So, you've found yourself in Massachusetts.
But you're nowhere near the beaches of Cape
Cod. And Boston is 90 minutes east. If
that's not enough reason to play golf, I don't
know what is.
To help you find the best place to play, here's
our guide to golf in Western
Home to some of the game's most historic and
unique courses, Western Massachusetts
is a great place to play. The short season
aside, there are numerous offerings, of all
budgets and skill levels, in the Pioneer Valley
and Berkshire County.
BEST PLACES TO PLAY ON A BUDGET:
The area is full of designs either directly from
the great Donald Ross or with his imprint
thanks to an original design or redesign
courtesy of Mr. Geoffrey Cornish.
One course with influence from both golf-
design greats is Tekoa
in Westfield, Mass. Originally
designed and incorporated in 1809 (as
the first club in the region with four holes),
Tekoa was redesigned by Ross in 1923, who
added five of his very own. In 1961, Cornish
added nine, redesigned the original four
and left Ross' as is. The sum of all those
design parts? An enjoyable (flat, short with
great greens), very playable (only $46 prime
weekend) and affordable round at Tekoa.
You'll also be hardpressed to find better value
than at The
in South Hadley, Mass. Owned by
the town, Ledges sits in the shadow of
Mount Tom and offers spectacular views no
matter the season. Also very playable --
with several quirky holes and driveable par-4s
-- The Ledges is one of my favorites in
the area and is very affordable, ranging under
$50 for a prime weekend round.
COURSES OFFERING THE MOST VALUE:
The region is full of courses in decent shape
with budget-friendly fees. But what about
the next level course? Two tracks stick out to
Spring Country Club
in Belchertown is a
bit off the beaten path but well worth the
drive. It opened in 2012 and has only matured
into the 'high-end course with moderate
fees' it set out to be upon conception. It's a
modern design but the views, vistas and
rise-and-fall of the fairways make it a great
place to play.
Near the Connecticut border, Crestview Country Club
spend an afternoon. Formerly an exclusively-
private Cornish design, Crestview is now
open to public play and is the former host of
the LPGA's Friendly's Classic as well as
many USGA qualifiers.
Every region has the course (or courses) you'd
be crazy not to play. Western Mass. has
two of them.
Ranch Golf Club
, in Southwick, is
consistently-rated among the state's best
courses you can play and one drive by, it's
easy to see why. The Ranch was built on
old farmland and hills that make for dramatic
views and exciting holes. With newly-
instituted greens fees ranging from $45-75
depending on the season, you will love The
Heading towards Vermont, is the Crumpin-Fox
in Bernardston, Mass. Roger
Rulewich helped locate the site that would
replicate a Pine Valley-type course and if
you've had the chance to play the Fox, you'll
appreciate the effort and similarities.
Set in a winding forest with great views -- no
matter the season -- and quite a bit of
difficulty, Crumpin Fox is among the toughest
tracks in the state. Greens fees range
from $46 (during the shoulder season) to $77
(prime, weekend) and both present great
value for a memorable course.