The Itinerant Golfer

The Itinerant Golfer's Take on Boston Golf Club


Boston Golf Club

Architect: Gil Hanse
Year: 2005

19 Old County Road , Hingham, Massachusetts 02043
(781) 741-5123

driving range available
walking only - caddies available
on-site accommodations


Boston Golf Club is located in Hingham, Massachusetts which is about a 45-60 minute drive south of Boston towards Cape Cod. The actual distance traveled is only 16 miles which says a little something about the infamously bad Boston traffic. After a long and fun day at Myopia Hunt Club Kyle and I began making our way to Hingham at about 8:30PM. We stopped for dinner in Boston at a great little dive restaurant and didn’t have much traffic to battle, so I don’t recall exactly how long it took us to get to Hingham, but it was considerably shorter than I expected.

The next morning we killed a little time eating breakfast and then headed over to Boston Golf Club. Our friend Brad who lives in New York City had arranged a game for us at Boston Golf Club and was driving up to play with us there as well as the following day at Old Sandwich Golf Club in Plymouth.

Kyle and I arrived at the club to find just a few cars in the in the parking lot and were greeted by the staff who was expecting us. We dropped our clubs at the bag drop and went to the locker room to change shoes. Boston Golf Club opened in 2004, so as would be expected the facilities were top notch. The clubhouse and locker room were tastefully done and included all the necessary amenities done in an elegant yet modest fashion.

One thing I have to question is how on earth, in a town as golf rich as Boston, did it take until the year 2004 for a club to use the name Boston Golf Club?? I would have thought that name would have been taken 100 years ago! I suppose nothing should surprise me from the city that spawned the club named Myopia Hunt Club.

Brad arrived shortly after Kyle and me, so once we were all changed into our shoes we didn’t waste much time getting onto the course. The first tee is a considerable distance from the clubhouse so we, and our caddies, loaded into carts to make the trip. On the way we stopped off at the small driving range and hit a few warm up balls before going to the 1st tee.

The tee options at Boston Golf Club are the championship tees which are 7,020 yards, the back tees which play 6,727 yards, the member tees at 6,279, or the forward tees which are the shortest at 4,951 yards. We decided to play the Back Tees at 6,727. All sets of tees play to a par of 71.

The 1st hole is a relatively short par 5 that we played from 485 yards. The photo below was taken from the tee. This is the first of a number of blind shots on the course.
 
Boston Golf Club
 
Below is a photo of the approach to the 1st green. Big hitters will have just a long or mid iron to reach this green in two strokes. The rest of us will have a chance to get there with a utility club or 3 wood. The trouble is clearly short of the green.
 
Boston Golf Club
 
After the friendly opening hole the 2nd hole, pictured below, gets right down to business. This one plays 407 yards from the back tees and standing on the tee box the fairway looks a little narrow.
 
Boston Golf Club
 
Below is a photo of the 2nd green. Check out the serious elevation change from right to left.
 
Boston Golf Club
 
The 3rd hole is a long par 4 that we played from 420 yards and has another drive to a blind landing area.
 
Boston Golf Club
 
The 3rd green is a two tiered affair. The hole was cut on the lower right tier, which didn’t bring the redan feature on the left side into play. The photo below was taken from about 100 yards out.
 
Boston Golf Club
 
At the 4th hole, pictured below, we have another long par 4 that plays 413 yards from the back tee. The fairway here is fairly generous and the hole doglegs just a little right.
 
Boston Golf Club
 
Below is the approach shot into the 4th green. This green is such that the approach can be played short of the green to roll onto the putting surface. This green is very receptive to that type of shot. The caddies said that this hole is called the “Wizards Cap” and is named after the tree behind the green that has a top resembling a wizards cap.
 
Boston Golf Club
 
Below is a view from behind the 4th green.
 
Boston Golf Club
 
The 5th hole is the first short par 4 on the course and my favorite. The drive plays straight up hill and the entire hole is only 313 yards from the back tee. It’s pretty touch to drive the green here between the uphill adding length to the hole and the shape of the green which we’ll see in a minute. The photo below was taken from the tee.
 
Boston Golf Club
 
Below is the 5th green which is about as wide as a bowling alley. Anyone who hits their ball on this green from the tee will have to be seriously long with their driver as well as seriously lucky to hold the small putting surface.
 
Boston Golf Club
 
The 6th hole is a nice little 157 yard par 3 over a sandy waste area. If I didn’t know better I might think I was in at a golf club in New Jersey. My photo is a little over saturated with sunlight which is too bad because it’s a beautiful hole. The green here is shallow, so both long and short will be a problem.
 
Boston Golf Club
 
The 7th hole is a 423 yard par 4 and the most difficult hole on the course according to the handicap ratings. The drive is over a sandy waste area again to a blind landing zone. The photo below was taken from the tee box.
 
Boston Golf Club
 
Below is a photo of the green at the 7th hole. Playing at 423 yards, most of us will be hitting a longer iron into this green. There is trouble all over the place and really the only spot to miss is to the left.
 
Boston Golf Club
 
The healthy par 3 pictured below is the 8th hole and plays 210 yards from the back tees. The flag is hardly even visible in the photo below. Click to enlarge it for a better view.
 
Boston Golf Club
 
The 9th hole is a par 4 that we played from 440 yards. The photo below was taken from the tee which is considerably elevated and provides some extra distance on the drive.
 
Boston Golf Club
 
The green sort of sits down in a hollow so depending on where the drive lands it may be a blind second shot for some players.
 
Boston Golf Club
 
And here is a view of the 9th green. Note that there are no bunkers protecting it so it is not necessary to fly the ball in the air on the approach shot. The photo below does not do it justice, but this green has a lot of undulation to it.
 
Boston Golf Club
 
The 10th hole is another drive to a blind landing area for this 390 yard par 4. The photo below was taken from the tee box. Note the remains of a structure on the right side of the tee box. The caddies said this was the foundation of a house where the original owners of the property lived. Its not really apparent in the photo, but it was a VERY small house. A far cry from the way we live in the 21st Century.
 
Boston Golf Club
 
I loved the approach shot on the 10th hole. Its downhill and a shot played to the left side of the green with a little cut on it will be the best for this hole location.
 
Boston Golf Club
 
Here is a little closer view of the 10th green.
 
Boston Golf Club
 
The 11th hole is a 178 yard par 3 that requires a carry over a sort of wetlands area. The bunkers behind the green make it a good idea to hit the green as short and long are not good.
 
Boston Golf Club
 
Below is a photo of the approach shot on 12th hole which is a 424 yard par 4. Approach shots coming up short roll down to the bottom of the valley that is in front of the green.
 
Boston Golf Club
 
The 14th hole is a par 4 that we played from 418 yards. The ideal shot from the tee is a cut shot that shapes into the dogleg right.
 
Boston Golf Club
 
With no bunkers in front of the green the approach shot on the 14th hole does not require the ball to be hit onto the green in the air. There are numerous holes at Boston Golf Club that are friendly to shots other than the aerial variety.
 
Boston Golf Club
 
The 15th hole is a great par 5 that we played from 545 yards. The photo below was taken from the tee box and again the landing zone for the drive is a blind one.
 
Boston Golf Club
 
The photo below is of a very large waste bunker that spans the entire fairway. The caddies informed us that they call this bunker “Hell’s 1/3 Acre” after the infamous “Hell’s 1/2 Acre” bunker at Pine Valley. Because of the placement of this bunker I would have to believe that this is a solid three shot hole for nearly all golfers.
 
Boston Golf Club
 
Pictured below is the green for the 15th hole. Clearly there are potential bunker problems for approach shots coming in from the wrong angle that come up short.
 
Boston Golf Club
 
The 16th hole is a short par 4 that we played from 340 yards. Players who are too aggressive on the drive run the risk of finding bunker trouble. There is a principals nose bunker barely visible in the distance. Click on the photo to enlarge.
 
Boston Golf Club
 
Even players who go with conservative tee balls will have to negotiate heavy bunkering around the greens. Its best to be accurate here with the short iron or wedge and make sure to hit the putting surface. There is a large bunker off to the left of this green as well that is just partially visible in the photo below.
 
Boston Golf Club
 
Again at the 17th hole we have another tee shot to a blind landing area. This 525 yard par 5 is reachable in two for long hitters, but will require a well executed second shot.
 
Boston Golf Club
 
Below is a photo from the 17th fairway. This green is very undulating and the bunker on the left is not a good spot to miss when coming into this green.
 
Boston Golf Club
 
Boston Golf Club closes out with a hearty uphill par 3 that we played from 180 yards. The photo below was taken from the tee box. The hole is tucked in the right side of the green which will bring a lot of bunker trouble into play for players who take dead aim at the flag and come up short.
 
Boston Golf Club
 
Below is a photo of the aforementioned bunkers.
 
Boston Golf Club
 
The bunkers even include a nasty little pot bunker that is sure to destroy a good round on the final hole if a player is unlucky enough to land here.
 
Boston Golf Club
 
After we putted out on the 18th hole we headed back to the clubhouse and enjoyed a little lunch in the grill room. We were the only ones there and the staff again took great care of us. As a matter of fact we never saw another golfer the entire time we were at Boston Golf Club. There were a few cars in the lot when we arrived at noon, but they must have gone out in the morning and were long gone as we made our way around the course. Our lunch in the grill was great and was highlighted by the club’s signature “Shipwreck” drink as well as the home made guacamole that was the bartenders special recipe. Since we had nowhere to go we hung out and enjoyed ourselves and the Shipwrecks for quite a while.

Boston Golf Club was the first original Gil Hanse designed course that I had played. Earlier in the year I had seen the fabulous work he did restoring LA Country Club’s North Course and after making a loop around Boston Golf Club I was even more impressed. Hanse had great land to work with and he did a fantastic job of getting the most out of it. The bunkering here is really spectacular and Hanse was able to feature great sand hazards without overdoing it as some architects are apt to do. I really enjoyed my round here and, in my opinion, this club is clearly a worthy addition to the Top 100 list. Now that I’ve seen what Mr. Hanse is capable of I’ll be sure to pay close attention to his future work as I hope that we will see much more of the same inspired creativity from him in the years to come.

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  • Thanks for sharing about your adventures at Boston GC as I, too, found it to be one of my favorite rounds of 2011. Interesting layout…Hanse is very creative. Loved the par three finish and the complete solitude. Apparently it will be or already is under new ownership/mgmt…hope it doesn’t hurt this great track.

    Look forward to reading about your Old Sandwich and Myopia rounds as I’m hoping to play those as well in 2012. Happy New Year.

  • redanman bill V

    To answer one of your questions, BGC late founder John Mineck trademarked Boston Golf Club almost 30 years ago. It was his dream to build the club, he died on site finishing the dream. As a member, it is wholly satisfying as a club and I only love it more every year. Glad you enjoyed your day.

    • The Itinerant Golfer

      Great to know the story about the name of the club Bill. Thanks for sharing that!

  • redanmanBillV

    BTW, your “12 Approach” photo is 1 Tee. You are missing “14 Approach” so 3 photos there are not quite right. Plenty of photos at redanman.blogspot.

    To fully answer Gary’s question, “Member Owned” describes BGC. A little accommodation for a rare cart has been made and tree work for agronomic changes will greet you on your next visit.

    Happy New Year.

    • The Itinerant Golfer

      Bill, thanks for catching that. I think I’ve got it fixed now. If you see anything else that’s not right please let me know. Thanks!

  • Bill the redanman

    Lots of recent tree removal for the health and vibrancy of the turf. Even better than before, I think you’d approve.

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  • Billy V

    Here’s another view of hole 15. Now that gca.com has seemingly discovered BGC, anyone wanting to play feel free to contact me (My pal Mark knows how if you cannot figure it out), most can just pay their way, Ran will be my guest to write his review. However, one fellow can pay 3X the normal green fee, pick up all the caddies for the day and buy dinner and wine for all at Scarlet Oak Tavern. haha There has been frequent and proper tree removal over the last 2-3 seasons,not really too excessive, but the turf loves it.