The first 9-hole layout at Eastman Golf Links appeared in 1973, with the other nine following three years later. This woodland course was then upgraded during 2006/7, when bunkers were renovated and drainage issues were addressed.
Located just off the Interstate 89 highway, the course stretches out to 6,731 yards from the back tees, playing to a par of 71. The downhill 466-yard 12th is considered the “signature hole” on the card, featuring wonderful views of Mt. Cardigan and the White Mountains beyond.
Eastman is an interesting course. Some would call it quirky. The back nice was built several years after the front and while there was plenty of acreage some holes are really squeezed.
The first hole is welcoming, a slight dogleg right. Fairway bunker on the outside elbow and greenside bunker right. The 2nd is a long par 5, also a dogleg right. Favor the left off the tee to ensure that you are not blocked out. On the second shot there are fairway bunkers left and right so check your yardage. You should be left with an attack wedge to a green with bunkers left and right. This should not be the number 1 handicap hole. The first par 3 is mid-length with two bunkers front right and one left rear. The 4th is a downhill par four with a blind tee shot. The contour will push the ball right and there are granite outcroppings left. A decent drive should give you an attack iron to a green that has two bunkers left and right. The 5th is a sharp dogleg right. You can hit it thru the fairway, so hit a high fade or layup. This will leave a log approach to a green with bunkers left and right. The 6th is a long downhill straight par four with a blind tee shot. Favor just left of middle off the tee and the green has bunkers left and right. The 7th is the longest par three and slopes left to right with a right greenside bunker. The par 5 dogleg right uphill 8th is a reachable par five if you can cut the corner. You can drive it thru the fairway into the bunkers or treeline, so a cut or layup is best. The 9th is a tough hole. A long dogleg right and uphill with a blind approach. This green has two bunkers left and one right. In my opinion, the toughest hole on the course.
The 10th leans left, is a short par four and a good birdie hole. Decent drive should leave you with an attack wedge. Target golf starts on 11. There is a water hazard on the left that stretches past the middle of the hole. From the tee box side of this hazard it is about 180 yards to the green. Based upon the tees you are playing plan accordingly. We go from finesse to power on 12, it is the longest par four and downhill. Be prepared for a downhill lie off your drive to a green with bunkers left back and right. The 13th is a slightly uphill par 3 to a raised green with bunkers front right and left. The 14th is a dogleg left and is eerily similar to 11. Water hazard in the middle of the fairway and it is about 180 yards to the middle of the green. It is the number two handicap hole. After climbing to the top of the hill with several switchbacks you are rewarded with the shortest hole on the course, a gimme par three. The par 5 16th is a short uphill dogleg left that is a surefire birdie hole. There is a bunker on the inside elbow, thus favor center or right off the tee and the green has two bunkers left and one right. The 17th is another target golf hole that leans right with a water hazard taking up a good portion of the landing area. There is more room left on this hole, but I believe the prudent play is lay up to 180 yards off the tee. The finishing hole is a long uphill, straight away par 4. There is fairway bunker left and greenside right.
I have always enjoyed playing Eastman. The back nine really forces you to think. Having said that I can see why some may not enjoy this course. Regardless, it is a good value and beats a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.