16 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: I told a friend, and Borderland regular, that I was going to play here for the first time. His eyes lit up and he said "you are in for a treat." He was right.
Borderland is hands down the most well designed course I have ever played. With two tees and two pins on each hole, the course features four unique layouts each designed to present a different set of challenges.
The White-to-White layout is the shortest. It provides a par-3 layout with tee shots that aren't overly challenging and pin locations that are fairly easily accessible. This layout is perfect for beginners or more experienced players looking for a quick round.
The blue layout is where Borderland really shines. The designers were very creative in creating a layout that didn't just add length, but added another element of difficulty. The blue tees are positioned to require much more precise line shaping. Most blue tee shots are blind and require shots with lateral movement. The ones that are more straight-on feature tighter gaps than the white tees. The blue tees offer a number of nice risk/reward opportunities. Playing Blue-to-White really emphasizes getting off the tee. Executing a good tee shot will generally result in an easy look at the basket.
The blue baskets are positioned to create challenging upshots with clever use of vegetation, elevation and well-placed OB. Shot placement is key in getting a good look at the basket. Playing the White-to-Blue layout really emphasizes shot placement and course management.
Putting the two together for the Blue-to-Blue layout creates the best collection of par-4s that I have ever seen. Course par for this layout is 68 using 13 par-4s, one par-5 and just 4 par-3s. Generally I'm not a fan of par 4 and 5 holes and this would be a huge red flag for me. This is because on most courses, higher par holes are not well done and almost always simply reward distance. That is not the case at Borderland. The par 4s here require a tough tee shot to a landing zone that still presents a challenging long approach. Execute these two shots well and players are rewarded with a drop-in birdie.
Clearly the layout is what has me enamored with Borderland, but the amenities are all there as well. The tee signs are excellent and rubber tees are in great shape. The course is kept clean and mowed by park rangers who actually play the course and take great pride in it.
There is a practice basket and a nice open field perfect for warming up right by the parking area.
Cons: There are big gaps going from hole 4 to 5 and 17 to 18. This creates opportunities to get lost and breaks up the flow of a round. However, I'll take the walk over the alternative (boring filler holes).
Other Thoughts: For an even more rewarding experience on this course, learn the history of the park. It is a circa 1900 estate that was purchased by the state in the 1970s. The old stone mansion that the Ames family lived in is the key fixture of the park. The estate was built by buying up old farming land. The stone walls that you see throughout the course used to border farming fields as far back as the 1700s!
At the parking area there is a large info board with a map and scorecards. The scorecards have a small map on them. I grabbed one before my first round here and had no issues with navigating the course, even the long walks. Be prepared and you will not get lost.
This place is well worth the prices of admission ($2 all day). It is a must-play for anyone in New England.
16 of 16 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 3 Not
So Much Variety
Pros: Beautiful course with white and blue tees AND baskets. The holes all have great design, and there is a great variety. The holes range from short to long, open to wooded, etc. Almost impossible to get tired of the course, and if you do, you can do white to blue, blue to white, or blue to blue. Every combination offers new challenges and seems like an entirely different course.
Cons: Holes 1-4 are isolated and the walk from 4-5 can be confusing for a new golfer.
Other Thoughts: The course does get very busy on weekends and nice days. Also, check the website before you go to find out there is an all-day tourney taking up the entire course.
3 of 6 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Updated review after flypads
Pros: A total of four available courses allows for the ultimate flexibility as players mature. A fifth counting the forward tees which is a great way to start them young. Rubber pads have been installed on all of the white tees at least. The layout was very well thought out and the blue course is there when you're ready for a long day (>8000') Best course in MA.
Cons: Only con I've had is crowds, but you can't blame the course for being good. Hole 5 can get flooded, so be ready after rainy days.
Other Thoughts: Nothing I would change about the course.
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 3 Not
Pros: Interchangeable tees and baskets
Practice Basket (it does underrated on most courses)
Wicked pretty layout
Cons: So good = So crowded
The non-flypad tees get disgusting on wet days
Other Thoughts: It could spoil you, since most of the other near-Boston courses (topsfield, burlington, foxboro) don't stand up to it in quality
0 of 3 people found this review helpful.
8 Helpful / 0 Not
Top 5 course.
Pros: Long. challenging. Wooded(yes!). Great park, well kept, a few historic buildings. Scenery is fantastic. Mix of holes fantastic. Fantastic scorecard, I kept this one in my bag for almost a year because I loved the course.
Cons: Every once in a while you might come across a group of wandering hikers you have to wait for. I'm guessing that a few of the holes might be on a floodplain, wear boots. A little difficult to find.
Other Thoughts: Wear good hiking shoes. There are some short briers that you might get stuck in, and there are several points on the course where if you don't land on the green, you'll be hunting for whatever you threw.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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