LADY-FRIENDLY GOLF COURSES & RESORTS IN NEW ENGLAND

Nestled in the lush hillsides of Kedron Valley sits the oldest course in Vermont, Woodstock Inn GC.

It’s a wonderful feeling to arrive at a golf course and be greeted by a welcoming staff and see a plethora of women’s apparel and accessories in their pro-shop.

A welcoming atmosphere and well-stocked pro-shop with women’s golf gear sends the message, “We want you here!” However, there are more encompassing features that determine if a course is lady-friendly.

The most important considerations are course design/layout, and tee options. Ideal would be at least two sets of tees with USGA course/slope ratings for women; one set of tees no longer than 5,200 yards; few or no forced carries from the forward tees; flexible playing options (9-hole loops/rates); and availability of ladies’ leagues, instructional clinics, family programs that include children, couples and tournaments are all attractive ingredients.

High ranks are also awarded to courses that offer exceptional ambience, quality course conditions and great on-course facilities. In addition, desirable resorts offer a variety of activities, entertainment and spa amenities. In surveying the numerous public access courses and golf resorts in the New England area, those represented here have stood out as favorites among women.


CONNECTICUT

Richter Park Golf Course

This municipal, award-winning 18-hole gem, located in Danbury, CT, ranked one of the Top-10 courses in CT (Golf Magazine) and Top 50 Public Courses for Women (Golf Digest).

This scenic par 72 layout meanders around a reservoir providing glistening water views. The wide-open, undulating, tree-lined fairways provide a breathtaking, kaleidoscopic backdrop in autumn and large, shapely green complexes provide plenty of challenging putts. Water appears on 14 holes but carefully placed shots can avoid trouble.

Ladies are challenged with a few short forced water carries; the par 3’s offer reachable greens off the tee. Garnishing the course are 49 renovated sod-sided bunkers, adding to its beauty.

Tees Rated for Women: Red 5,114, 70.7/124

Amenities: Practice facility—putting/chipping greens, practice bunker; Locker facilities with showers; 2 restaurants & patio; well stocked pro-shop with lots of golf gear for women; ladies, couples and 9 & Dine league; individual/group instructional clinics; 1st Tee Instructional Program for kids; junior golf camps/tournaments.

The 5th hole at Richter Park Golf Course in Danbury CT.

Connecticut National Golf Club

Located in Putnam, CT, this 18-hole par-71course, rated the top 25 in NE, offers spectacular views overlooking acres of state forest with expansive views of the rolling valley below.

Immersed in nature, most holes feature noticeable elevation changes, some with carries over deep ravines. Gently rolling fairways are framed with fescue covered mounding, offering a links feel. Mounding and bunkers guard many of the challenging sloped, multi-tiered greens. Water comes into play on 5 holes but alternate routing can avoid trouble.

Women’s Tee Ratings: Gold —5,002, 69.2/119

Amenities: Full driving range, 4 target greens/chipping area with multiple bunkers; massive stone clubhouse with front porch seating overlooking 18th green; full service restaurant/bars with indoor/outdoor seating areas with tiki torches and fire pit; fully stocked pro-shop; array of affordable golf specials with cart & food voucher; weekly leagues/tournaments.


RHODE ISLAND

Crystal Lake Golf Club

Nestled in the peaceful countryside of Burrillville, RI, this semi-private 18-hole par 71 course plays alongside the pristine Crystal Lake, offering desirable ambience for golfers, weddings and outings.

Rated “One of N.E.’s Top 100 Must Play Courses”, it features a variety of holes offering a mixture of downhill/uphill shots, wide-open fairways dotted by stone walls, elevated undulating greens and few forced carries from the forward tees.

Women’s Tee Ratings: Red—4,854, 67.7/114

Amenities: Gorgeous clubhouse with full-service tavern and waterfront multifunction room, member’s lounge overlooking outside deck and lake; lockers/showers; open-air lake pavilion for outings with swimming, fishing, outdoor games; weekly ladies’ leagues/tournaments; Nine & Dine Fridays; flexible rates, PGA private instruction; stocked custom-fitting pro-shop.

Located on Route 102 in Burrillville, Rhode Island, Crystal Lake Golf Club opened in May 2004 and features a clubhouse with seating capacity of 225 and spectacular views of Crystal Lake and the par 4, 318-yard (Red Tees) 18th hole.

Midville Golf Course

A 9-hole favorite among women, conveniently located in W. Warwick, RI, offers a quick, easy scoring round. Noted for their impeccable course conditions, floral plantings, wide fairways, variety of sloped fairways, several elevated greens and few forced carries.

Women’s Tee Ratings: Blue—2,l90, 64.4/106

Amenities: Clubhouse with beverage/food service; ladies leagues; multiple online round specials.


MASSACHUSETTS

Chemawa Golf Course

Tucked away in a quiet enclave in North Attleboro, this exquisitely detailed and maintained 18-hole course is a longtime favorite among ladies.

Greeted with a welcoming atmosphere and incredible ambience created by the multitude of unique floral and seasonal arrays, ponds with soothing water fountains, arched bridges, babbling brooks, and unique birdhouses for yardage markers.

The front nine’s straightforward layout and flat terrain is easy to navigate but demands accuracy on its tight fairways. The more wide open back nine fascinates with its drastic elevation changes, sloping, rolling fairways and water hazards.

Women’s Tee Ratings: Red—4,368, 64.6/109

Amenities: Clubhouse with food service; creatively designed on-course restrooms complete with toiletries; ladies leagues; monthly specials; complimentary Mother’s Day
golf for ladies; free ride for seniors during select times/summer months; complimentary iced bottle water/cold treats on hot summer days.

Farm Neck Golf Club enjoys a widespread reputation for championship golf and regularly earns a 4 1⁄2 out of 5 star rating in Golf Digest’s “Places to Play,” is one of New England dot Golf’s choice lady-friendly places to play.

Farm Neck Golf Club

Located on Martha’s Vineyard, a short ferry ride from Cape Cod, Farm Neck GC is situated on a peninsula of rolling farmland, overlooking Nantucket Sound.

This 18-hole, par 72 course, voted the “Best Places to Play” by Golf Digest, has been a longtime favorite among presidents. Situated on acres of conservation land, it features striking variations of topography and vegetation with play meandering through woodlands, open meadows and salt marshes with stunning views of Nantucket Sound on 15 holes. It’s wide-open layout presents few forced carries from the forward tees.

Women’s Tee Ratings: Red—4,987, 64.3/118; White—5,859, 74.6/132

Amenities: Full-service pro-shop; restaurant/cafe; practice range, chipping/putting areas; private instruction, ladies & junior clinics; monthly tournaments and mixed events.

Olde Barnstable Fairgrounds Golf Course

Located in Marston Mills, on Cape Cod, this property was formerly home of the Barnstable County Fair. Bordered by a conservation area, this municipal course offers a private course feel with its secluded setting and detailed, well-maintained grounds.

The impressive NE style clubhouse overlooks the 9th and 18th holes with gorgeous sunset views. Coined as the best walking course on the Cape, it has a variety of holes with an attractive, challenging layout featuring wide, rolling, fairways, large, undulating, tiered greens, with deceptive approaches. There are some forced carries over vegetation, but no water carries.

Women’s Tee Ratings: Red—5,072, 69.1/119; Gold—5,414, 71.6/121

Amenities: Full-serve restaurant, sports lounge; fully stocked golf shop; practice range, putting/chipping areas, practice bunkers; weekly ladies’ club; ladies & mixed tournaments.

Blue Rock Golf & Resort

A charming and secluded getaway located in the heart of South Yarmouth, Cape Cod. The resort overlooks its award-winning 18-hole, par 54, course, one of the “Top 10 Par-3 Courses” in the country.

Meticulously maintained, its unique layout features elevation changes with four picturesque and challenging water holes including the 9th signature hole playing over water to a kidney-shaped green, voted one of “Cape Cod’s 18 Best Holes”. From the forward tees distances range from 81-188 yards, allowing golfers to use a variety of clubs off the tee.

Women’s Tee Ratings: Gold/Red—2,219, 56.4/83; Red—2,154, 55.8/80

Amenities: Balconied guest rooms; Outdoor heated pool; restaurant & bar lounge; private beach access @ Red Jacket Beach Resort; full service pro shop specializing in
ladies’ apparel and custom-fitting center; practice range, 2 putting/chipping greens; ladies’ golf clinics; golf school (all ages) with PGA Professional; tournaments/group events—including annual parent-child tournament; stay & play packages.


NEW HAMPSHIRE

Owl’s Nest Resort & GC

Located within New Hampshire’s scenic White Mountains, this semi-private 18-hole, par 72 golf club soars above others with its dramatic mountainous views, meticulous landscape and exceptional staff.

Ranked “Top 100 Must Play Courses in NE” and “Top 5 Best Courses in NH” (Golfweek), its layout offers a variety of interesting holes with impressive elevation changes, particularly on the tough back nine.

A mixture of wide-open and target-golf style fairways and sloped, tiered greens create a challenging round. Be ready for the ultimate 19th hole experience while dining in their clubhouse’s Sunset Room & Tavern, voted “Best Place to See a Sunset While Dining” ( NH Magazine).

Women’s Tee Rating: Green—5,174, 70.0/120; Gold—5,686, 72.2/125

Amenities: Fully-stocked golf shop with large selection of ladies’ apparel/equipment; practice range with target flags, putting green; private instruction with 2 PGA nstructors; ladies’ leagues/tournaments, monthly member socials; full-service restaurant; onsite townhouses/vacation rentals; outdoor heated pool, indoor exercise pool; fitness and game room.

Owls Nest Golf Course is situated in the scenic White Mountains, a two hour drive from Boston, and is the only Jack Nicklaus-designed course in New Hampshire.

Atkinson Resort & Country Club

Tucked within 420 acres of exquisitely landscaped grounds is a state-of-the-art golf facility, wedding/functions & convention venue. Home of the Willowcreek Golf Academy and best practice facility in NE, the 18-hole, par 72 course was awarded “2015 NGCOA National Golf Course of the Year”.

Meticulously manicured, the course offers incredible ambience featuring tree buffered fairways, sparkling water features, eye-popping floral plantings, rock gardens, creative stonework and covered bridges. Surprises crop up along the way…water hazards crossing fairways, ponds fronting greens, all creating a challenging round.

A 9-hole par 3 course also graces the property and has earned the PGA Family Course designation. Relax and play in their two 19th hole venue. Merrill’s Tavern, offers breathtaking course views and game room with golf simulators and billiards. Stagecoach Grille features wood-fired culinary choices. Outdoor dining is available on the Woodlawn Terrace. The resort’s trademark is their award-winning Sunday Brunch from mid-autumn to late spring. If you’re looking for an all-inclusive venue to hone your skills and have playing and food options, this is your one-stop venue.

Women’s Tee Rating: (18) 4,867, 68.6/117; (9 par-3) 2,236

Amenities: 15,000 grass tee practice range, 65 yd. short game practice hole with bunkers, 12,000 sq. putting greens, heated hitting bays, winterized driving range, indoor 3D golf simulators; full-service pro shop; 2 dining options; Fieldstone Suites; Stay & Play packages.


VERMONT

Woodstock Inn & Resort

Nestled in the lush hillsides of Kedron Valley sits the oldest course in Vermont Woodstock Golf Club, PGA Tour pro Keegan Bradley’s home town course.

This 18-hole, par 70 masterpiece features panoramic views of Mt. Peg, twisting fairways and water hazards on 12 holes. There are 4 ponds and 12 bridges that cross Kedron Brook, which meanders throughout the course and fronts 10 greens. This luxury resort, named “Top 100 Golf Resorts (Golf Magazine), is on the Conde Nast Traveler gold list. Known for their “bed & breakfast” experience, the Inn offers guest rooms with wood-burning fireplaces and handcrafted furniture.

Women’s Tee Rating: Red—4,924, 69.0/113

Amenities: Driving range, chipping green, 9-hole putting green, pro-shop, lockers/showers, clubhouse grill & bar, private lessons/clinics; Fitness & Racket Club—tennis, racquetball, indoor pool, steam room, sauna, LEED-certified spa; Nordic Center—scenic trails; stay & play packages.

Stowe Mountain Lodge offers 36 holes of golf on two distinct courses, located in the historic village of Stowe Mountain.

Stowe Mountain Resort

The new Stowe Mountain GC, listed among the “Top 50 Women-Friendly Courses” (Golf Digest) and “Top 10 New Courses in US” (Golf Magazine), has recently ranked #2 overall “10 Best Offseason Resorts for Summer Adventure” worldwide (USA Today).

The resort offers 36 holes of golf—18 holes at the restored Stowe CC, located in the village and the 18-hole, par 72 mountain course, which meanders along the slopes of Mt. Mansfield and Spruce Peak. Aside from the dynamic views from elevations of more than 1800 feet, the course’s memorable layout of rolling, sloping, serpentine fairways, buffered by hardwoods and bordered by stone outcroppings leave little room for error.

Although a challenging tight course, the 3 ladies’ tee options increase playability for all skill levels. Adding to the resort’s exceptional status is the variety of activities available.

Women’s Tee Ratings: 4,350, 67.4/112; 4,974, 68.8/112; 5,450, 72.4/135

Amenities: Indoor golf studio with state-of-the-art technology for instruction/club fitting, weekly clinics, weekly ladies leagues, ladies’ night, Jr. golf program, custom apparel shop; Spa & Wellness Ctr.—fitness room, tennis, hiking; Zip-lining; Treetop Adventure; Gondola Skyride; Summer Adventure Camp for kids; Performing Arts Center; multiple restaurant options & lodging; Stay & Play packages.


MAINE

Lake Province Golf Course

Ranked #1 in NE and #19 in US for Women’s golf since 2005 (Golf Digest), this 18-hole, par 71 gem travels along the ME and NH border with magnificent views of Province Lake on 14 holes.

The rolling terrain, stately hardwoods and colorful floral plantings that grace the course, add to its ambience. The front 9 holes feature generous fairways; whereas the fairways on the more distinctive, challenging back 9 are tighter with smaller landing areas and water hazards.

Noted for promoting family golf, the facility has six sets of tees to accommodate every age and skill level, family and junior golf rates, Jr. golf academy, pro-shop with gear for all ages, on-site child care and leagues for everyone. Open year-round they offer indoor winter golf leagues using golf simulators.

Women’s Tee Ratings: Maple—4,169, 64.9/111; Hemlock—4,900, 68.8/121; Birch—5,586, 73.0/129; Balsam—6,004, 74.2/132

Amenities: Extensive practice facility; restaurant, bar, deli with ice cream window; tees for youngsters/beginners; SNAG program for beginners; daily AM & PM ladies’ leagues, co-ed leagues, Fri. couples Nine & Dine league; stay & play on-site lodging.

Poland Spring was the first golf course built at a resort in America and includes views of the White Mountains.

Poland Springs Golf Resort

This 500 acre vacation destination, listed on the National Register of Historical Places, is the oldest resort course in America.

A Donald Ross 18-hole, par 71 design features scenic vistas of the White Mountains and lakes on most holes. Few forced carries add to its lady-friendly status. Bordered by thick wooded areas, sloped fairways lead to severely sloped, tiered greens. The resort boasts amazing sunsets and numerous, affordable recreational activities and lodging choices.

Women’s Tee Ratings: 5,128, 64.2/111

Amenities: Golf Park—range, learning center, clinics, golf shop, 9-hole Disc golf course, mini-golf; tennis, shuffleboard, bocci, badminton, fishing, boating, hike/bike trails, exercise room; restaurants/lounges, gift shop, nightly entertainment, shuttle to Oxford Casino; stay & play packages.

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