Review: Butter Brook Golf Club

Course Name: Butter Brook Golf Club

Designer: Mark Mungeam/Tim Gerrish (2004 – Front 9, 2006 – Back 9)

Location: Westford, Massachusetts

History: Built on an old farm, Butter Brook opened with 9 holes in April, 2004. In 2006, the practice facilities and the back 9 were added. Currently semi-private, this Mark Mungeam design is about 30 minutes northwest of Boston. While it hasn’t cracked any top Massachusetts public lists yet, New England Golf Guide gives it 5 stars and describes it as a “hidden gem.”

Conditions: 8/10, I heard great things about the conditioning here, and the course met my expectations. The fairways were well manicured, and most divots were repaired even though the course gets a ton of play. Although there isn’t much rough, it is thick and healthy. The greens were acceptable, but a bit slower and bumpier than I had hoped.

Value: 4/10, The absolute cheapest you can play Butter Brook in the summer is $52 to walk on a weekday. Given how difficult walking is (did it, do not recommend), a round will cost $72 on weekdays and $92 on weekend mornings. I will also mention that walking is not allowed at certain times so be sure to check before you play.

Scorecard:

Tee                           Par         Yardage         Rating          Slope

Black                       72           6702               72.6              133

Blue                         72           6174               70.4              128

White                      72           5617               68.6              120

Red                          72           4849               69.4              120

Best Score: 87 (Black Tees), 6/8/2017 with George W. and 2 others we met at the course

Front 9 Best: 42 (Black Tees), 6/8/2017 with George W. and 2 others we met at the course

Back 9 Best: 45 (Black Tees), 6/8/2017 with George W. and 2 others we met at the course

Hole Descriptions: 

Best Par 3: “Ledge”, 5th Hole, 136 yards, 18th handicap.

Best Par 4: “Kick”, 6th Hole, 436 yards, 4th handicap.

Best Par 5: “Party Bowl”, 7th Hole, 554 yards, 10th handicap.

General Comments: The driving range is mats only but is over 350 yards long allowing you to hit driver. There are two practice greens – one near the 1st hole and one near the 10th. Many reviews I read online complained about pace of play, but I didn’t find it particularly poor the day I played. It’s inevitable this course will be slower than most, however, as it is challenging and the holes are far apart. I will note that Butter Brook is semi-private and a bit unwelcoming compared to most public courses.

Verdict: Butter Brook is a fascinating and challenging design. While I disliked the feeling of “target golf” on certain holes, many of the holes on this course were teeming with character. I highly recommend Butter Brook to anyone in the Boston area looking for an underrated course.

IMG_3443
Remnants from the farm are evident on the back 9
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