The Ranch Golf Club in Southwick, Massachusetts has gained a reputation as one of the elite daily fee clubs in the region.
And for good reason. Management takes great effort in making a visit an extremely pleasurable, stress-free experience. You are greeted by a friendly attendant, invited to warm up on the range and practice green, and than are called to the first tee and sent on your way by an attentive starter.
And what a round you will have. The Ranch is an enjoyable routing, a mix of open and woodland holes that never fail to surprise and delight. The layout 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 way to begin. The 510-yard par-five 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 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.
Head professional Hope Kelly reports that the course came through the winter in fantastic shape and that the grounds staff merely smoothed out some bunkers and undertook regular course preparation for what she expects will once again be a busy season.
The Ranch Golf Club