Eastward Ho! – Played July 2017
- Rankings: Golf Magazine #78
- Location: 325 Fox Hill Road, Chatham, Massachusetts
- Year: 1922
- Architect: Herbert Fowler
- Course Access: Private
- Walking Rules: Carts & Caddies Available
Score Card Information:
- Black: 6,437 yards, Par 71 (Men’s) Par 72/73 (Women’s), 72.4 Rating/139 Slope (Men’s), 78.2 Rating/143 Slope (Women’s)
- Blue: 6,168 yards, Par 71 (Men’s) Par 72/73 (Women’s), 71.0 Rating/137 Slope (Men’s), 77.1 Rating/142 Slope (Women’s)
- Gold: 5,843 yards, Par 71 (Men’s) Par 72/73 (Women’s), 69.4 Rating/136 Slope (Men’s), 75.4 Rating/138 Slope (Women’s)
- White: 5,378 yards, Par 71 (Men’s) Par 72/73 (Women’s), 67.4 Rating/121 Slope (Men’s), 72.7 Rating/131 Slope (Women’s)
- Composite: 4,940 yards, Par 71 (Men’s) Par 72/73 (Women’s), 65.7 Rating/117 Slope (Men’s), 70.1 Rating/126 Slope (Women’s)
- Green:4,468 yards, Par 71 (Men’s) Par 72/73 (Women’s), 62.7 Rating/113 Slope (Men’s), 66.8 Rating/116 Slope (Women’s)
I was pretty excited about this course. Little did I know that I was not excited enough! This one came together through some social media work and I was happy we could work out while I was in New Hampshire to see the family. My host couldn’t have been nicer and more easy going. Additionally, we were paired up with an older member and his guest who were a riot. One of them owned the Seattle Mariners for a time! I never know who I’ll meet on these trips!
Eastward Ho! enjoys a rich history. It was established back in 1922, but the area’s history obviously goes back much further to the times of the Plymouth Colony. I learned that the remains of Squanto most likely are within the current club grounds from a mission in 1622.
During World War I a Naval Air Station was set up near the course. A plane from that station engaged with an enemy submarine that had sunk a few barges. Interestingly, this is the only combat that took place in the US in WWI.
After WWI, the founding members of the club got together to set plans in motion. They wanted something like they were fond of in the British Isles and chose Mr. Fowler to design it for them. He had a great reputation from designing England’s Westward Ho! and Walton Heath.
The land of the club is surrounded by Pleasant Bay, Crow’s Pond, and the Atlantic Ocean. You will see from the photos that it is a spectacular site. The course is designed in an hourglass shape with the clubhouse at the middle. The front nine east towards the ocean (you can see it from almost anywhere), while the back goes west and is associated with Pleasant Bay. Wind is a huge factor here as are the uneven fairways. A flat lie is a luxury.
***I got this information from their website which credits Edward N. Harriman for the research.
Below is a view of the small driving range. Better hit them straight!
Hole 1 – 380 yards – Par 4
The first tee shot gives you a wide fairway that angles towards the center. The large bunker in the middle will be out of reach for most players, but needs to be avoided.
You go across the street for the second holes, which was actually our first of the day due to a shotgun start. Driver is not needed here. A fade plays best, but don’t miss left.
This is a nightmare for those of us that miss left. Due to the length you can take less than driver for accuracy. Left is dead and you must carry the ravine.
The par 3’s here are so good. The first one is a doozy. The green is super undulating. The wind off the water adds more challenge. You will struggle to make par if you miss anywhere but short. I found that out with a pulled tee shot.
The fifth is where the course really opens up and we start to see the incredible fairway sloping. Look at this fairway and the wave-like quality in it. We played this into the breeze for added fun!
This is one of the most unique holes I’ve played. I would also say it’s one of the best. It is long, but if you can place your tee shot you will get a huge kick forward off the hill. Local knowledge is a plus here.
The second shot plays to an awesome green complex. If you come up short the ball will roll over 50 yards back to you. The tiered green slopes back to front making it imperative to get the ball to the green. Left is dead as the hazard is a yard from the green.
This hole can be a brute as it usually plays into the wind. It is already severely uphill. A miss right can end up in some brush.
This shorter hole plays longer as the prevailing wind is back towards the tee. The fairway is wide. You can see three cross bunkers that need to be avoided. These were restored during Foster’s renovation.
This is a difficult tee shot, but a wonderful view looking back at the clubhouse. A solid drive is needed to get to the flat part of the fairway. Anything else will end up in a valley that is not the best place from which to approach the green.
The back side starts with a rough and rugged par three. Depending on the wind you will need at least a long iron here. The two bunkers seen are well short of the green. The fescue on the right extends to green. If you miss on that side you will need a lucky bounce.
This shorter hole can certainly be reached in two, but you need a good tee shot. The drive should be kept up the left, but there is OB on that side to consider.
This hole is not long, but is a challenge because you need an accurate tee shot. To get a flat lie and view into the green the drive must be up the left side.
A good tee shot on this dogleg right dramatically decreases the difficulty of the hole. There is quite a bit of room out there.
Per the course website this is known as the “Elephant Hole”. A deep depression runs down the left side for about 200 yards and must be carried. The best strategy is to keep the tee ball up the right.
This is a fun little hole. The website calls it the signature hole, but I think that does a disservice to the other 17. That being said it is awesome. The bay and a hazard is to the left to keep you honest.
A stroke of luck saw us playing this hole downwind. The rolling fairway best accepts a drive up the left side.
A good drive is needed here due to trouble. The left side has trees and the right has a deep gully. Shorter hitters should play up the middle.
The finisher is the most challenging on the course in my opinion. It is long and requires your best drive. A slight draw can catch the down slope in the fairway to get some extra yardage.
Once you move down the hole the view of the green comes into focus. This shot is a brute. If you stayed up the right it will be longer. The final 100 yards or so is back up the hill. With a long club this shot is hard on the nerves.
I can’t say enough wonderful things about this club. I had an awesome host and playing partners who made the day even better. The character of the course and its quirkiness made it a pleasure to play. The piece of land is incredible and the architects hit a home run. If you can find your way on definitely make it happen. You won’t regret it!