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 in Bretton Woods.
The 18-hole Omni Mount Washington Resort Golf Course
(www.OmniHotels.com) 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 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.
The Newport Golf Club (www.NewportGolfClub-NH.com) is nestled in the scenic Sugar River Valley of New Hampshire. The par 71, Phil Wogan design utilizes the natural beauty of the surrounding mountains, streams and ponds to perfectly frame the 18-holes built on 143 acres in the early 1990s.
The “Wogan course” replaced the original nine-hole course designed by Willie Park, Jr. in 1920. Coincidentally, Parks was also the designer of the Newport Country Club in Newport, R.I. In addition to golf the Newport Golf Club has a restaurant, the Hole-In-One Diner, and two facilities for hosting meetings, reunions and weddings. The Sunrise Pavilion can accommodate up to 175 people and The Divot Room is used for more intimate gatherings.
“The natural beauty of the area is usually commented on by visitors and first time golfers,” said Donald Hague, General Manager. “There are five course layouts utilizing three sets of tee boxes, ranging from the Sugar River Course at 6,509 yards to the Sunshine Course at 4,738 yards. The courses appeal to all levels of players from beginners to pros and all are welcome by the friendly staff. We also offer a driving range with a large natural grass teeing surface.”
The handicap rating of the holes changes quite a bit depending on which of the five courses is being played. Said Hague, “Probably the toughest hole on the course on average is the 12th. It’s a slight dogleg left to a long, narrow, undulating green sloped back to front. From the tee there is a lateral marshy hazard to the left that ends in a pond on the left third of the fairway at about 220 yards from the tips. On the right, a fairway bunker and a pond at about 240 yards from the tee make a well controlled tee shot a necessity. Past the first pond on the left the marshy hazard extends all the way to the green and the pond on the right extends all the way to the green as well. Hit your approach shot left and the ball will bounce left, hit it right and, you guessed it, it will bounce right. It’s a really good, challenging hole from all tee boxes.”