Course 59 in my quest was Merrimack Valley Golf Course. This course has an interesting history. Built by Donald Ross in 1906, it fell on hard times and needed a lot of work so in 2008 George F. Sargent Jr. was called in to fix drainage issues and bring back some Ross features that were lost over the century.
The course navigates a valley and also some marshy area. It’s a par 70 with five par 5s and seven par 3s.
MVGC has some charm. There’s some lovely mounding and the holes with elevation change have some interesting uphill approaches: holes 2,3,8,14, 16, 18.
The greens are quite varied, and a bit distracting. Some are round, small greens, and others are huge with heaving ridges and swales. Others look like hour glasses. Some scream Ross and others don’t.
Another distraction is the plethora of houses that edge the property. The best holes are the ones away from porches and backyards. 11 is a solid par 3. 16 is the toughest par 4 on the course. 18 is a heck of a finishing hole.
I did enjoy the back nine more than the front. The front has a stretch of holes that goes way out into the marshes and feels squeezed in, especially holes four, five, six, and seven. The seventh green might have been my favorite though, as it gave off some Biarritz vibes.
For 39 bucks to walk on a Friday, I’d recommend this as a place to play. Just be prepared to lose some golf balls in the water and marsh. Sadly, the greens were punched today, so they didn’t get to bare their teeth completely.
The staff and starter were super friendly.
A return trip might be in the cards down the road, but I’m not itching to get back this season.