Visiting Boston for the U.S. Open? Play these public courses

Visiting Boston for the U.S. Open? Play these public courses


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by Sean Melia of AmateurGolf.com

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We have organized this list based on proximity to The Country Club, at the bottom we included courses that are a long way from The Country Club, but offer an excellent detour if you’re driving to or from Boston.

All rates are for walking.

George Wright Golf Course; Dorchester, Mass.
Rates (non-resident): Monday-Thursday: $50, Weekends: $57
Distance from The Country Club: 4.6 miles

George Wright is one of two courses within Boston’s city limits. It’s one of the best public courses in the nation; known for its challenging holes, dramatic rock formations, and blind shots. Add in their fabulous hot dog and it is one of the most challenging tee times to lockdown in the state.

The course was designed in the 1930s by Donald Ross. The club's conception was during the roaring 1920s and the clubhouse befits the wealth of the decade. Originally, George Wright was supposed to be a private club, but when the Great Depression hit it turned into a publically-funded project and now it belongs to the city.

Franklin Park Golf Course; Jamaica Plain, Mass.
Rates (non-resident): Monday-Thursday: $50, Weekends: $57
Distance from The Country Club: 4.9 miles

The second course within Boston city limits is Franklin Park. It was also designed by Donald Ross. It’s an open lay-out and feels as public as a course can in America. Pedestrian walkways ring sections of the course for walkers, runners, and commuters. Some people even commute on foot directly through the course.

Franklin Park is a playable layout with rolling hills and a routing that dips in and out of a central piece of land with wispy fescue and very few trees.

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Franklin Park Golf Course (credit: City of Boston)

With the U.S. Open coming to Boston, we wanted to share some public courses that we think are worth seeing if you’re visiting for the U.S. Open and plan to squeeze in a little golf of your own.We have organized this list based on proximity to The Country Club, at the bottom we included courses that are a long way from The Country Club, but offer an excellent detour if you’re driving to or from Boston.All rates are for walking.; Dorchester, Mass.: Monday-Thursday: $50, Weekends: $574.6 milesGeorge Wright is one of two courses within Boston’s city limits. It’s one of the best public courses in the nation; known for its challenging holes, dramatic rock formations, and blind shots. Add in their fabulous hot dog and it is one of the most challenging tee times to lockdown in the state.The course was designed in the 1930s by Donald Ross. The club's conception was during the roaring 1920s and the clubhouse befits the wealth of the decade. Originally, George Wright was supposed to be a private club, but when the Great Depression hit it turned into a publically-funded project and now it belongs to the city.; Jamaica Plain, Mass.Monday-Thursday: $50, Weekends: $574.9 milesThe second course within Boston city limits is Franklin Park. It was also designed by Donald Ross. It’s an open lay-out and feels as public as a course can in America. Pedestrian walkways ring sections of the course for walkers, runners, and commuters. Some people even commute on foot directly through the course.Franklin Park is a playable layout with rolling hills and a routing that dips in and out of a central piece of land with wispy fescue and very few trees.

; Cambridge, Mass.
Rates (non-resident):: Monday-Friday: $27 (9 holes) and $38 (18 holes)
Distance from The Country Club:: 5.9 miles

Head due north from The Country Club and you’ll hit Fresh Pond Golf course. A funky, quirky nine-holer that's tucked between Fresh Pond and Huron Ave. Sirens and horns will be the backdrop for many of your shots, along with cyclists, runners, and dog walkers along the Fresh Pond footpaths.

The course isn’t overwhelming, but there are a few charming shots and stretches of holes that will help scratch the golf itch in short order.

; Wayland, Mass.
Rates: $35-$69
Distance from The Country Club: 17 miles

How many courses have you played that open with back-to-back par fives? Sandy Burr is a classic Donald Ross design where par might not matter a lot due to its length, but accuracy and good putting certainly does.

Sandy Burr has some reachable par 4s, long par 3s, and a few lovely quintessential holes that remind you you’re in New England.

; Brockton, Mass.
Rates: $45-$55
Distance from The Country Club: 26 miles

A hidden gem in the town known for its boxers. D.W. Field has a great first tee vibe, as golfers mill about enjoying a post-round beverage or pop into the pro shop to check in. The hustle and bustle is invigorating.

The course has a superb set of greens and the routing includes some neat features like a rock wall that runs through a section of holes on the back nine.

; Devens, Mass
Rates (cart included): $87-$124
Distance from The Country Club: 38 miles

If you’re willing to drive about an hour to Devens, Mass, Red Tail is an excellent option. Designed by Brian Silva, Red Tail offers some interesting New England golf. Silva is a Raynor master-restorer and many of his original courses have some classic Raynor features. There’s a dramatic uphill punch bowl green at Red Tail that always offers an entertaining shot.

The variation of holes at Red Tail isn’t just about shape. There are sections of the course where a player must navigate tight driving holes and then others with wide-open vistas and waste areas.

Additionally, Devens is former army base and some remnants remain on the course, including a watchtower on the 18th hole. The seventeen is named “Bunkers” in reference to the ammunition bunkers that are on the right side of the hole.

; Plymouth, Mass.
Rates: $95-$120
Distance from The Country Club: 55 miles

Plymouth is packed with golf courses. The sandy soil and cape cod air provide great land for golf. There are plenty of very good options in the town where the pilgrims landed, but Waverley Oaks offers the most intrigue for visitors from outside the Bay State.

Waverly is another Brian Silva design with bold features. The bunkering is some of the best around as far as deception and framing holes. Golfers will steer clear of a bunker off the tee only to realize it had no significance at all and was either out of reach or easily carried.

Waverly also has a great 19th hole where golfers can recap their round and watch groups battle the challenging 18th green.

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; Cambridge, Mass.: Monday-Friday: $27 (9 holes) and $38 (18 holes): 5.9 milesHead due north from The Country Club and you’ll hit Fresh Pond Golf course. A funky, quirky nine-holer that's tucked between Fresh Pond and Huron Ave. Sirens and horns will be the backdrop for many of your shots, along with cyclists, runners, and dog walkers along the Fresh Pond footpaths.The course isn’t overwhelming, but there are a few charming shots and stretches of holes that will help scratch the golf itch in short order.; Wayland, Mass.$35-$6917 milesHow many courses have you played that open with back-to-back par fives? Sandy Burr is a classic Donald Ross design where par might not matter a lot due to its length, but accuracy and good putting certainly does.Sandy Burr has some reachable par 4s, long par 3s, and a few lovely quintessential holes that remind you you’re in New England.; Brockton, Mass.$45-$5526 milesA hidden gem in the town known for its boxers. D.W. Field has a great first tee vibe, as golfers mill about enjoying a post-round beverage or pop into the pro shop to check in. The hustle and bustle is invigorating.The course has a superb set of greens and the routing includes some neat features like a rock wall that runs through a section of holes on the back nine.; Devens, Mass$87-$12438 milesIf you’re willing to drive about an hour to Devens, Mass, Red Tail is an excellent option. Designed by Brian Silva, Red Tail offers some interesting New England golf. Silva is a Raynor master-restorer and many of his original courses have some classic Raynor features. There’s a dramatic uphill punch bowl green at Red Tail that always offers an entertaining shot.The variation of holes at Red Tail isn’t just about shape. There are sections of the course where a player must navigate tight driving holes and then others with wide-open vistas and waste areas.Additionally, Devens is former army base and some remnants remain on the course, including a watchtower on the 18th hole. The seventeen is named “Bunkers” in reference to the ammunition bunkers that are on the right side of the hole.; Plymouth, Mass.$95-$12055 milesPlymouth is packed with golf courses. The sandy soil and cape cod air provide great land for golf. There are plenty of very good options in the town where the pilgrims landed, but Waverley Oaks offers the most intrigue for visitors from outside the Bay State.Waverly is another Brian Silva design with bold features. The bunkering is some of the best around as far as deception and framing holes. Golfers will steer clear of a bunker off the tee only to realize it had no significance at all and was either out of reach or easily carried.Waverly also has a great 19th hole where golfers can recap their round and watch groups battle the challenging 18th green.