Renaissance was the 27th course in my quest to play them all in Massachusetts.
This place throws some serious haymakers. The front nine has a bunch of elevation changes and some holes play along interesting ridge lines, especially the 7th hole. At first glance the course seems like a challenge off the tee. Bunkers and water and natural growth areas. But it’s truly the green complexes that perplex and make the course difficult. With an iron in hand, it’s easy to feel good about your target. But then when you arrive at the green, no matter where your ball is, you realize what you saw from the fairway is not reality. Brian Silva loves messing around with a player’s perspective using bunkering and ridges. He succeeds here.
The highlights on the front are the par 5s (3 and 5). Both holes can be reached in two shots with some serious bravery. The fifth offers a great view and different ways to play it. Just avoid the water left. Sadly the link between them is a bad uphill 200 yard par 3. The 8th hole is also a standout requiring two strong shots to find the putting area.
The back nine feels very different. A flatter part of the property and you can see a lot of the back nine standing in one place. The tenth hole punch bowl green was fun (I wish they weren’t punched). 12 is an excellent uphill par 4 and 13 is a well defended par 4 both on the tee shot and on the approach. The 12th and 13th are a nice contrast as back-to-back par 4s. 15-17 have some Carolina Sandhills vibes with waste area and more natural bunkering. The 15th is a really good par 3.
The greens and surrounding areas were punched, which was a bummer because I imagine there are plenty of fun chips and putts to hit around these greens. I look forward to getting out there again to redeem myself.
Date: October 23, 2020
Playing Partners: Dan, Steve, and Peter
Tees: Maroon (6630 yards)
Birdie Count: 0 (33 total)