WEST YARMOUTH, Mass – Cape Cod is home to many exceptional public golf courses, but Bayberry Hills Golf Course stands out for at least two reasons.
The municipal golf course in West Yarmouth, Massachusetts, has 27 holes, including a nine-hole links style course, and it takes pride in the fact that it will host a men’s and women’s qualifier for the U.S. Mid-Amateur on Aug. 25.
“It will be a fun day,” head pro Dennis Hoye said. “We’re trying to get everything ready in the next few weeks to get ramped up for that.”
The U.S. Mid-Amateur for golfers aged 25 and older will be played Sept. 25-30 on Nantucket at Sankaty Head Golf Club and Miacomet Golf Course.
Bayberry Hills was designed by Geoffrey Cornish and Brian Silva and opened in July of 1988. In 2018, Bayberry Hills underwent a $2 million renovation to clear out trees and improve tees, greens, bunkers and cart paths.
Dennis Hoye is also the head pro at Bass River Golf Course, an 18-hole Donald Ross design along the Bass River in South Yarmouth. Bass River was founded in 1900 and redesigned and expanded by Ross in 1914.
Members belong to both municipal golf courses and both are open to the public.
The fairways at Bayberry Hills are generous and the greens are large, but there are enough doglegs, hazards and trees to present a challenge. The course can play up to 7,200 yards.
Frank Mazzeo lives in Clinton, but he also owns a home in Yarmouth so the 15-handicapper plays Bayberry Hills about twice a month.
“I think it’s a great course,” he said. “It’s very playable. It’s always in good shape.”
Scott Gilmore can take credit for that. He joined Bayberry Hills as superintendent in 2018 after working as an assistant super at Pinehills Golf Club for four years and at Hyannisport Club for one. He’s in his second year as director of golf course operations.
The greens are large, but they don’t break as much as you might think.
“That’s why they call it ‘No break Bayberry,’” said Dave Gerbereux, who retired last year and moved from Lancaster to Marstons Mills.
The fourth is one of the many fun holes. It requires a blind tee shot over a hill and an approach shot over a pond to a sizable green.
Ken Couture has been a starter at Bayberry Hills for 18 years and when he meets golfers for the first time he always asks where they live.
When I played the course recently with my brother Donald Doyle while on vacation, I told him I was from Worcester. Couture smiled and informed us he was from Worcester as well.
Couture, 84, lives in Harwich now, but he grew up on Grafton Hill in Worcester and he said while working at Bayberry Hills he has met a lot of golfers from his former hometown.
Asked why people should play Bayberry Hills instead of any of the other public golf courses on Cape Cod, Couture replied, “It’s a challenging course, it’s probably one of the better courses on the Cape they tell us, and I’m friendly.”
When we introduced ourselves to the other two members of our foursome on the first tee, we discovered that Couture wasn’t kidding when he said a lot of golfers from Worcester play Bayberry Hills. Our playing partners were Mazzeo, who grew up in Shrewsbury and works as the used vehicle sales manager at Lundgren Honda of Auburn, and Gerbereux, who retired last August as senior vice president at Bank of America in Worcester.
The Worcester-area connection extended to Hoye, who as a child lived in Northboro and whose father worked for U.S. Steel in Worcester for a while.
Dave Gerbereux, 67, no longer maintains a handicap, but used to be a 25.
“Now if I break 100 I kiss the ground,” he said.
But he loves the game nevertheless and he appreciates the generous fairways at Bayberry Hills.
“If you spray it,” he said, “you can usually find it. Although I’ve already lost two balls today.”
We were only on the fifth tee when he said that. Then he promptly pulled his tee shot into the trees, but he was able to find it.
Bayberry Hills has two enormous practice greens, one aside the first tee and the other aside the 10th, and a large practice range.
Couture said this is the busiest Bayberry Hills has been in his 18 years of working at the course. On the Friday we played, he pointed out that there were only two openings before 4:30 p.m.
A summer vacation on Cape Cod should include a round of golf at either Bayberry Hills or Bass River!