CANTON, Mass – Just twenty miles south of Boston, you can find the serene suburban town of Canton, unique because it’s home to four golf courses – Blue Hill CC, Milton Hoosic GC, Ponakpaog GC and Wampatuck CC. At the end of Pleasant Garden Road, a few miles from Blue Hill Observatory, you’ll find a delightful private membership, nine-hole golf course that exemplifies the description “A Gem in the Wilderness.”
In 1904, Wampatuck Country Club was founded as a club for fishing and hunting enthusiasts. With the expansive Reservoir Pond guarding the 3rd, 4th, and 5th holes, it looks like there’s plenty of good fishing available to members, but hunting birdies is confined to the type you get when scoring under par.
Wampatuck Country Club nine-hole golf course was designed by local legend Geoffrey Cornish. In true Cornish style, he formed a challenging course by following the natural contours of the land that was available to him.
I was invited to play a round with Jim Mahoney, who has been a member at Wampatuck for 39 years and has also served as its treasurer for the last 16 years. Jim, one of the most upbeat people I’ve ever met, was the perfect guy to guide me around.
The first hole has been described as one of the most difficult opening holes in the area. The hole plays 439 yards from the tips, with the dogleg left gives you plenty of room to keep the ball in play. Your approach shot is to a green that is tucked away in a corner of the fairway. You can try a high shot with lots of spin, or perhaps a bump and run shot between the traps.
Hole No. 2 is a short par-5 playing 465 yards from the middle tees, but you need to hit a little draw because the green is on the left, but steer clear of the trees on the left side of the fairway so your approach is not blocked by the woods. You will discover that the course is in excellent conditions, and the greens are slick, so be sure to allow some time rolling a few putts on the practice green that is located next to the first tee.
Step across the road that leads to the clubhouse, and you will come to the 188-yard par-3. The green has a severe slope and big bunkers guard the green so take plenty of club and plan for a nice, high fade with lots of spin.
One of my favorite holes is the 204-yard Par 3 fifth, which is all uphill with the reservoir on the left which is hungry for errant tee shots. Play it right side and take an extra club to make the elevated green. Wampatuck is not long, playing only 3119 from the middle tee, but each hole is a challenge. The outstanding condition of the course is a testament of the skills of superintendent Dan Reed.
“I love the many friendships here, and as a caddie growing up, I have always loved the game of golf,” Jim Mahoney explained. “Americans love competition and golf allows us that fun into our latter years. I have loved serving the members and watching the golf course improve so much over my time at the club.”
I spoke with a number of members, and they were very welcoming and like Jim Mahoney, proud of their home club. I had lunch which is on the 2nd floor and has indoor and outdoor seating on a deck that overlooks the course. The members were friendly and were talking about their round of golf that day. The great food and service, joined by the enthusiastic sense of camaraderie at the 19th hole make for the perfect after-round setting.
If you played a round at “Wampy,” you’d soon see why it is a special place. Wampatuck Country Club offers private club memberships, and are always happy to have guests inquire about membership, or hosting an outing or other social events.
Wampatuck is a nine-hole gem!
On the web: Wampatuck.com