Eastward Ho!

Eastward Ho! – Played July 2017

  • Rankings: Golf Magazine #78
  • Location: 325 Fox Hill Road, Chatham, Massachusetts
  • Year: 1922
  • Original Architect: Herbert Fowler
  • Additional Work By: Keith Foster
  • 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!

We played the tips and all yardages will reflect that.

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.

The approach is uphill.

Approach shots need to reach the green due to a false front.  There is more slope than you can see in the picture below.

Hole 2 – 350 yards – Par 4

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.

The approach can be played along the ground to the right side of the green if you prefer.

You can see below that a deep bunker guards the green and should be respected.  The second photo more closely shows the slope of the putting surface.

Hole 3 – 326 yards – Par 4

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 second shot is relatively straightforward.  The challenge will be around the green.

From the photo above and below you can see some of the slopes.  Chipping around this green will require a soft touch.

Hole 4 – 182 yards – Par 3

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 first photo below is from right behind the green.  The next photo shows the severe pitch of the green.  So good and wonderfully old school.

Hole 5 – 525 yards – Par 5

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!

The approach is the simplest shot of the hole.  The fairway flattens out and gives you an opportunity to knock one close.

Hole 6 – 455 yards – Par 4

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.

Below is the view at the top of the hill in the fairway.

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.

Hole 7 – 181 yards – Par 3

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.

The green slopes back to front.  A closer look is below.  The slope is quite severe and can make for some dangerous putts.

Hole 8 – 348 yards – Par 4

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.

I wanted to show the photo below to give you an idea of your proximity to the ocean.  This is the view from the tee.

This is your view from the left side of the fairway short of the bunkers.  Trust your yardage.

This green is pretty tricky.  Supposedly it doesn’t yield many birdies.  I can attest it didn’t give me one.

Hole 9 – 396 yards – Par 4

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.

Here is the angle from the left side of the fairway.  You can see the slope of the green.  Balls moving right will go off the green easily.

Hole 10 – 208 yards – Par 3

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.

Hole 11 – 485 yards – Par 5

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.

The second shot is blind as well.  A draw is needed to get to the green or the fairway if you are laying up.

Here is the view once you get to the top of the hill.

The green has a false front that will repel shots that come up short or in with too much spin.  Shots that miss short will be tough as well due to the slope of the green.

Hole 12 – 333 yards – Par 4

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.

The green is perched and has a turtle back shape that will challenge you on the approach shot.

Below is the view you can have if you miss the green.  Avoid this at all costs.

Hole 13 – 336 yards – Par 4

A good tee shot on this dogleg right dramatically decreases the difficulty of the hole.  There is quite a bit of room out there.

The approach is one of the more benign on the course.  A short iron or wedge should have you flag hunting.  The target is narrow with bunkers on both sides.

Hole 14 – 371 yards – Par 4

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.

The view on the approach shot is awesome.  You can see Pleasant Bay behind the green.  Your shot needs to carry onto the green to avoid a false front.  The slope also goes the left.

Hole 15 – 153 yards – Par 3

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.

The green is three-tiered to make putting fun.  Also the bunkering provides quite the challenge.  Almost any shot that misses the green will be in the sand.

Hole 16 – 411 yards – Par 4

A stroke of luck saw us playing this hole downwind.  The rolling fairway best accepts a drive up the left side.

Here is a view of the approach.  The best miss is short.  Due to the green slope from back to front makes chips from behind the green very tough.

Hole 17 – 537 yards – Par 5

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 second shot is blind, but should be played up the left side for the best angle.  Beware of the giant bunker on the right.

The fairway is undulating the entire length of the hole and can cause some fits.  Below is the look at the approach shot.

Hole 18 – 460 yards – Par 4

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.

This green has another false front that is amplified by the slope up to the green.

While still a challenge, the putting surface is the easiest part of the hole.  Make par here and your lunch will taste a lot better!

I had a great time playing here.  A great end to the round was a cold beer in the awesome clubhouse.  The old wood in the grill provided a great atmosphere along with great views of the water.

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!

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2 thoughts on “Eastward Ho!

  1. Jimmy

    What a fun looking golf course! It looks like you need to be a bit of a shooter to keep the ball in play. Course management would be important as well. Thanks for the review!

    Cheers Jim

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