Summer in New Hampshire.
It doesn’t get much better than that if you want to get away for a week with the sticks in the trunk of your car or tail section of your SUV. The weather is ideal, sunlight lasts deep unto evening, and the golf courses are in pristine condition. Oh yeah, the scenery is sublime. Why not get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and head for the mountains? There are some wonderful layouts waiting for you to sample on a New Hampshire golf getaway.
The Shattuck Golf Club in Jaffrey, N.H., was carved out of granite, rock and mature woodlands and demands a thoughtful approach to every shot on every hole. You just can’t pull driver out of the bag and hit away. It’s target golf and you have to think out every shot, use the yardage guide, and hit to spots. The 200-yard par-three second hole is a picture postcard of a golf hole, with elevated tees that look down over a grassy hillside to a large, bunkered green set in front of a sparkling pond. The tee 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 the highly elevated area, offering a spectacular view of the large green below with Mount Monadnock serving as the backdrop. The hole is a dogleg left with a deep drop-off at the turn. A long drive center of left gives you the best approach to the green, too far left and you’ll go over the edge. 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 the colonial “Gage farmhouse” behind. Just keep it straight; there’s deep rough left and right. A big green is slightly elevated, so your second shot may require one more club.
Hanover Country Club is located on the grounds of Dartmouth College and underwent a major renovation in 2001 that gave this Donald Ross classic a new glow. The course was lengthened to 6,500 yards, four new holes were added and all 18 greens reconstructed, while keeping intact Ross features, all under the direction of architect Ron Prichard. The routing is unique. There are seven par-fours and two par-threes the front side and three of the final four holes include all three par-fives on the course.
The 18th is a great finisher. The final hole is a 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 the bend as this will bring into play a long line of trees that usually have an appetite for aggressive shots. After you are in 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 in Grantham, N.H. is situated within a four-season recreational and residential community located minutes from Vermont and 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 is a tester. It isn’t long but doglegs sharply about 200 yards from the tee, making the club of choice for the first shot a hybrid or fairway followed by the same on the approach to a green well protected by bunkers. The 11th hole is a well-designed and 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.
Ragged Mountain Resort in Danbury, N.H. has a course that offers sweet views of the surrounding countryside and is no pushover. The tips have a rating of 74.9 and a slope of 149, which gives you an indication of the challenge you’ll face.
The second hole is a 541-yard par-five that has danger lurking everywhere. There is a stream that must be avoided and water short and right of the green, making any layup a dicey proposition. The par-four sixth hole looks simple on the scorecard, only 344 yards from the tips, but the approach shot must be hit with two extra clubs because it’s uphill to the putting surface.
Brookstone Golf and Driving Range in Derry, N.H. is the state’s premier nine-hole, par-three golf facility. It was sculpted into the existing landscape to create a blend of nature and architecture that resulted in a course that is truly unique. The design was created by noted golf architect, Howard Maurer, who worked to preserve the natural characteristics of the site. The finished product is a course with large greens, sand traps, rolling hills and water hazards that are strategically placed to create “target style” greens. The course’s driving range and practice area rank among the best in the area.
Shattuck Golf Club
Ragged Mountain Resort
Eastman Golf Links,
Hanover Country Club
Brookstone Golf and Driving Range