Plenty of Golf on Cape Cod This Winter

Many public golf courses on Cape Cod have not closed this winter since above average temperatures and lack of snow have been a pleasant combination for golf enthusiasts.

HYANNIS, Mass – The mark of a truly great golfer is one who is not rattled by weather and can still stay consistent in whatever weather ‘Mother Nature‘ throws our way. Translated to us common players is that we can shoot 95 or more in good weather conditions, but it is so much easier when’s it’s cold outside.

And, so the unseasonably mild winter of 2022-2023 continues to the delight of golfers, and to the dread of snow plow drivers with many public Cape Cod courses filling up tee sheets with bargain basement prices along with reasonable playing conditions.

There is no ‘cabin fever’ for golfers this winter for golfers on Cape Cod.

Cape Cod hosts over six million visitors each year. If you want to visit the Cape you need to traverse one of the two bridges that span the Cape Cod canal. In the good old summertime, the entrance to these bridges are often backed up for miles and lodging, beaches, and golf courses are filled to capacity.

However, mild weather has allowed some of the 42 golf courses (27 public and 15 private) on Cape Cod to be open all winter. Several popular courses on the Cape are accepting tee times with the click of your computer and subsequent request for credit card information.

On a a typical summer day after Memorial Day through Labor Day traffic backs up before the Bourne Bridge heading for Cape Cod.

“We’ve been playing once a week,” said Jack Paulding, about Hyannis Golf Club. “You have to wear lots of layers of clothes that restricts your swing some. And, the ball doesn’t go as far in the cold, but it’s a blast to be out here since we’re haven’t had any snow so far this winter. Some of my friends keep inviting me to Florida to play, but I don’t want to go if we can get a few more weeks of decent temperatures.”

Bass River Golf Course

Bass River GC is one of Cape Cod’s more popular destinations in winter months for those brave enough to play golf in 30-40 degree temperatures.

Located mid-Cape in South Yarmouth, Bass River is a Donald Ross-design that was built in 1900, making it one of the oldest courses on the Cape. It plays only 6100 yards from the championship tees but has small greens and is a true challenge. Both the regular tees and greens are open for play.

Olde Barnstable Fairgrounds

The Olde Barnstable golf course and clubhouse. (Credit Olde Barnstable Golf)

Located in Marston Mills, “Old Barney” opened in 1992 and quickly gained popularity with residents and visitors alike. It’s an easy walk and the four sets of tees make it playable for golfers of all skill levels. There’s a spacious driving range to loosen up a bit before you start your round. Old Barnstable is walking only at this time of year, but the regular greens and tees are open.

Highland Links

Highland Links Golf Course, established in 1892, is heralded as Cape Cod’s oldest golf course and perhaps its most scenic, located in North Truro it is one of America’s golf treasures, perched high along windswept bluffs overlooking the Atlantic next to the vintage Cape Cod Light. (Highland Links)

A true links course in Truro, Highland Links says that their tee boxes are closed and the greens are temporary. They have an honor box on- site where you can leave ten dollars to play. Highland Links is famous for being next to a lighthouse and has sand dunes surrounding the fairways. A steady wind adds to the experience of links golf. Close your eyes and you can almost hear the bagpipes playing.

Holly Ridge Golf Club

This photo of Holly Ridge GC is from summer but the golf course is open for play all year.

A sharp short game is the key to scoring well at Holly Ridge, located in Sandwich, with regular tees and greens ready for play. Holly Ridge is an 18-hole par-3 course with plenty of bunkers and challenging greens. Holly Ridge has a large practice area and is well known for its golf instruction program.

There are 42 golf courses on Cape Cod, so check on a daily basis to confirm the courses are open for play. The average winter temperatures on Cape Cod between December and March range from highs around 40°F and lows around 25°F but this winter is a blessing for golfers. So far, the temperatures have been above average, and the lack of snow beckons you to make a visit to the Cape for some early-season golf. Lodging prices are reduced, the restaurants are not crowded and traffic is manageable.

Before you go, here are a few cold weather tips to help you enjoy your round.

  • Dress in layers.
  • Stretch and warm up before playing.
  • Because the ball won’t carry as far, adjust your club choice.
  • Expect to play more “bump and run” if the ground is frozen.
  • Use gloves designed for cold weather golf.
  • Use a lower compression golf ball.

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Jim got his start in golf writing with a gig at a Connecticut-based golf magazine, where he interviewed Ernie Els, among others. Since then, he’s covered tournaments for the LPGA, PGA Tour, Champions Tour and many amateur events. His work has been published in a number of magazines including GolfBoston Travel & Leisure, Southern New England Golf, New England Golf Monthly and Rhode Island Monthly. Jim ‘s favorite golf courses are Kebo Valley in Bar Harbor, Maine, Pebble Beach and Furry Creek in Vancouver B.C. and almost any Donald Ross course. Jim can be reached by email at

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