Blissful Meadows Golf Club in Uxbridge and Blackstone National Golf Club in Sutton represent public golf at its very best. The courses are challenging yet playable for golfers of all abilities, conditions are always mint, and the staff and ownership welcoming.
Blissful Meadows, a Cornish & Silva design, is seemingly always in a state of flux, with management constantly upgrading and tweaking things to make their track and club even better. The club also is one of the more player-friendly in the state, with a major charity golf tournament held at the course each September and owners giving away a free family membership this year.
Blissful Meadows plays to around 6,700 yards from the back markers and has won rave reviews for its overall condition from a number of publications. It was voted the 2004 Golf Course of the Year by the New England Golf Course Owners Association.
Surrounded by woods and meadows, this is a truly unique and secluded golf experience. 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-iron shots 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, as a pond guards the green to the left.
Blissful Meadow has a splendid finisher. The par-four measures 420 yards from the tips and calls for an accurate approach shot over a pond that guards the front left side of the putting surface.
Blissful Meadows Golf Club
Blackstone National Golf Club in Sutton, Massachusetts, a Rees Jones-designed beauty, has been lauded far and wide for its challenging yet approachable routing. This is an aesthetically beautiful track that winds easily over a hilly landscape, through mature forests, and past old stonewalls.
While there are some forced carries at Blackstone National, Jones incorporated large fairways into the layout, which allows mid- and even high-handicappers to enjoy the experience. The ample fairways allow a player to stay in the hole even after a less than perfect tee shot. There is ample bunkering guarding medium sized greens, making it important to choose the proper club to find the target.
Some of the best holes at Blackstone National, which can stretch to almost 7,000 yards from the tips and plays to a par of 72, are the par-threes. One of the most stunning is the 173-yard 11th that demands a tee shot over a small pond.
But the par-fours are also very good, as evidenced by the mammoth 486-yard 15th, which bends to the left after a large ridge that cuts across the fairway. If you hit your tee shot to the right side of the fairway, the ball will tumble down the hill and shorten the hole by 50 to 100 yards. The drop from tee to green is almost 80 feet, creating a magnificent view from the tee box.
Blackstone National Golf Club