Review: Firefly Golf Course

Course Name: Firefly Golf Course

Designer: JoAnne Carner/Don Hoenig (1962)

Location: Seekonk, Massachusetts

History: Designed and owned by LPGA legend JoAnne Carner and her husband, this used to be one of the best par-3 executive courses in the region – so good it even hosted an AGJA event annually. The name “Firefly” came from the fact that it used to be lit up at night to allow night golf.

Conditions: 2/10, The only reason this course isn’t a 1 is due to its greens, which weren’t fast, but rolled true. The fairways were nonexistent dirt patches and the tee boxes were variable but for the most part bad.

Value: 8/10, for $13 for a cart and 18, this course offers a very good deal. It is certainly better than a driving range.

Scorecard:

Tee                     Par         Yardage         Rating          Slope

Blue                   59           3644               58.0               87

White                59           3083               55.4               81

Red                    59           2786               58.0               86

Best Score: 70 (Blue Tees), 7/25/2016 with Ryan S.

Front 9 Best: 33 (Blue Tees), 7/25/2016 with Ryan S.

Back 9 Best: 37 (Blue Tees), 7/25/2016 with Ryan S.

Hole Descriptions: The holes themselves were extremely difficult to find, and were very poorly marked. Holes 1 (155 yards) and 2 (176 yards) are uphill and downhill respectively, and feature the only elevation changes on the course. At 163 yards, the 3rd hole requires a drive over the parking lot to a green defended by a moat of bunkers in the front. The 4th hole could’ve been a good hole but poor maintenance leaves a tree overhanging most of the left side of the green on this medium-length 176 yard par 3. The 5th hole is a truly terrible hole. This sharp dogleg left. turns only about 170 yards from the tee, requiring only a mid-iron off the tee. A busy road lines the right side and my partner almost decapitated a driver with his tee shot. The 8th hole is another throwaway hole. A short 319 yard par 4, this hole provides no real direction on where to hit and a torn up tee-box. A tiny creek guards the front of this extremely sloped back-to-front green. The 301 yard 9th hole is the closest this course gets to having a real hole. A medium length par 4 in decent shape, this hole requires a slight draw to get around the dogleg.

IMG_1951
The view from the 9th fairway

The back side starts out with three very mundane holes including the drivable 266 yard par 4 11th, but then follows with a downright bad hole. The 13th is a 125 yard par 3 with a forced carry over reeds. Due to poor maintenance, these reeds are overgrown and you can barely see the tip of this taller than normal flag. The following 14th is another truly throw-away hole. At just under 100 yards, this hole is as close to pitch and putt as you will get on a real course. The fairway and tee box were particularly abhorrent on this hole as well. While most of the holes at Firefly are relatively easy, The 16th is a ridiculously hard par 3 at over 230 yards with water on the right. Almost inexplicably, the next hole is a par 4 that plays about the same distance over a creek to a back-to-front sloped green. Although I didn’t expect much, the finishing hole is underwhelming as a 146 yard par 3 with no defenses.

IMG_1952
The beautiful par 4 17th fairway

Best Par 3: 2nd hole, 176 yards, 9th handicap. Out of 13 par threes, it’s sort of sad I chose this rather mundane downhill par 3 as the best one. This is a solid hole with a green flanked by two bunkers but nothing special.

Best Par 4: 9th hole, 301 yards, 15th handicap. This hole almost wins by default because its fairway was the best on the entire course. Besides that, it requires a relatively straight shot on a blind teeshot and is a good birdie chance.

General Comments: This course is struggling financially and pace of play was very fast, as there were very few groups on the course. The putting green is actually in pretty good shape and indicative of the greens on the course. I hesitate to compare this course to Audubon Park, which is truly a great executive course, but I feel I must. An 18 hole executive course makes no sense to me, and a regulation length 9 hole course makes sense financially and maintenance-wise.

Verdict: Although Firefly offers a cheap round, this course is not worth playing in its current condition.

 

 

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