The course at Breakfast Hill Golf Club was unveiled in the summer of 2000, just ahead of the Independence holiday. It’s a Brian Silva design that comfortably stretches out across 170 acres of a pleasantly undulating, wooded landscape.
Stretching to 6,493 yards from the back tees and playing to a par of 71, the course is laid out as two returning nines, with many of the fairways orientated on a northeast-southwest axis. Feature holes include the 396-yard 7th and 461-yard 11th, two of the toughest on the scorecard.
Breakfast Hill is a Brian Silva design and opened at the turn of the millennium. The first hole is welcoming, straight away downhill par four. Off the tee aim at the right greenside bunker and take one less club on the approach. The 2nd is a reachable par 5. Straightaway with a fairway bunker right aim at the water hazard left of center. The challenge from here is the next shot is all carry over the hazard. Good risk/reward par five. I laid up and I have buyer’s remorse. The 3rd is also straight away but very tight. The elevated green is to tiered, if the pin is back take an extra club. The 4th is a ho-hum par 3. The 5th is a par five that is only reachable by the chosen few. Off the tee aim at the left fairway bunker. Your second shot should be aimed down the right side and you want to get inside of 100 yards for a flip wedge. The green has a deep bunker right and is narrow and long. The 6th is the shortest hole on the course. I flew it twice, not sure if the yardage is correct….The 7th is the number two handicap hole. While it is one of the longer par 4s here, it is not that long. The challenge becomes if you land left of center of the fairway you ball will trundle left and end up in the rough. Additionally, there is a greenside bunker left and trees on the left that create a bunker in the sky. The 8th is an interesting hole, shaped like a question mark, I would call it a pseudo dogleg left. Best to favor the right off the tee as the fairway is more generous than it appears off the tee. Short left is NG. There is a creek in front of the green and a bunker right. Anything left will kick further left, oh and there is more trouble long. Thus, it was my favorite hole, I bet you can guess what I did. The front ends with a birdie hole. Off the tee aim just right of the left fairway bunker. If you are right you will have to deal with the right bunker and more bunkers in the sky. This green is sloped right to left.
The back starts with a hole similar to 9. A squiggly par 4, where a well place drive gives you a green light. Favor the left side off the tee, over the fairway bunkers and granite outcroppings. The 11th is a 473 yard par four, long and tight. It is the number one handicap hole and you need to be straight off the tee to have a chance. Left and you will need to hit a draw into the green and right will probably end up in the fairway bunker. Good luck. The 12th is a right leaning par 5 that is not reachable. Thus, play for your preferred attack wedge distance. The 13th is a fun hole. Quasi-driveable at just over 300 yards, the narrow green is nestled behind a water hazard. Most of us should leave the driver in the bag and favor the right side to give the best angle. The downhill mid-length par 3 14 is somehow rated the 9th hardest. It will play a club shorter than the yardage and yes there is a large bunker right, but….? The short straight 15th is another birdie oppty. On your approach, aim about 5 yards of the pin as the green slopes hard left. The 16th is a long par four. Favor the right off the tee, the approach will be blind to one of the largest greens on the course. The 17th is a short par 3 that is visually pleasing with multiple granite outcroppings. The long 18th is a demanding finishing hole. Fairway bunkers right and trees left hourglass the fairway. The two greenside bunkers are actually a good 20 yards in front of the green so you do have more real estate than it appears. Finishing with a par is an accomplishment.
An interesting course with some fun holes, I think the par threes are pedestrian.
Give kudos to architect Brian Silva in being able to capture classic architectural elements in a New England landscape with various hole movements and rock outcroppings that add to the eye appeal when playing. Too often when modern designs are pushed on to such terrain the net result is a layout that clearly is superimposed rather than fitting as naturally as possible. That's not the case here.
The course is not especially demanding but it has enough kick to keep those who fail to secure proper placement over wayward brawn.
Silva realized that the daily fee nature of the course would have a wide assortment of players and being a public layout he's given sufficient consideration with that in mind.
The shorter holes provide much of the character -- among the best ones include the par-4 3rd with a superb greensite as well as the short par-4 8th hole that requires a deft approach to an equally challenging green. The short par-4 13th is also a fun hole -- tempting the big play while including a tapered fairway that narrows considerably as one nears the green.
The issue with Breakfast Hill is that the overall consistency of the course has its lull moments where quite a few are merely pedestrian and not as sufficiently interesting.
The inward side starts well with a quality trio from the 10th thru 12th holes and the ending par-4 ends the round in fine fashion as a 445-yard par-4.
Breakfast Hill has weaknesses -- the two par-5's on the outward nine and how the overall par-3 holes are merely adequate for what might have been provided. Be very interesting to see if Silva should return and be given a second opportunity in bolstering what's needed because by doing so the overall stature would clearly benefit from doing so.
M. James Ward