The Rees Jones-designed layout at the 36-hole daily fee Pinehills Golf Club is routed dramatically over undulating ground and it's rated slightly tougher than the Nicklaus course, but only just. It’s also a little shorter than its younger sibling, but there’s less than 70 yards difference between the two from the back tees.
Occupying the southwest section of a substantial, 300-acre thickly forested property which sits close to Pilgrims Highway, the Jones course is tree-lined from start to finish – just like its younger sibling, the Nicklaus course – though there’s enough fairway width for it to never feel too constricted.
Notable holes include the heroic long par three 5th (where tees shots must carry a gully all the way to the green), the par five 6th (rated stroke index 1, playing to a raised, plateau green), and the severely right doglegging par four 7th, with the green positioned almost at right angles to the fairway.
On the back nine, both the par threes at #13 and #16 are testing short holes: the first one plays downhill to an offset green and the second calls for a carry over a ravine to the green. As the nines were reversed to improve the pace of play in 2020, the pond-protected 18th now finishes parallel to the 18th on the Nicklaus course.
The course is in great conditions, however the design is very questionable. This a a golf course designed for someone who has played the course multiple times and remembers all of the holes. I am a 5 handicap and this course rewards good or average shots with bad results. On the first par 5 a good player form the blues can’t hit driver. My playing partner, who never played the course before hit a great drive down the middle. It went through the fairway, fell down a 20ft hill and nearly went OB. On every single hole right and left 10ft deep bunkers are in play for someone playing at the appropriate yardage. Additionally if you are lucky enough to to carry the 30-40 yard long bunkers the edges of the fairway will slope off and leave you 15 ft bellow the fairway. My playing partner on #14 hit a great drive 2ft off the fairway which we watched roll down into hard pan and nearly OB. The range and practice facility’s are great, which is part of the rating. Also, the conditioning is spectacular, some of the best conditions in the area. If I just rated the course on design it would be a 1-2. Do I think it is worth $125, no, but it is a good course if in the area. However, I do believe there are many better courses in the area. The Nicklaus is much better, and if possible I would only play that course.
Much of what Colin added I am in agreement with. The main issue I have regarding the Rees Jones layout is how it fails to break away from the same design style Rees has used at earlier efforts. I would not dare say it is wholly pre-fabricated but it's not offering a real connection to the land it occupies.
The layout is quite fair and from the different times I have played always been in fine shape.
What's important to point out is that the golf bar in The Bay State is quite high. The Jones layout at Pinehills is challenging at times but it hardly raises the pulse where wanting to play it again and again is stamped in your memory banks.
My father was fond in saying there are two types of people in golf -- those who play golf and those who are golfers. The former will find the Jones layout a worthy time spent playing. The latter will be looking elsewhere for something more stimulating.
M. James Ward
The first hole is a relatively short welcoming par four. When I say welcoming, it is the #18 handicap hole. I cannot recall a course starting with the easiest hole. The 2nd is a long uphill dogleg left par 5 with a bunker on the inside elbow. It is a mounded fairway so pay attention to your landing areas as a good shot may roll to something led optimal. This green also has deep BAB left. The 3rd is a tough hole, fairway bunker left. The fairway runs out and descends inside of 140. There are two deep greenside bunkers right. The 4th has bunkers all the way down the left side with another greenside of the redan green. There is a ridge in the middle of the fairway that will channel most balls right. The first par 3 is a mcgilla. How does 248 yards, uphill with a BAB protecting the front sound? The 6th is a short dogleg right par 5 that is reachable. However, there is a 200 yard forced carry with a fairway bunker on the inside elbow. There are fairway bunkers left and right in the landing zone. This table top green is protected by 3 front bunkers. The 7th is a big dogleg right with a bunker on the elbow. If you can carry the bunker it is a flip wedge. Be forewarned there is a steep dropoff, missing right is death. The 8th is a nicely designed mid-length par three. A wraparound bunker left and front with the green protruding like a peninsula into the water hazard right. The 9th is a long uphill par four with most of the trouble left. There is a deep BAB front greenside left.
The back starts with an uphill dogleg left par 4. There is a bunker on the inside elbow and greenside left and right. The 11th is long slight dogleg right par 4 with a fairway bunker on the inside elbow and a BAB greenside right. Big hitters can get home in two on the 12th. Favor the left off the tee, there are fairway bunkers left and right. It has a very narrow throat, if you are trying to run it up with a bunker left and two more right. The 13th is a mid-length par 3 straight downhill to a redan green with a bunker front left. The 14th and 15th are similar long par 4s that are only memorable because I mucked them up. The last par 3 is uphill with the green perched on a ledge. Below it front and right is a bunker and then below that gunch. If you are going to miss, go left. The 8th is another ho-hum par 4. Jones saved the best for last. The 18th is a par 5 dogleg right from an elevated tee box. While I am sure there are people who get home in two play it as a 3 shotter. If you can carry the right fairway bunker, then you have a chance. A water hazard comes into play starting about 140 yards out on the right side. There is a greenside bunker left and the water hazard protects about 75% of the green. Good finishing hole.
A predictable forgettable track, but it does beat getting poked in the eye with a sharp stick.
The Pinehills (Jones) Course is a wonderfully crafted and meticulously maintained piece of land, that will have you in as much awe of the views as of the fairways. The course is challenging, yet beatable; and you will not walk away with your head down feeling like a beaten man.
From the first step out of the car, they take care of you and make you feel like a tournament player, even though you plan on drinking more beers than birdies made. The clubhouse as an old and inviting feel, that makes you believe your teeing up in a simpler time.
Overall, the course and amenities are beautiful and it is a must play Massachusetts course.
A semi-private upscale course in the Plymouth area. This is about what you would expect from this type of course: well conditioned, solid straightforward architecture and an enjoyable round.