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Hockey star Vic Stanfield turned his love of golf into a career.
Burlington, Vt., is a micro-beer Mecca.
Discovering your inner daredevil.
Two days in the life of golf legend Jack Nicklaus.
Great golf and the happening nightlife in Providence, R.I.
Mountain climbs and waterfront trails to get your juices flowing.
New resort adds French flavor to Plymouth, Mass., community.
Traveling Connecticutâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC;s coastline.
Rob Duca checks out the Brunswick Islands, N.C.
Exploring Maine golf courses and lobster shacks.
Titleist unveils the latest ProV1.
The quaint charms of scenic Portsmouth, N.H.
Plot a route to boat-friendly courses.
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FROM THE EDITOR
uring my nearly 35 years as a journalist I’ve had the opportunity to interview all sorts of sports celebrities, from Ted Williams and Bjorn Borg to Rod Laver and Muhammad Ali. But no interview with a famous person had ever led to being part of a police escort – until I had the opportunity to hang out with Jack Nicklaus for two days. Nicklaus came to Cape Cod last September to be honored at Willowbend in Mashpee, Mass. I was provided the unique opportunity to spend two days up-close with the Golden Bear, flying aboard his private jet to Washington, D.C., attending a VIP reception at his home, following him for 18 holes during a charity golf tournament and, oh yeah, being part of a police escort from Mashpee to Barnstable Municipal Airport.
EDITORIAL & CONTENT DIRECTOR
Janice Randall Rohlf EDITOR
Rob Duca: New England Golf & Leisure LMS EDITORS
Maria Allen: South Shore Living Rachel Arroyo: Home Remodeling Lisa Leigh Connors: Cape Cod Magazine, Chatham Magazine Jaci Conry: Custom Publications Danielle Raciti: Southern New England Weddings Colby Radomski: Falmouth Magazine, Hingham Magazine Tom Richardson: New England Boating Janice Randall Rohlf: Southern New England Home Jennifer Sperry: Southern New England Living ASSISTANT EDITOR
This was the chance to see Nicklaus unfiltered. Relaxing on his plane. At his home in Creighton Farms. On the golf course, wearing shorts and playing in a scramble with amateurs. Talking about anything and everything. And we have it all as our cover feature in our 2015 Spring/Summer issue.
............................................ EXECUTIVE CREATIVE DIRECTOR
Christopher Lewis CREATIVE DIRECTOR
We also feature another famous name, at least one known to longtime hockey fans in New England. When you mention Stanfield, most Boston Bruins’ fans think of Fred, who played a key role in the team’s Stanley Cup-winning clubs of 1970 and ‘72. But his younger brother, Vic, was also an outstanding player, first at Boston University and later in Europe. Why is he in a golf magazine? Because like so many hockey players, he is a superb golfer. In a profile by writer Wayne Mills, you’ll learn how Vic went from pro hockey to a life in golf as the head professional at Lochmere Golf and Country Club in Tilton, New Hampshire.
Eric Brust-Akdemir ART DIRECTOR
Sharon Bartholomew ASSOCIATE ART DIRECTORS
Alexandra Bondarek Jennifer Oppenheim
Rachel Clayton DESIGNER
As usual, we take you across New England with destination pieces focused on Portsmouth, N.H, Coastal County, Conn., Providence, R.I., and The Pinehills in Plymouth, Mass. If you love both golf and lobster – and who doesn’t? – you’ll enjoy our feature on where to find the best of both in Maine. And Mills takes beer-loving golfers (Isn’t that redundant?) on a tour of some of the finest breweries and courses in Vermont.
Kendra Sousa ............................................ DIRECTOR ACCOUNT MANAGEMENT
Oceanna O’Donnell ACCOUNT MANAGERS
Ailish Belair Jessica Peacock
SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER
For the outdoors enthusiasts, we have stories that feature the best New England hiking trails, along with
a tour of adventure parks across the region that offer everything from zip-lining and mountain-biking to
rock-climbing and waterslides. Finally, boaters will want to check out our feature on places to dock, dine and play golf. We also spotlight dining options on Block Island in Rhode Island and take readers on a golf trip to the quiet paradise of the Brunswick Islands in North Carolina.
Lenore Cullen Barnes, Katharine Dyson, Andrea E. McHugh, Wayne Mills, Tom Richardson, Lou Sullivan CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS
Dan Cutrona, Jim Mandeville, Nicholas Millard, Tom Richardson Published by
Don’t forget to visit our website at negolfandleisure.com and our Facebook page for the latest news all spring, summer, fall and winter.
Lighthouse Media Solutions www.lhmediasolutions.com Single copy price $4.95/$5.95 Canada. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced in whole or in part without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher disclaims all responsibility for omissions, errors, and unsolicited materials. Printed in the USA.
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On the cover: Jack Nicklaus at Willowbend in Mashpee, Mass. Photo by Jim Mandeville.
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Vic Stanfield spent years playing hockey in Germany. But for the last quarter-century he’s been a golf pro in New Hampshire. BY WAYNE MILLS
he sign outside the pro shop at Lochmere Golf and Country Club in
But that was only after a hockey career that began at BU and ended in Europe.
Tilton, New Hampshire, reads “Golf Pro Vic Stanfield.” If the name
Patterning his play after the legendary Bobby Orr, Stanfield was an offensive-
Stanfield sounds familiar to New England sports fans, that’s no surprise.
minded defenseman who set BU scoring records that still stand today. He owns
Hockey fans probably remember Vic’s brother, Fred, who played six seasons with
the mark for most points in a season for a defenseman (70), assists in a season
the Boston Bruins, winning Stanley Cups in 1970 and 1972. But Vic also had quite
(60) and career assists for a defenseman (130). In the 1974-75 season he had 60
a hockey career.
assists and 10 goals in 30 games. He was team captain his senior year, a two-time All-American, a two-time Beanpot Tournament MVP, and he was inducted into the
One of seven hockey-playing brothers from Mississauga, Ontario, outside Toronto,
Boston University Hall of Fame in 1987.
Vic took a different path than his brothers, five of whom played pro hockey. Instead of pursuing the Junior League route like so many young Canadians, he
Jack Parker, who coached BU for 40 years and amassed 897 wins at the school,
went to college.
took over the head coaching job in Stanfield’s junior year and saw him lead the team in scoring in both his junior and senior years.
After being recruited by coach Jack Kelley during a visit to Boston to see his brother Fred, who was playing with the Bruins at the time, Vic made the decision
“He was an unbelievably talented defenseman,” Parker says. “Vic was very
to attend Boston University in 1971. “I loved the city, had a brother living there
cerebral, could out-think the other guy and had great hands. He was the best
and BU had a great hockey program,” he says. “It was a pretty easy decision.”
defenseman in college hockey in those years.”
Like many hockey players, he also loved golf. Over time Stanfield became a
Parker also thought Stanfield was a great team captain. “Vic was never uptight. He
very good golfer, lowering his handicap to 1 and even once winning the club
oozed confidence but wasn’t cocky. The team looked up to him,” he says. “He was
championship at George Wright Golf Course, outside Boston. After his playing
the best player and the best guy.”
career he settled in Franklin, New Hampshire and answered an ad for a bartender
at the nearby Mojolaki Golf Club. He was hired by owner and golf course architect
Stanfield figured he would follow his brothers into pro hockey and signed a
George Sargent. In time, it would lead to a life as a head golf professional.
contract with the New England Whalers of the World Hockey Association, then a
Embracing the traditional way of the bistro:
Relax, Eat, Drink, and leave feeling satisfied and recharged.
rival league to the long-established National Hockey League. He did not receive a bonus and was earning $375 per week. It was a different time and a different style of hockey back then. In his first game with the Cape Cod Cubs, the Whalers’ farm team, there were eight bench-clearing brawls. Yes, eight. Coming from college hockey, where fighting is prohibited, Stanfield began rethinking his career choice. When a friend told him there was an opening for a North American on a German pro team, he decided to give it a shot, figuring that playing on the larger Olympic-sized ice would be more suited to his style of game. But he knew nothing about Germany and did not speak the language. “I was a mute the first year,” he says. But the team provided an apartment and a car, and the schedule was shorter than in the WHA and NHL. He also
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liked coming back to Boston with $12,000 in his pocket after one season.
Retirement isn’t an end. It’s just the beginning. A long and successful career should be followed by a long Retirement isn’t an end. Retirement isn’t an e and happy retirement. But it won’t happen on its own. It’sYoujust the beginning. It’sproperly justto the have to be sure you’re investing help youbeginning
During the off-season, he tended bar at night and played golf during the day. He also met his wife, Carol, who was working in a dentist’s office. They married in 1979 and together headed to Germany for the hockey season. Carol returned home to give birth to their first
reach it, and then follow a solid strategy both now and A long and successful career should be a long career should be follo A followed long and by successful through your retirement years. and happy retirement. But it won’t happen on its own. and happy retirement. But it won’t happen o You have to be sure you’re investing properly to help you have to be you’re As a Financial Advisor, I have theYou experience andsure tools to investing properl reach it, and then follow a solid strategy both now and reach it, and follow a solid strategy bo help you develop a strategy that is right for then you, to adjust through your retirement years. through your retirement years. your investments as needed and to manage your wealth
child and settled in with her parents in Franklin. Vic joined Carol after the season and they decided to make it their home, purchasing a red brick house on four
Retirement It’s just the through all the potential changes to come. Call to to arrange As a Financial Advisor, I have the experience and tools
acres at the end of a road. Stanfield played eight seasons in Germany, becoming his team’s all-time leading scorer and the only player in the history of the league to have his number retired. Each summer he would return to Franklin to be with his wife and daughter. The bartending job morphed into a business with Sargent building and remodeling golf courses. In 1990, Lochmere Golf and Country Club became one of their projects, and when owner and developer Jerry Chaillie learned of Stanfield’s golf prowess, he offered him the head pro job. Nearly 25 years later, Stanfield is still there.
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+1 508 790-9621 through all the potential firstname.lastname@example.org Eric Hokanson an appointment today an The appropriateness of a particular investment or strategy will depend on an investor’s individual Portfolio Manager circumstances and objectives. Senior Vice President wealth working for you. © 2013 Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC. Member SIPC. GP11-01364P-N09/11 7177651 MAR005 10/12 Financial Advisor Theorappropriateness of a particular investment or strategy will depend The appropriateness of a particular investment strategy will depend on an investor’s individual on an investor’s individual circumstances45and objectives. circumstances and objectives. North Street The appropriateness of a particular investment or strategy will depend on an investor’s ind © 2013 Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC. Member SIPC. GP11-01364P-N09/11 MAR005 10/12 MA7177651 02601 circumstances and Stanley objectives. © 2013 Morgan Smith BarneyHyannis, LLC. Member SIPC. GP11-01364P-N09/11 7177651 MAR005 10/12 +1 508 790-9621 © 2013 Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC. Member SIPC. GP11-01364P-N09/1 email@example.com
Jack Nicklaus is long past his playing prime, but golf’s greatest champion hasn’t slowed down.
t was the end of an exhausting day that was approaching midnight, and many of the people at the dinner were getting bleary-eyed. Jack Nicklaus, who turned 75 in January, wasn’t one of them. Nicklaus had been going non-stop for 11 hours, beginning with a morning flight on his Gulfstream jet from his home in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. He had attended a luncheon and submitted to a two-hour “fireside chat” at Willowbend, a private club in Mashpee, Mass., then flown to Creighton Farms in Virginia for a cocktail reception, a dinner and another “fireside chat.” Early the next morning he was on the practice range warming up for a charity golf tournament.
BY ROB DUCA PHOTOGRAPHY BY JIM MANDEVILLE
Along the way he rubbed elbows with donors and fans,
Southworth and Joe Deitch to benefit the Nicklaus Children’s
submitted to television and newspaper interviews and
Benefit Foundation, which has raised $30 million since its
provided golf tips to his amateur partners. And he rarely
inception 10 years ago. Another $700,000 was added to
stopped smiling. When his handlers attempted to cut off
the coffers at the annual Creighton Farms Invitational the
questions and escort their boss away, he waved them off.
following day, a celebrity event that also featured the likes of
“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said, ‘Folks, we have time for one more question,’ and he’ll say, ‘No, we have as
I was fortunate to spend two days with Nicklaus, which
much time as they want,’” says Scott Tolley, vice president
included a police escort from Willowbend to Barnstable
of corporate communications for Nicklaus Companies.
Municipal Airport and a ride to Virginia aboard his private
“We have to build in a little slack time because he’s so
plane. We talked on the plane about anything and
accommodating. He does not like you to cut him off.”
everything, even recurring crazy golf dreams. I watched him
This is the Nicklaus that has become a global brand in his post-playing career, designing golf courses around the world and selling everything from golf equipment and clothing apparel to wine, sunglasses, shoes and pens inscribed with the “Golden Bear” logo. His net worth has been pegged at $250 million. He has a yacht for relaxing, a Gulfstream for
during a private VIP reception at a home that was built for him at Creighton Farms, where he held court, charming his admirers with easy conversation. I followed him for 18 holes of golf, where not once did he display a hint of annoyance, even when one of his amateur partners repeatedly took the lead on reading putts on a golf course Nicklaus designed.
business travel and homes scattered around the country.
In the spotlight, he appears completely comfortable in his
Nothing about this American icon resembles retirement.
own skin. Behind the scenes, he loves talking college football,
Last year he traveled to 28 countries, including Japan and
especially Florida State, where his grandson, Nick O’Leary,
China. He explains the punishing schedule with a shrug of his
was the starting tight end last fall. Theismann learned this
shoulders, saying, “I don’t like to be bored.”
when he bumped into Nicklaus at the practice range. “All I
His employees call him the Energizer bunny. None of this surprises the former Barbara Bash, who met her determined husband when both were teenagers. “I don’t think either one
wanted to do is talk golf with him, because hey, he’s Jack Nicklaus, the greatest golfer who ever lived, but all he wanted was to talk about football,” Theismann said.
of us knew what we were in for,” she says. “But he always
He also hates texting and leaves his cell phone shut off most
went at everything 110 percent. I just knew he would be
of the time. “He says he has enough people on the payroll
successful in whatever he chose.”
with cell phones that if someone needs to reach him, they
Golf’s first couple, married now for 54 years, came to Cape
Roger Clemens and Joe Theismann.
will find him,” Barbara says.
Cod last September to be feted as the 2014 Willowbend
Nicklaus has been in the public eye for more than half a
Honorees for their contributions to golf and their
century, but what do we really know about him besides
commitment to philanthropy. Nicklaus was presented
the obvious? In the public’s mind, Arnold Palmer was the
with a plaque and a $100,00 check from club owners David
charismatic, swashbuckling star who couldn’t sign enough
autographs, while Nicklaus was portrayed as cool, aloof and detached, his head down and his mind focused solely on the task at hand. Maybe that was true during his playing career. Not anymore.
not to clutter my life.” Tolley, who has worked for Nicklaus for 17 years, insists it’s not just a PR line. “Everything that is said about his commitment to family is true,” he says. “It’s not just a public persona. He
“People talk about the steely blue [eyes] and
treats his employees as family. When I had my
the intimidation factor, but in real life he’s
first child, the first flowers to arrive were from
warm, personable and giving of his time,”
Jack and Barbara.”
Tolley says. “He’s just a normal guy. I think the comparison to Palmer is unfair. Palmer is everything you’ve heard, but Jack is more than what the public sees.”
His home life these days revolves around trips to middle school and high school soccer and volleyball games to watch his grandchildren. He is a regular presence at Florida State football games, attending all 14 last season. He is long past his prime. His flowing blond hair has thinned and the once imposing physique that launched mammoth tee shots has been overtaken by old age. He embarked on a diet last year and lost 27 pounds. Barbara jokes that “it’s only the 287th diet he’s tried.”
That laid-back persona was evident on the
His 18 majors remain the gold standard, and
flight to Creighton Farms as Nicklaus offered
Tiger Woods is no longer considered a lock to
soda and chips to his passengers and spent
eclipse it, although Nicklaus believes there will
the trip answering questions. When it was
be more majors in Tiger’s future.
mentioned that the winner of the long-drive
contest at last year’s PGA Championship was
“He’s too talented not to come back, and I think
one yard short of his record 341-yard blast in
he’s too focused on my record,” he says. “It’s
1963, he pulled a gold money clip from his
been on his wall since he was a little kid and I
pocket. “This is the clip I won for that drive,” he
don’t think he’ll quit until he gets there. I still
said. “I’ve been carrying it ever since.” After the
think he’ll pass my record … but maybe not.”
flight landed he offered a handshake and the
One gets the sense that it doesn’t
famously charming Nicklaus wink.
matter to Nicklaus. He’s content with his
Nicklaus has a stock answer whenever he is
accomplishments, and if his record falls, so be
In his heyday Nicklaus often said he would never
asked to state his greatest accomplishment.
it. Yet he’s also proud and he hasn’t forgotten.
become a “ceremonial golfer,” and he has kept his word.
“Five kids, 22 grandkids, 54 years of marriage to
He can recite in detail rounds he shot 50 years
He plays in events like the one at Creighton Farms
Barbara, that to me is it,” he says.
ago. Barbara shakes her head as he goes
because it benefits his foundation, which is a cause
through the club selections, yardages, pin
near and dear to his heart. His daughter, Nan, nearly
He gives credit to Barbara for 15 of his 18 major
placements and wind direction. She remembers
died when she was a baby and Jack and Barbara vowed
championships and quickly adds, “It should
the first time she attended a tournament to
that if they were ever in a position to do so, they would
probably be all 18. If she had not supported my
watch him play. The experience was forgettable
set up a foundation dedicated to easing the demands
life and the commitments I had, I do not think
to a non-golfer, so when Jack asked her on the
on families with sick children. The tragic death of their
I would have been successful. She never put
ride home what she thought of the shot he hit
17-month-old grandson, Jake, in a drowning accident in
herself first. She took care of all the things so as
on 13, she was dumbfounded. “That’s when I
2005 cemented their resolve.
Top: Winning his fourth U.S. Open in 1980; Above: Nicklaus says his greatest accomplishment is his family. thought this isn’t going to work out,” she says, laughing at the memory.
Playing golf is not high on his list of priorities. “I play about 10 times a year,” he says. “I don’t miss it at all. Golf was my vehicle for competition. When I couldn’t compete at it anymore, I stopped playing. I don’t miss golf, I miss competition.” He doesn’t dream about what once was, either. “I have a crazy golf dream where I can’t get to the first tee no matter what I do,” he says. “But that’s it.” He’ll still grind when he’s on the course, though. Asked how he’s hitting it during the Creighton Farms Invitational, he gives a look of disgust, pointing in different directions to indicate his shots are going all over the place. Reminded that he rarely plays, he scoffs, “But I shouldn’t forget how!” But as he stands over a shot and tilts his head slightly back before takeaway, you can almost picture the old Nicklaus. He is steady and intense, and although he can’t take the club back as far as he once did, his drives are accurate and respectfully long. There is even a “Yes, sir!” moment when he drops a long eagle putt on the third hole. Later, when he faces an eight-foot putt for birdie on the final green after his partners have all missed, one of the amateurs has the audacity to implore, “Come on Jack, the pressure is on!” Did anyone ever make more eight-footers that mattered in the history of the game? This one definitely doesn’t matter. But he drains it just the same (Did you expect anything else?) and his team shoots 59 to finish second. At the awards luncheon he is presented with a glass wine decanter, “You mean I get to keep this?” he jokes. “I don’t think I’ve ever won anything before in one of these events.” From the audience someone shouts, “You can put it with your green jackets!” One hour later he is heading back to Florida, the Gulfstream speeding toward its destination. Like its owner, slowing down is not on the agenda.
Top left: Jack and Barbara Nicklaus have been a team for 54 years; Left: Nicklaus talking golf, college football and life aboard his Gulfstream.
Plymouth meets Paris at the Monet-inspired Mirbeau Inn & Spa. ’m in the “relaxation room” at the Mirbeau Inn & Spa at The Pinehills in Plymouth, Mass. Only a few hours earlier I was facing a knee-knocking, downhill par-3 hole, worrying if I had enough club in my hand to carry the treacherous front bunker. But now, with my feet soaking in a heated massage whirlpool, soothing new age music playing softly in the background, dim lighting and a glass of wine in hand, I couldn’t have cared less about what took place on the golf course. I had been to The Pinehills complex many times in the past to play the Nicklaus and Jones courses, both marvelous and unique layouts with four sets of tees to accommodate golfers of every level. I’d also visited the nearby Rye Tavern, which is housed in a historic building from Colonial times and sits at the intersection of Old Tavern Trail and Old Sandwich Road. In fact, I was quite familiar with The Pinehills, from its boutique grocery market and coffee shop to its 1920s-style post office and gift shops. But the Mirbeau Inn & Spa had just opened in July, 2014, and it was still, in a manner of speaking, finding its way in the world. You know you’re arriving somewhere special from the moment you pull your car onto the cobblestone entryway that leads to the front of the inn. The 50room hotel was inspired by Monet’s French country house in Giverny, while the adjoining Henri-Marie restaurant is located in the reproduction of a 19thcentury chapel from a private estate outside of Paris. Indeed, you might feel as though you’ve stepped into a Monet painting, especially when dining on the outside patio of the Bistro & Wine Bar, where the Monet-inspired surroundings feature a garden of white hydrangeas, purple butterfly bushes, daisies and coneflowers, along with lily ponds and a quaint footbridge.
Pinehills Golf Club.
The Pinehills clubhouse includes the East Bay Grille and a function room for weddings and parties.
Old World Charm The Mirbeau is all about comfort and convenience. At how many others hotels can you park at the doorstep of the entrance – and leave your car there after you’ve checked in? Where else will you be greeted by name before you reach the front desk? Clearly, customer service is taken seriously. Each time I walked through the lobby, into the restaurant or through a common area there was someone waiting to welcome me.
A Pair of Championship Courses I began my two-day stay with a round of golf at the Nicklaus course, one of two championship layouts designed by two of the sport’s best-known architects. The Jones course, designed by Rees Jones, opened in 2000 and was followed by the Jack Nicklaus design the next year. Set among woodlands, kettle ponds and cranberry bogs, both layouts feature steep elevation changes and dramatic scenery. Most holes are framed by pine trees and are completely isolated, providing a serene atmosphere that makes you feel as though no one else is on the grounds. The Jones course has a classic feel, rolling gently through the woods past stately pines and natural vegetation with a series of doglegs, valleys and swales. The emphasis is on intelligent shotmaking and fundamentals. Most greens are clearly visible from the tee. The 248-yard 14th will test anyone’s game. The hole plays from an elevated tee over a ravine and then back up to a slightly raised green with a massive front bunker. The Nicklaus course features testing greens, many bordered by low-cut collection areas that provide the option of pitching or putting in order to make par. The finishing hole is truly championship caliber. A par 4 of 476 yards, it demands a precise tee shot to a narrow fairway, and has a pond running along the left side all the way to the green. At the Mirbeau Inn & Spa guests can savor the view from their room of the Monet bridge, top, or unwind in the spa’s Relaxation Room, above.
The Nicklaus course is the more forgiving, while the Jones course demands greater accuracy and has less room to miss around the greens.
Pinehills places a premium on shot-making.
Options Galore The 12,00-square-foot clubhouse includes the East Bay Grille, an ideal spot for a bite after the round. Downtown Plymouth, just a 10-minute drive, is also a wonderful destination for dining and shopping. Historical sites include Plymouth Rock and a replica of the Mayflower II that transported the pilgrims to the New World. Plimoth Plantation is also nearby. A quick stop at the Rye Tavern for a specialty cocktail at the outdoor bar followed the round of golf, after which I was ready to unwind at the Mirbeau. And unwind is the proper word, because the inn is all about relaxation. Before heading off for a deep tissue massage, I decided to check out the Aqua Terrace, an enclosed outdoor patio with lounge chairs, a heated whirlpool, a fireplace and a bar. The eucalyptus-infused steam room offered another form of repose, while a fitness center with yoga, cycling and Pilates classes, a weight room and a salon are also on site. The spa offers a wide variety of treatments, including massages, facials, body wraps, pedicures and manicures, even hand and foot treatments.
The Rye Tavern is housed in a Colonial-era building.
Dinner at Henri-Marie was unique, to say the least. The menu offered the choice of a three-course, five-course or seven-course dinner at $55, $75 and $95 per person. Chef Stephen Coe changes the selections weekly, but his especially inventive creations last fall were a confit of veal sweetbreads, diver scallops with corn pudding and a cheese plate that included locally produced honey and seasonal jams. There were admittedly some early missteps after the grand opening, such as serving martinis in something that resembled boutique wine glasses. And the original format of offering only prix fixe selections was quickly deemed unwise, with a la carte offerings added to the menu last October. The more casual Bistro & Wine Bar had a larger following when I visited. While no other table was occupied at Henri-Marie on the night I was there, I waited 35 minutes to be seated at the Bistro. The varied menu offers everything from surf & turf and bouillabaisse to swordfish and burgers. I couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t resist the grilled octopus appetizer, which came with pickled red onion and arugula salad. My two days of R&R complete, I was greeted warmly once again upon checkout and offered a homemade cookie. That frustrating round of golf that began my visit? It felt like a long, long time ago.
Golf and lobster go hand in hand in Southern Maine.
The Links at Outlook Golf Course, South Berwick.
good sign that winter in Maine is finally winding down is the reopening of the lobster shacks and golf courses. And just as “Mainers” speak in a variety of dialects—hey, all Mainers do not drop their r’s and settle for “ah” as in “Lobstah” and “chowdah”—so goes the terrain, with a diverse landscape of hilly interiors along a rugged coastline. What could be a better canvas for golf courses ranging from classic to modern design? You can play Maine’s best tracks and dig into some tasty lobster by circling from South Berwick to Bethel, Boothbay and back down the coast through Scarborough. The Links at Outlook Golf Course in South Berwick, designed by Brian Silva in 2000, features an open, rolling front nine and a hilly back side, with views of Mt. Agamenticus. Wake to a delicious breakfast at the Victorian-style Academy Street Inn in South Berwick with its wraparound porch, oak moldings and private baths, or stay in the Riverhouse on Vine Street overlooking the Salmon Falls River.
The Links at Outlook Golf Course, South Berwick.
The nearby Thistle Pig restaurant uses mostly local ingredients from owner Benjamin Hasty’s family farm. Their crunchy Brussels sprouts with sesame, chili and ginger are a favorite. “We go through three cases of sprouts a week,” Hasty says. At Aggie’s Ice Cream, you can choose from more than 100 flavors, or you could succumb to a Moose Tracks cone (vanilla ice cream with a fudge swirl and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups). Move on to the Bethel area and play historic Province Lake Golf Club in Parsonsfield, with a front nine dating to 1918. Silva carved out the more difficult back nine that snakes up and down hills, through woods and over water. After golf, grab lunch at Mulligans WoodFire Grill, and then continue on to Sunday River Resort, a four-season property in Newry, with a sweeping Robert Trent Jones Jr. track built on the side of a mountain. The course cuts through forests and overlooks the Sunday River Valley and Mahoosuc Range. Stay in the Jordan Grand, where you can unwind with a massage at the spa, or check into the recently renovated Bethel Inn, located near the town’s Historic District. Tee up on a classic tree-lined rolling track with lovely mountain views and well-bunkered greens. Cap off your day with dinner in the Millbrook Tavern & Grille.
When you stand on the putting green of Belgrade Lakes Golf Club, the highest spot on the property’s 240 acres, and take in the dazzling lake and mountain views, you’ll agree that architect Clive Clark created a sensational setting. Bring your camera! The course is immaculate and the views are spectacular. Playing 6,723 to 5,168 yards with a forgiving nature, Belgrade Lakes is a great course for golfers of all levels. Dine on the deck overlooking the 9th and 18th holes, where the views are a perfect 10, and then check into The Village Inn & Garden Tavern, which opened in 1921. Though the tavern is located at the edge of a freshwater lake, it is still a good place The Lobster Dock, Boothbay Harbor.
to order a lobster dinner.
On the way to Scarborough, play the Boothbay Harbor Country Club. Much has happened here in the two years since new owner Paul Coulombe launched a makeover of the club. He spared no expense, upgrading everything from the clubhouse to the course and driving range. It’s all about lobster at The Lobster Shack at Two Lights at Cape Elizabeth. Perched on craggy rocks overlooking the rocky coastline, Cape Elizabeth Light, Maine’s most photographed lighthouse, has stood since 1828, while the restaurant has been operating since the 1920s. Prout’s Neck Country Club is private, but stay at the silvershingled Black Point Inn in Scarborough and you get to play this lovely, old seaside track designed by Wayne Stiles in 1907. It’s only 6,029 yards, but it’s a gem, with many holes featuring views of the sea. The inn is surrounded by water and beaches on three sides, while The Chart Room restaurant overlooks Sand Dollar Beach. Take the Cliff Walk to artist Winslow Homer’s former studio.
Boothbay Harbor Country Club, Scarborough.
Donald Ross fans can play the Biddeford-Saco Country Club, host to the Maine Amateur Championship. Flowing comfortably over an undulating landscape punctuated by lakes and a meandering stream, multi-tiered slick-running greens make up for its relatively short yardage of 6,333 yards. The clubhouse is situated in the original farmhouse that was located on the property. The Lobster Dock, a no-frills restaurant with a large deck on the harbor, is a great spot to dine after golf. Owners Mitch and Dawn Weiss stuff their buttergrilled rolls with plenty of lobster. “When you eat a lobster roll, you want to taste the lobster,” Mitch says. You could also try the seafood Fra Diavolo, which combines lobster, scallops, shrimp and mussels over linguini. The Pine Tree Seafood and Produce Market in Scarborough is famous for its lobster rolls and chowder. It’s small, so expect to eat outside at a picnic table or do take-out. And for dessert? Hurry to Len Libby’s on Route 1 in Scarborough, which has been the place to go for chocolates and candy since 1896. It’s worth the trek just to get a peek at a life-size, 1,700-pound chocolate moose. An extensive renovation has upgraded nearly every facet of Boothbay Harbor Country Club.
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This quaint seaport town has a little bit of everything. BY ROB DUCA
ortsmouth, New Hampshire, is one of America’s great seaport towns. The downtown waterfront offers the quintessential experience for visitors looking to spend a peaceful day exploring the area’s numerous attractions. The striking North Church sits in the center of Market Square, surrounded by charming shops, upscale dining, historic homes, museums, wine bars and quaint clubs that feature nightly live music. The downtown area is dotted with outstanding restaurants. Jumpin’ Jay’s Fish Café features seven varieties of fish daily, along with an extensive raw bar that includes snow crab claws and oysters from Canada and Cape Cod. The District changes its menu weekly, offering such inventive fare as chicken and waffles, and roasted beet caprese. A cozy, romantic alternative is the Bridge Street Bistro Wine Bar, where you might start with a mushroom crêpe before moving on to seafood stew or cassoulet. You can also choose from 35 wines by the glass. For a more casual experience that will transport you back to the 1950s, the Roundabout Diner Lounge, located just outside of downtown, is famous for its barbecue pulled pork sandwich and hand-cut onion rings. Golf is also a major Portsmouth attraction. A handful of outstanding courses are within a 30-minute drive, each offering a unique experience. From the seaside links at Wentworth By The Sea Country Club and The Links at Outlook Golf Course to the century-old Portsmouth Country Club and Pease Golf Course, where A-10 Thunderbolts descend overhead, the area doesn’t disappoint.
Wentworth By The Sea Country Club, fourth hole
Pease Golf Course, built in 1901, was originally the site of the
tee times are open to guests of the nearby Wentworth By The Sea
Portsmouth Country Club. It is the only area club with 27 holes,
Hotel & Spa. Opened in the late 1800s, the hotel sits on a hillside
which includes the Blue Course, added in 2000. The championship
overlooking the ocean and is one of the state’s last remaining
course features rolling terrain and begins with a pair of par-5 holes.
grand seaside resorts.
Although there are a couple of narrow fairways, the greens are large and sloped, demanding a deft short game.
The hotel has had a checkered history. It closed in 1982 and was later nearly demolished to make way for private homes. Rescued
Nine holes on the championship course were renovated last year
from the wrecking ball, it reopened in 2003 following a six-year, $32
and opened for play this spring, improving drainage and overall
million renovation that included the addition of an 8,500-square-
foot spa, fireplaces in 18 suites and the Little Harbor Marina
The Blue Course is a different animal from the championship
layout. Each hole is carved into the woods and isolated, requiring
The Scottish links-style course was originally designed by George
long rides (a cart is mandatory) down trails that wind over bridges,
Wright in 1897, improved by Donald Ross in 1921, and expanded
across marshes and through the forest. It demands more target
to 18 holes by Geoffrey Cornish in 1964. It is a true gem, featuring
golf, but the design is creative and fair.
panoramic ocean views, postage-stamp greens with severe
The course’s location is especially memorable. It is adjacent to the Pease Air National Guard Base, which occupies a portion of
undulations that mark Ross’s signature, rolling terrain and dramatic tee shots over water, beaches and marshes.
Pease International Airport. On any given day you might see the
It helps to play with a member who knows the ropes. The fairways
Thunderbirds practicing their routines or watch a huge C-130
are tree-lined and narrow as a bowling alley, with numerous
Hercules descending onto the nearby runway. It’s quite a spectacle,
uphill blind shots and sharp doglegs. On more than one occasion
particularly on the 11th tee as you prepare to play the 236-yard
I hit what I thought were superb drives, only to watch the ball
par-3 hole with planes whizzing over your head.
disappear over the hillside, never to be found again after it
Wentworth By The Sea is a magnificent golf course in terms of challenge, design and splendor. Although the course is private,
apparently caught the rolling terrain and bounced in some unknown direction. It wasn’t until the 14th hole that I stood on the tee feeling as though I could fire away without trepidation.
Wentworth By The Sea.
Pease Golf Course.
But there are eye-catching holes along the way. The closing stretch, beginning
The Links at Outlook Golf Course is located just across the state line in Berwick,
at No. 15, is as good as it gets. The par-3 15th of 195 yards plays toward the
Maine, a short 30-minute drive. Silva also designed this course, and he took
ocean, providing a dazzling view of the red-roofed hotel in the distance. The
full advantage of the natural landscape that once served as a working farm.
16th offers one of the world’s most dramatic tee shots. A dogleg right par 5 of
The land has been transformed into a par-71, 6,500-yard links-style layout
520 yards, the ball must be driven over the ocean to find safe haven. The 215-
with rolling dunes and scattered sand bunkers throughout the property.
yard 17th plays slightly uphill into a prevailing wind, while the finishing 18th is a
Breathtaking ocean views are prevalent, and you’ll feel as though a slice of
395-yard dogleg left par 4 with a forced carry over water on the approach. Good
Scotland has come to the Vacationland state.
luck with all that. Portsmouth Country Club is another coastal masterpiece. Designed in 1956 by
Located barely one hour from Boston, Portsmouth is the ideal base for golf, dining, sight-seeing and so much more.
Robert Trent Jones, it is regarded as one of New Hampshire’s most challenging, scenic experiences. Several holes play alongside Great Bay as the course snakes around the water. Measuring 7,153 yards, it features a number of demanding holes, not the least being the 226-yard par-3 eighth and the 472-yard par-4 12th. Not far away in Greenland is Breakfast Hill Golf Club, designed by Brian Silva and opened in 2000. The course winds through the woodlands and past exposed granite boulders, providing ample challenge and scenery. It rests on 170 acres of family-owned land dating back 250 years. Once a working farm, the course flows beneath towering pines and has been ranked by national publications as one of America’s top public layouts. The practice facility includes a sprawling 10,000-square-foot putting green, while the cedarshingled clubhouse features a picturesque patio overlooking the finishing holes.
Love golf and beer? Burlington is a micro-brew Mecca. BY WAYNE MILLS
Magic Hat Brewery.
here is quite possibly no better place to play golf and drink beer than Burlington, Vermont. In 2006, it was named the fourth best beer-drinking city in the world by MSNBC. The other three? They’re all in Europe. There are also great golf courses in the Burlington area, which translates into “Buddy trips here we come!” Burlington is a five-college town that sits on the edge of Lake Champlain, only one hour south of Quebec. It’s also the epicenter of the state’s burgeoning craft beer industry, with 10 breweries now in production. “Vermont was known for maple syrup 40 years ago. Then we were known for Ben & Jerry’s [Ice Cream]. Now we’re known for brewing the best beer in the world,” says Brennan Neill, director of fundraising for the Vermont public television network.
The spiritual home of Vermont’s micro-brew industry is the Vermont Pub & Brewery in Burlington, which was opened in 1988 by the late Greg Noonan, the godfather of Vermont’s craft brewers. Noonan lobbied the Vermont legislature for three years to become the first onsite brewery in the state since Prohibition. He died of cancer in 2009 at 58, but his legacy lives on through the 40 breweries now operating in the state. Playing golf in the Burlington area is the ideal way to work up a thirst. You can begin at a couple of top-notch private courses. Vermont National Country Club in South Burlington is a Jack Nicklaus design that opened in the late 1990s. Built on a 400-acre dairy farm, it is a sweeping, open layout, with the wind almost always a factor. Guests of the Essex Resort & Spa, Sheraton Burlington, Burlington Harbor Marriott or Green Mountain Suites have access to tee times at the private club. Burlington Country Club, designed by Donald Ross in 1924 and restored by Michael Hurdzan in 1998, is filled with Ross’s nuances and subtleties.
Essex Resort & Spa, top and below, provides a good base for visiting the many brew pubs.
Essex Country Club.
There are several pleasant and reasonably priced golf courses south of Burlington, including Cedar Knoll Country Club in Hinesburg, which features 27 holes on rolling countryside with lovely views. Players can also expect 18 holes of challenging golf at Kwiniaska Golf Club, one of the few public courses to host the Vermont Men’s State Amateur. Located 20 minutes from downtown Burlington in St. George is Rocky Ridge Golf Club, a sporty course set on a gentle ridge. Another course within an easy drive is Essex Country Club in Essex Junction. Designed by Graham Cooke, who also created Jay Peak Golf Club and the Country Club of Vermont, Essex is an outstanding layout with weekday greens fees of only $30. For impeccable conditions and amazing views of Camel’s Hump and the Green Mountains, the Williston Golf Club can’t be beat. An old-school layout built in 1927, it measures 6,137 yards from the tips. This family-owned club offers all-day play for $32. And then it’s time to quench that thirst. Historians tell us that local Vermonter and beer enthusiast Ethan Allen was a leader in the effort to make the state the 14th star on the American flag in 1791. Today, Army veteran Steve Gagner is honoring his home state and passion – brewing great beer – with 14th Star Brewing Company in St. Albans.
Fiddlehead Brewing Company is located in the beautiful town of Shelburne, between the Shelburne Museum and the Vermont Teddy Bear Company. Brewmaster and owner Matthew Cohen is on a continual quest to craft the perfect pint. While several seasonal selections are always available on tap, the flagship beer, Fiddlehead IPA, can be found on draft lines all over Vermont. Après golf, a pint of cold beer can be found at any number of downtown brewing establishments. The Switchback Brewing Company has grown from humble roots in 2002 and now has a tasting room. Not far away is Zero Gravity Brewery and American Flatbread, where the beer is brewed on-site and the pizza is cooked in clay-domed wood-fired ovens. Queen City Brewery was founded by four longtime friends and produces a variety of traditional ales and lagers, as well as several unique specialty beers. Top: Essex Country Club; Above: Essex Resort & Spa.
But Magic Hat is the big dog when it comes to volume and distribution. They are known throughout New England for their No. 9 beer, while at Magic Hat Artifactory, the nerve center of it all, The Growler Bar offers 48 taps. At the Burlington Brewing Company in Williston, where “fermentation meets imagination,” you’ll find many unique brews inspired by local agriculture. The annual Brewers Festival, held in July at Burlington’s Waterfront Park, provides the full flavor of the beer scene. It features 30 of the state’s best brews in three, four-hour tasting sessions. So if you’re a beer-drinking golfer, Burlington just might be nirvana.
Switchback Tap Room.
Providence enjoys an enviable reputation as a hip hotspot with more than a dozen area golf courses.
NEW ENGLAND GOLF & LEISURE
rovidence earned its “Renaissance City” reputation in the 1970s after reinvesting, reinventing and ultimately, redefining itself. That initiative was strengthened in the 1990s through numerous major development projects, including Waterplace Park, the Riverwalk and the Providence Place Mall. The effort paid off. The downtown residential rate has doubled over the past decade, attracting academics, artists and eclectics. And there is no shortage of golf courses for visitors to enjoy. Triggs Memorial Golf Course, located within the city limits, is a classic Donald Ross design that opened in 1932. Nestled in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood, the par-72 layout has been recognized by Golf Magazine as one of the best municipal courses in New England. It features long, difficult par 4’s, reachable par 5’s and demanding par 3’s. As is customary with Ross’ designs, the course celebrates the native topography of the landscape, following its natural contours with relatively small but strategically
Photo: Nicholas Millard
NEW ENGLAND GOLF & LEISURE
Just five miles from downtown Providence is Cranston Country Club. Designed by New Englandbased golf course architect and historian Geoffrey Cornish, it is known for its playability at just 6,915 yards from the tips. Swansea Country Club’s lush 300 acres were built on a former private fishing and hunting preserve. With a freshwater pond and saltwater marshes winding throughout the property, this is one of the most serene courses in the area. Located less than 10 miles from downtown, the course has six sets of tees ranging from 5,200 to nearly 7,000 yards. A renovated driving range and a 10,000-square-foot short game practice area offer an updated feel, as does the new al fresco dining patio. Golfers looking to squeeze in a quick nine should head to Harbor Lights Golf & Country Club in nearby Warwick, which is another Cornish-designed course. The course maximizes rolling green fairways, bentgrass greens and expansive views of Narragansett Bay. Avenue N American Kitchen, top left, and the Dorrance Bar, top right, are favorite stops after golf. Asian meets American at North, above.
After golf, you should have little problem finding acceptable dining options. Providence is a food connoisseur’s delight, thanks in part to the presence of Johnson & Wales University, the world’s largest culinary school. The city has more college-educated chefs per capita than any in the country, and the result is a diverse and ever-changing dining scene.
NEW ENGLAND GOLF & LEISURE
Harbor Lights Golf & Country Club, Warwick.
A popular spot to begin the evening is at The Avery, a speakeasy-style establishment with just over a dozen seats at the bar, plus a few cozy nooks and couches. It’s the unofficial go-to spot for diners waiting for a table at nearby North, an equally tiny eatery famous for a savory American-meets-Asian menu. The Dorrance Kitchen + Cocktails, housed in a bank dating to 1901, offers more room and seamlessly juxtaposes ornate surroundings, upscale dishes and drinks with an unpretentious attitude. Located in the heart of downtown, it’s conveniently situated near Providence’s many attractions, especially the captivating Waterfire exhibit, which draws thousands of spectators on select Saturdays from spring through fall. They come to marvel as the three rivers that dissect downtown crackle and glow at dusk with nearly 100 cauldrons that are lit by boat. Visitors looking to get closer to the action can reserve a leisurely ride on an authentic Venetian gondola.
NEW ENGLAND GOLF & LEISURE
Photo: Nicholas Millard
WaterFire draws thousands of spectators on select Saturdays from spring through fall.
The Biltmore Hotel has been a local landmark since 1922.
Avenue N American Kitchen in nearby Rumford is bordered by two private golf courses. Though a far cry from a sports den, the bar’s TVs are usually tuned into the Golf Channel and the clientele have often worked up an appetite on the nearby links. German fare is the featured cuisine at the Faust Hofbrauhaus, located in the Dean Hotel. Lodging options are plentiful in Providence with a handful of familiar-named hotels, but none possess the intriguing history of this newly opened hotel. Known colloquially as simply “The Dean,” the property is a former strip club turned into a 52-room boutique hotel. In a nod to Providence’s moniker as the “Creative Capital,” local artisans crafted many of the guest room furnishings in addition to the artwork and décor. For late-night entertainment head to The Boombox, a basement-level, Tokyo-style karaoke lounge also at the Dean Hotel. (In a tongue-in-cheek homage to the building’s past, you can rent a room by the hour for a private singing party). Should you need a pick-me-up in the morning, Bolt Coffee Company in the hotel lounge offers a selection of specialty coffees. On the opposite end of the spectrum is the Providence Biltmore, a landmark hotel since 1922 that was designed by the architects behind New York City’s Grand Central Station. An icon among the Renaissance City’s skyline, the hotel continues its full-service legacy with 294 guestrooms and suites (all with city views), a spa, a McCormick & Schmick’s restaurant and a Starbucks. So choose your own adventure in and around Providence during your next golf excursion for a getaway Grilled scallops are an Avenue N American Kitchen favorite.
NEW ENGLAND GOLF & LEISURE
to remember. Remember, The Creative Capital awaits.
BY KATHARINE DYSON
From Westport to New Haven, the Nutmeg State offers splendid golf in a trendy setting.
Great River Golf Club, Milford.
ometimes the best places are only a short drive away. Connecticut’s shoreline from Stonington to Greenwich is a perfect example, where you will find long sandy stretches of beaches, natty harbors where skippers tie up their pricey yachts and picture-perfect towns like Madison and Guilford. You can explore local wineries and the Connecticut River Valley, home to historic houses, the Gillette Castle, a steam train, a riverboat and the fanciful Goodspeed Opera House. Further south, in Fairfield County, a trendy playground for movers and shakers in arts, industry and the financial world, you can take in a show at the Westport Country Playhouse and visit Norwalk’s Maritime Museum and Greenwich’s Bruce Museum, along with dozens of art galleries, antique shops and upscale boutiques. All along the way there are courses to be played, salt air to be savored and a wonderful variety of places to eat and stay, from bed & breakfasts to more contemporary hotels. You might begin your journey at Longshore Golf Course in Westport. Walking along the fairway, you catch glimpses of Long Island Sound as a yacht slices through the water in the marina. Once a private club dating to the 1920s, Longshore is now owned by the town of Westport, a place where residents cook grass-fed burgers on Compo Beach grills and sport designer jeans and Birkenstocks.
Longshore is more challenging than it appears, especially after a $2.3 million renovation that added expansive new bunkering. Just a few steps from the 18th green is the Inn at Longshore, which has 12 guest rooms. The Connecticut shoreline runs through Westport, Milford, New Haven, New London, Mystic and Old Saybrook. Duck into Hammonasset Beach State Park just east of Madison to stretch your legs on the two-mile beach, then spend a night at The Delamar, an 83-room boutique hotel on the harbor in tony Greenwich, where you can watch the boats coming and going from your balcony and wake up to the sound of gulls. Treat yourself to French-inspired cuisine at L’Escale Restaurant before retiring to your room, where top-of-the-line furnishings, fine linens and down duvets await.
The Inn at Longshore, Westport.
Many of the golf courses in the area are private, but some are town-owned and typically give the nod to residents with preferred tee times. With a little persistence and insider knowledge, courses like Sterling Farms Golf Course are worth the effort. Offering glimpses of Long Island Sound, Sterling Farms, a parkland-style layout, is a neat, moderately hilly course designed by Geoffrey Cornish in 1969 on a former dairy farm and renovated by Robert McNeill in 2005. Heading up the coast to Westport — home to a stylish downtown of art galleries, antique shops, exclusive restaurants, boutiques and beaches—you can tee up at H. Smith Richardson Golf Course in Fairfield. One of the better deals around, Smith Richardson can be walked, but with some fairly steep inclines it is not for the weakkneed. With tall trees, ponds and wetlands, the course is challenging and worth a visit. For a convenient and reasonable lodging option, try The Westport Inn on Route 20. This former old-style motel has been transformed into a splendid spot with a pool, restaurant and well-appointed rooms. Book a table at the Rive Bistro on the Saugatuck River in Westport and savor French fare like trout almondine with lemon butter, toasted almonds, white beans and haricot vert salad. Tom Fazio worked magic around water, rock outcroppings, trees and sculptured bunkers at Great River Golf Club along the Housatonic River in Milford. The front nine is a links-style layout, while the back nine snakes through woods, with water coming into play on 12 holes. While in the area, check out the Yale University course in New Haven. With a history dating back to 1924 when Seth Raynor and Charlie Banks laid out the track, it’s one of Delamar Marina and The Delamar Hotel in Greenwich. 60
the finest collegiate courses in the country.
Great River Golf Club.
Essex, once a bustling seafaring town, sits on the Connecticut River, which spills
Take time out for a 2½-hour journey through the Connecticut River Valley aboard the
into Long Island Sound. Today the town harbors fashionable shops as well as The
vintage Essex Steam Train & Riverboat, or book a table on a 1920s dinner train and
Griswold Inn (“The Gris”) that has been welcoming guests since 1776.
savor lobster, salmon or prime rib as the scenery rolls by.
Up the river in East Haddam, home of the Goodspeed Opera House, is the Fox
Shennecossett Golf Course is owned by the town of Groton and dates to 1898 when
Hopyard Golf Club, which was designed by the Roger Rulewich Group. Elevated tees,
it started out as a four-hole track; it was expanded to 18 holes in 1916 by Donald
dramatic shots through tall trees, meadows and wetlands characterize this solid track.
Ross. The town built three new holes in 1997 (15, 16 and 17), opening up spectacular
Stay at “The Gris” and enjoy a nightcap in the historic taproom, or head to the Inn at Harbor Hill Marina on the Niantic River, where 16 rooms are housed in the original
views of the Thames estuary. With its crowned greens and numerous bunkers, it’s the closest you’ll come to a Scottish-style links in this part of the world.
inn and the newer Captain Clark House. Each room is unique, with amenities that
After golf, hit the Connecticut Wine Trail, which includes the Jonathan Edwards Winery
include soaking tubs, fireplaces and private balconies overlooking the river. Captain
in North Stonington. Sit on the stone terrace and sample their superb chardonnay,
Dave Labrie, the owner, will even take you for a cruise up the river in his boat, the “Inn
pinot gris and syrah along with other wines, breads and cheeses.
Style,” a fringed 1940s craft.
Check into the 18-room Inn at Stonington, where the decor is fresh and sophisticated.
For great seafood and steaks, go coastal at On the Waterfront in New London or
King-sized beds, balconies overlooking the water, fireplaces and Jacuzzi tubs raise the
try Rocky’s Aqua in Clinton, where the bar fries with homemade ranch dressing are
bar for style. This is the place to unwind with a massage, kayaking, yoga or a sunset
cruise. Or all of the above.
New technology has led to advanced performance.
New generation of Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls are already a hit with PGA pros. BY LOU SULLIVAN he names Titleist, Pro V1 and Pro V1x
has a higher launch angle. What sets them apart
are synonymous with the highest quality
from other golf balls? Bill Morgan, senior vice
in golf balls. Since the original Pro V1
president for Titleist research and development,
was launched in the fall of 2000, no golf ball has
says it’s impossible to single out one or two
commanded more worldwide sales or been put
into play by more PGA Tour pros.
president of product development. “It’s “The difference is everything,” he says. “We have
essentially a little chemical plant right in the
For the first time the best-performing ball for
more people with more experience designing and
mold, compared with using an off-shelf material.
the pros and the amateur golfers was one
making golf balls, and the most sophisticated
It allows us to dial in our desired properties of
in the same. Designed and built right here in New England at the Titleist factory in
precision manufacturing process. These
spin control, softness and durability.”
golf balls are the culmination of all that knowledge and technology.
Of course, the proof is in the scoring. Walker and
Acushnet, Mass., Titleist
The original Pro V1 was
Spieth believe their recent success can be directly
golf balls continue to set
revolutionary, but we’ve learned a
attributed to using the new Pro V1x. Walker shot
lot in the past 15 years.”
66-66-62-63 for a nine-stroke win at the Sony Open after finishing second the week before at
The newest brand of Pro V1 and Pro V1x balls were ready for play on the PGA Tour last October
Both golf balls feature a new, patented “thermoset” urethane cover
carded a final-round 63 to prevail in Australia.
that delivers more spin and control with a
and became available to the public in January.
softer feel. The cover is created by a chemical
“I used the same ball the entire day and it still flew
More than 100 pros have chosen to play the new
reaction that takes place during the casting
perfectly,” Spieth says. “The changes to the new
versions, including Jordan Spieth, a winner at
process. Liquid materials formulated by the
golf ball have been big for me.”
the Australian Open, and Jimmy Walker, who
company’s R&D team combine to form a solid
captured the Sony Open.
cover. The term “thermoset” means that the once-
Bubba Watson is also using the Pro V1x. “It has
formed cover will not re-melt.
all the great qualities of the previous generation
The new Pro V1 has a softer feel, a slightly more
the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. Spieth
of the Pro V1x ball with improved feel around the
long-game spin and a penetrating trajectory,
“This gives us complete control of the chemical
greens,” he says. “It even goes a little further off
while the Pro V1x is firmer, induces lower spin and
composition,” says Michael Sullivan, vice
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Mount Washington Championship Course brettonwoods.com Atkinson Resort atkinsonresort.com Eastman Golf Links eastmangolflinks.com Lochmere Golf & Country Club lochmeregolf.com Breakfast Hill Golf Club breakfasthill.com Portsmouth Country Club portsmouthcc.net Canterbury Woods Country Club canterburywoodscc.com Owl’s Nest Resort & Golf Club owlsnestrealestate.com North Conway Country Club northconwaycountryclub.com Pease Golf Club peasegolf.com
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he town of Yarmouth, Mass., on Cape Cod, is home to a pair of distinct, challenging championship golf courses. It’s not often you can play a classic Donald Ross course without being a member of a private club or forking over hefty greens fees. But you can at Bass River Golf Course. The town also boasts Bayberry Hills, which if you choose to tackle it from the back tees is worthy of hosting a PGA Tour event. Bass River opened in 1898 and was redesigned by Ross in 1914. It demands strategy off the tee and precise approach shots to crowned, postage-stamp greens. It only measures 6,129 yards from the tips, with a par 5 that’s only 484 yards and a pair of par 4s that measure a mere 310 and 258. But none of these supposedly easy holes are easy pars. “Bass River is an old country club course, and as such Ross designed it so it’s playable for the average golfer,” says Jim Armentrout, Yarmouth director of golf. “But it also takes a lot of ability to play it well.” The bottleneck-shaped greens are slender and deep, with little margin for error. Some of Ross’ footprint was lost through the years, but the sixth green was restored not long ago to the designer’s specifications. The 169-yard par-3 ninth is the unquestioned signature hole. It runs parallel to Bass River, usually into a howling crosswind. The green is guarded in front by a steep embankment, while shots that veer left will hit rocks and kick into the river. Take too much club and you’re faced with an impossible downhill chip to a green that slopes severely from back to front. Bayberry Hills is a different animal, clocking in at more than 7,000 yards. Opened in 1988, the course features a succession of doglegs, tree-lined fairways and massive greens. The par 3s are especially demanding, especially the 241-yard eighth hole. But the teeth of the course is in the par 4s, with seven coming in at more than 400 yards. Some call the 533-yard 15th the signature hole. The fairway is split by a chute of trees that offer a shortcut to the green, but that route also brings trouble into the equation. Others point to the 396-yard fourth that features the only water on the course. A pond down the right side of the fairway is blind from the tee but is easily reachable. The approach must then carry another pond fronting the green. “It’s a true championship golf course,” Armentrout says. “It sits on 200 acres, so you don’t feel cramped. It’s a real walk-in-the-park type course. You never feel as though you’re playing in someone else’s fairway. Every hole is playable, but collectively they can end up getting you.”
Top: Bayberry Hills ninth hole; Above: Bass River eighth green.
For a unique experience, Bayberry Hills also has a nine-hole links course that evokes the feeling of being in Scotland. “It’s like turning the page, with wide fairways, no trees and big, undulating greens,” Armentrout says.
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Stowe Mountain Club Golf Course.
When the snow melts, the golf heats up.
here are plenty of reasons to visit Stowe, Vermont, long after winter’s silent shroud of snow melts from the mountains of this idyllic New England town. At the top of the list are the Stowe Mountain Club Golf Course and the Stowe Country Club. These two championship golf courses offer contrasting challenges, but each is a worthy test for players of every skill level. With the Green Mountains serving as a stunning backdrop, both layouts wind through the wilderness, with dramatic elevation changes that take golfers into the clouds and provide dazzling views of the surrounding countryside. “The scenery and the conditions are the two most remarkable things about these golf courses,” says Ron Philo, Jr., head professional at Stowe Mountain Club Golf Course. Stowe Mountain, a par-72, semi-private layout that is open to guests of the luxurious Stowe Mountain Lodge, runs along the lower reaches of Spruce Peak and Mount Mansfield. The breathtaking 14th tee and the 15th green are elevated nearly 2,000 feet, offering views into the valley that stretch for 60 miles. “You’re literally above the clouds when you stand on the 15th green in the early morning fog,” Philo says.
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Stowe Country Club.
Designed by Bob Cupp, Stowe Mountain includes one of the best collections of
“It’s an enjoyable walk yet still challenging for the better golfers because of the
par-4 holes in America. One could call it a “target” golf course, where balls that
green complexes,” Philo says. “But you won’t lose many golf balls.”
miss the fairway are often lost. Club selection is critical on the rolling fairways, and the greens feature subtle slopes.
The par-5 sixth hole stands as the signature. Golfers look down from an elevated tee past a sugar maple tree and into Stowe Valley, with Camel’s Hump
“It has a pristine setting,” Philo says. “We’re an Audubon International facility,
as a backdrop.
so the golf course was built with great respect and effort to protect the natural habitat.”
Stowe Mountain Lodge, opened in 2008, sets a standard of luxury and aesthetics. Built at the foot of Stowe Mountain Resort, in the new “Vermont-
Plans are set for a new 20,000-square-foot clubhouse, with a 180-seat
Alpine” style, Stowe Mountain Lodge offers a truly luxurious setting, while still
restaurant and function room scheduled to open in the spring of 2017.
paying respect to the Vermont traditions of utilizing local artisan products and embracing the tranquility of nature.
The 50-year-old Stowe Country Club, the resort’s original course, sits in the heart of the village. Once a turn-of-the-century dairy farm, the course offers a
The lodge provides the ideal base for exploring the region, which features
pastoral setting in a traditional Vermont landscape. With wider fairways, it’s a
world-class dining, fishing, hiking, shopping, spas and, of course, the historic,
more forgiving design, but it also has spectacular views of Camel’s Hump and
charming village of Stowe.
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The Jones Course at Pinehills.
lymouth is known as “America’s Hometown.” But it might
cranberry bogs, both layouts feature steep elevation changes
also be called “Golf Central.” No town in Massachusetts
and dramatic scenery. Holes are framed by pines and completely
boasts more top-notch public courses, all within minutes
isolated, creating a serene atmosphere.
of each other. Pinehills Golf Club, Waverly Oaks, Crosswinds and Southers Marsh top a list of the town’s nine courses, with each offering a unique and challenging experience.
Waverly Oaks, located across Route 3 from Pinehills, is one of the state’s most underrated courses. Opened in 1998, it plays 7,100 yards from the tips, although there are four sets of tees
There are two championship courses at Pinehills, one created
to accommodate golfers of varying ability. Wide fairways and
by Jack Nicklaus Design, the other by Rees Jones. The goal at
ballroom-sized greens are the defining characteristics, along
Pinehills is to provide a private setting at a public course. It begins
with rolling fairways and extraordinary elevation changes. The
with a drive through the woods to the elegant, 12,000-square-
signature 17th hole is memorable and demanding. An uphill par
foot clubhouse, where employees remove your clubs from the
3 of 234 yards, shots must carry a waste area and an enormous
trunk and place them onto a cart, making you feel like a member
bunker that guards the front of the green and sits well below the
at an exclusive resort. Set among woodlands, kettle ponds and
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Crosswinds is next to Waverly Oaks, so close that you can spot the clubhouse from the neighboring course. With three nine-hole layouts that provide a unique experience, golfers can mix and match to create a trio of distinct 18hole layouts. Rolling fairways and large, gently undulating greens test players of every skill level. Challenging yet fun, Crosswinds takes advantage of the natural topography, offering dramatic elevation changes, panoramic views and comfortable spacing between holes for a resort-style atmosphere. Southers Marsh is a par-61 course measuring slightly more than 4,100 yards. But you will be challenged on every shot as you play around actively maintained cranberry bogs and between tight, tree-lined fairways. The course demands a succession of carries over wetlands and is visually stunning, mentally intimidating and, in the end, a completely rewarding experience. Once the final putts are made, the historic town of Plymouth is at your doorstep. The bustling waterfront features antique shops, clam shacks and upscale dining. Among the many attractions are Plymouth Rock, Plimoth Plantation and the Mayflower II, which is a replica of the ship that brought the Pilgrims to the New World. Of course, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re never far from the beach, with sunset cruises from Plymouth Harbor departing nightly. The Mirbeau Inn & Spa at The Pinehills is just one of many lodging options, while the nearby Rye Tavern, which is housed in an historic building from Colonial times, and the East Bay Grille are superb post-golf destinations for dinner and drinks.
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Cranberry Valley Golf Course.
new era has dawned at Cranberry Valley Golf Course in Harwich, Mass. The town-owned course has a new director of golf who has been one of the driving forces behind Cape Codâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s junior golf league, a new business model that will be fully utilizing such technology as a mobile app to search for tee times, a scan card to pay for greens fees and merchandise, a revamped web site, and a mission to make customer service top priority. Previously, Cranberry Valley had customer service training, but now the course is implementing that training. When golfers arrive, an employee will be there to take their bag. The changes will provide more reasons why Cranberry Valley ranks as one of Cape Codâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s finest public layouts. From the superb practice facility, intriguing design and pristine course condition to the scenic cranberry bogs, spacious restaurant and outside porch, everything is top-notch.
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Cranberry Valley features a wide variety of well designed holes to challenge players of every ability, while providing an enjoyable golfing experience at the same time.
New golf director Roman Greer brings a wealth
demanding par 3s and a memorable double-
the Massachusetts Women’s Open and the state
of experience to the position after working at a
dogleg par 5 as the finishing hole. It was named a
Public Links championship.
number of prestigious private clubs. He has also
Top 50 public course in the country by Golf Digest
been a leader of the PGA Junior Golf League on
in 1984. Today, non-residents can join for $900 and
What many golfers remember are the three
play unlimited golf all year long.
finishing holes, which comprise perhaps the most demanding completion to any public course on
Cranberry Valley was designed by Geoffrey Cornish
The town poured more than $1.2 million into
the Cape. Imagine walking to the 16th tee with the
and opened in 1974 as one of the first town-owned
renovations in recent years, with architect Mark
chance to shoot a career score. Here’s what you’ll
facilities. There are stimulating short par 4s,
Mungeam redesigning all 55 bunkers. A new
face: A monster 443-yard par 4 that usually plays
practice facility was also opened, featuring an
into the wind; a 205-yard par 3 that is all carry
expanded driving range and a short-game area
to an elevated green; and a horseshoe-shaped,
with two greens, bunkers and a spot for chipping.
double-dogleg par 5 that requires enough power to clear the corner, and enough finesse to place
You will find lots of sand and parking lot-sized
your iron to a narrow landing area on your
greens. The fairways aren’t especially narrow,
and the woods are cleared, allowing for recovery
The clubhouse overlooks a massive practice green.
shots. Still, Cranberry Valley has not often yielded
Three vastly different holes. Three marvelous
low rounds over the years, even when hosting
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he Captains Golf Course has been one of Cape Codâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most
The Starboard Course demands accuracy off the tee. The par-3 fifth hole
popular destinations since it opened in 1985. Conveniently
of 213 yards is one of the most memorable on the course. A deep kettle
located in Brewster, approximately a 30-minute drive from
hole and two bunkers guard the front of the green, with a bailout area to
both the Sagamore Bridge and the tip of Provincetown, this
the right offering a safer option.
town-owned facility is the only Cape club to offer two championship 18-hole courses.
The hole is part of a wonderful stretch that includes the 451-yard par-4 fourth (uphill off the tee, with the green resting on a ledge) and the 533-
The Port and the Starboard courses are a combination of the original
yard par-5 seventh (bunkers left, large oak trees to the right off the tee).
and new course, which was completed in 1999, with eight holes from the original blended beautifully into the new design. Both courses feature a
No one leaves the Starboard without remembering the outstanding 468-
classic Cape Cod feel, with tree-lined fairways, relatively flat terrain and a
yard par-4 16th hole. The downhill tee shot must carry a series of fairway
fair, straightforward test of golf.
bunkers that will test your nerves.
The Port features a collection of testing doglegs, with the par-5 holes
Once your round of golf is completed, there is ample reason to linger
serving as the distinguishing characteristic. They are rated the first,
for a beverage or a bite to eat. The Captains has a comfortable outdoor
second, fourth and fifth most difficult on the course. The eighth hole is
patio and a well-stocked restaurant. A short drive away is a quaint
one of the most strategic on the Cape. Even big hitters must lay up on
downtown area dotted with historic inns, upscale dining, art galleries,
the second shot or risk hitting into a hazard, leaving a testing mid-iron
clam shacks and lobster huts.
approach to a depressed green guarded by a pond on the right and woods on the left.
Brewster is also home to the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History, Nickerson State Park and the Stony Brook Grist Mill and Museum,
The 407-yard second hole, which plays to an elevated green, is one of
where watching the herring run is a delight for children of all ages. The
many superb par 4s, while the 391-yard fourth demands another uphill
25-mile Cape Cod Rail Trail extends from Dennis to Wellfleet and cuts
approach. The 371-yard 16th might be the best hole on the course. The
through the heart of Brewster. The Brewster Whitecaps, members of the
fairway bends to the right of the landing area and tee shots must be hit
prestigious Cape Cod Baseball League, are one of the townâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hottest
to the left side in order to have a view of the green.
attractions. And, of course, a soft, sandy beach is never more than a few minutes away.
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Crumpin-Fox and Fox Hopyard are both worth the trip.
Fox Hopyard Golf Club.
rumpin-Fox Golf Club in Bernardston, Mass., and Fox
holes are perfectly suited for the topography. Each hole is cut out
Hopyard Golf Club in East Haddam, Conn., are both award-
of the woods, a creek or the hills and valleys.”
winning courses that were built by Roger Rulewich and evoke the feeling of playing in a prestigious, private setting.
Originally opened as a nine-hole course in 1978, Crumpin-Fox expanded to 18 in 1990. It has been honored in national magazines
You know a golf course is special when it has hosted U.S. Open
as one of the Top 10 public courses in America, one of the Top 75
qualifiers and the Massachusetts Open. Crumpin-Fox might be
overall, and one of the Top 10 bargain courses. Its rustic, wood-
the finest public course in the state. Those who make the trip to
paneled pro shop stands in Golf Digest’s Top 100, and it has been
this remote corner of the state are amply rewarded: Amid the pine
named one of America’s Top 100 women-friendly layouts.
trees, rolling terrain and miles of breathtaking green fields sits one of New England’s most picturesque layouts.
Each hole is a paradise onto itself, with none more majestic or memorable than the 568-yard, par-5 eighth, which ranks the most
“We like to say that we have 18 signature holes,” head professional
difficult. From its elevated tee, golfers gaze at a narrow, bending
Michael Zaranek says. “Every hole is unique and isolated. The
fairway that is guarded entirely by water on the left that juts in and
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out, and wraps around the green. It’s a beautiful hole, with plenty of room for trouble. Fox Hopyard is an equally spectacular layout. It sits adjacent to Devil’s Hopyard State Park and plays to a par 71 at nearly 7,200 yards. Woods, meadows, water, wetlands and wildlife combine to make this a memorable experience, while the stunning clubhouse sits atop a 30-foot rock ledge and provides commanding views of four holes and a five-acre pond. Spread out over 530 acres, the course takes golfers on a journey that shifts from rolling terrain and wooded fairways reminiscent of Vermont to a section of lowlands similar to that found in South Carolina and a treeless Scottish links-style finish with mounding and fescue.
Crumpin-Fox Golf Club.
“It has a tremendous variety of holes. It’s almost like three different courses,” head professional Ron Beck says. Dramatic elevation changes, such as the 200foot climb on the second and third holes and the 100-foot drop on the fourth and fifth, are interspersed with wetlands that border nearly every hole and two lakes that wind around the property. The meat of the course is in the approach shots to greens. “You must have the right angles because most of the greens have unique sections,” Beck says. “If you are on the correct section you have a makeable putt; if you’re not, you have a difficult two-putt.” Located 100 miles between Boston and New York City, Fox Hopyard is a popular midway spot for company outings. And just like Crumpin-Fox, it’s an extremely favored destination for those who love the challenge of a superb golf course in a dazzling setting. Fox Hopyard Golf Club.
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Ulster County, N.Y., offers an endless variety of scenic challenges.
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Rondout Golf Club.
eople don’t often think of golf when it comes to Ulster County, N.Y. Instead, most think of rock ‘n’ roll. That’s because the town of Woodstock had its name attached to the most iconic rock music festival in history in 1969. Through the years such legends as Bob Dylan, Paul Butterfield, Van Morrison and Richie Havens have performed there. But the sprawling county, which is geographically the size of Rhode Island, is also known for having some of the finest, most picturesque daily-fee golf courses in the state. Golfers from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania come to play a variety of courses that are in excellent shape, are affordable and accessible. Lazy Swan Golf and Country Club Village in Saugerties, which expanded to 18 holes in 2012, has become a regular stop for golfers who enjoy the 6,400yard course with magnificent views of the nearby Catskill Mountains.
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New Paltz Golf Course.
“We’re located just a couple of minutes off the New York State Thruway,”
New York City metropolitan area who don’t mind driving more than one
Lazy Swan head pro Steve Simone says. “People love that the course is well
hour, because there is no wait and the pace of play is quick. The course is
groomed, challenging and offers a variety of stunning golf holes.”
carved right out of an apple orchard, and golfers can even pick a few apples during their round.
Built by Dr. Anthony Bacchi, it opened as a nine-hole course in 2005 amid unsettling economic times. While courses around the country were closing,
Robert Trent Jones designed the Fallsview Golf Course at the Honor’s
Bacchi had a vision: If he built a quality product, people would come. His risk
Haven Resort and Spa in Ellenville, which has been the site of numerous
has paid off.
professional and amateur tournaments.
Rondout Golf Club, a scenic 18-hole, semi-private course in Accord, is known
The 18-hole Hudson Valley Resort & Spa in Kerhonkson and the nine-hole
for its many risk-reward holes, with several streams and manmade lakes on
Mohonk Mountain House course in New Paltz are also very popular.
the property. Ulster County offers an endless variety of golf. And then there’s always the Apple Greens Golf Course in Highland is a 27-hole layout located just five minutes from the New Paltz exit off the thruway. It attracts golfers from the
lure of visiting historic Woodstock following your round.
Plot a course to five boat-friendly New England layouts.
f you’re a golfer and a boater, summer can be a season of difficult decisions. But despair not. You can enjoy the best of both worlds with these five courses—all of which can be accessed by water, or close to it.
Cape Cod National Golf Club BREWSTER, MASSACHUSETTS Pleasant Bay is one of Cape Cod’s most idyllic boating locales, and the Wequassett Resort and Golf Club in Harwich offers an equally peaceful destination, whether you are staying for lunch or booking a romantic weekend. It makes sense to book an overnight stay, however, because guests are granted access to the prestigious Cape Cod National Golf Club in nearby Brewster. Wequassett offers commanding views of Pleasant Bay and maintains several deepwater guest moorings, along with launch service and a dock
Cape Cod National, Brewster.
for dropping off gear and passengers. The resort features luxury rooms, two swimming pools, tennis courts and four restaurants, all on magnificently manicured grounds. Named by Golf Digest as the fourth-best new course in the country when it opened in 1998, Cape Cod National is an astonishingly dramatic layout, with tree-lined fairways framed by 18-inch high fescue; steep elevation changes; quick, subtle greens; and deep, penal bunkers. There isn’t a private home to spoil the surroundings; it’s just the golfer and the course.
Pleasant Bay, Harwich.
Bass River Golf Course YARMOUTH, MASSACHUSETTS Bass River, which flows into Nantucket Sound and separates Yarmouth and West Dennis, is Cape Cod’s longest estuary and a popular destination for cruisers, fishermen, sailors and paddlers. Transient boaters can dock at the Ship Shops Marina in Yarmouth or at the Bass River Marina in West Dennis. Bass River Marina is also home to the Summer Shanty, a popular dock-
and-dine restaurant. Not far from the Route 28 bridge in Yarmouth
The course, one of Cape Cod’s oldest, opened
is the venerable Bass River Golf Course. While
in 1900 as a private nine-hole club and was
you can drive or taxi to the course from both
redesigned in 1914 by noted architect Donald
marinas, you’re also welcome to beach a dinghy
Ross. Today, the 18-hole layout features wide
on the riverbank behind the clubhouse, which is
fairways and small, undulating greens that offer
a much cooler way to go.
plenty of unique challenges.
Bass River, top and above, flows between Yarmouth and West Dennis.
Bay Pointe Golf Club ONSET, MASSACHUSETTS Boating and golf mix well in Onset, a village of Wareham that’s not far from the Cape Cod Canal. Boaters will find a welcome home at the Onset Bay Marina, located less than one mile from Bay Pointe Golf Club. The fullservice marina offers transient slips and moorings for boats up to 100 feet and will arrange transportation to and from the course. Bay Pointe is a different sort of golf course. You alternate between wondering how you’ll make par and imagining there is no way you won’t make birdie. Designed by Geoffrey Cornish and opened in 1964, it was the Wareham Country Club until changing its name
Reservation Golf Course
25 years ago.
The Jekyll and Hyde design begins with a brutally
If you’re up for a “commando-style” approach to golfing, try this
difficult opening stretch that includes the No. 1
under-the-radar option in Mattapoisett. Boaters can slip in a round
handicap par-4 second of 465 yards and the 452-yard
at Reservation Golf Course Monday through Friday, from 9:30 to 11
par-4 fifth. It then eases up, allowing you to catch your
a.m., by beaching their dinghy on the Town Beach, adjacent to the
breath at the 283-yard sixth and the 101-yard seventh
mouth of the Mattapoisett River, and then making the short walk to
before sending the 227-yard eighth your way.
The card measures 6,201 from the tips, but Bay Pointe
Built on the site of a former Wampanoag summer camp,
plays much longer when you consider that one hole is
Reservation is a nine-hole golf course with views of Mattapoisett
only 101 yards. That leaves 17 holes playing at 6,100 to
Harbor, Eel Pond and the Mattapoisett River.
a par-70, and that means plenty of difficult challenges.
grab a free mooring courtesy of Triad Boatworks on a first-come,
Just a chip onto a green surrounded by water and
first-served basis (look for the green-topped buoys marked “TBW”
overshadowed by condos, it has a way of ruining
along the southern border of the mooring field fairway), while
rounds with balls that find watery graves.
Mattapoisett Boatyard rents transient moorings and runs launch
Onset Bay makes a great day trip or weekend
Boating accommodations are easy to find in Mattapoisett. You can
The tiny seventh stands as the signature hole.
service in the harbor.
destination, with several charming Victorian inns and
If you’re looking to spend the night ashore, you can rent a room at
bed & breakfasts, a variety of restaurants and one of
the Mattapoisett Inn and enjoy dinner at the Inn at Shipyard Park,
the most underrated beaches in Massachusetts. Plus,
both located on Water Street across from the town wharf and free
it offers immediate access to the Cape Cod Canal and
dinghy dock. A short walk through the village brings you to Route 6
and a host of shops and additional restaurants.
Bay Pointe Golf Club, top, and Reservation Golf Club, above, offer diversions for boaters docked at Onset Bay, left.
Chebeague Island Golf Course, GREAT CHEBEAGUE, MAINE
Maine’s Casco Bay features some of the most delightful cruising waters in the Northeast, with dozens of gorgeous islands and mainland ports. But it gets even better for golfers, because Casco Bay is where you’ll find the magical Chebeague Island Golf Course on Great Chebeague Island. Boaters can launch from several nearby ports, including Portland, Falmouth, Yarmouth and Harpswell. Upon arrival, you can drop anchor or arrange for a mooring off the island’s municipal pier. Dinghies and small boats may be left at the pier with permission from the harbormaster. The golf course is just a few hundred feet from the pier, in the shadow of the magnificent Chebeague Island Inn. You’ll likely want to book a room at the inn after laying eyes on its sprawling porch, where you can indulge in evening cocktails and hors d’ouevres while watching the sunset. The dinner menu is superb, and a Sunday jazz brunch often draws a crowd. The course is forgiving and short, known for producing more holesin-one than any mainland course. Maybe it’s the amazing views of Casco Bay or refreshing ocean breezes that do the trick!
Harbor Lights Golf Club & Marina, WARWICK, RHODE ISLAND
There aren’t many water-accessible golf courses in Rhode Island, but Harbor Lights Golf and Country Club on Warwick Cove fills the bill – especially since it boasts a marina with dedicated transient slips. Other marina amenities include a pool, bar, restaurant, picnic area, WiFi, fuel dock, service and more. Best of all, boaters enjoy special rates and privileges at the nearby nine-hole course. The well-manicured, par-72 course – originally part of the former Seaview Country Club – was redesigned by architect Geoffrey Cornish. The layout boasts lush, rolling fairways, undulating bentgrass greens and, of course, stunning views of Narragansett Bay. These are just a few of the options available for boaters who also love Top: Chebeaugue Island. Middle Left: Harbor Lights Golf Club and Marina. Middle Right: Chebeaugue Island Inn. Above: Harbor Lights Golf Club & Marina.
to golf. So if you think you’ve got to choose whether to spend the day boating or golfing, think again. In New England, you can do both.
The snow might be gone, but the excitement continues with spring’s arrival. BY LOU SULLIVAN
Photo credit: Okemo Mountain Resort.
hether it’s zip lining through a forest, taking a breathtaking ride down an Alpine slide, rock-climbing or mountain biking, New England is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts once spring arrives. Why head for the mountains after the snow is gone? Here’s why: Whether you’re a daredevil or a bit on the cautious side, young or old, there’s something for everyone once the weather warms up. MAINE isn’t called “Vacationland” solely for its winter skiing and summer beachside resorts. From Sugarloaf to Sunday River, there are all sorts of adventures and activities that will get your heart pumping. At Sugarloaf, the Outpost Adventure Center offers Segway tours, canoe rentals, kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding. If you’re seeking a little high anxiety, ride a chairlift to the sky and zip line across the mountain. Sunday River is one of New England’s most expansive ski resorts, and in summer all those chairlifts provide easy access to spectacular mountaintop views. The youngsters can head for the bungee trampoline and the climbing wall. There are also zip lines that take you through the woods. Golfers will love Sunday River Golf Club, a Robert Trent Jones, Jr. design that is rated one of the best in the region. NEW HAMPSHIRE is home to Mount Washington, Attitash, Bretton Woods, Cranmore, Loon, Gunstock and Waterville Valley. The alpine slide at Attitash opened in 1976 and is one of the longest in North America at more than one mile. There is also a waterslide, a mountain coaster and the new airbag jump, which has been likened to leaping off a four-story building. For those in search of something a bit more calming, there is horseback riding. Bretton Woods, home to the historic Omni Mount Washington Resort,
Right, Adventure Park, Storrs, Conn.; Top, Okemo Mountain Resort, Vt.; Above right, Jiminy Peak’s Mountain Adventure Park, Mass.
is the perfect spot for a guided off-road ATV tour that will take novice riders through the White Mountain National Forest. There is also a
Loon Mountain is a popular family destination. The Aerial Forest Adventure Park
canopy tour that drops 1,000 feet and includes four zip lines.
features five courses that include climbing ladders, crossing bridges, and walking
At Cranmore’s Mountain Adventure Park, you can try the bungy trampoline or go tubing, then ride the mountain coaster. Gunstock
from platform to platform high in the trees. You can also take a Segway tour, tackle the climbing wall or bike the back country forest trails.
Mountain Resort has the Big Air Bag, where you fly through the air
Love golf but don’t have time to chase the little white ball? Wildcat Mountain’s disc
and land on a soft air bag. A series of zip lines also take you past
golf course could be for you. The nine-hole course also has stunning views of Mount
suspended bridges and scramble nets.
VERMONT is also filled with adventure parks. With 23 rides and attractions, Bromley Mountain Resort offers New England’s newest and longest zip line, the Sun Mountain Flyer. Jay Peak Resort, near the Canadian border, has an indoor water park with a retractable roof, while Okemo Mountain Resort features the Timber Ripper mountain coaster, the state’s first roller coaster-style attraction. At Okemo’s Energy Air Bag attraction, you can walk the plank from a platform 30 feet above a 30-by-50-foot air bag. Stowe Mountain offers more traditional activities such as tennis and hiking, while Sugarbush features a Robert Trent Jones, Sr.-designed golf course, a tennis camp, cross-country mountain biking, two 18-hole disc golf courses and for the kids, an inflatable bounce house. In MASSACHUSETTS, Jiminy Peak’s Mountain Adventure Park is appropriately named. You can reach speeds of 23 mph on the Mountain Coaster, hurtle down an alpine slide or zip-line past suspended bridges and swinging logs. There aren’t any mountains to climb in RHODE ISLAND, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get exercise and adventure. Rodman’s Hollow, a 230-acre glacial basin in Newport, offers miles of walking trails and spectacular views of the ocean. There are large populations of migrating birds in spring. The popular Newport Cliff Walk will take you along a 3.5-mile elevated, winding path along the shoreline, with breathtaking views of Narragansett Bay and the rocky coves below. You’ll see stately reminders of the “Gilded Age” as you pass such Newport mansions as The Breakers, Rosecliff and Beechwood. Finally, The Adventure Park in Storrs, CONNECTICUT, has become a favorite destination for visitors of all ages. The aerial forest includes five trails of varying levels of difficulty, each with zip lines, along with bridges that sit between tree platforms of rope, cable and wood configurations that create more than 60 unique challenges.
Photo: Bill Lee
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Top: Cranmore Mountain Adventure Park, N.H.; Middle right: Sunday River Golf Course, Maine; Above: Sugarloaf Golf Club, Vt.; Left: Bromley Mountain Resort, Vt.
Blue Hills Reservation Trails, Milton, Mass. 100
From Maine to Connecticut, hikers can choose from a variety of mountain climbs and waterfront trails. BY LOU SULLIVAN rom the mountains of New Hampshire and the rocky coastlines of Maine and Rhode Island to the green forests of Vermont and Massachusetts and the rolling hills of Connecticut, the New England states offer a smorgasbord of options that will satisfy hikers of all ages and ability. For the truly adventurous, there is the Appalachian Trail, which begins at the summit of Mount Katahdin in Maine and winds through all six New England states on its 2,184-mile journey to Georgia. The difficulty of the trail varies, with the most arduous sections in Maine and easier for overnight stays are stationed along the way in Maine and New Hampshire, and there is bus service close to the trail in the Granite Stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s White Mountains that will transport you through the region.
Photo: Dan Cutrona
hikes through Massachusetts and Connecticut. Huts and lodges
Marginal Way, Ogunquit, Maine. Courtesy of the Marginal Way Preservation Fund
Kent Falls, Gillette Castle State Park, Connecticut.
CONNECTICUT state parks offer many hiking trails of varying difficulty
MAINE is known for its rocky coastline, and there are many hikes that offer exercise and
that wind past lakes, streams and scenic valleys. Gillette Castle State
breathtaking views. The paved Marginal Way in Ogunquit stretches along the coast, while
Park has a graded trail that leads to a castle, while two hiking trails in
Baxter State Park is a raw, rugged wilderness. It’s worth making the journey across the
the western part of the state take you past the spectacular Kent Falls
water to Mount Desert Island to traverse the historic Acadia Carriage Trails that were
waterfall, where the fall foliage is considered among the best in New
paved by John D. Rockefeller in 1913. Bradbury Mountain State Park has sweeping views
England. For a more strenuous hike, Bear Mountain in Salisbury is a
of Casco Bay, with 21 miles of hiking and biking trails. Vaughn Woods Memorial State Park
good choice. Connecticut’s highest peak, it provides panoramic views
in southern Maine is one of the state’s hidden gems. Centuries-old trees provide shade
along the trails that meander past the Salmon Falls River.
Mohawk Trail, Western Massachusetts.
Few trails are more well known than the Mohawk Trail in Western MASSACHUSETTS, which the first settlers used, traveling the 62 miles from Orange to North Adams. Don’t miss the hike to Poet’s Seat, where you’ll be awed by the 360-degree view of the Pioneer Valley. If you’re into rock climbing, Purgatory Chasm in Sutton stretches for a quarter of a mile between granite walls, rising 70 feet. The Chasm is believed to have originated One of the most intriguing is “The Old 28,” which takes walkers along the old highway route. The Slide Notch Path features a waterfall and a steep granite embankment that guides your path.
The Blue Hills trails include a walk past a castle.
Photo: Dan Cutrona
near the end of the Ice Age, 14,000 years ago. Closer to Boston are the Blue Hills Reservation Trails in Milton.
Photo: Dennis Welsh, Courtesy of AMC
NEW HAMPSHIRE is considered prime hiking country, with stunning mountaintop views throughout the state. The Lincoln Woods Trail winds through the White Mountains past lakes and rivers and can be the ideal spot for a picnic or sunbathing on the many large granite rocks. Franconia Notch and Crawford Notch State Park offer multiple trails for hikers of all abilities. Advanced hikers should head to Arethusa Falls to see the tallest waterfall in the state. For a magnificent view of New Hampshire’s largest lake, hike to the top of Mount Major, especially during fall foliage season. Of course, Mount Washington is New England’s premier hiking destination with a
Photo: Moosalamoo National Recreation Area
summit rising 6,288 feet, providing views from New York to Canada. RHODE ISLAND is known more for its walking trails, such as the famous Cliff Walk that meanders past the glorious mansions from Newport’s Gilded Age. There is a section that requires climbing along the southern portion of the walk. A trip to Block Island provides a variety of hiking trails, including one that ends at Mohegan Bluffs, located 200 feet above the sea and stretching for nearly three miles. Few states are more scenic and unspoiled than VERMONT, where you can hike to spots overlooking Lake Champlain or around beautiful forests and deepwater lakes. The Long Trail in the Green Mountains is the oldest hiking trail in the United States, extending for 272 miles from Massachusetts to Canada. Summit hikes include views from Glastenbury, Stratton Mountain, Killington Peak, Mount Abraham, Mount Mansfield and Jay Peak. Photo: Discover Newport
The Inn-to-Inn Trail is a wonderful way to experience the beauty of the region, with historic guesthouses along the route through the Green Mountains and the Champlain Valley. Mount Mansfield, the state’s highest peak, has long drawn avid hikers. Top: Arethusa Falls, Crawford Notch, N.H. Middle: Hogback Mountain Trail, Green Mountain National Forest, Vt. Above: The Cliff Walk, Newport, R.I.
Whatever your destination choice, New England has a hiking trail that will suit you.
The pier at Calabash is the go-to spot for fried seafood and a great place to relax after tackling Farmstead Golf Linksâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; massive finishing hole (inset).
With a peaceful vibe from a bygone era, the Brunswick Islands are just waiting to be discovered as a golfing destination. BY ROB DUCA
hen I told friends I was heading on a golf trip to the Brunswick Islands,
Course designers include Rees Jones, Jack Nicklaus, Dan Maples, Tim Cates
the common response was “Where is that?” The region might be part
and Arnold Palmer, with many of the layouts earning accolades from national
of North Carolina’s “Golf Coast,” but it hasn’t yet attained the familiar status of
publications. Rolling waves of bunkers share space with live oaks covered in
Myrtle Beach, its more famous neighbor about one hour to the south.
moss, while egrets and herons hover nearby in peaceful co-existence.
That’s a shame. This is a golfing destination more New Englanders should visit.
The Brunswick Islands aren’t far from Myrtle Beach, but it feels like you’re in a
The islands stretch from the Cape Fear River to the South Carolina border and
different time zone. Myrtle Beach’s famous Golden Strand is a cornucopia of
include the towns of Sunset Beach, Ocean Isle Beach, Holden Beach, Oak Island,
souvenir shops, tattoo parlors and bars with ear-deafening music and seemingly
Caswell Beach and Bald Head Island. Once you cross the bridge over onto the
endless happy hours. The Brunswick Islands are a secluded paradise.
islands you’ll have access to more than 30 championship golf courses (with another 70 within a one-hour drive) and 45 miles of pristine beaches, along with numerous other seaside activities such as chartered fishing expeditions and stunning sunset tours along the Intracoastal Waterway.
If Myrtle Beach is a rock concert, then the Brunswick Islands is jazz softly playing at a Sunday morning brunch. In contrast to Myrtle Beach’s colorful, kitschy atmosphere, the Brunswick Islands are a grainy black-and-white photograph of nostalgic simplicity. In many ways, time has stood still here.
That’s not to say you’ll be bored. Quite the contrary. Golf dominates both areas, but if you’re searching for a bit of serenity along with spectacular courses, the Brunswick Islands offers a respite from the madness of Myrtle Beach and other similar golfing destinations. As the brochure produced by the local chamber of commerce says, “Leaving the mainland here is like downshifting to a different way of life, where things move to island time.” As I stood on the deck of my hotel room on my first day at The Winds Resort Beach Club at Ocean Isle Beach, gazing out at the ocean and down below to a main thoroughfare virtually devoid of cars, I knew exactly what that meant. This would be a different brand of golf trip. Less hectic. More relaxing. Unique. A short drive from our hotel brought us to The Pearl Golf Links in nearby Calabash. If Calabash rings a bell, you’re showing your age. The next evening we had dinner along the pier at Ella’s, a family-owned restaurant that has specialized in “Calabash-style” fried seafood since 1950. Its most famous customer – his photo still hangs prominently on the wall – was Jimmy Durante, who famously concluded his weekly television show with a nod to Ella by saying, “Goodnight, Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are.” The Pearl features the West and East Courses, both Maple designs. The West plays more than 7,000 yards from the tips, cutting through the forest, bordering coastal marshland and along the Calabash River. When it opened in 1988, it was named “Best New Public Course” by Golf Digest. Water is featured on 14 holes, never more prominently than on the 16th and 18th, both par-5’s sandwiched around the parMagnolia Greens, above, features 27 holes that wind around lakes and through the North Carolina woods. The pool at the Winds Resort Beach Club at Ocean Isle Beach, top right, offers warm water and ocean views.
3 17th. The 16th is a 604-yard monster with the Calabash River running from tee to green on the right side. As if that’s not difficult enough, the entire hole slopes toward the water. The finishing hole bends slightly left, and water runs along the right before splitting the fairway in front of the green.
Left: The Giggling Mackerel hovers over the Intracoastal Waterway. Top: Sandpiper Bay features rolling, contoured fairways and beautifully sculpted bunkers; Above: Brunswick Plantation.
Golf was followed by a boat tour along the Intracoastal Waterway, where we passed
with the Piper/Bay combination playing the most difficult. I can attest to that
a succession of Southern-style oceanfront mansions before settling in for a rooftop
after shooting a score I prefer not to mention on a 6,700-yard layout with trouble
dinner at the waterside Giggling Mackerel.
everywhere. Water is in play on all nine of the Bay’s holes, in most cases running
A shift of venue on the second day landed us at Brunswick Plantation. After checking
along the entire length of the holes.
into course-side luxury condos, we headed out to play 27 holes at the Magnolia,
The trip to Farmstead Golf Links provided a memorable experience. The course is
Dogwoods and Azaleas layouts. Each nine is distinct. The Dogwood meanders along
outstanding in terms of conditioning and design, with a succession of challenging,
the Caw Creek and features wide fairways amidst the natural coastal terrain. The
intriguing holes. It’s not solely about the 18th hole. Then again, where else can you
Azalea is carved through the woodlands, with water lurking on many of the holes. The
tee off in one state and putt out in another? Farmstead’s final hole begins in South
Magnolia is a Scottish-links design with extensive mounding, and massive sand and
Carolina and ends in North Carolina. There are four sets of tees, so even if you
grass bunkers. The resort offers an 18-hole combination of the three courses, each
select the forward gold markers, the yardage is still a beefy 664. Actually, the course
providing challenge and beauty.
meanders across state lines in a number of spots. Golfers desiring an adult beverage
A full slate of golf was on the agenda for the next day. Tee times were set for 36 holes at Sandpiper Bay at Sunset Beach and Farmstead Golf Links in Calabash. A bit weary
must be sure to place their order with the cart girl on the North Carolina holes because the course doesn’t have a license to sell alcohol in South Carolina.
from the previous day’s 27 holes, I braced for two rounds of golf that would conclude
Our final stop was Magnolia Greens in Leland, which is another 27-hole layout located
with a finishing hole of 767 yards. That is not a typo. A par-6, the hole is a dogleg left
in northern Brunswick County, approximately five miles from Wilmington. Opened
with water running down the left side and up to the green.
in 1998, it has hosted PGA Tour and USGA qualifying events. Once again, it offered a
But first there was Sandpiper. With rolling, contoured fairways and beautifully
playable, yet challenging test awash in the beauty of the North Carolina woods.
sculpted bunkers, it’s no wonder Sandpiper has drawn plaudits for its pristine
So if anyone asks the whereabouts of the Brunswick Islands, be sure to tell them it’s a
conditions. The Sand, Piper and Bay courses comprise the 27-hole Maples design,
place where time stands still and the golf never ends.
Hotel Golf package Partners: Bayside Resort
Dockside Hotel Group
Centerville Corners Inn
Heritage House Hotel
Four Points by Sheraton
Red Jacket Resorts
(866) 970-GOLF 225 Route 28 West Yarmouth, MA 02673 www.capecodgolfvacation.com
800-242-1137 1338 Craigville Beach Road Centerville, MA 02632 www.CentervilleCorners.com
(800) 527-0359 1199 Main Street, Route 28 South Yarmouth, MA 02664 www.clarioncapecod.com
(800) 368-4667 867 Iyannough Road Hyannis, MA 02601 www.hyannisdaysinn.com
(800) 992-2340 452 Route 28 West Yarmouth, MA 02673 www.capecodgolfpackages.com
(800) 242-7829 259 Main Street Hyannis, MA 02601 www.stayandplaycapecod.com
800-533-3986 3800 Route 6 Eastham, MA 02642 www.starwoodhotels.com
(800) CAPECOD 39 Todd Road South Yarmouth, MA 02664 www.bluerockresorts.com
Participating Courses Open for Public Play:
Falmouth Country Club
Ballymeade Country Club
Holly Ridge Golf Club
(508) 540-4005 125 Falmouth Woods Road North Falmouth, MA 02556 www.ballymeade.com
Bass River Golf Course
(508) 398-9079 62 Highbank Road South Yarmouth, MA 02664 www.golfyarmouthcapecod.com
Bayberrry Hills Golf Course
(508) 760-4877 635 West Yarmouth Road West Yarmouth, MA 02673 www.golfyarmouthcapecod.com
Blue Rock Golf Course
(508) 398-9295 48 Todd Road South Yarmouth, MA 02664 www.bluerockgolfcourse.com
Brookside Golf Club
(508) 743-4653 11 Brigadoon Road Bourne, MA 02532 www.thebrooksideclub.com
Cape Cod Country Club
(508) 563-9842 48 Theater Drive Hatchville, MA 02536 www.capecodcountryclub.com
Captains Port Course
(877) 843-9081 1000 Freemans Way Brewster, MA 02631 www.captainsgolfcourse.com
Captains Starboard Course (877) 843-9081 1000 Freemans Way Brewster, MA 02631 www.captainsgolfcourse.com
Chequessett Yacht & CC (508) 349-3704 680 Chequessett Neck Road Wellfleet, MA 02667 www.cycc.net
Cranberry Valley Golf Course (508) 430-5234 183 Oak Street Harwich, MA 02645 www.cranberrygolfcourse.com
Dennis Highland Golf Course (508) 385-8347 825 Old Bass River Road Dennis, MA 02638 www.dennisgolf.com
Dennis Pines Golf Course (508) 385-8347 1045 Route 134 East Dennis, MA 02641 www.dennisgolf.com
(508) 548-3211 630 Carriage Shop Road East Falmouth, MA 02536 www.falmouthcountryclub.com
(508) 428-5577 121 Country Club Road Sandwich, MA 02563 www.hollyridgegolf.com
Hyannis Golf Course (508) 362-2606 Route 132 Hyannis, MA 02601 www.hyannisgc.com
Olde Barnstable Fairgrounds GC (508) 420-1141 1460 Route 149 Marston Mills, MA 02648 www.obfgolf.com
Sandwich Hollows Golf Course (508) 888-3384 1 Rounds Hill Road East Sandwich, MA 02537 www.sandwichhollows.com
A state-by-state glimpse at some of the regionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s top courses.
CONNECTICUT Looking for a challenge? The Stanwich Club in Greenwich more than fits the bill. Trees line all 18 fairways on the long and tight course, while the lightning-fast greens feature severe slopes and numerous bunkers that swallow up misguided approach shots. A series of lakes and streams also come into play on eight holes. The ninth, a long par 5, requires a carry over rough and five bunkers, while the 13th is the signature hole. It plays over a creek, then a lake, to a slightly elevated, L-shaped green built around a deep bunker. The putting surface is built up from the front and then falls away in its left-rear sector.
The Stanwich Club.
The Golf Club at Oxford Greens is located between Fairfield and New Haven Counties, less than one hour from New York. This Mark Mungeam-designed layout features green complexes influenced by the classic works of iconic golf course architects C.B. MacDonald and Seth Raynor. The layout is carved out in the woods west of Naugatuck State Forest, and Mungeam took full advantage of the 680 acres of natural beauty, breathtaking vistas and ever-changing terrain.
For more information on these courses, visit stanwich.com and oxfordgreens.com.
The Golf Club at Oxford Greens.
Sunday River Golf Club.
MAINE Old Marsh Golf Club in Wells was designed by noted architect Brian Silva, and all 18 holes demand strategy and skill, while serving up generous landing areas, exquisite natural surroundings and superb playing conditions. Like The Golf Club at Oxford Greens, Old Marsh’s striking bunker shapes and green contours also evoke the designs of Macdonald and Raynor. The club has teamed with numerous local hotels and inns to offer Stay & Play packages. Among the lodging choices are the historic King’s Point Inn and the wooded Lodge at Turbat’s Creek. Of course, since you’re in Wells, the beaches are only minutes away. Most people think of skiing when they hear Sunday River, but the Bethel resort also features one of Maine’s finest championship golf courses. Designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr., Sunday River Golf Club winds through Maine woodlands in a truly spectacular mountain setting overlooking the Sunday River Valley and the Mahoosuc Range. The course follows the natural topography of the landscape, taking advantage of natural features and elevation changes with a design that strikes the perfect balance between challenge and playability. It has been named by numerous national magazines of one of the Top 100 Courses You Can Play, while Golfweek ranks it the No. 1 course in Maine.
Old Marsh Golf Club.
For more information on these courses, visit harrisgolfonline.com and sundayriver.com.
Stow Acres Country Club.
MASSACHUSETTS Opened in 1997, Widow’s Walk is located in Scituate, midway between Boston and Plymouth, and was the country’s first “environmental demonstration course.” Designated as an Audubon International Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary, the course winds through undisturbed wetlands and sand dunes, taking full advantage of the site’s natural topography. It is imperative to drive the ball straight off the tee on the par 72, 6,403-yard layout, where finesse is definitely more important than power. Fortunately, there are four sets of tees, allowing golfers of all abilities to enjoy this unique layout. Stow Acres Country Club has hosted numerous national competitions on its North and South courses. Set alongside an antique Victorian clubhouse that is a favorite site for weddings and other functions, the two courses were designed by Geoffrey Cornish. The somewhat easier South opened in 1921 as a nine-hole layout. It was expanded to 18 in 1954, with the North added at the same time. Always in superb condition, both courses feature massive greens and tree-lined fairways. The South is more wide open and forgiving, while the North demands a succession of left-to-right shots, favoring golfers who can draw the ball. 112
For more information on these courses, visit widowswalkgolf.com and stowacres.com.
NEW HAMPSHIRE Atkinson Resort & Country Club includes a par-72 championship course and a nine-hole par-3 layout that offers golfers the opportunity to fine-tune their short game. The onsite WillowCreek Golf Academy includes a 10,000 square-foot, state-of–theart golf training academy, a club-fitting system and V1 Pro golf video swing analysis. After working on your game, Merrill’s Tavern has four of the most sophisticated virtual golf simulators in New England, with three-dimensional graphics, along with 12 beers on tap and 10 large screen televisions.
Atkinson Resort & Country Club.
Bretwood Golf Club.
Bretwood Golf Club in Keene meanders alongside the picturesque Ashuelot River, with 36 holes featuring large bent-grass greens protected by strategic bunkering and mounds, generous and gently rolling fairways, numerous elevation changes, plenty of water hazards and the everpresent wind. It has been called the best golf value in the state by USA Today, and has hosted the New England Pro Tour and numerous state amateur events. The highly regarded par 72 North course plays a beefy 6,974 yards from the tips and includes the 612-yard par 5 second hole and five par 4’s stretching more than 420.
For more information on these courses, visit atkinsonresort.com and bretwoodgolf.com.
RHODE ISLAND Crystal Lake Golf Club in Burrillville opened in 2003 and is a great place to take the family for a casual, fun round of golf. Measuring only 6,349 yards and playing to a par 71, you’ll feel like a pro playing par 4’s that measure barely 300 yards. But there are some challenging holes as well. The par-4 seventh checks in at 446, while the par-3 11th is no bargain at 189. The Crystal Lake Tavern is a great post-round spot, while the club has function room facilities that regularly host weddings and outings. Montaup Country Club in Portsmouth is a semi-private club just minutes from downtown Newport. The par-5 16th overlooks Mt. Hope Bay and is considered the signature hole. But the opening three holes are what truly make Montaup unique. There is little time to ease into the round as you play what are considered the three most difficult starting holes in the state. The par-5 first is only 414 yards, but it has water in front and to the right of the green, with out-of-bounds guarding the left side. More trouble awaits at the 404-yard par-4 second and the 213-yard par-3 third.
Montaup Country Club.
Crystal Lake Golf Club.
For more information on these courses, visit crystallakegolfclub.com and montaupcc.com.
Jay Peak Golf Club.
Green Mountain National Golf Course.
For more information on these courses, visit gmngc.com and jaypeakresort.com.
Green Mountain National Golf Course in Killington showcases Vermont in all its natural splendor. Carved out of the majestic Green Mountains, the course offers solitude and a “private” golf experience that will challenge players of all abilities. Gently sloping fairways that feature generous landing areas, distinctive changes in elevation and undulating greens provide uncommon beauty. Centuries-old rock formations carved by the glaciers make this a special place, while the panoramic views from the 16th tee are magnificent. Jay Peak Golf Club, located near the Canadian border, is a little off the beaten track, but the golf course and adjoining resort are worth the journey. The course features wide, rolling fairways, strategic bunkering and outstanding par-3 holes. Golfweek has rated it the No. 1 course in Vermont for three consecutive years. Overlooking the course is the Jay Peak Resort. With 58 suites at The Tramhouse, the 170-room Hotel Jay, 300 privately owned condos available for rent and a 90-seat restaurant, it’s the ideal destination for a golf buddy trip.
Sunsets and Seafood Abound at this Coastal Gem.
Ballard’s Inn is a short stroll from the ferry landing.
BY LENORE CULLEN BARNES
he Narragansett Indians knew prime real estate when they saw it. Long before
visitors boarded ferries or sailed into Old Harbor, the Indians fished these shores, farmed the meadows and enjoyed the spectacular ocean vistas from atop Mohegan Bluffs on Block Island, Rhode Island. Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket have morphed into see-and-be-seen destinations of the rich and famous, but Block Island’s largely undeveloped 7,000 acres continue to promise a
true escape only 12 miles off the Rhode Island coast. Planes no longer land in Sheep Meadow or Minister’s Lot on Corn Neck Road (now there’s
221 Jobs Hill Road
an actual airport on the island) and there isn’t a chain store or even a stoplight anywhere in sight. But there is a laid-back vibe, with 17 miles of beaches, great bike riding, hiking trails,
freshwater ponds and two harbors that provide safe haven to thousands of boaters and sailors. Despite its diminutive size (New Shoreham is the smallest town in the smallest state in the country), the island offers plenty of Victorian-era inns, and restaurants and pubs to whet your whistle and satisfy a range of appetites.
Fresh oysters are plentiful at The Beachead.
BALLARD’S INN is a short stroll from the ferry landing and has been
The Oar’s bar is aptly decorated. The bar at Ballard’s Inn is one of the island’s hot spots.
an iconic destination for generations. With a private beach, an indoor and outdoor bar and an airy, nautical-themed restaurant, Ballard’s hosts a lively scene in an enviable setting. Settle into a lounge chair and enjoy beachside service. Sip a Rum Runner or Blackberry Mudslide (featuring Block Island berries), while savoring the sunset views, people-watching or live music on the outdoor stage. It’s pure pleasure to share a bucket of peel-n-eat shrimp, while sampling one of the three beers on tap. They also feature 14 bottled beers as well as wine, champagne and a full bar. The menu is a lobster lover’s dream, offering “Lobster 13 Ways,” including steamed, baked-stuffed, Alfredo, scampi and Fra Diavolo. Or plunge into the chilled shellfish platter, which includes a Maine lobster, a half-pound of crab, and a half-dozen each of shrimp and local oysters on the half shell. You’ll be dreaming about it come January. After a day of sunning, snoozing and swimming on Crescent Beach, cross the street for some casual refreshment at THE BEACHEAD. From the bar, covered porch or outdoor seating by the fire pit, you can enjoy the salty breeze and unobstructed views of Block Island Sound. The Block Island Oyster Company serves tasty oysters at the outdoor raw bar, a perfect accompaniment to a frosty Narragansett Lager or one of the signature drinks such as a Beachead Bloody (acclaimed by many to be the best on the island) or a rum-and-pineapple Newport Pirate. The summer lemonade, with cucumber vodka and fresh lemonade seltzer, is as refreshing as a dip in the Atlantic and pairs perfectly with Mahi tacos. The expertly prepared fish-and-chips and lobster bisque make for a delicious lunch fit for a New Englander.
The slogan at Dead Eye Dick’s is “Come for the food, stay for the view!”
THE OAR, at the Boat Basin in New Harbor, is another
Spectacular course layout, exceptional clubhouse design, and an overwhelmingly unique Public Golf Experience.
island institution. Savor stunning views from the deck overlooking Great Salt Pond while sampling the famous Block Island Mudslides. If that’s a little rich for you, order one of a dozen, 16-ounce draughts, including Oar Lager, Newport Lager, Blue Moon and Newport Storm. There are also six craft beers available, along with a selection of premium and domestic beer, wine, liquor and soft drinks. The menu runs the gamut from salads and wraps to tacos, burritos and a full sushi bar. The fried scallop roll is decadently delicious, while the grilled salmon with blackberry pomegranate chipotle glaze is fresh, flavorful and healthy. You can’t beat the sunsets from DEAD EYE DICK’S on Ocean Avenue, also in New Harbor. As their slogan says, “Come for the food, stay for the view!” Dead Eye Dick’s has been a summer destination since 1940. Current owner Jessica Wronowski‘s grandparents used to dine and dance here (her grandfather became an owner in the 1980s). The menu is classic New England, with an emphasis on lobster and seafood. The hot and cold
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lobster rolls receive rave reviews and the peppercornseared swordfish with tequila lime beurre blanc, lobster mash and grilled asparagus is superb. New Englanders are a bit spoiled with so many special coastal gems to visit, but Block Island should be at the top of the list for those seeking an authentic island experience.
FINAL THOUGHTS >> By Rob Duca
From the Clubhouse t’s sad when a great athlete faces his athletic mortality. In too many cases he is the last person to know. He hangs on, waiting for that resurgence, often traveling from team to team, unwilling to let go and continuing to believe that what once came so naturally will return once again. We think of Brett Favre as a shadow of himself in his final year with the New York Jets. If you’re old enough, you remember Johnny Unitas
tour no longer fear him. The Rory McIlroys, Rickie Fowlers and
in a San Diego Chargers’ uniform and Joe Namath ending his career
Jordan Spieths respect what Woods accomplished, but they weren’t
with the Los Angeles Rams. Or Michael Jordan with the Washington
there to see it. When Woods produced his otherworldly 2000
Wizards and Bobby Orr with the Chicago Black Hawks. Of course, the
season, McIlroy and Fowler were 12, Spieth was 7. What they’ve
poster boy for staying on too long is the once graceful Willie Mays
witnessed in recent years is a player who can’t keep the ball in the
stumbling around in center field with the New York Mets in the 1973
fairway, can’t make crucial putts and can’t finish on the weekend.
World Series. F. Scott Fitzgerald famously said there are no second acts in As a new PGA Tour season ramps up, I wonder if Tiger Woods will
American life. But there are in golf, where players once thought to
become our latest example. Is the inevitable decline now in full swing
be finished rose from the ashes and produced unexpected victories.
thanks to a combination of age and injuries? Or can Woods become
If Tiger requires inspiration he need only look at the man he’s
dominant once again? Actually, forget dominant; can he win another
been chasing his entire life – Jack Nicklaus. The Golden Bear was
46 when he arrived at August National for the 1986 Masters. He had won only two tournaments, none a major, in 99 starts over the
After coming off back surgery that restricted him to seven starts
previous five years. A story in a local newspaper that week summed
and barely more than $100,000 in earnings last season, he returned
up his chances at the Masters by writing that Nicklaus was “done,
in early December at a silly season event called the Hero World
washed up, through.”
Challenge. He finished in last place, proceeding to shockingly flub chip shots like a 20-handicapper.
“I kept thinking all week, ‘Through, washed up, huh?” Nicklaus said later. “I sizzled for a while. But then I said to myself, ‘I’m not going
Our expectations for Woods have taken the sort of tumble that would
to quit now, playing the way I’m playing. I’ve played too well, too
have been inconceivable a few years ago. When he teed it up at the
long to let a shorter period of bad golf be my last.”
Waste Management Open in Phoenix during Super Bowl week – the first time he included the event on his schedule in 14 years – an ESPN
Nicklaus’ historic triumph that week was his final major and his
headline blared “Making the Cut Would be Big for Tiger.”
most memorable. For Woods, it could serve as a template. So yes, it’s too early to write off Woods as a significant factor in golf. He
Turned out they were right. Making the cut would have been huge.
was too good for too long, and if he’s healthy, he’s still young
Instead, Woods shot 82 in the second round and wasn’t close to
enough to produce more magic. Whether it will be enough to win
playing on the weekend. It was shocking. He hit balls into the water,
his first major in seven years remains to be seen. Whether he still
skulled chip shots across the green, and looked like someone who was
has a realistic chance to win four more majors and catch Nicklaus’
totally, utterly lost.
record of 18 seems unlikely. But it feels like 2015 will provide our answer.
Woods is 39, with a body that’s more like 59. He has a bad back, bad knees, a wayward driver and a shaky putter, and the young guns on
Rob Duca is editor of New England Golf & Leisure.