Who dat? George Wright? He’s the next big name in golf. You may know his older cousin, Bethpage Black. Still stumped? OK, here’s the 411. Back in the mid 1990s, David Fay was the executive director for the United States Golf Association. He convinced the USGA that, with a little love, Bethpage Black could host a US Open. He convinced New York state to give that love to its state park course, and the 2002 and 2009 Opens were played at the Farmingdale course.
George Wright is the Boston equivalent of Bethpage Black. Designed on gorgeous, broken ground waaaaayyyy back in the day, by Donald Ross, George Wright has the bones of greatness. The city of Boston restored its gem and George Wright is ready to welcome you. If you’re making plans with the family for college visits, or historical places, you can fit a round or two of golf into the schedule. If you’re heading up with the battalion, the sky’s the limit, and we’re here to help.
If you can only play two courses and you’re on a budget
George Wright and Franklin Park are the two courses, owned and operated, by the city of Boston. Franklin Park was also designed by Donald Ross, and is currently undergoing restoration by Mark Mungeam, a respected architect. If you play at the most expensive time, you’ll fork over $77 for golf and cart. If you’re walking, chop off $20 (and who doesn’t love and need a good walk?) and if you play during the week, knock off another $10.
If you can add a third, same budget
We love municipal courses. The town of Brookline (across the Charles River) has a muni known as either Putterham Meadows or the Robert T. Lynch, depending on your era. Same tumultuous ground as the two courses mentioned above, so you’ll never get bored. Freight is even more affordable, at $69 max for golf and cart, $49 max for walking, and below. The cool thing about this joint is, it lies next to The Country Club, a super-exclusive, 27-hole club known for things like Francis Ouimet’s US Open win, and the 2022 US Open. The proximity of the two courses inspired, in part, the layouts in Rick Reilly’s Missing Links, on municipal golf.
If the battalion is on the march, flush with cash
The aforementioned three courses still make your list, but now we have some leeway for a few more, super-cool courses that you’ll play nowhere else. Southeast of the city, in Scituate, you’ll find Widow’s Walk, a course designed by Michael Hurdzan and Dana Fry. One of the first courses to reclaim urban wasteland, destroyed by dumping, Widow’s Walk maneuvers through the salt marshes of the coastal area. Green fees are similar to the ones mentioned above.
Can you imagine reshaping a played-out quarry with 13 million tons of fill? That’s what happened near Quincy (which is near Boston) in the 1990s and 2000s. Boston’s Big Dig, which created a tunnel under the harbor to ease traffic, displaced a lot of earth. It ended up in Quincy, where the most intelligent operators said, let’s build a golf course! The 27 holes at Granite Links are the culmination of that effort.
Our final suggestion, within 30 minutes of downtown, is South Shore Country Club. It’s public access, don’t worry, so you won’t need a letter of introduction to access the first tee. Designed by Wayne Stiles, an under-the-radar architect of excellence, in the roaring 20s, South Shore offers fairway width along its treed corridors. You’ll feel outdoors, but never restricted, unless you slice it reeaaall wide.
All right! One more. You have to map Nahant Golf Club to believe where this place is located. It’s a short course, par 30, but has to be one of the coolest places for a golf course, in a big city region, that we’ve ever seen. Have fun in beantown, golfers.