It’s spring, and the world is green again! All over the Cape, seasonal golf courses have reopened for the season, while year-round courses are beginning to show their true colors.
It’s one of the best times to hit the links for a golf getaway: Competitive golfers can snag tee times with ease, beginners can hone their skills in peace (tip to the peanut gallery: “Keep your head down” is not helpful advice), and many clubs offer discounted fees and pre-summer specials. You’ll find courses all over the Cape that offer both scenic beauty (think kettle holes, cranberry bogs, and lighthouses) and serious challenge.
Here is a sampling of some local favorites.
Founded in 1892, the Truro course is one of the Cape's oldest and arguably its most scenic. Somewhere among the Scotch broom and ocean views, you’ll swear you are in Scotland; by the seventh green, views of Highland Light are there to remind you that you’re a quick drive from some of the best beaches on the East Coast.
Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club
Guests of the Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club in Brewster have access to the resort’s $8.5 million Nicklaus Design layout, a challenging golf course designed to be strategically appropriate for all levels of play. The course is open exclusively to Ocean Edge Club members and resort guests. Guests can also brush up on their techniques by trying out the Ocean Edge Golf Academy, which offers intense one- to three-day workshops with PGA instruction for beginners and advanced golfers.
Captain’s Golf Course
You’ve got two reasons to love Captain’s: “Port” and “Starboard.” The two par-72 championship Brewster public courses are meticulously maintained and known for their challenge; visit the course website to find discount coupons for next-day play and same-day “replay.” Captain’s is also popular for its accompanying practice range down the street, where you can dust off your swing before you hit the tees. (After the game, Captain’s Cafe is where you want to be to celebrate your victory or drown your sorrows.)
Blue Rock Golf Course
For a quick round that is both challenging and beautiful, par-3 Blue Rock in South Yarmouth was honored by Golf magazine for its Cornish-designed course, featuring a signature ninth hole over the water that will test the best. Competitive golfers love it for its surprising complexity; beginners and intermediate golfers appreciate the fantastic offering of golf clinics, which target a range of swing and short-game techniques. The adjoining Blue Rock Resort offers “Stay & Play” packages year-round.
Dennis Highlands and Dennis Pines
The town's two public courses make Dennis a favorite golf destination. The par-71 Highlands is known for its rolling hills of pine and oak; The Pines is known for its difficulty—with four sets of tees to accommodate all levels of play and a self-described “amen corner” beginning at the 10th hole, you may want to take advantage of the Highlands practice facilities to ready your short game.
Hyannis Golf Course & Olde Barnstable Fairgrounds
The two municipal courses are popular for both their beauty and variety (are you noticing a pattern here?). The par-71, 18-hole Hyannis Golf Course offers peaceful play and a 55-station driving range and two practice greens, not to mention a convenient location near the airport for getaway golfers who want to maximize their time on the links. In Marstons Mills, the beautiful Mungeon-designed Olde Barnstable Fairgrounds course is named for its former days as the site of the historic fair. After your game, Philbrick's sports lounge stays open until the last golfer leaves.
Cape Cod National Golf Club
The Wequassett Resort and Golf Club is a destination in itself, but it’s a special gem for golfers who want to play the famously gorgeous Cape Cod National, which is members-only, but open to guests of the resort. The Wequassett offers various packages both to serious and recreational players who like to keep it world-class: Whether from the fairways or the pool bar after the game, the views are pristine.
Falmouth Country Club
You've got two choices here: The year-round 18-hole, par 72 championship course, where your audience at the signature 10thhole is a mighty pair of ospreys, or the 9-hole par 37 “Talon” course for the perfect quick round. (Something you won't hear this often in golf: Either way, you win.) Leave time for a drink on the clubhouse patio before you head home.
There's no shortage of accommodations for golfers to stay near the greens; as noted here, many courses adjoin an inn or resort. For those who want to sample as many courses as possible, Bayside Resort in West Yarmouth is central to no less than 20 of them, with a waterside location on Lewis Bay to boot.
Find more golf courses on Cape Cod here.