Review: Mount Washington Course

Course Name: Mount Washington Course

Designer: Donald Ross (1915), Brian Silva (Redesign, 2008)

Location: Bretton Woods, New Hampshire

History: Originally designed by Donald Ross in 1915, this course was restored to Ross’s original design in 2008 by Brian Silva. Mount Washington has hosted four New England Opens, the last being in 2010. Consistently ranked among the top courses in the state of New Hampshire, Golf Digest named Mount Washington the 5th best in the state and best Public course in 2016.

Conditions: 6/10, the majority of this course was in good shape but there were some holes that were extremely beat up. On top of that, the greens were not running very fast.

Value: 6/10, it gets a bit pricy during peak hours, but $50 with a cart after 2 PM is a great deal for this course.

Scorecard:

Tee                     Par         Yardage         Rating          Slope

Gold                   72          6974               73.7              124

Blue                   72           6378               70.3              122

White                72           5665               66.9              112

Red                     72          5138                70.2             120

Best Score: 83 (Blue Tees), 6/27/2015 with Dad

Front 9 Best: 40 (Blue Tees), 6/27/2015 with Dad

Back 9 Best: 43 (Blue Tees), 6/27/2015 with Dad

Hole Highlights: Before I start, I just want to say that this course contained some of the best holes I’ve ever played. A downhill tee shot to a fairly wide fairway begins your round. The green on this hole is well-bunkered and tiny. The second hole was a slide dogleg right that appeared much more severe from the tee box. Contrary to the first hole, this green has no bunkers, but is well-sloped, making chips exceedingly difficult. The third hole is a long straightforward par 4. It is imperative off the tee to miss a bunker about 220 yards on the right side of the fairway. The fourth hole is a great contrast to the long third hole. At just 300 yards, this hole is a true risk/reward short par 4. A smart play would be iron just short of a large bunker complex about 200 yards from the tee. I loved the 5th hole. A long par 3, this hole contains a large but challenging green. The backdrop of this hole is the picturesque Mount Washington Resort. The 6th hole is a good par 5 that reminded a lot of 17 at Wannamoisett. Straightaway, this hole has several cross bunkers strategically across the fairway. The 7th hole is a short par 4 guarded by OB left and an elevated green. Length is the greatest defense on the par 4 8th. The green is also heavily sloped, making putting from the wrong side very difficult. The ninth hole is another beast. The tee box is way back in the woods and a creek goes down the middle of this two-tiered fairway.

The back 9 is the superior side at Mount Washington. Hole 10 was in pretty bad shape, but was a fantastic design. A forced carry with danger right, this hole goes straight uphill. No bunkers surround this green, but anything short will roll backwards about 50 yards. In another great contrasting hole, the 11th is a downhill parallel par 5. Drives that miss two fairway bunkers will roll forever on this hole. Hole 12 takes you back up the hill with a blind tee shot. Out of bounds lines the left side of the hole, but you can bomb it right. Holes 13 and 14 are in my opinion the two best holes on this course. 13 is a long uphill par 4 that requires a forced carry. Neverending woods line the right side of this hole. You have a better chance of being mauled by a bear than finding your ball here. Hole 14 is a long downhill par 3 that requires a well-struck ball to avoid the wasteland short right of this narrow green. Hole 15 is a bit of a letdown after these two great holes at 315 yards. This hole is not really drivable due to a cross bunker before this green. The last of the par 3’s, 16 finishes a very impressive collection. At 200 yards, this green is well bunkered and weeds guard any hooked balls. Similar to 8, 17 is another long straightaway par 4 with a tricky sloped green. 18 is an interesting finishing hole. At just 350 yards from the blue tees, it’s not clear at first where to aim. A dogleg left, your drive must remain short of a creek crossing the fairway at about 260 yards. The clubhouse and patio are right behind this green, and I wonder how many skulled wedges have hit it!

General Comments: The clubhouse was very nice and had a log cabin feel to it. I did not check out the range, but the putting green was fairly tiny. Pace of play varied quite a bit – some holes we breezed through while others were slowed down considerably.

Verdict: While the conditioning leaves a lot to be desired, the views, history, and design of this course are top notch. I would recommend Mount Washington Course and the Mount Washington Resort to anyone!

 

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