Hopkinton CC (Private)
Played on August 8, 2022
Hopkinton CC has some features that I liked.
In particular, the bunkers were visually appealing with the fescue lining the tops of many of them.
There was also some mounding on the opening few holes that I thought added to the course and created some tight areas for tee shots. It created serious rub of the green luck depending on where your ball ended up on the mounds. Some were covered in fescue and some in shorter cut rough.
The front nine plays back and forth along rather flat land aside from the opening tee shot, the approach into the second, and ninth holes. The first four holes are open and offer some good chances at getting off to a solid start in the round. Hole 5 is a tough par 3 and holes 6 and 7 provide some tight driving areas with a road coming into play along the right side.
Of the front nine holes, I thought the second was a good hole and the ninth is rather striking, as players tee off to a massive hill and then play uphill to a flag they can barely see the top of.
The back nine is more "charming." A word my playing partner used to describe it. It starts with a dramatic and uncomfortable tenth tee shot that plays downhill and is completely blind. It sets the tone for the stretch of holes.
It's tighter and has blind tee shots on the first four tee shots (not including the excellent par-3 eleventh).
Both par 3s on the back are wonderful. 11 is a well bunkered mid-iron shot to a sloped green. And 16 is a short-iron to a small green that, if missed, offers harsh penalty as it drops off on all sides except the front.
I did find that Hopkinton CC is searching for an identity. It's had work done to some of the greens and it appears they are focusing on giving it sense of identity. But like a restaurant with a wide array of options, it’s not always easy to peg what Hopkinton wants to be. It hints at charming and old-school and then has modern, clean, tidy spots that disagree with the classic look.
The small greens and variation of holes made Hopkinton CC an engaging place to play golf. I look forward to seeing what direction they choose to go as it finds its identity.