Thanks to Golfing Magazine’s ground-breaking Course Play Stimulus Program, subscribers can visit New Hampshire this summer and enjoy a number of the best layouts the Granite State has to offer.
One of the premier courses in New England has joined our program to allow you to sample a classic layout that was designed by the legendary architect Donald Ross. Indeed, there are 27 holes to enjoy at the Omni Mount Washington Resort (www.OmniHotels.com) in Bretton Woods.
The 18-hole Omni Mount Washington Course was completed in 1915. Its backdrop features New Hampshire’s spectacular Presidential Mountain Range. The par-72, 7,004-yard course has hosted four New Hampshire Opens and the prestigious New England Open Championship in 2010.
Reopened on Aug. 1, 2008, the Omni Mount Washington Course was restored to Donald Ross’ original plans by noted golf course architect Brian Silva, including bunkers crafted in a classic flair and infinite varieties of recovery shots in the closely cropped areas around the putting greens. The par-five 11th hole and the par-three fifth hole feature stunning views of Omni Mount Washington Hotel and the surrounding mountains.
The nine-hole Mount Pleasant Course first opened in 1895, and has been host to generations of golfing enthusiasts from New Hampshire and beyond. Greats like U.S. Pro Golfer Gilbert Nicholls, Golf Course Designer Alex Findlay, British Golf Champions Harry Vardon and J.W. Taylor, and U.S. Open Golf Champion Willie Anderson have all played this historic par-35 course. In 1989, the course was restored and upgraded by Cornish & Silva Golf Course Architects, with advice from world-renowned golfers Gene Sarazen and Ken Venturi, and now offers players a more challenging round alongside New Hampshire’s scenic Ammonoosuc River.
You will want to stay and play when you visit, as the Omni Mount Washington Resort is a grand masterpiece of Spanish Renaissance architecture, conceived by industrialist Joseph Stickney, and named a National Historic Landmark. The Inn originally opened in 1902 and has served as a retreat for the famous and every day folk ever since.
New Hampshire is also where you will find one of the most challenging courses in New England. The Shattuck Golf Club (www.ShattuckGolfCourse.com) in Jaffrey was carved out of granite and mature woodlands and demands a well thought out approach to every shot on every hole. This is a tough routing and target golf at its best. You must hit your spots, both off the tees and on approaches to the greens
The 200-yard par-three second is a picture perfect hole, with elevated tees that look down over a grassy hillside to a large, bunkered green set in front of a pond. The tee area doesn’t feel all that high, but it’s unusually deceptive. The most common error here is over-clubbing.
The 426-yard par-four 10th starts from a highly elevated area, offering a spectacular view of a large green below, with Mount Monadnock serving as the backdrop. The hole is a dogleg left with a deep drop-off at the turn. Drive the ball too far and you’ll go over an edge on the fairway.
The par-four, 391-yard 16th is another beauty and played over a reflecting pond in front of the tee to a wide, rolling fairway and bunkered green with a Colonial farmhouse behind. Keep it straight, as there’s deep rough left and right. A big green is slightly elevated, so your second shot may require one more club.
Pay a visit to Brookstone Golf and Driving Range (www.Brookstone-Golf.com) in Derry, a nine-hole, par-three golf facility, to get you ready for your northern golfing exposure. The sweet little track was designed to fit the existing landscape and mix a blend of nature and course architecture. The layout was crafted by noted architect, Howard Maurer, and the course features large greens, sand traps, rolling hills and water hazards strategically placed to create “target style” putting surfaces.
Hanover Country Club (www.Golf.Dartmouth.edu), located on the grounds of Dartmouth College, underwent a major renovation in 2001 that gave this Donald Ross classic a new luster. The course is now 6,500 yards from the tips and four new holes were added. Also, all 18 greens were reconstructed, while keeping intact Ross features, all under the direction of architect Ron Prichard. There are seven par-fours and two par-threes on the front side and three of the final four holes contain all three par-fives on the course.
The 18th hole at Hanover is a solid par-five that is reachable in two for the longer hitters and should be a routine three shot hole for everyone else. Try to fight the urge to hook it around a bend, as this will bring into play a long line of trees that can catch too aggressive a tee shot. After you hit the fairway, your layup shot should be placed on the left side of the fairway. Being inside 100 yards and on the left will give you a good look at the green, which is guarded in the front and on the right by several bunkers.
Eastman Golf Links (www.EastmanGolfLinks.com) in Grantham is situated within a four-season recreational and residential community located just two hours from Boston, in the Dartmouth-Lake Sunapee region of New Hampshire. The first nine holes opened in 1973 and a second nine opened in 1976. Several upgrades and renovations have taken place during the last decade.
The 408-yard par-four fifth at Eastman doglegs sharply about 200 yards from the tee, making the club of choice for the first shot a hybrid or fairway, which might be followed by the same club on the approach to a green well protected by bunkers. The 11th hole is a dangerous par-four. Big hitters can fly their tee shots over the right side of a pond that juts out from the left. But pull it left and you’re in the water.