Course 66 in my quest was Haverhill CC. A private joint that allows public play the first week in October.
I thoroughly enjoyed my trip around HCC. Its rolling hills and climbs from and to the clubhouse are lung-crushers. The greens are subtle and challenging and we’re in good shape.
Each side (each par 35) has it’s own character. The front 9 is longer from the blues by nearly 300 yards. The fifth and sixth holes are big par fours. The fifth plays downhill and through a shoot of trees. The sixth in particular will challenge a right-handler’s draw-hitting capabilities as it sweeps to the left with dense woods lining both sides of the fairway.
The reveal as you round the hill following a blind tee shot on the eleventh gives you a lovely preview of the land that you’ll be playing the rest of the round.
The eleventh is another tough driving hole and then 12-14 provide some scoring chances with a short par 5 and two 300 yard par fours.
The 15th is a beast of a par 3. 200 yards to a tricky green. 17 plays over a pond towards the green. A stern test.
I tend to think a lot about par 3s. These four were a solid bunch. Four was a picturesque 150 yarder. Seven is a solid uphill 180 yarder. The tenth drops down from the clubhouse and the 15th is just plain hard. Four holes, three different clubs for me.
The greens weren’t running fast, but they were true and this Stiles design would surely have some teeth if they were running fast.
Haverhill CC was a pleasant surprise and a course I could play regularly. Opportunities to play well. Options to play holes differently. And enough challenge to leave you wondering “what if.”