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Must Play: The Ranch Golf Club
John Torsiello
By John Torsiello
Published on 05/2/2016

Must Play: The Ranch Golf Club
The Ranch Golf Club in Southwick, Ma. is considered one of the premier layouts in all of New England.

The golf course layout is fun, interesting and challenging for all ability levels. The conditions are always good and the service is friendly and upbeat. The Ranch Golf Club has gained a reputation as one of the elite daily fee clubs in the region for good reasons, as management takes great efforts in making a visit an extremely pleasurable, stress-free experience. And the views during autumn are simply superb, as the course climbs up and down several hills and offers sweeping vistas.

The Ranch is an enjoyable routing, challenging yet playable for all golfers because of several sets of tees. The layout is a mix of open and woodland holes, plays 7,175 yards from the tips, and has a rating of 75.4 and a slope of 143 from the back markers. While difficult, you can score at The Ranch, as long as you hit the ball straight off the tee and don’t get too greedy on approach shots to the undulating greens that are usually well protected by sand, water or rough.

The first hole is a pleasant 510-yard par-five and has a massive fairway that shrinks as you approach the putting surface, which is guarded by water to the left.

The 441-yard par-four fourth is one of the prettiest holes on the course. It starts with a carry across a small ravine to a fairway that flows up toward the green. The hole is framed by tall pines and guarded by fairway and greenside bunkers.

The 540-yard par-five ninth and 618-yard par-five 16th play dramatically downhill and afford those great views of the surrounding countryside. A well struck tee shot on the ninth will tumble down a hill and leave the player with a choice of either laying up for a short third shot or going for the green in two by challenging a wetlands area in front of the putting surface.

The 195-yard par-three 17th, which plays across water, may be the best short hole on the track.

Southwick, Ma.