5 Hilton Field Road,
New Hampshire (NH) 03755,
- +1 603 646 2000
6 miles N of Lebanon
Orrin Smith, once the main construction man for both Donald Ross and Willie Park Jnr, designed the original 18-hole course at Hanover Country Club in 1922. Ron Prichard remodelled the layout early in the new millennium.
In the summer of 2020, Dartmouth College announced the
permanent closure of Hanover Country Club's course, citing financial deficits. The College plans
to keep the course open for cross country running, but the faculty’s
golfers will relocate to Montcalm.
I almost shed a tear when I heard that this course was being closed permanently. Having grown up in the area, I was able to spend my teenage golfing years attempting to corral my slice around this fun and engaging course.
The location of the course, right in the heart of Hanover and Dartmouth College, made this course a local favorite. The beauty of the course was derived from the rolling hills of the Upper Connecticut River valley. Much like the friendly courses across the Atlantic, a local trail system weaves its way in between the holes, often encountering a practicing ski team or locals with their dogs. This was a nice touch!
The opening stretch wound back and forth between a wide open field near the clubhouse. Back to back par threes on 4 and 5 end a nice handshake and bring you to a bridge that crosses a ravine to an entirely different piece of property.
It is important to note that this course was walkable, but was better classified as a hike. Many hills and valleys made for steep walks from tee to fairway. Holes 14, 15, 16, and 17 bring you back to the opening half of the property after a long hot slog through New Hampshire’s slopes. The par 5 18th plays back to a beautiful old clubhouse that signifies the end of a beautiful walk.
It is a shame that the college let this course fade away. For a while I was hoping that an alum would endow the golf course, however my hopes have passed. When I return home, I drive by the vacant fairways wondering and wishing that I could get one more round.
The final hole is a reachable par five for the longer hitters and should be a routine three shot hole for everyone else. The Green and Blue tees are faced with a carry of about 180 and 160 yards, respectively, to reach the fairway and about 235 -240 yards to go through the fairway. Try to fight the urge to hook it around the bend as this will bring into play a long line of trees that usually have an appetite for aggressive shots.
After you are in the fairway, your lay up shot should be placed on the left side of the fairway. Being inside 100 yards and on the left will give you a good look at the green. If your tee shot is well back and to the right, consider laying up in front of the fairway cross bunker.
This green is guarded in the front and on the right by several bunkers and slopes left to right. It has a brow that runs through the middle and curves to the right. You really want to favor the tier the pin is on.
Nice course and Friendly staff. Love this place a quiet and tranquil course. Interesting back 9 routing but it adds to the character of the course. Late summer the course is nice well painted with greens that are a touch slow. Probably making it easier for alumnus to fork over the contents of their wallets. All in all a solid track, would and am going to play again.