From the crashing surf along the Atlantic beaches to the cranberry bogs of Sandwich, the charming peninsula of Cape Cod presents a memorable and unique spring golfing experience.
The outstretched arm of the Cape offers more than two dozen scenic and challenging public courses to test the skills of golfers of all abilities. From the nine-hole gem, Highland Golf Links in North Truro--the oldest course on the peninsula with its decidedly old world feel and stunning views of the Atlantic--to the manicured beauty and challenging routings of resort courses such as Ocean Edge, Cape Cod is a golfer's paradise. Some might have even called it the "Myrtle Beach of New England." Anywhere you play on the Cape, the majestic Atlantic Ocean is never far away. Sure, why not, stop and sniff the air as you walk to your golf ball. Some believe her air on a brisk spring morning on Cape Cod has a "champagne" quality. In spring, the crowds of summer haven't yet arrived, and many courses offer enticing midweek specials and reduced rates on the weekends.
For apres golf there are a plethora of things to see and do, from whale watching to strolling the miles of magnificent and pristine beaches that seem to stretch endlessly in every direction. You can break into a lobster with zest and mellow out with a beer at a shanty or enjoy fine dining at any number of upscale restaurants located on the Cape. There are cottages for rent and posh hotel rooms waiting to be let.
Conditions on the Cape, which features sandy soil that drains well, are about a month or more ahead of the mainland. "The spring prices are the best of the year, especially considering the good conditions you will find on the Cape," said Geoff Converse, director of golf services for the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce (www.capecodgolfcoast.com or 1-888-332-2732). "Our courses are open early and there are a number of great specials to take advantage of." Like at Sandwich Hollows, where head pro Mickey Herron says for $29.95, you'll get 18 holes and a motorized cart on Wednesdays through the spring. Tuesdays and Thursdays, it's $34.95 for the same deal. "We draw a lot from northern New England and western Massachusetts," said Heron. "People are anxious to get out and the Cape is a great place for spring golf."
Patrick Fannon, head pro at the superb par-three Blue Rock Golf Course in Yarmouth, says golfers of all abilities come to his course to tune up their games are after a long winter. "We're ideal for spring golf. After not playing during the winter, people can come out here and hit every club in their bag." Blue Rock runs a unique special where greens fees are half the projected temperature for the day until April 12. After that, it's $25 per round. Said Jim Armentrout, director of golf operations for the well-manicured and challenging Bayberry Hills and Bass River golf courses in Yarmouth, "The shoulder season is a great opportunity to play golf on the Cape Monday through Friday and even late afternoons on the weekends. There are some great packages available at hotels with reasonable prices." Said Stote Ellsworth, marketing director for the 36-hole Captains facility in Brewster, "Our conditions are about a month ahead of everybody else in New England. We get a lot of people coming down from New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine."
Converse said there are some 19,000 hotel rooms and over 1,000 restaurants on the Cape. Some hotels offer packages, where for as little as $49, the golfer gets a room and a 18 holes of fun Mondays through Thursdays. So, pack your golf clubs, hop into your car and head for Cape Cod. Here's a look at where to play, stay, dine, and relax and unwind: Bass River Golf Course Bass River began as a private 9-hole course in 1900. In 1920 Donald Ross designed an additional nine holes and upgraded the original nine holes. The course opened to the public in 1958. Bass River is a classic New England Course and enjoyable for all levels of golfers. The Par 72 layout measures 6,129 from the tips. Accuracy and a deft short game on the small greens are necessary for the golfer to score. The course is extremely popular among local golfers, a testament to how much fun the course is to play. It's condition has steadily improved to the point where it is known for its fine greens and groomed fairways. 508-398-9079 • www.golfyarmouthcapecod.com Bayberry Hills Golf Course This 27-hole complex offers a variety of golf challenges for the golfer. The original 18 holes, designed by Brian Silva, winds its way through the woods of West Yarmouth and gives the golfer terrific views of both Cape Cod Bay and Nantucket Sound. The par 72 course, which presents the golfer with a number of different shots, including a few well placed blind shots, plays 7,172 yards and is one of the longest golf courses on the Cape. The new nine was constructed on a former disposal site in 1999. This nine is an impressive links-style course with minimal foliage giving the golfer a distinctly different style of golf to play from the 18-hole layout. West Yarmouth, MA • 508-394-5597 • www.golfyarmouthcapecod.com Captains Golf Course (Starboard) The original 18 holes at the Captains, designed by Brian Silva, earned the distinction of being the "Best New Public Course" in 1995. The Captains was the first course on the Cape to use bent grass greens, tees and fairways. Eighteen new holes, designed by Brian Silva were added in 2000 making the Captains a wonderful 36-hole facility. Silva kept the original feel of the course, while adding holes that have wide driving areas with generous receptive greens. Eight of the original holes were incorporated with 10 of the new holes to form the challenging Par 72, 6,776 yard Starboard Course. Brewster • 508-896-5100 • www.captainsgolfcourse.com Captains Golf Course (Port) The Port Course utilizes 10 of the original holes at the Captains with eight new holes as part of an 18-hole configuration. Architect Brian Silva maintained many of the aesthetics that made the original 18 holes at the Captains a pleasure to play. The Port course requires accurate tee shots, crisp iron play and the ability to read and negotiate the undulating greens. The par 3’s at this par 72, 6,724 layout are among the best on the Cape. Brewster • 508-896-5100 • www.captainsgolfcourse.com Ballymeade Country Club Senior PGA Tour player Chi Chi Rodriguez, architect Tom Fazio and the Arnold Palmer management company lent their expertise to fashion a layout that is considered one of the top venues on the Cape. Perhaps the most notable aspect of playing Ballymeade is the total experience one enjoys from driving through the white-fenced, rolling landscape to the expansive, stately clubhouse to playing the well-manicured par 72, 6,928 yard golf course. The layout utilizes all of the natural topography of the area and offers spectacular vistas of Buzzards Bay. North Falmouth • 508-540-4005 • www.ballymeade.com Blue Rock Golf Course This Geoffrey Cornish/Bill Robinson-designed gem has drawn nothing but praise since opening in 1962. The championship par three course measures 3,000 yards from the professional tees. Blue Rock Golf Course is regarded as the nation's best par three golf course for its design. The holes range in yardage from 103 to 255 yards. With four picturesque water holes, it is often described as a regulation golf course without tee shots. However, bring your driver, you will need it. South Yarmouth • 508-398-9295 • www.bluerockgolfcourse.com Cape Cod Country Club Cape Cod Country Club offers an 18 hole, par 71, 6,429 yard championship golf course. The course was laid out with an interesting variety of undulating fairways and subtly sloped greens wandering through a landscape with charming vistas of lakes and woods. The layout is a "links" type and is enjoyed by golfers of all skill levels. It is rumored that Donald Ross designed nine holes and refurbished others. There is no hard evidence to support this, however, the classic layout does have many Ross characteristics. North Falmouth • 508-563-9842 • www.capecodcountryclub.com Cranberry Valley Golf Course Cranberry Valley Golf Course is a municipal public facility. The par 72, 6,745 yard bent grass course has water hazards on three holes of the back nine. The fairways are tree-lined and there are several greenside sand bunkers. Built through wetlands, woods and cranberry bogs, the course presents plenty of hazards, including some 14 fairway bunkers. The par 3’s are key elements to the course, the shortest being 165 yards from the middle tees. Designed by Geoffrey Cornish and Brian Silva, it was built in 1974. A driving range and a putting green are on site. Harwich • 508-430-5234 • www.cranberrygolfcourse.com Hyannis Golf Club
This Geoffrey Cornish design is located at the geographical center of Cape Cod and is a 6,711 yard, par 71 well-managed course that a first timer can play without feeling victimized by surprise hazards (with the exception of a puddle of a pond on the steep downhill fourth hole). The course is noted for its extremely fast smooth greens & rolling tree-lined terrain. The greens survive their busy summers quite well, and there are several that feature challenging swales or troughs. If you are looking for a game of golf during the shoulder season months, you will find it at Hyannis. (508-362-2606) • www.hyannisgc.com Ocean Edge Golf Course In 1986, Brian Silva took the original nine-hole course, reshaped all but three holes and came up with Ocean Edge Golf Club, a tight, 18 hole, par 72, 6,665 yard course that winds through the wetlands and villas of the Ocean Edge Resort. This demanding course requires accuracy and course management to score well. This is one of the premiere resort courses in New England. The 608-yard (from the tips) eighth hole is recognized as one of the few par-5 holes in the country that can not be reached in two by anyone. We dare you to try! Ocean Edge’s Golf School is recognized as one of the top schools in the Northeast. Brewster • 508-896-5911 • www.oceanedge.com Olde Barnstable Fairgrounds Golf Course Built in 1991, this is one of the newest courses on the Cape and has drawn rave reviews since its inception. This 18 hole, par 71 layout measures 6,479 yards from the tips. Do not look for many flat greens on the championship course, at least 14 of the putting surfaces are large and undulating. This course is so well respected that it hosted the 2002 Eastern Massachusetts U.S. Open qualifier. Marston Mills • 508-420-1141 • www.obfgolf.com Quashnet Valley Country Club Quashnet Valley’s scenic layout, developed around 330 acres of Cape Cod cranberry bogs and the Quashnet River, offers a beautiful collection of holes meandering through a natural setting. The tree-lined fairways, panoramic elevated tees, tranquil ponds and manicured greens are a credit to the work of architect Geoffrey Cornish. The par 72, 18-hole championship measures 6,601 yards puts a premium on accurate tee and approach shots. Mashpee • 508-477-4412 • www.quashnetvalley.com Sandwich Hollows Golf Club Sandwich Hollows is the first public course after crossing over the Sagamore Bridge, making it one of the most convenient golf venues on Cape Cod. This course is deceptively tough with a premium placed on accuracy. The greens feature the best putting surfaces found at any public facility in Southeastern Massachusetts. The par-5 sixth hole is one of the 18 best golf holes on Cape Cod. This is an 18-hole, par 71 championship layout carved from 120 wooded acres of rolling terrain. A new, expansive driving range with a more-than-one-acre grass teeing ground makes this one of the top practice facilities on the Cape. East Sandwich • 508-888-3384 • www.sandwichhollows.com The Cape Trifecta Should you find yourself on the Outer Cape looking for a unique day of golf, we recommend playing what is known by the locals as "The Cape Trifecta." Start your day with a round at Highland Links Golf Club (508- 487-9201) in North Truro. Located along the bluff sand dunes in the Cape Cod National Sea Shore, this 9-hole course is links-style golf in its most elemental form. Passing the lighthouse on the eighth fairway, you’ll swear you are in Scotland. After you finish your round at Highland Links, head down Rt. 6 to Wellfleet to play the 9-hole seaside Chequessett Yacht and Golf Club (508-349-3704). This 9-hole, 2,600-yard course doesn’t challenge you with length, however winds and small greens make it worth the stop. Complete this unique day with a round at the 9-hole Chatham Seaside Links Golf Course (508-945-4774. This classic 9-hole course was originally built for hotel guests and is now run by the town of Chatam. This short and open, par-35 tract overlooks Chatam Harbor and the Atlantic Ocean. Make your 28th hole of the day a stop at a local favorite, The Squire, located in the center of the village of Chatam. All in all, a fun and unique 27-hole day of golf you will never forget. Of all the mid-Cape towns, Dennis caught on earliest to the value of town-owned golf courses. Today it has two, Dennis Pines and Dennis Highlands (508-385-8347). The Pines is the older and more demanding of this duo, traversing its way through hilly woodland that separates true shotmakers from the shot-and-a beer crowd. Its greens are a half notch below super smooth and the fairways harbor a clover patch or two, but Dennis Pines has enough character (as well as clubhouse characters) to offset its very minor imperfections. The 10th and 11th form and ellipse around the layout's only significant water hazard. Fighting spirit is also your best approach to the course's par threes, all four of which play some 200 yards from the blue tees. You won't get ocean views here, but you will find a round with attractive shot-making and some interesting ground contours. The remainder of the Cape’s daily fee courses are to numerous to discuss in detail, however some warrant mention here. Hyannis Golf Club (508-362-2606) is a well-managed course that a first timer can play without feeling victimized by surprise hazards (with the exception of a puddle of a pond on the steep downhill fourth hole). The greens seem to survive their busy summers quite well, and there are several that feature challenging swales or troughs. If you are looking for a game of golf during the shoulder season months, you will find it at Hyannis. The Brookside Club (508-743-4653) in Bourne was recently redesigned by John Sanford and is a pleasant and playable par 70 layout. The course will test your accuracy and shotmaking instead of length and raw power. Falmouth Country Club (508·548·3211) has a championship 18-hole, par 72 course, and a separate 9-hole par 37 course. This public course not far from beaches, cranberries and all that is Cape Cod. It should also be mentioned that Holly Ridge in Sandwich, Kings Way in Yarmouth and Twin Brook in Hyannis are not just short pitch-and-putt golf courses. These are challenging, well maintained layouts that include excellent facilities for anyone, particularly juniors, seniors and ladies, interested in an inexpensive golf experience. The Private Side Many private clubs open their doors to outside play in the shoulder season. A night a the Wequasett Inn in Chatam gives you more than one of the region’s finest seaside lodging, it gets you privileges to play at exclusive Brain Silva designed Cape Cod National in Brewster. It is one of Massachusetts best new layouts, public or private. The Hyannisport Club (508-775-2978) opens its doors to limited public access on October 31. This exquisite Donald Ross seaside course is one of his best and worth the trip. A call to some of the other private clubs from mid-October through mid-May could reveal a gem to which you would not otherwise have access. Greens fees to these private clubs aren’t exactly cheap, in fact most are pricey. Accommodations
Your options are only limited by your imagination, five star resorts and spas offering all the finest luxuries and amenities, oceanside condo’s and hotels, quaint little bed and breakfast’s, even cozy cottages nestled in the woods, Cape Cod has it all. You are sure to fit what you are looking for. Here are some of our favorite accommodations. New Seabury Resort and Country Club New Seabury has been one of the premier resorts, conference centers, and residential communities of the Eastern Seaboard. Accommodations at New Seabury, while generally luxurious, run the gamut from one-bedroom villas to gracious beachfront cottages. With the completion of the 42,000 square foot clubhouse, New Seabury offers an array of dining--from private banquet functions, to a la carte service to a snack bar featuring hot food with both inside and outside café-style seating. New Seabury also has 3.5 miles of private beach, biking and hiking trails along with beach and cabana clubs. www.newseabury.com, (800) 999-9033, Mashpee, MA. Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club Set on over 400 acres, Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club is an excellent choice for vacationing families, in addition to the championship golf course, Ocean Edge offers comfortable condos and villas appointed with all the conveniences of home. These classic cape country style accommodations feature spacious interiors with a private deck or patio. The Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club also boast an excellent golf school, five pools, tennis courts and a private ocean beach on Cape Cod Bay. www.oceanedge.com, (800) 343-6074, Brewster, MA. Heritage House Hotel The Heritage House Hotel is a year round resort that offers 143 gracious guestrooms and suites, as well as a full service restaurant, function rooms, and recreation facilities such as an indoor pool with a Jacuzzi whirlpool and individual men and women's saunas. Conveniently located in the Main Street Waterfront District of Hyannis, the Heritage House boasts Cape Cod's best location. The Heritage House offers golf packages that are custom made to offer the most challenging courses for your individual skill level. www.heritagehousehotel.com, (800) 352-7189, 259 Main St, Hyannis, MA. Cape Codder Resort & Spa Cape Cod’s premier full service resort…260 rooms and fireplace/Jacuzzi suites, in-room movies, Nintendo, high-speed internet access, three restaurants, tennis, playground, gift shop, full-service Spa, exclusive Indoor Wave Pool with two-foot waves, 80-foot waterslides, whirlpool, saunas, state-of-the-art fitness center and much more. Centrally located, convenient to golf, beaches, shopping, attractions. Custom golf packages available featuring golf, cart, room and dinner. (888) 297-2200 www.CapeCodderResort.com Hyannis, MA. THE DAN'L WEBSTER INN The essence of charm and elegance combined with endless amenities and gracious service. Beautifully appointed guest rooms and suites, many with canopy beds, fireplaces and oversized whirlpool tubs, captivate guests who are looking for the ultimate in comfort. Newly renovated to include 54 exquisite rooms and suites. Award-winning cuisine, creative chef specials and extensive wine selection, pool, gardens gift shop, Early American style Tavern. Nearby: golf, health club, tennis, museums, shopping, beaches. (800) 444-3566 www.DanlWebsterInn.com Sandwich Village, MA. Wequassett Inn Resort and Golf Club In addition to exceptional accommodations, guests at the Wequassett Inn can enjoy exclusive non-member playing privileges at The Cape Cod National Golf Club. The Wequassett Inn provides the rarest of combinations: world-class accommodations, dining and recreational activities of a four-diamond resort, together with the relaxed, informal attitude and warm, personal attention of an historic Cape Cod Inn. The Wequassett Inn offers waterview rooms to individual cottages and is sure to meet your needs. www.Wequassett.com, (800) 225-7125, Chatham, MA. Although Cape Cod has seen tremendous growth over the past 30 years, it amazingly has maintained its beautiful vistas, charming villages and rolling dunes. You may be accustomed to visiting the Cape during the summer months, however the golf enthusiasts can play 350-odd days a year “down the Cape.” For more information about Cape Cod contact the Cape Cod Chamber Of Commerce at (888) 332-2732 or visit www.capecodchamber.org