Course 79: Shining Rock



SHINING ROCK (Public)

Northbridge, MA

Played on May 29

Yardage: 5,321- 6,471



Shining Rock doesn’t feel like it’s in south-central Massachusetts.

The course climbs and drops over extreme rocky land with hazards and OB frequently coming into play.

The course opens with 3 challenging holes that give the player a sense of what’s in store: big, undulating greens; blind tee shots; forced carries; and tight landing areas.

While the course is tight, it doesn’t take driver out of your hands.

You can hit it a little off line and still find it. A few holes do have some run-offs if a player is new to the course and takes the wrong line, but overall it’s fair off the tee.

While the scorecard reads 6800 from the tips, the yardage is packed into certain holes. The par 3s measure 194, 217, 223, and 241. Toss in a 648 yard par five, too. That leaves a few drivable/short par 4s.

The greens are big and many have two tiers. The interior slopes require accuracy on approach shots. Wouldn’t want to see them really rolling.

We walked the course, and it exposed some odd routing. You literally walk the 8th and 10th holes backwards before playing them. We walked 19k steps, which is bananas for 18 holes.

Shining Rock was in good shape aside from a dearth of bunker rakes, which made for some interesting lies. Greens rolled nicely and the whole course was fairly firm. I’d rate the front nine over the back nine. There’s a good vibe on the patio, which overlooks the 1st tee and 9th green, but is very far from 18 green.

They’ve taken down a ton of trees judging by the wood piles stacked up in the woods.

Holes of note:

2 - Long par 4 with tough forced carry off the tee.

4 - drivable par 4. Lots of options off tee. Insane rock face to play over off the tee to a little landing pad fairway.

13 - Uphill Par 5 with hazard left. Narrow, fairway with run-offs. Cool bunkering and another forced carry tee shot.



I’d recommend checking out Shining Rock. You’ll wear out your long clubs and your shorts ones and it will keep you on your toes.


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