If you were blindfolded, taken to Miacomet and told you were in Scotland, you might readily believe it, especially on the new holes Howard Maurer created in 2003. Rolling terrain, tall fescue, firm conditions and plenty of wind create an Old World ambience. The ocean is not in view, but it’s not far away, putting Miacomet in such fine company as Muirfield, Gullane, Lytham and Birkdale.
And while the golf may not be quite of the quality of that foursome, it’s still good. There are plenty of approach shots where alternate plays must be considered. Not all the greens are wide open in front, but most (2, 15 and 18 being the exceptions) have an area of at least half the green width to play a running approach. The greens are contoured enough to provide a fine challenge. It’s also one of the finest conditioned municipal courses you’ll find anywhere, including St. Andrews.
Miacomet is not perfect, however. The routing is poor, with half a dozen tees over a hundred yards from the previous green. Not much thinking is required off the tee, as in many cases, one side of the fairway is just as advantageous for the next shot as another. There’s a feeling of déjà vu on the greens, as often the contour is a ridge that bisects the putting surface. The repetition is taken to extremes in holes 9 and 12 where the greens are carbon copies of each other. And two of the greens which require an aerial approach (2 and 18) do so because of a cross bunker clear across the approach. These bunkers look quite out of place as they are about the only features of the original course Maurer elected to retain. There’s also some fairway bunkering that serves no purpose, especially on a public course. On 1, 2, and 15, lateral bunkers line the fairway starting less than 100 yards from the tee. Players who get in them will only manage to hold up play.
Nonetheless, Miacomet is one of my five favorite public courses in Massachusetts.
Date: July 29, 2017