Fall in the White Mountains is Made for Golf

Follow our golfing adventures, as we make our way to the valley’s ten premier golf courses! Catch up, here, and be sure to sign up for our monthly Vacation Inspiration newsletter for a jolt of creativity when it comes to planning your Mt. Washington Valley vacation.

By Kathy Bennett

The calendar still said summer but blustery skies one recent Sunday previewed the fall golf season in Mount Washington Valley. Hale’s Location Golf Course is located at the base of Cathedral Ledge, which loomed large as dramatic towering clouds battled for golfers’ attention. Just over the border in Maine, Bridgton Highlands also offered striking views (see what I did there) of Shawnee Peak (nee Pleasant Mountain) from its first tee on the last official day of summer. Both courses offered a preview of fall, the ultimate season to golf .. free of black flies, mosquitos and the best greens conditions of the season.

Golf at Hales Location Golf Course. Photo by Kathy Bennett.

Hale’s Location Golf Course is located in, well, Hale’s Location, which shares a zip code with North Conway but is in fact its own township in Carroll County. It is adjacent to both the stately White Mountain Hotel and its eponymous housing development, home to luxury homes whose association rights include access to the course (a selling point for sure). 

Check into the Pro Shop in the hotel lobby to grab your cart keys and pick up any necessaries for your round, including golf balls, clothing, tees and gloves. Swing back through at the end of your round for lunch or dinner in their Ledges Restaurant (now taking reservations through OpenTable.com). While the course is scheduled to remain open through October 25, they are reporting the course is selling out daily so securing a tee time may be difficult even at this point of the season. Call ahead or risk missing out. https://www.whitemountainhotel.com/

Bridgton Highlands saw back to back foursomes late into the afternoon on the last day of summer, but the pro shop cheerfully accommodated our last minute request and got us swinging by 2pm. Their clubhouse features a large outdoor screened porch with widely spaced tables – a welcome sight during these pandemic days. Its featured lunch special of the day? Lobster Roll – a welcome Maine delicacy from this Maine golf course.

Golf at the Bridgton Highlands Country Club. Photo by Kathy Bennett

We played the front nine, which features a delightfully varied course layout. Rolling greens, grass bunkers, dog legs and many elevated tee boxes made the round fun and not punishing for this pair of duffers out for the day. However the foursome ahead of us – four youngish guys spending the weekend golfing in Maine – were chatty and friendly and obviously out for as much golf as possible on this spectacular sunny day. Their previous day at the Sugarloaf Golf Course – known for its length and mountainous layout – was a stark contrast to Bridgton’s.

Their site offers online tee time reservation. It’s always a good idea to check ahead.

Fall foliage was just beginning to show its face on several of the swamp maples adjacent to the course. Book a tee time now at either course and enjoy the best time of year on the greens.

Follow along with our valley golfing gal, Kathy Bennett, as she makes her way from course to course:

Eagle Mountain House Golf Club
The Wentworth Golf Club
North Conway Country Club

Great Views, Great Value at Eagle Mountain Golf Club

It’s hard to think of a course with better views and a more forgiving course layout than the Eagle Mountain Golf Club, the historic 9-hole course in Jackson, NH. Don’t let its relatively small footprint fool you – this USGA-rated, par 32 golf course is no par-3 “executive” course. You’ll need your full bag of clubs to fully enjoy all nine holes on this lovely course.

Not only is the course a delight for the eyes, it is a pleasure for the wallet as well. As of this writing, greens fees for 9 holes walking is just $20 Mon. – Thurs. and $25 weekends. Add a cart for a mere $15, although there is no lovelier mountain course to walk than the Eagle, as we locals call it.

The Eagle is a course that you can play long and leisurely or as quickly as you need to play to fit into all your other family activities you may be planning. A friend once confided in me that she once bought an annual membership and powered through a 90-minute round before work each morning. Now that’s a dedicated duffer! It sounds grueling but between the mountain views, the river and the ever-interesting course layout, it would make for an awesome start to the work day.

About that course layout. The Eagle meanders along the Wildcat River. Every hole features elevated tees with spectacular mountain views. While not for regulation play, a small fly rod in your golf bag might serve a purpose at the end of a twilight round.

The course and its adjacent hotel, The Eagle Mountain House, opened in 1879, when Cyrus and Marcia Gale of Eagle Mountain Farm began offering accommodations for 12 guests at their home. By 1890, the property had expanded to Eagle Hall and Eagle Mountain House with lodging for 125 guests.

Fast forward to 1931 when golf was quickly increasing in popularity. The Eagle Mountain House ownership at the time converted a portion of the property’s farmland and pasture into a nine-hole golf course.

Today, the Eagle Mountain House Golf Club leases the course from local ownership and is responsible for maintenance and operation during the golf season. In the winter, the course serves as a vital section of the nationally acclaimed Jackson Ski Touring Foundation’s extensive cross-country trail network.

The golf course secured a spot in the Mount Washington Valley’s rich downhill skiing history in 1936 when the first organized group ski was held on the course’s ninth fairway under the direction of Beno Rybizka of the famous Hannes Schneider Ski School in Austria as part of Carrol Reed’s Eastern Slope Ski School. How many golf courses are storied for both summer and winter operations?

The Eagle is family-friendly and offers very far forward gold tees for kids, or seniors for that matter. When you come to Mt. Washington Valley this autumn, squeeze in a round for great views at a great value. For more information, visit The Eagle’s website!

For more vacation inspiration for your visit to Mt. Washington Valley, sign up for our monthly newsletter, that provides insider tips and great ideas to make the most of your get-away!

To learn more about all the ways to golf in the Mt. Washington Valley, visit our golf page featuring ten prestigious golf courses throughout our region!

Winning Ways at the Wentworth Golf Club

By Kathy Bennett

Wentworth is a winning course in so many ways. Here are six reasons why you should put the Wentworth on your “must golf” courses for the season:

  1. It’s the only golf course in New England with its own covered bridge – As you move from the fourth hole to the fifth, golfers get to enjoy the unusual experience of driving their cart through this unique covered bridge. Bridging the Wildcat River, it also shuttles cross country skiers in winter.
  2. The front nine and the back nine play like two different courses. While both are challenging, the front nine winds along the river and offers scenic niceties (like the covered bridge – see above). It’s also broken into three distinct areas of play which makes for an interesting layout. The back nine are longer, straighter, narrower, hilly and seemingly more difficult (at least to this duffer). If you are only playing nine holes and have a choice, consider your mood and energy level. Both are imminently playable but offer very different playing experiences.
    Wentworth Golf Club
  3. People are dying to play here. Speaking of the back 9, the Wentworth features an unusual backdrop in the form of a small cemetery. The 17th tee box borders the cemetery on its southwest corner.
  4. Water, water everywhere. The course is home to the Wildcat River. Also known as the Wildcat Brook, it is home to one of New England’s best fly fishing. Don’t bring your rod to the course – but pack it in your car for a few casts after a round down the road a ways (Timmy’s Bridge just south of the course is known for its trout). The back nine also features several small ponds as water hazards just to keep things interesting.
  5. A golf course that attracts skiers? The Wentworth Golf Club converts its club house into a ski lodge every winter as it shares space with Jackson Ski Touring Foundation. JSTF is the largest cross country ski area in the east. Look for the tell-tale ski prints hanging on the walls. The Wentworth course is just part of their extensive trail network come winter. 
  6. Two Snack Shacks – Golfers have two opportunities to snag a snack while golfing. Start your round and pick up a cold beer to go at the clubhouse when you check in. Then on the 18th hole, keep an eye out for Madeline’s, offering sandwiches, drinks and snacks. A great way to start and end a round!

The Wentworth Golf Club offers memberships and daily rounds at its lovely location in scenic Jackson, NH. Visit them online at https://www.wentworthgolf.com/

North Conway Country Club – Get Ready to Swing!

By Kathy Bennett

If, like a lot of people, you have been itching to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors, a round of golf at North Conway Country Club might be just what the doctor ordered.

Golf courses were reopened earlier this month for members and residents of New Hampshire. While there are modifications required currently, Golf Pro Kevin Walker ensured that the guest experience remained top notch.

You will notice some differences for check in. Walk up to a new outside window to check in with the pro shop. Tee times are spaced out a little more – 12 minutes apart to ensure social distancing. If you are renting a cart, plan on driving solo – another adaption to encourage space between players.  On the date we played last week, the pro shop was readying to open for modified retail operations as of May 22. Their well appointed shop offers apparel, gloves, clubs, balls, tees and anything else the golfer wants or needs. Rumor has it they also offer repairs for the occasional snapped club (or so I’ve heard).

If you haven’t played NCCC, you will notice two things immediately from the first tee. One is the working train tracks immediately in front of the club house. Conway Scenic Railroad runs popular old-fashioned train rides from the adjacent Schouler Park train station. Our tee time was delayed a minute or two as they re-positioned some train cars on the tracks out front. The sight of the antique engine was worth the wait!

The second thing you’ll notice is the spectacular views of Cathedral Ledge. As you hit the ball off the elevated first tee, you can’t take your eyes off it! Maybe that’s why I can’t hit the ball. That’s my excuse anyway! However you swing it, you’l drink in the views as you watch your ball sail down to the first fairway and beyond.

Cathedral Ledge North Conway

Speaking of fairways, the greens – and the entire course– was in spectacular shape especially for early season. Walker and his team had spent the weeks leading up to opening focusing on course maintenance and their hard work and dedication to quality shows. The course has been at the center of North Conway Village since it was founded as a 9 hole course in 1900, then known as Kearsarge Golf Links. In 1935, it was modified and a 2nd set of tees were added. Then come 1975, an additional 9 holes were added.  Fun fact – the back nine were designed by local Architect William Levy, former owner of The Yield House, long a popular employer and retail establishment in North Conway!

It makes sense that with their “downtown” village location that NCCC this year is partnering with another North Conway icon, the Eastern Slope Inn Resort. Look for special rates for guests at Eastern Slope Inn Resort once that property – and all NH lodging businesses – get the green light to reopen!

NCCC is ultimately a playable course, good enough for professional events and players but forgiving enough for anyone to play and have a delightful round. My friend and I played the far forward tees to keep up with the pace of play and to avoid feeling too intimidated by the longer distanced holes.

More fun facts about NCCC. They easily claim the best driving range in Mt. Washington Valley, including areas to practice pitching and putting as well as driving. The driving range was planning to reopen soon the day we visited. NCCC also is a best kept locals secret for drinks and dining with a view at the Ledgeview Grille. Like all restaurants currently, service is limited to outdoor dining. If you’re going to eat outdoors, this is the place to go!

While some attractions and activities are not yet opened in Mt. Washington Valley, golf is definitely the sport du jour. The course was hopping – albeit socially distanced – on a beautiful mid-week day last week when we played. NH residents and members are welcome to come swing into spring and enjoy all that NCCC has to offer right now!

Click here for more information on Golf in the White Mountains and Mt. Washington Valley.

Golf Season Tees Off in Mt. Washington Valley – Indian Mound Golf Club

By Kathy Bennett

With temps in the 40s and winds steady at 18 miles per hour, May 12th was a brisk but sunny first day on the links for me this year. But after 7+ weeks of COVID isolation, we were game for anything. So we bundled up and headed south to Indian Mound Golf Club for a first round of 2020.

Indian Mound Golf Course

May 11 marked the first day the golf courses were allowed to open under the state of NH’s reopening plan, welcoming NH residents and club members. Jonathan Rivers, owner of Indian Mound Golf Club, was on top of the guidelines and offered guests many safety options. A stand with face masks was on the walkway from the parking lot – guests were asked to wear then in the area in and around the pro shop but not necessarily out on the course.

Jonathan shared that they are working towards offering pro shop sales by phone in advance. Just call ahead and they can offer things like gloves and balls and have them ready for you when you arrive for your tee time. While their rest rooms are open and heavily sanitized, they are trying to limit traffic in the building.  There was ample hand sanitizer on the counter in the pro shop. And to avoid having too many hands removing golf balls from the hole, a special device facilitates ball removal with a flip of a putter. Clever!

When we arrived, we were greeted outside and the cart was waiting for us at the first tee. A couple of workers were busily cleaning carts as they came in from use, and the scent of sanitizer was in the air.

In typical Indian Mound fashion, the course was in remarkable shape. Clearly Jonathan and his team have been working hard on the greens in preparation for this opening week. While some greens still had evidence of aeration marks, everything was imminently playable – especially considering we had snow on the ground as recently as last week. Spring flowers were in bloom and were a welcome sight for these sore eyes too.

After seven months off the course, I was pleasantly surprised to have not forgotten how to swing a club. Several strong drives and a few satisfying putts are all it takes to make you crave the game more. The bright sun warmed things up as the afternoon wore on despite the winds. It was pleasant to see others enjoying the game … from a distance of course. My husband and I shared a cart. Others were walking the course. One foursome darted about, each player in an individual cart, an option the Mound offers its players now to encourage social distancing.

River’s Edge Grille & Tavern was not yet open but Jonathan said they are preparing for outdoor dining when it is allowed to reopen on May 18th. They are lucky to have a large outdoor patio and grill which no doubt will serve them well this strange season. They will also have their beverage carts running weekends.

With the ease of social distancing, the lure of burgers cooking outside, drinks in a golf cart and the great outdoors … might 2020 be the Summer of Golf? It’s hard to imagine a better way to get back at it while still helping us all stay safe and separate. I know I’ll be back for more. I’ll be the one in the face mask.

Click here for more information on Golf in Mt. Washington Valley and the White Mountains.

Eagle Mountain Golf Course Offers Free Ladies’ Clinics in June

On a brilliant spring afternoon, I descended the storied 9th fairway of the Eagle Mountain Golf Course in Jackson, NH towards its driving range along with 30+ fellow female duffers. Our destination? The first of several free Sunday afternoon ladies’ golf clinics with PGA Pros Julie Rivers and Bob McGraw.

No matter where you like to golf, it’s a great idea to start out your golf season by taking a lesson. Bad habits follow you through the off season. Start the year out right with a lesson. These Sunday sessions break down your game into key components that make it easy and fun to improve.

The group ranged from never-evers to more experienced golfers looking to brush up their skills. Skillfully, Julie and Bob managed to keep the large group engaged and the instruction appropriate despite the wide range of experience.

Sunday’s lesson started with the chip shot. Dividing the larger group into 6 groups, the pros took us through the stroke, much like a putting stroke but with a wedge.

Then we moved on to pitching. Starting with a partial swing, to a half swing, to a full swing, we each worked on our form and learned how far the ball went with each.

Then the fun part – driving. We each took out our 1 club and practiced our long drives with varying degrees of success but with great enthusiasm.

This post isn’t meant to try to recreate the content of the lessons – I will leave that work to the pros – but it is meant to stress the value of taking lessons and the camaraderie of a sunny afternoon with a group of strangers soon to become friends.

After the lesson, the Eagle Mountain House offered a $10 cocktail and appetizer special on the veranda. On this sunny spring afternoon, it was a wonderful wrap up to a great learning session with two of the Valley’s best known pros.

McGraw shared the following free and inexpensive golf clinics and greens fees coming up in the coming months. It’s a great way to improve your game while enjoying one of the Valley’s most beautiful locations for golf.

Upcoming:

Bob McGraw will be offering a Free Clinic for women the next two Sundays from 1 to 2 pm.

During the month of June, the Eagle Mountain Golf Course will be offering a discounted green fee of $15 for women.

In July they offer free clinics for families on the first three Sundays from 1 to 2 pm.

Reduced green fees of $10 for juniors and $15 for adults  in the month of July will be offered when families play together.

Saturday Clinics: Every Saturday from 10:30 til 11:30, Bob offers clinics covering the short game or the full swing. The fee is $20 and limited to 6 students. Call the pro shop at 383 -9090 to sign up. For more info >

 

 

 

Great Early Season Golf at Indian Mound Golf Club

By Kathy Bennett

This not the first year that I busted out my golf clubs for a first round of the year at Indian Mound Golf Club in Ossipee, NH. Indian Mound has the advantage of being located on the southern fringe of Mt. Washington Valley, often giving it a precious two or three week advantage to get its grounds prepped and greens opened earlier than other courses further north (and it often stays open later into the fall for the same reason).

This year was no exception. By mid-May, the greens at Indian Mound were in fine shape when we hit the course for a quick nine holes on a seasonally warm Sunday afternoon.

For the average duffer, the first round is often approached with great trepidation. Living in northern New England, one’s golf game can atrophy over the long dark winter months. You line up your shot on that first tee and pray you can hit the ball at least as far as the fairway.

Fortunately, both me and my husband remembered our modest golfing skills and were able to enjoy our first round of the year.  Amazingly – on the lovely 4th hole – I followed a strong drive right up the fairway with a generous approach shot, then chip shot the ball right into the hole from 30 yards. This was a first in my golf career. No one but my husband witnessed the shot, but I shared my excitement with the server at the new hot dog stand just beyond the green. We celebrated with Bloody Mary’s (made with their scratch-made mix) and had a great afternoon all around.

Indian Mound’s owners have paid attention to detail since taking over the course over a decade ago. Its River’s Edge Grille & Tavern is now a fixture in Ossipee and is open to the public, features live music and frequently hosts events and functions. Most recently they added Keno – a welcome addition to this former Massachusetts resident who always enjoyed buying a few quick picks over a drink after a round of golf. Apparently my luck  that day ran out with that chip shot and I kissed $5 goodbye.

Indian Mound’s front 9 are welcoming for less skilled players, but the layout is interesting enough, with lots of water and trees in play, to keep it interested even for scratch golfers. Its back 9 are longer and more challenging. Walk it and put a work out into your game as the greens are hilly at times.

You can find more information on Indian Mound on their website and watch for their special deals frequently advertised in the Conway Daily Sun.

New Event Date for the 16th Annual Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament

While the 16th Annual Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament was originally scheduled for Friday, June 16th, Mother Nature had other plans! The rain date for this year’s tournament is Tuesday, July 25th at the North Conway Country Club.
Join the Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce, golfers near and far, and event sponsors for a day of golfing fun. This tournament is a fun scramble format tournament for golfers of all abilities. Players are welcome to register as individuals for $120 per person or as teams of four players for $400. To register, visit www.golfmwv.com or contact Scott Gleason at 978-758- 1039.
Registration for the event opens at 7:45am and runs until 8:50am, with announcements following registration and a shotgun start at 9:00am. There will be 5 hours of play time and a barbecue to follow the fun at 2:00pm. The awards ceremony will begin at 2:45pm.
mwvcc golf tournament.pngLast year’s popular Event’s Punch Card returns for this tournament and can be purchased for $25 with your online or day of play registration. The card allows entry to various on-course events and includes raffle tickets, mulligans and, NEW this year, the Hole #10 Golf Ball Launcher sponsored by Eastern Propane & Oil to exclusively benefit MWV Leadership scholarship assistance programs. You get to shoot your own ball, hopefully, onto the green 354 yards away.
In addition to awards, and raffles, there are many “Hole-in- One” prizes to win, sponsored by members of the community. Crest Auto World is sponsoring Hole #4, where the first player to hit a hole-in- one will win a 2017 Fiat 500. Profile Power Sports is sponsoring Hole #13, where the first player to hit a hole-in- one will win an ATV. Other Hole-in- One prizes include a set of Titleist Irons, and a $750 Gift Certificate for North Conway Country Club Pro Shop.
“The annual Chamber golf tournament is all about having fun. While we’re all there to play, and improve our handicap, we get to enjoy friends and colleagues, a fantastic course, delicious lunch and a fun event to spend time with Dad,” says Scott Gleason, event coordinator for the tournament.
Golf sponsorship opportunities are open to businesses looking to maximize their exposure in front of the community, with a fit for any budget. Businesses can have its name and logo on tee signs, the golf tournament website and more, depending on what level of participation business owners are interested in.
Tournament sponsors include Crest Auto World, Profile Power Sports, Chalmer’s Insurance Group, Eastern Propane & Oil, White Mountain Dental Associates, Coca-Cola, Fields of Ambrosia and TD Bank.
For more information on the Mt. Washington Valley’s 16th Annual Golf Tournament registration or sponsorship, contact Scott Gleason at 978-758- 1039, or visit www.golfmwv.com.
mwvcc.jpg
About the Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce
The Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit organization whose mission is to strategically market Mt. Washington Valley as the premier New England vacation destination while fostering a business climate that promotes growth and collaboration in member communities and while protecting the area’s natural beauty.

White Mountain Hickory Classic Golf Event at the Omni Mount Washington Resort

The New Hampshire Hickory Golf Association invites hickory golfers of old and new from New England and beyond to participate in their inaugural White Mountain Hickory Classic golf event on Saturday, July 8th at the Omni Mount Washington Resort. For golfers that are interested in giving hickory golf a try, loaner sets are available upon advanced request.
hickory golf.jpgTo preserve the authenticity of the event, period dress is highly encouraged. Participants are asked to refrain from wearing baseball caps and shorts, but more ‘modern’ attire is acceptable (think Dockers or dress pants with a collared shirt). To dress more era-appropriate, participants are recommended to wear a flat cap.
For golfers traveling to the event and seek lodging in the North Conway area, the White Birch Inn is an event sponsor. There are rooms specifically blocked off for this event weekend and participants in the event will receive a 10% discount on lodging at the inn. For more information or to book a room, call 603-730-5267 or visit them on the web at www.whitebirchinnnh.com.
For more information, or to register for the event, please contact Jim Pucci at 603-365-0498.
What is Hickory Golf?
In the game of hickory golf, golfers use hickory shafted golf clubs instead of modern clubs. Golfers are fond of hickory golf because of their reported experience of ‘feel’ to the golf shot and playing classic golf courses in a more natural way, heightening the connection between a golfer’s club and physical ability. Golfers that play hickory golf are playing golf in a style that pre-dates the 1935 era.
 

Mt. Washington Valley Golf Tournament Tees Up for the 16th Year!

For Immediate Release
Contact: Scott Gleason, scott@MtWashingtonValley.org
May 23, 2017
 
mwvcc golf tournament.pngTee off with friends at the Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce’s 16th Annual Golf Tournament on Friday, June 16th, at the North Conway Country Club. This is a fun, scramble format tournament for golfers of all abilities and a wonderful way to kick off Father’s Day weekend. To register, visit www.golfmwv.com or contact Scott Gleason at 978-758- 1039.
Registration opens at 7:45am and runs until 8:50am, with announcements at 8:50am and the shotgun start at 9:00am. The tournament has a planned five-hour playing time, and convenes for a 2:00pm barbecue lunch where winners will be announced and players can bid on a silent auction. Players can register as individuals for $120.00, or as teams of four, for $400.00.
Last year’s popular Event’s Punch Card returns for this tournament and can be purchased for $25 with your online or day of play registration. The card allows entry to various on-course events and includes raffle tickets, mulligans and, NEW this year, the Hole #10 Golf Ball Launcher sponsored by Eastern Propane & Oil to exclusively benefit MWV Leadership scholarship assistance programs. You get to shoot your own ball, hopefully, onto the green 354 yards away.
In addition to awards, and raffles, there are many “Hole-in- One” prizes to win, sponsored by members of the community. Crest Auto World is sponsoring Hole #4, where the first player to hit a hole-in- one will win a 2017 Fiat 500. Profile Power Sports is sponsoring Hole #13, where the first player to hit a hole-in- one will win an ATV. Other Hole-in- One prizes include a set of Titleist Irons, and a $750 Gift Certificate for North Conway Country Club Pro Shop.
“The annual Chamber golf tournament is all about having fun. While we’re all there to play, and improve our handicap, we get to enjoy friends and colleagues, a fantastic course, delicious lunch and a fun event to spend time with Dad,” says Scott Gleason, event coordinator for the tournament.
Golf sponsorship opportunities are open to businesses looking to maximize their exposure in front of the community, with a fit for any budget. Businesses can have its name and logo on tee signs, the golf tournament website and more, depending on what level of participation business owners are interested in.
Tournament sponsors include Crest Auto World, Profile Power Sports, Chalmer’s Insurance Group, Eastern Propane & Oil, White Mountain Dental Associates, Coca-Cola, Fields of Ambrosia and TD Bank.
For more information on the Mt. Washington Valley’s 16th Annual Golf Tournament registration or sponsorship, contact Scott Gleason at 978-758- 1039, or visit www.golfmwv.com.
mwvcc.jpg
About the Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce
The Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit organization whose mission is to strategically market Mt. Washington Valley as the premier New England vacation destination while fostering a business climate that promotes growth and collaboration in member communities and while protecting the area’s natural beauty.