Friday, November 06, 2009

Bay Club at Mattapoisett

Their blog

One Tee

I was fortunate to visit the Bay Club at Mattapoisett near fall River, MA. Brad Faxon is a fine putter, but he is also a tour player. Tour players really like fair and putt for a living. Fast smooth true greens are fair, that characterizes the greens at Bay Club. It is one of the very best conditioned courses I have played in the past several years. I believe that this is partly due to the correct grass cultivar for the climate. I don't have to make my living putting so I really like greens with a lot of movement in them. There are a few at Bay Club, but mostly the surfaces are a tour player's dream.
Sixteen green - busiest of the lot

The Bay Club is the work of Brad Booth and Brad Faxon is on the design team credit. It's my first for either. Conscious effort went into strategies as the first ad second holes both par 4's have carry or skirt bunkers to get an advantage or shorten the elbow as neither is a true dogleg. There is a ton of width and I have the 13 fairways hit to prove it (The one I missed I over-hooked, bumped off a hill and wound up 2 yards left of the fairway). Not losing golf balls is a very good thing that makes a course very popular with its members or regulars. Only five holes are at all sharply angled and that includes two par fives. The par 3's range in length from about 150 to 235 on the mixed tees yielding 6800 (very long in the fall) yards on the mixed Blue/Black tee set I played.

Short 12th


Notable holes include the sixth, par 5 which has a nice set of bunkers to play over or around to get a chance to go at the green in two. There are some lateral wetlands about 20-60 yards short but off line to keep you from just blasting away and the first two par 5's feature interrupted fairways to give pause about just going for it.
Par 5 Sixth

Par 5 eleventh

Seventeen and eighteen are handicap holes two and four making sure that the stronger player has to finish it out or be up at least three at that point.

Being very close to the ocean makes for windy days although I didn't encounter more than a club and a half and that probably helped my score.

Nice gig if you can get it as there are some very lovely homes graciously and unobtrusively set back from the course.

Routing: All green to tee except a few 100 yard walkbacks and a 500 yard wetlands gap
Conditioning: As good as it gets
Par 3's: Wide range of lengths from 8-iron to rescue club
Par 4's: Left, right, short long straight -lots of variety
Par 5's: Loads of choices through angles with the pictured 11th being my favorite
Cohesion: Very consistent style throughout
Bunkering Scheme: Guiding rather than really penalizing
Greens: Relying on speed, firmness and tilt rather than contour.
Club: No clubhouse, but practice facilities to die for and all the signs point to a first-class operation. No need to go that close to the beach and not get fed and watered well I am sure.

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