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Golfcourses on the South Shore

by Stoney Curtis

The South Shore of Boston is blessed with a wide selection of high-quality golf courses, within a 30-minute drive from which to choose, both public and private. New England topography, which includes plenty of old trees, hills, large rock formations, ponds, lakes and marshes, makes for an interesting, dynamic and often challenging round of golf. There are universal favorites out there, and others that fall into the “love ‘em or hate ‘em” category. The following golf course summary will briefly identify the public and private options on the South Shore only – generally Quincy to the west, Scituate to the East and Plymouth to the South. I had no idea there are 67 public courses loosely designated as South Shore [down to the Cape]!

PUBLIC COURSES

South Shore Country Club [Hingham, MA] – located off South Street, South Shore offers 18 holes of interesting, challenging golf - plenty of hills, few straight-shots, and Hingham residents enjoy a discount. A change in management and less “stressful” weather over the last five years [with the exception of early Spring ’10] have allowed for some dramatic improvements to the course and its overall conditions. Summer kids program is great!!! Ages 10-?? Drop them off on Wednesday afternoon and 4-some after 4-some of kids head out for 9 holes, usually followed up by a Sprite, hot dog or chicken fingers on the patio with the buddies. Livin’ large. Facilities include an outdoor pool during summer months, and a clubhouse that offers year-round bowling, a casual lounge/restaurant for golfers and a more formal restaurant that often caters to dining patrons as well as weddings and other large functions. Includes a practice putting green and a weak excuse for a driving range. Cost for 18 holes on a weekend [Hingham residents]: $34. South Shore Country Club, 274 South St., Hingham, MA, 02043; Phone: 781.749.1747; Website: www.southshorecc.com.

Widow’s Walk Golf Course [Scituate, MA] – located just off 3A [15 minute drive from Hingham] Widows Walk is a links-style course that is known for consuming offensive numbers of players’ golf balls. Many holes are narrow, long, involve marshes, wind, tree branches or all of the above. Some nice views from on-high and over ponds/marshes, but all those lost golf balls! Program includes instruction, clinics and junior programs. Count on 15+ minutes to get there from Hingham. Facilities include a small clubhouse restaurant for après-golf food and drinks. Cost for 18 holes on a weekend: $45. Widow’s Walk Golf Course, 250 The Driftway, Scituate, MA 02066; Phone: 781.544.7777; Website: www.widowswalkgolf.com.

Granite Links Golf Club at Quarry Hills [Quincy, MA] – located among hilltops that were once a quarry in Quincy [20 minute drive from Hingham], Granite Links offers one of the more interest local rounds available [27 holes, 9 of which are members only]. Completed around 5 years ago, this semi-private course offers amazing views of Boston as well as to the east, west and south. The course is eclectic and has holes with plenty of interesting layouts. Facilities include a massive clubhouse with public restaurant/bar as well as a members only grille. Major bucks! Cost for 18 holes on a weekend: $125 [includes cart]. Granite Links Golf Club, 100 Quarry Hills Drive, Quincy, MA 02169; Phone: [617] 689-1900; Website: www.granitelinksgolfclub.com.

Harmon Golf and Fitness Club [Rockland, MA] – located about 15 minutes to the south in Rockland, this gem of a facility is much less about playing holes of golf than about training for golf. The Harmon name is legendary, and this membership-only facility is all about high-caliber instruction, high-technology equipment, practice, training….actual work! Facilities include practice putting green, 9 holes, an additional set of practice holes for instruction, clubhouse with restaurant/bar and fitness center, driving range with standard outdoor hitting area as well as a series of indoor/outdoor bays that houses a host of computers and other high-tech equipment that analyses swing speed, club-head speed, movement, motion, weight transfer, what you had for breakfast-- whatever. Family of four membership for golf/fitness totals $600 initiation fee, $451/month [$214/mo for individual membership]. Harmon Golf, 168 Concord St., Rockland, MA 02370; Phone: 781.871.7775; Website: www.harmongolf.com.

Pine Hills Golf Club [Plymouth, MA] – Plymouth is a 30-minute straight shot down Route 3 from Hingham, and it’s earned the reputation as the South Shore’s own Pinehurst of sorts [exaggeration, yes, but lot’s of golf in Plymouth]. Pine Hills offers two 18-hole courses: The Rees Jones course is superb! Challenging, aesthetically gorgeous and an absolute pleasure to play. The Nicklaus course is an excellent course too, but does not stack up to the Jones course in my opinion. But it’s nice! Amenities include the golf, a clubhouse with restaurant and outdoor dining deck and driving range. Cost for 18 holes on a weekend: $110 [includes cart]. Pinehills Golf Club, 54 Clubhouse Drive, Plymouth, MA 02360; Phone: 508.209.3000; Website: www.pinehillsgolf.com.

Waverly Oaks Golf Club [Plymouth, MA] – also located in Plymouth, 30-minutes from Hingham, 3 minutes from Pine Hills, Waverly Oaks is another gem of a course that is on the verge of being donated to capitalism. The course has been/was to be sold and developed into an East Coast Hollywood movie studio, with the course closing and being used to house actual film studios, buildings, sets, etc. Financing woes over the last 2 years have stalled the project, and Waverly Oaks is open for business (at least in 2010). Another fantastic course with interesting, challenging and at times quirky holes – many great views. Just a plain great course. Play it while you can. Amenities include the 18-hole course, a 9-hole executive course, full clubhouse with restaurant/bar and driving range. Cost for 18 holes on a weekend: $95 (includes cart). Waverly Oaks Golf Club, 444 Long Pond Road, Plymouth, MA 02360; 508.224.6700; Website: www.waverlyoaksgolfclub.com.

Crosswinds Golf Club [Plymouth, MA] - also located in Plymouth, 30-minutes from Hingham, 3 minutes from Waverly Oaks, Crosswinds offers 27 holes of interesting, challenging golf, somewhat similar [and VERY close by] to Waverly Oaks. Plenty of rolling hills, great views, aesthetically pretty holes. Fans of Pine Hills and Waverly Oaks owe it to themselves to include this course in the rotation. Amenities…well, barely even a clubhouse. They have a permanent tent that houses an outdoor grill with plenty of seating where you can sit, enjoy some food/drink in the shade and feel the breeze while enjoying good views of the course. Pretty basic, but it works! Cost for 18 holes on a weekend: $55 [includes cart]. Crosswinds Golf Club, 424 Long Pond Rd, Plymouth, MA 02360; Phone: 508.830.1199; Website: www.golfcrosswinds.com.

Honorable Mentions [Translated: they sound/look interesting but never played them] – Duxbury: North Hill Golf Course; Marshfield: Green Harbor Golf Club, Marshfield Country Club [private, never played it, but have heard great things about the course!!] Pembroke: Pembroke Country Club Plymouth: Atlantic Country Club, Plymouth Country Club, Southers Marsh Golf Club, Squirrel Run Country Club, Rockland Golf [great for kids and beginners, ‘nuf said]

PRIVATE GOLF CLUBS

Within a 30-minute drive of Hingham, there are a number of private clubs that offer golf as well as a range of other amenities. Membership, waiting periods, costs and process are all different at the various clubs, so best not to delve into that aspect of the private clubs here. Following is a quick summary of those that are close by.

Black Rock Country Club [Hingham, MA] – constructed in ‘02 on a former quarry and designed by Brian Silva, Black Rock offers 18 holes of golf as well as a large outdoor pool/snack bar, fitness center/spa , 4 outdoor tennis courts, a restaurant/bar and several platform tennis courts. As a golf course, Black Rock is one of the nicer ones around, despite the fact that Black Rock Residences [homes] are sprinkled on/around the course, tempering some of scenic appeal of the experience. The amenities are outstanding, and membership tends to gravitate toward the younger, highly-successful professionals. Pretty costly to join, but word is that there may be immediate availability [check with club directly]. Black Rock Country Club, 19 Clubhouse Drive, Hingham, MA 02043; Phone: 781.749.1919; Website: www.blackrockcountryclub.com.

The Boston Golf Club [Hingham, MA] – opened in ’05 and designed by Gilbert Hanse, Boston Golf is elite to say the least. Big-time cost and exclusivity aside, half of Hingham does not even know about the course, and my guess is that is exactly how Boston Golf members/management like it. The course is nothing short of spectacular, offering some of the most beautiful golf holes I’ve ever played. It is a walking only course, caddies in white jumpsuits required. Amenities include the 18-hole course and clubhouse/bar that serves drinks only – no restaurant. With respect to local golf hierarchy, the Boston Golf guys pat the heads of the Black Rock guys, and neither the BG or BR guys acknowledge the Cohasset Golf guys, which brings us to Cohasset Golf next. The Boston Golf Club, 289 Whiting Street, Hingham, MA 02043; Phone: 781. 741.5123; No website.

Cohasset Golf Club [Cohasset, MA] – Cohasset Golf was designed by Donald Ross and opened in 1894. Around 10-minutes from Hingham, Cohasset Golf is a typical Ross course with tree and trap placements in all the right places. The course is old, seasoned and carries with it a simplicity and elegance that most new courses lack. Few modern bells and whistles, but it is a pretty course with rock formations and water elements [especially after it rains] that make for a challenging and interesting round. Amenities include 4 tennis courts, restaurant and bar, driving range, and no paddle courts or pool -but note: factually, you’ll find nearly every member under the age of 50 at the club wants a pool – 60 & over, not so much – time will tell on this one. Cohasset Golf Club, 175 Lamberts Lane, Cohasset, MA 02025; Phone: 781.383.9890; Website: www.cohassetgc.org.

Hatherly Country Club [Scituate, MA] – founded in 1899, Hatherly is a nice links-style course that abuts the salt marshes and inner harbors of Scituate with occasional views of the ocean. Like Cohasset Golf, there are no bells & whistles here, but a more traditional style of design – elegance in simplicity. Amenities include the 18-hole course, tennis a clubhouse with restaurant. Hatherly Country Club, 757 Country Way, North Scituate, MA 02060; Phone: 781.545.7012; Website: www.hatherlycc.com.

Duxbury Yacht Club [Duxbury, MA] – founded in 1925 and designed by Wayne Stiles, this course is a close cousin to Cohasset and Scituate – older, more traditional style, less glitter. It’s a nice course that is surprisingly uncluttered [according to members], since most are shining their yachts, skiffs and dinghies and do not have time for golf. As this is a yacht club, amenities include the marina/yacht club, 18 holes of golf and [to my knowledge] does not offer a restaurant. Duxbury Yacht Club, 70 Fairway Ln, Duxbury, MA 02332; Phone: 781.934.2122; Website: www.duxburyyachtclub.org.

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