Waumbek Golf Club – Jefferson, NH

The last course in our 2017 series of  Preferred Golf Courses  is Waumbek Golf Club.  Waumbek Golf Club is the oldest original 18-hole golf course in New Hampshire.  Founded in 1895,  this course has remained unchanged for over 120 years.

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Waumbek Golf Club  –   founded in 1895  –  Jefferson,  New Hampshire

Matt,  Bunny,   and I headed out early that day for the hour and a half drive north to Jefferson,  NH.   It was a bit foggy when we left,  making for a beautiful morning over the mountains of Franconia Notch.

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Oldest original 18-hole golf course in New Hampshire.

We were given a warm,  cheerful welcome by Dianne Morneau,  General Manager of the Waumbek.   Dianne was able to tell us the history of the golf course  –  as well as how best to manage it once we got out there to play.   “Line up to Cherry Mountain.”  she said.  “And try not to let the scenery distract you!”    With views of the Presidential Mountain Range from every hole,  it’s impossible not to take a moment to appreciate the natural beauty surrounding this golf course.

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View of Cherry Mountain from the back nine.

 

Matt,  Bunny,  and I were joined by Jerry for a mid-day tee time.  Matt and I played a game of match play against Bunny and Jerry.   The Waumbek is a challenging golf course. The greens are small and fast while the fairways are ambitious and unpredictable.  There’s even a hole where you have to hit the ball over an active highway.  How’s that for a hazard!?

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Small,  fast greens

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Unpredictable fairways.

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Beautiful views of the White Mountains

 

Playing this course requires thoughtfulness,  patience,  well-placed shots,  and a little bit of luck.  Jerry and Bunny had it on the front nine,  closing us out by 2 points.  Matt and I rallied on the back nine,  ending the match one up with a well-earned putt on the 18th hole.

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Teresa,  Matt,  Bunny,  and Jerry

I loved playing Waumbek Country Club.  It was such a unique experience to play the oldest course in the state  –  knowing it’s architecture has been preserved for over a century.   If you’re looking for one more  ‘must play’  golf course to finish out your season,  this is it.

Check out our video here…

*Thank you Bunny and Jerry for playing a round with us.*

**Thank You Dianne Morneau and Waumbek Golf Club for having us out on your course.**

 

 

 

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The Oaks Golf Links – Somersworth, NH

The weather in New England’s been phenomenal for golf this year,  so it was no surprise to be under beautiful,  sunny skies as we played The Oaks Golf Links in Somersworth,  NH.

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The Oaks Golf Links  –  Somersworth,  NH

Matt and I were both pleasantly surprised by this golf course.  The facility is much bigger than we expected  –  with a modern clubhouse and ballroom,  and excellent dining.  There’s also a full driving range,  a sand bunker and chipping area,  and one of the largest practice greens I’ve seen so far.

Before we headed out to the course,  Matt and I spoke with Shaun Bishop,  Head Golf Professional at The Oaks.

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Shaun Bishop  –  Head Golf Professional at The Oaks Golf Links

“We have one of the most unique membership programs out there.”  Said Shaun.  “All our member benefits are good at both The Oaks,  and our sister course,  Candia Woods.”  As he showed us around the facility,  Shaun also told us about their junior golf program  –  which supports youth golf participation through lessons,  fundraising,  and junior golf scholarships.  For such a large facility,   this course felt comfortable and welcoming from the moment we arrived  –  and I was looking forward to starting our round.

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The Oaks Clubhouse and practice green

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Beautiful panoramic views of the golf course from the clubhouse

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Nice Fairways

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Excellent Greens

This week Matt and I were both behind the camera as Ross and Eric took on Rick  and Rick Jr.   As we filmed,  I was impressed by both the landscaping and the ambiance of this golf course.   Many of the fairways were framed with trees  –  allowing for players to concentrate on their game in a private,  quiet setting.

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Rick,  Rick Jr.  Eric,  and Ross at The Oaks Golf Links

The pace of play was fantastic and the greens were among the fastest and best kept I’ve seen on any course we’ve filmed this year.  It was a tough match between our players with Ross and Eric taking an early lead.  Rick and Rick Jr.  came back in the middle of the round to make for an exciting finish between the teams.

See who won by checking out the video below  –   then go book a round at The Oaks Golf Links!   You’re guaranteed to have a great experience on this course…

*Thank you Ross,  Eric,  Rick,  and Rick Jr.  for joining us in this week’s video.*

**A very special thank you to The Oaks Golf Links for having us out on their course.**

 

 

 

Amherst Country Club – Amherst, NH

Matt and I recently visited Amherst Country Club  –  one of only four Audubon Certified golf courses in New Hampshire  –  to play a round with Bob,  Caroline,  and Eric.

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Caroline,  Bob,  Matt,  and Eric at Amherst Country Club

I’m both a lover of nature and a lover of golf,  so I was excited to learn more about the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf  when I visited this course.

Amherst Country Club has been Audubon Certified since 1997.   For the past 20 years,  they’ve been dedicated to creating sanctuary habitats for local wildlife,  reducing chemical use on the golf course,  conserving water,  and protecting local wildlife through environmental planning and good stewardship of the land.

To be eligible for Audubon Certification,  courses must consult with Audubon support staff,  create a plan,  and document their environmental practices.   It’s a great way for  golf courses to save money and improve relationships with local communities  – all while learning about and implementing ecologically sound business models.

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Natural Habitats and Environments

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Beautiful Fairways

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Excellent Greens

I enjoyed seeing all the natural habitats and protected wildlife areas as I filmed Bob,  Caroline,  and Eric play a game of match play against Matt.

Amherst Country Club is a challenging course with tricky fairways and fast greens.  As a spectator and fellow golfer,  I appreciated the layout of this course.  The front nine sprawls out in front of the clubhouse while the back nine hops back and forth along the Souhegan River.  There are several bridges traversing the water as well as a passage under the main highway  –  making this course fun and interesting to navigate.

Bob,  Caroline,  and Eric did a fantastic job working together and playing as a team.  Matt struggled a bit on the second green,  making it challenging for him to get back on track.  Everyone was required to hit well-placed shots and practice good course management to remain competitive and stay in the game.  It was a day of ups and downs,  but in the end,  each player was able to overcome their obstacles to play some good golf.

Check out the video below to find out who won!  –  and to see one of New Hampshire’s only Audubon Certified golf courses.

 

*Thank you Bob,  Caroline,  and Eric for joining us out on the course.*

**A Special Thank You to Amherst Country Club for your continued commitment to ecology and the environment.**

 

Whip Poor Will Golf Club – Hudson, NH

I’m surprised by how much I’ve loved the nine hole courses we’ve played this year  –  so I was excited to check out Whip Poor Will Golf Club this week in Hudson,  NH.

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Whip Poor Will Golf Club  –  Hudson,  NH

The first thing I noticed when we drove in was the clubhouse.  It’s located in a beautiful New England farmhouse with a stone foundation  –  and is the backdrop for much of the course.  Inside,  there’s a nicely equipped pro-shop,  a large lounge area with a brick fireplace,  and delicious hot dogs,  salads,  and sandwiches in the dining area.

The course itself is compact and efficient.  It has a creative layout every golfer can appreciate.  There are several elevated tees,  some dog-legged fairways,  and a few hidden greens.   The way the eighth hole wraps around the pond and trees on the back side of  ‘The Whip’   – as this course is often called  –  was one of my favorite features.

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The 2nd Hole

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The 8th Tee

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The 9th Green

This course was a challenge to play!  I was happy to be joined by Rick,  Jerry,  and Bunny.   Together we played a four person scramble.  Bunny got us off to a great start with a fantastic drive off the first tee.  Jerry followed that up with a nice putt  –   giving us a par on the first hole.  We were able to keep the momentum going throughout our round,  finishing 2 under for the day.

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Teresa,  Bunny,  Rick,  and Jerry at Whip Poor Will Golf Club

Ray Smith,  the head pro at Whip Poor Will,   stressed the importance of playing the second shot correctly.   “You don’t want to hit the driver out here all day long because you’re going to get in trouble.”  said Ray.   “You really want to make sure you place that second shot correctly.”

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Ray Smith  –  Head Golf Professional

He was right!  This course encourages you to use a variety of clubs and be strategic about your shots.   Some of the fairways are tight and the greens are small,  so course management and strategic ball placement is the key to scoring well at The Whip.

Whip Poor Will is a golf club you definitely want to put on your list of  ‘must play’  New England courses.  It’s charming and challenging with an interesting layout and welcoming staff.   –  And it’s conveniently located between Boston and Manchester.

Give it a try!

A special thank you to Head Golf Professional Ray Smith and Whip Poor Will Golf Club for having us out on their course.  Also,  thank you Jerry,  Bunny,  and Rick for playing a fun round of golf. 

Check out our video here…

 

Apple Hill Golf Club – East Kingston, NH

It was another perfect New England summer day as we headed down Route 101 to Apple Hill Golf Club in East Kingston,  NH.  Built in 1981,  Apple Hill has been owned and operated by Steve Lundquist for the past 19 years.

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Apple Hill Golf Club  –  East Kingston,  NH

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Steve Lundquist  –  owner and head golf professional  –  with his black lab Sophie

It was crazy busy on the day we filmed…   they’d just finished a tournament,  there was a party under the big tent,  and their afternoon tee times were booked solid…   Yet,  with all this going on,  Steve and his staff easily found the time to acquaint us with their facilities and make us feel right at home.  From great service in the pro shop and snack bar to an impromptu poetry performance on the 7th hole,  Apple Hill has all the charm and character you’d want from a New Hampshire golf course.

This gorgeous 18-hole course is lined with golden rod,  queen anne’s lace,  pine trees, and apple trees.  The front nine has a lot of undulation while the back nine includes several water features and a challenging layout.

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The First Tee

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The Fifth Green

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The Back Nine

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The 16th Hole

For newer and junior golfers,  or experienced golfers who want to practice their short irons,  there’s a 9-hole par 3 course adjacent to the original 18 hole golf club.

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Apple Hill’s 9 hole par 3 course

After our initial tour,  Matt and I headed back to the clubhouse to meet up with Dave,  Kenny,  and Bunny.  This week it was Matt’s turn to play as he challenged them to a game of match play.  Bunny,  Kenny,  and Dave started out strong on the first hole,  earning their par to take the early lead.  Matt kept the score close as they battled it out around the course.

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Dave,  Bunny,  Kenny,  and Matt at Apple Hill Golf Club

Everyone in our group enjoyed golfing Apple Hill.  It was in fantastic condition,  the pace of play was perfect,  and the greens were superb.   Bunny and I liked it so much we’re planning to come back for a girl’s day out!

If you love golf but haven’t checked out Apple Hill Golf Club  –  I highly recommend it.  It has everything you need to enjoy a great day out on the course no matter your age or your skill level.

Take a look at the video!

 

Souhegan Woods – Amherst, NH

Matt and I were back in Amherst,  NH this week for a fun round of golf with Sue,  Phyllis,  and Martha.  The ladies came out to play a scramble with me  –  and  see if we could beat the golf course.  Rules of the game: With a par or better – we win! the hole — With a bogey or more – we lose the hole.

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Sue,  Teresa,  Phyllis,  and Martha at Souhegan Woods Golf Club

After everyone arrived,  we spent some time warming up.  Souhegan Woods has a nice driving range and well-shaded putting and chipping area  –  both conveniently located near the clubhouse and first tee.

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Martha,  Phyllis,  and Sue on the driving range

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Putting and Chipping Area

Sue got our round off to an excellent start with a beautiful drive right down the center of the fairway.   Phyllis and Martha also had two good shots.  I had a little trouble on the first tee,  but quickly recovered.

As we played,  we found Souhegan Woods to be an interesting golf course.  With narrow fairways and over 70 sand bunkers,  it consistently challenges you to hit the ball straight and long.  You’ll also want to be thoughtful about course management.  Playing smart is crucial to doing well at Souhegan Woods.

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Long,  tree-lined fairways

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Well-Maintained Greens

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Two fawns on the back nine

The front nine of this course meanders it’s way down city streets and through backyard neighborhoods.  Denser tree lines and local wildlife give the back nine a more rural ambience.  It’s quite a unique layout.

“It feels like you’re out playing somewhere in North Carolina with all the pine trees and sand bunkers.”  Said John Wollen,  Head Golf Professional at Souhegan Woods.

I couldn’t have agreed more.  This course really does give you the feeling of being on vacation right in your own backyard.

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John Wollen,  Head Golf Professional at Souhegan Woods,  and Teresa

Sue,  Phyllis,  Martha,  and I had a fantastic time playing Souhegan Woods Golf Club.  We gave it our all,  coming close to beating the course  (Souhegan Woods 5 / Ladies 4).

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Teresa lining up the putt with Phyllis,  Martha,  and Sue

Thank you so much ladies for joining me for a fun round of golf.  Also,  a special thank you to Souhegan Woods for having us out on their course.

Check out the video here.

Candia Woods Golf Links – Candia, NH

One of the courses I’ve been hearing about all season is Candia Woods Golf Links in Candia,  NH.  Everyone I’ve talked to who’s played this course has had nothing but great things to say about it.  I was really looking forward to seeing what all the hype was about as Matt and I prepared for this week’s golf blog and YouTube video.

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The slogan for Candia Woods is:   The Friendliest Golf Course in New Hampshire.   It certainly lived up to its name.  From the moment we arrived until the end of the day,  everyone we met was relaxed,  happy,  and having a great time.

They were just finishing up their Club Championship Tournament while we were filming,  so we were able to meet some of the participants and watch them compete.  We also ran into the club champion for this year,  Kevin Ferendo.  He shot  a 71 and  73 to take home the Edward J. Butler Trophy for the second year running.

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Kevin Ferendo  –  2017 Club Champion –  Candia Woods Golf Links

The golf course at Candia Woods proved to be just as friendly as all the people we met.  It has a full driving range,  two practice greens,  a well-equipped pro shop,  and a comfortable lounge area.  There’s also a banquet hall pavilion for special events and parties.

The course itself is well landscaped and fantastic for beginners.  The fairways are wide open with minimal tree lines while the approaches to the greens are friendly and forgiving.

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Nice Views

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Open Fairways

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Well-Maintained Greens

Those who are new to the sport can enjoy a relaxing round of golf on a course that allows for clear shots off the tee and a lot of bump and run approaches to the greens.  However,  don’t let this course fool you.  It still comes with its own set of challenges for the more experienced golfer.  If you want to work on your putting proficiency  –  this is the course to play.

“Keep in mind where the 101 Highway and the driving range are and take that into account with how the greens break.”  said Craig McLaughlin,  Head Golf Professional at Candia Woods.  “The entire land slopes toward that area,  so it looks like the ball might go one way,  but it actually goes the other.”

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Craig McLaughlin – Head Pro at Candia Woods Golf Links

For this video,  Matt was joined by Paul,  John,  and Rick.  A few of the guys have golfed here before,   so Rick was able to tell me some of the history while Paul reinforced Craig’s comments about the course.

“The greens here really are phenomenal.”   said Paul as we made our way to the first tee box.

Paul,  John,  and Rick teamed up against Matt for a friendly game of match play.  They followed a modified scramble format,  using the best tee shot on each hole and playing their own ball from there.  It was a fun match to film.  Matt ended up winning with an Eagle putt on the 9th hole par five,  but it wasn’t an easy victory.  John,  Paul,  and Rick made some nice shots and well-deserved putts,  challenging him right up to the end.

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Matt,  Rick,  Paul,  and John on the 5th green

We headed over to the lounge at the end of our match for some food and a few drinks.  The Clearing at Candia Woods is famous for their chili,  and I highly recommend it.  In fact,  the chili was so good I had two bowls!  –  one before we filmed our round and another one after…

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The Clearing’s famous chili

If you’re a golfer anywhere in the New England area,  come check out Candia Woods Golf Links.   With good food,  a well layed-out course,  and great customer service  –  you’ll  see exactly why they’re called  The Friendliest Golf Course in New Hampshire. 

Thank you  Rick,  Paul,  and John for joining us.  And a special thank you to Candia Woods Golf Links for having us out on their course.  

Watch the video here…