In New England, where public golf courses are often jammed with foursomes, Belgrade is an anomaly. Situated far enough north and west in Maine to be considered "remote," Belgrade doesn't get a ton of traffic. It is quiet in the best sense of the word.
The clubhouse is perched at the top of one of the highest hills in the region, giving you unobstructed views over Great Pond, Long Pond, and many other massive lakes in central Maine. In the fall, the foliage is spectacular to take in.
The course itself is very good, with a few unusual holes that will stick in your head long after your round. The 1st hole is a nice way to begin, with a severely downhill tee shot, followed by another severely downhill approach. The first hole gets you quickly down the hill from the clubhouse, and the rest of the front 9 is relatively flat (but not boringly so) until you get to the 9th, which brings you back to the clubhouse.
The back 9 is similar, with 10 featuring a downhill tee shot, and then fairly level play through 18.
Because of the climb uo to the clubhouse, when you first roll into Belgrade you might think the course is unwalkable (like Sunday River). That isn't true. Once you get down to the first green, you have a very pleasant walk ahead of you. And when you get to 9, they usually have a cart available to drive you up to the clubhouse if you don't feel like slogging up the hill.
Belgrade is the best public course in Maine, and is a top 5 public in all of New England. The combination of atmosphere, scenery and fun holes makes for an enjoyable weekend getaway.
Date: January 23, 2020