus a golf school, the Callaway Performance Center (CPC) fitting center, golf school, and colonial-style clubhouse.
For knock-out views of central Massachusetts' countryside, tee up at Shaker Hills Golf Club in Harvard designed by Brian Silva and Mark Mungeam rated the #1 public golf course in Massachusetts by Golf Digest. Pay attention to the landscape around on the 13th tee which sits 90 feet above the fairway and green with Mount Wachusett in the distance. Water is in play on eight holes while there are several dog legs and tricky greens.
Heading south of Boston near Cape Cod Pinehills Golf Club in Plymouth delivers a powerful one-two punch thanks to architects Rees Jones and Nicklaus. Pinehills, set on more than 300 acres of rolling hills accented by glacially carved kettles and kames, has one of the most extensive practice areas in New England, a good place to come if you want to sharpen your game.
Also in Plymouth, the rock here is Waverly Oaks Golf Club's Championship Course, an upscale pubic-play track designed by Brian M. Silva (1998) and rated 4-1/2 stars by Golf Digest. Known for its large undulating bent grass greens, wide, tree-lined fairways and elevations, it's a good bet for all levels of golfers while the par 33 Challenger nine hole course provides more good golf..
The International west of Boston in Bolton, a 700-acre golf destination, has two world-class courses, The Pines, designed originally by Geoffrey Cornish and later updated by Robert Trent Jones, Sr . and The Oaks the first Tom Fazio course in New England. Other facilities on site include The Lodge & Spa, the Rick Smith Teaching Center and Twin Springs, a 9-hole course along with a Fitness Center and a Taylor-Made Performance Lab.
While most of the facilities are open to the public, The Pines v o t e d the 2nd toughest course in America 2007 by Golf Digest and The Oaks are restricted to members, guests of The Lodge and Spa, special event guests and guests of The GolfRite Academy.
A center for learning, recreation and culture, the Boston area has just about everything you could ever want to feed you, house you, entertain you and soothe you. Well, perhaps you don't have warm weather year-round - come winter, playing golf in this part of New England can be pretty stoic - but spring, summer and fall are incredible with fall foliage providing a vivid show of color as maples turn yellow, red and orange. Prices too in early spring and fall are quite reasonable.
First timers to Boston should leave time to explore the city's history. Settled in 1630, there is much to discover. Walk the Freedom Trail, browse the shops and markets at Faneuil Hall, catch a Red Sox game, take a Boston Harbor cruise or whale watching cruise, catch the local action in the Boston Commons and an outdoor concert in the summer. Visit Harvard Yard with a stroll along the Charles River and explore the historical towns around Boston like Concord, Marblehead and Lexington. There is much to experience in and around "Bean Town."
Revised: 12/04/2012 - Article Viewed 23,949 Times
About: Brian Weis
Brian Weis is the Publisher of GolfTrips.com, a network of golf travel and directory sites including GolfWisconsin.com, GolfMichigan.com, ArizonaGolfer.com, GolfAlabama.com, etc. Professionally, Brian is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA), International Network of Golf (ING), Golf Travel Writers of America (GTWA), International Golf Travel Writers Association (IGTWA) and The Society of Hickory Golfers (SoHG). In 2016, Brian won The Shaheen Cup, an award given to a golf travel writer by his peers.
All of his life, Brian has been around the game of golf. As a youngster, Brian competed at all levels in junior and high school golf. Brian had a zero chance for a college golf scholarship, so he worked on the grounds crew at West Bend Country Club to pay for his University of Wisconsin education. In his adult years, his passion for the game collided with his entrepreneurial spirit and in 2004 launched GolfWisconsin.com. In 2007, the idea for a network of local golf directory sites formed and GolfTrips.com was born. Today, the network consists of a site in all 50 states supported by national sites like GolfTrips.com, GolfGuide.com and GolfPackages.com. It is an understatement to say, Brian is passionate about promoting golf and golf travel on a local, regional, national and international level.
On the golf course, Brian is known as a fierce weekend warrior that fluctuates between a 5-9 handicap. With a soft fade, known as "The Weis Slice", and booming 300+ drives, he can blast it out of bounds with the best of them.
Contact Brian Weis:
GolfTrips.com - Publisher and Golf Traveler