Quail Ridge Country Club - Acton

Not to be confused with Quail Hollow in Charlotte, NC - this place used to be private, but struggled with the economy and went semi-private in Feb 2009.  The best part is that most people don't know it exists, so you can usually get a pretty decent tee-time on weekends even only a few days before.  The cost is pretty fair for a course of this caliber.  What I like:
  • Price ($78 including cart)
  • Availability of tee-times
  • Challenging layout - first & last holes (par 5's) are BEARS - definite 3-shots, #12 should be a par 5, and #13 requires a solid 5-iron with little room for bail-out (see pic below)...
    • #13 Par 3 - 173 yds (from Blacks) over water (Hcp 8).  There is absolutely no bailout (except 5 yds of fairway to the right).  I had to hit a nearly perfect 5 iron, to leave myself with a 30-footer.

    • #18 Par 5 - 557 yds (from Blacks) alongside brook & over water (Hcp 2).  You cannot bail right on your drive, yet the fairway is only about 20 yds wide.  Your second shot has to be 175-200 yards to leave yourself 150 yds+ away with all carry to the finishing green.  3 tough shots to get home here.

What I don't love:
  • Ranger - one ranger I've had there is the opposite of everything you look for in a good starter - he basically denigrates everyone coming thru with his know-it-all attitude.  Having said that - another UK / Irish ranger was awesome.
  • No range - only members are allowed to use the range and even then, they can only use irons.  It's tough to come out to this tough a course without hitting any balls.
  • Difficulty - this place is short (7400 from the tips), but VERY difficult (73.8 rating / 138 slope) so if you're not hitting it straight, you're gonna lose a lot of golf balls and be very frustrated.  But if you like a stiff challenge where virtually every shot demands your focus & concentration, you'll like playing from the tips at this course.
  • Course layout - as I said above, overall I love this course, but there are some aspects of the design that make you scratch your head - like when you drive back towards the 9th tee on the 7th hole, and when you drive thru some burrowed out tunnel between #11 and #12.