Once Cape Cod National Golf Club founder John Pfeffer acquired an additional 69 acres of land beside the 85-acre tract that he already owned, there was no stopping his quest to construct a golf course next to the Wequasett Resort in Barnstable County. And so, four years after Pfeffer had dared to dream of such an eventuality, the course opened for play in 1998 as a private 18-hole layout with additional access granted to guests of the resort.
Laid out on a rolling Cape Cod landscape that’s dotted with kettle ponds, the course has all the appearance of a classic track that’s been in play for many a year – little evidence now, more than a decade after it debuted, that fairways were actually fashioned by shifting three quarters of a million tons of earth and laying 850,000 square feet of turf.
Muscular par fours feature prominently here. On the front nine, the 467-yard 2nd and 449-yard 5th are heavily bunkered on opposite flanks while, on the back nine, the 471-yard 11th and 459-yard 17th both dogleg to well-protected greensites.
I was lucky enough to play this course as a guest of a member. Despite the grand title, as you locate the club and come through the gates there is no great fanfare or the name in lights. Not unlike the rest of the region this course is blessed by nature and classy but also understated and not showy in any way.
There is a nice practice ground, a pleasant clubhouse and friendly starter but the course itself is a total revelation. It reminded me of El Saler (Spain) and also Woburn (England) in places but is unique and not really like any other course I’ve played here in the States. There is no weak hole and some absolute classics. Holes 10, 12 and 17 will live long in the memory as will the two par 5s which are laid out alongside each other with Hawks patrolling above. As my playing partner remarked there are also several very characterful lone pine trees in and around the greens which created some amazing vistas.
It is hard to believe that this course isn’t completely natural and hasn’t been around for decades. Beg, borrow or bribe your way on here if you are in the area. A real treat and hard to believe this isn’t in the US top 100. It ranks nicely alongside other classics such as Piping Rock or Winged Foot which I’ve also played.