Taconic Golf Club – Played July 2016
- Rankings: Golf Magazine Public #39
- Location: 19 Meacham Street, Williamstown, Massachusetts
- Year: 1927, 2009 (Restoration)
- Architects: Wayne Stiles & John Van Kleek (Original), Gil Hanse (Restoration)
- Course Access: Public
- Walking Rules: Carts Available
Score Card Information:
- Black: 6,808 yards, Par 71, 73.5 Rating/136 Slope
- Gold: 6,410 yards, Par 71, 72.1 Rating/127 Slope
- Purple: 5,826 yards, Par 71, 69.4 Rating/122 Slope (Men’s), 74.8 Rating/130 Slope (Women’s)
- White: 5,143 yards, Par 71, 66.6 Rating/116 Slope (Men’s), 71.4 Rating/122 Slope (Women’s)
Well after my day at Boston Golf Club I was off to western Massachusetts and Taconic Golf Club. It’s funny because after playing my first Gil Hanse course, I arrived here where Hanse performed an extensive renovation in 2008-2009. I had never really been to this part of the state. The location of this track is very near to New York state and I spent most of my drive from New Hampshire in Vermont. It took about three hours, but I had my multiple podcasts to keep me entertained. Shout out to Shane Bacon, Michael Collins, and Jason Sobel.
Let’s get into a little background. According to the course website, the story goes that the course was started by “three men with three tomato cans” in 1896. Their names were Doughty, Ide, and Gale and they set up three tomato cans in the ground on Weston Athletic Field which is next to the present day 18th fairway. A few more men joined and weeks later the first real course was planned out as a seven-holer. By 1897, they had expanded to nine holes and converted a residential house to a clubhouse that lasted until 1955. The course was then expanded to 18 holes in 1928 through gifts to Williams College.
The course is located on land owned by Williams College and hosts both the men’s and women’s teams. They say it is no more than an a 10 minute walk from anywhere on campus. Evidence of their presence is seen right when you walk in from the parking lot.
Hole 1 – 470 yards – Par 5
A lot like Boston Golf Club, the first hole is a reachable par five. I like a course that starts like this. The objective here is to keep it between the bunkers and then gear up for a shot at the green.
The view from just off the first green lets you know you are in for some beautiful scenery.
The third is where the course starts to get really good. There is tree trouble on both sides so you need accuracy.
I really liked this hole because of the setting with the creek up the left side and the pinched in landing area. You don’t need anything more than 210 yards here, but it does need to be precise.
The first one-shotter is a good one! With rough all around and plenty of sand you need a well struck shot.
This hole plays much longer than the stated yardage. You really need to be able to hit a draw here for the best position. I imagine this hole was fun in the hickory days.
This dogleg right is another one that plays longer than the scorecard says. The tee shot will land into an uphill slope killing any momentum. The course obviously calls for shots that work both ways.
You get a break on this tee shot from an elevated tee. You can play it up the right all you want, but you need to get past the tree line for an open shot at the green.
The green looks as if it is sitting on the edge of a cliff. There is some room behind there, but the best spot to miss is short. In addition, the putting surface is open in front and tailor made for running shots.
This is quite possibly my favorite hole on the course. The elevation change is stark and requires less club. I just like the setting down in the valley below the clubhouse.
After the delightful little halfway house where I had a good hotdog it was on to the back nine. The tee shot here plays downhill, but the second shot is all back uphill.
This one is long, but downhill. With a good drive the fairway bunker is in play, but there is plenty of room out there. The second shot is back up the hill.
The twelfth tee gives recognition to the people responsible for the course.
This is a tough hole with out of bounds all down the left. The fairway cants hard to the right and will repel anything moving that way into the rough. After all that you have an approach uphill to a difficult green to hit.
This short hole can be a devil. The front bunkers shouldn’t be in play , but all the others are. The green is narrow and doesn’t leave much room for error. Also, with a slightly elevated tee you will need to focus on club selection.
This one plays shorter than the yardage since it plays from such an elevated tee. Avoid the bunkers and you are in great shape.
This hole requires a solid shot to have a reasonable approach shot. It plays uphill all the way, but there are only a few bunkers.
This hole was part of the original seven holes and as such is the oldest hole on the property. I bet it was a real brute back in the day. It definitely is today. What you see it what you get.
The last hole is a tester, but with some good shots you can have a birdie opportunity. The trouble is all down the left side so err on the right. The second shot is more of the same.
I didn’t know much about this course before I started this whole deal. I am glad I looked into this and made it work out to play here. The place is great and if you find yourself in the area you need to stop by. It is quite open to the public with minimal restrictions. The best deal you could get is to have a kid at Williams, then you would have a perfect excuse to go visit and tee it up!