While Boston may not be the ideal destination for a golf vacation getaway, there are plenty of good and fairly inexpensive courses perfect for a student on a budget. The closest course to campus is Fresh Pond, a fairly well maintained 9-hole par 35 course. While the $18 green fee is a little pricey, this course is perfect for getting in a quick 9 holes after classes. Since tee times are only accepted in person with waits that can extend up to an hour or more, I would recommend signing up and then grabbing lunch while waiting. Another course that is fairly close to campus is Newton Commonwealth (near Boston College). This 18-hole par 70 course is fairly short and narrow with varying conditions, but given its low green fees and convenient location, is also a nice option. They also have a twilight rate starting in the late afternoon
For those looking for more options and willing to drive 20-30 minutes outside of Boston, there are numerous courses with a wide range of prices and conditions. One of the top rated public courses in New England is Stow Acres Country Club. With two 18-hole courses, Stow Acres is a tough but beautiful course. With a reduced twilight rate after 3pm, it is definitely worth the trip. My personal favorite is a course about 30 minutes south of Boston called Ponkapoag Golf Club. Also with two 18-hole courses, Ponkapoag combines a well-kept course with some of the lowest green fees in the area ($20 for 18 on weekends). Other area courses that are worth checking out, for those students on a budget, include Leo J Martin Memorial Golf Course, George Wright Golf Course, Putterham Meadows Golf Club, and Crystal Springs Golf Club.
For those looking for a nice weekend golf getaway, I would recommend taking a drive out to Cape Cod. With a multitude of scenic and extremely challenging courses, the Cape will definitely keep you busy and entertained with tough conditions and beautiful surroundings. Expect to pay between $75 and $150 for green fees for the average course though.
Finally, for the beginners who would rather hit the driving range before going out on the course, there are a few ranges that are fairly close. Stone Meadows has both Astroturf and grass hitting areas with a short 9-hole par 3 course and putting green. Located about 15 minutes from campus, this makes for a quick and convenient afternoon study break from cases. If the cold weather has you down, don’t lose hope. Golf Town located about 20 minutes north of Boston offers a semi-covered and heated deck. And finally, for those of you without a car, there is always the basement of Shad with a padded room for hitting balls during the cold and dark nights.
For more information on area courses, check out www.golfboston.com It has a wealth of resources for the New England golfer. Good luck and may the spirits of Happy Gilmore and Tin Cup always be with you.