Cranwell Resort, Spa and Golf Club, located in Lenox, Ma., offers a picturesque, traditional New England course that is over 90 years old and designed by the noted architects of the early 2th century, Wayne Stiles and John Van Kleek.
The layout rolls easily over the colorful hills surrounding the resort and through mature woodlands of the Berkshires, a wonderful place to spend a few days during the fall. The track features tree-lined fairways and naturally contoured greens that have been carefully preserved.
The first three holes wander near a small clubhouse, and the tee box on the third hole, a little 152-yarder that has a huge pine tree guarding the left side of the putting surface, is right by the resort’s and a residential road.
From the fourth hole on the course dips into the woodlands and really takes on a character of its own. The fifth, a 233-yard par-three, is one of the most demanding short holes you will find anywhere and the only hole where you will find water.
The eighth hole is one of the nicest on the course. You tee off next to the Resort’s hotel and can cut the distance to the hole on the 347-yard par-four dramatically if you take the driver over trees that hug the left side. It’s all downhill to a small green that is easy to miss if you don’t concentrate on the pitch shot.
The inward nine is much more difficult, with several brutal par-fours and some very good par-threes waiting. The 11th is one of the course’s signature holes, a 200-yard par-three that plays from a chute of trees to a severely slopped green. Huge bunkers guard the putting surface.
The 13th is a superb, dogleg par-four that plays 426-yards from the tips. The drive is blind to a valley landing area and then it’s back uphill to the putting surface.