Conditioning can get more emphasis in these reviews than it deserves. After all, conditions can vary depending on a multitude of factors….while other factors, e.g. routing, shot strategy, green complexes, are constant and can compensate for occasional shortcomings in conditioning. That said, a mid-April round at Hyannisport showed off superintendent Thomas Colombo’s’s splendid efforts. My stimpmeter measured the greens at 12………..and the aprons at 11! I could not find one unsanded divot nor one footprint in a bunker.
Colombo’s predecessor, Ryan Walsh, along with architect Ron Forse, did a lovely job a few years ago restoring much of Donald Ross’s original design. Their efforts , however, did not result in complete fidelity. A perfect example is the second hole. After a strong opening par 4 down a rolling fairway to a contoured green, the golfer is faced with a short, rather dull par 4. Ross’s original plan called for a green to be benched into the hill farther left and behind the current green. But when the members hired a local contractor to build the course, he decided that was too much effort and built a green in the current location.
Two of the course’s finest holes follow, both doglegs with water threatening a poorly played tee shot. After a sweet par 3, the next nine holes suffer from a case of sameness. Numbers 6-14 include one par 3 and one dogleg, but the rest are straight two and three shotters that parallel one another, with little to distinguish them. Routing was usually one of Ross’s strong suits, but this was not his best effort.
Hyannisport redeems itself in its last four holes: two good par 3s and a pair of excellent half par holes at 16 and 18. The walk up the hill on the final hole is exhilarating both for its steepness and for the spectacular views of Nantucket Sound.
This one of my three favorite Cape Cod courses, along with Eastward Ho! and Cape Cod National.
Date: April 14, 2019