The owners and operators of Blissful Meadows Golf Club in Uxbridge, Massachusetts are not ones to rest on their accolades.
Not content with simply maintaining status quo at what in 2004 was voted the “Golf Course of the Year” by the New England Golf Course Owners Association, the staff at this daily fee facility are fine tuning their superb layout.
A number of changes have been made to the course this year to enhance player appreciation. The approach to the third hole was expanded, and irrigation added to improve the rough areas on holes 12 and 13, with similar work planned for other holes. Trees have been cleared to improve pace of play, and there are new natural growth areas on holes three, four and 10 to add definition and improve the overall aesthetics of the course. As if to demonstrate just how finicky the owners and operators are, there’s a new turf nursery between holes one and two that allows the grounds crew to make immediate repairs to the playing surface if damage occurs for whatever reason.
“Conditions have been fantastic this year,” says Shauna Stefanick, marketing manager for the club. “We have never received more comments and five-star ratings from our customers than this year. We received a comment from a player who said that we were one of the top 10 courses in New England, and he plays a new course twice a week. Our weekend rounds have gone through the roof.”
The club expanded its “Weekday Lunch Special” to weekends, which has drawn overwhelming response. For $68, golfers can play 18 holes with a cart and have a choice of a hot or cold lunch, beverage and a snack.
The club’s head pro, Matt Griffith, participated in “Free Lesson Month,” bringing in new players in for 10-minute introductory lessons. June saw “Women’s Golf Month” at the club, with free clinics and special rates for women all month. And during July, the club participated in “Take Your Daughter to the Course Week,” which offered girls the opportunity to play for free with their parents and take part in instructional clinics and a parent-daughter 9-hole outing at the end of the week.
During September, the club will hold its yearly Company Open Charity Golf Outing, which involves play between local companies for the title of “best golfers.” The event has raised over $130,000 for youngsters in the Blackstone Valley of Massachusetts.
Blissful Meadows, a Cornish & Silva design, plays to around 6,700 yards from the back markers and has won plaudits for its overall condition from a number of publications. The front nine is more open than the back, which features several dramatic elevation changes and two of the best par-threes you’ll find anywhere.
The opener, a 353-yard par-four voted by Golfing Magazine as one of the best holes in Massachusetts, is called “Prelude” and demands a precise downhill tee shot to find a fairway that bends slightly to the left. The approach is to an elevated green with bunkers guarding the right side.
The par-three 13th and 15th holes are visually stunning and demand accurate mid to long irons off the tee in order to clear nasty waste areas below and in front of the greens. Rock outcroppings lend a natural feel to the design of the two holes.
Number 17, a 400-yard par-four, is a perfect set up to the finishing hole. The toughest shot is the approach, with a pond guarding the green to the left. When the super tucks the pin close to the water he’s begging you to pull off a hero shot and risk making bogey or worse.
Blissful Meadow has a splendid finisher. The par-four measures 420 yards from the tips and calls for a nervy approach shot over a pond that guards the front left side of the putting surface.
Blissful Meadows Golf Club