One of the real hidden gems of New England golf is located on the tiny island of Martha’s Vineyard.
Of course, those vacationers who venture onto the island from Cape Cod, Massachusetts know all about the charming, seaside layout that has played host to the rich and the famous and is a combined work of architects Geoffrey Cornish, Bill Robinson and Patrick Mulligan.
The course, which plays 6,815 yards from the tips, is a demanding layout that calls for accurate shot making, both off the tees and on approaches to the medium sized greens. A number of the holes run along or within sight of Vineyard Sound, while others meander through wild meadows and marshes.
The fourth hole is one of the prettiest on the course. It’s 178 yards from the tips and sometimes plays a club or two longer because of the wind that blows off the Sound. The green is deep and narrow and make sure you hit it, as there is a drop off to the right that will send your ball into thick bushes from whence it will not return.
The eighth hole is a stunning par-five that has the ocean to the right, trees to the left and requires a forced carry of around 210 yards from the championship markers. The green can be reached in two after a good drive, but the dogleg left tightens and when the wind blows hard it can push a shot into trouble on the right.
The toughest hole on the course might be the 379-yard par-four 12th. You’ve got to place the tee shot about 230 yards off the tee to avoid a pond to the left of the fairway landing area. Then it’s a demanding shot to a narrow, double-tiered putting surface that has little room for error on either side.
The 331-yard par-four 14th is a birdie hole as it plays downhill. It also affords a wonderful view of the Sound.
The final hole is a great par-five, measuring 552 yards from the tips. The hole works its way to the right, with OB to the right and a marsh that catches too bold a drive straight ahead off the tee. A well-struck second shot lay-up leaves a wedge across a pond to an undulating green.
Farm Neck Golf Club
Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.