NATICK, Mass. – If you’re ever in Boston’s Metro west region with some clubs in your trunk (and time on your side), here’s a suggestion: go tee it up at the 9-hole executive course, Sassamon Trace Golf Club.
In 2001, developers Cornish Silva & Mungeam built Sassamon from the town’s landfill, and man, did they turn out a gem – the course runs 2,383 yards for men and 1,744 for women, with five par-3s, three par-4’s, and one devilish par-5 that extends over 500 yards.
The first three holes and the ninth have Scottish attributes with open space, big skies, and plenty of white fescues to keep things interesting. However, the scenery changes dramatically on No. 5 – 8. While No. 4 is an interesting par 5, the fifth, par-3, and sixth, par-4, hug Douse Apple Orchard, in neighboring Sherbourne. Seeing the organized lines of apple trees gives the course a Napa Valley feel.
Meanwhile, No. 7 and 8 is like walking through a meadow. Seven features a lengthy par-3 with a pond on the right, while eight is also a par-3 down the opposite side.
Sassamon Trace is more than aesthetics. The course was designed from a landfill “with the beginning golfer in mind”. The fill helps golfers take advantage of the prevailing wind on the course’s Natick holes – one of the course’s main strategic elements.
“The wind tends to put the ball back in play as trouble [throughout the course] is on the right,” said Kurt McDowell, a PGA professional and Sassamon’s General Manager. “We have some unique holes here that golfer’s enjoy playing.”
Hole No. 3 is a good example. From the tee, the 180-yard par-3 appears set in a gulley. The left side’s steep downslope faces a marsh on the right. Mounds surround a two-tiered green on the left while a bunker protects the front right side about ten feet below the green.
During the summer, the wind blows across the hole from right to left, helping hold shots played from left to right.
If your ball winds up in the mounds on the left side, expect to find deep rough. You’ll likely be tested with a downhill chip where the slick green runs away from you. Likewise, in my experience, you’ll find yourself rewarded with an easy birdie courtesy of a “members bounce” off the same set of mounds.
Hole No. 9 is the one that’ll test your mettle. At 367 yards, it’s a risk, reward dogleg challenging all range of handicaps. Opt to blast a 230-yard drive over marshland and fairway bunker and you’ll have in the neighborhood of 120-yards into a forgiving two-tiered green should you succeed. If you wind up penalized in the marsh, all is not lost. While looking for your ball, you’ll save a few bucks finding many others too.
Sassamon Trace Golf Club is time well spent for regular folks looking for an affordable and enjoyable two-hour challenge. Weekday rates are $24 for adults and $19 for juniors and seniors. On weekends, all players pay $27. Twilight rates are $18 for adults; juniors and seniors pay $13. Twilight is considered ninety minutes before sunset.
Regardless of when you play, a visit to Sassamon Trace is worth every penny!
On the web: SassamonTrace.com