Brian Silva carved the fairways at Red Tail Golf Club out of the forest on the old army base at Fort Devens. The 17th hole is not called “Bunkers” because of sand traps found on the hole; instead, the name refers to old ammunition bunkers situated at the side of the green. Just a few yards further on, another military reminder looms over the 18th tee box in the form of an old guard tower. The US Army post closed in 1996 after 79 years of operation but part of the site is still used as an Army reserve installation.
Commissioned into service in 2002, the course at Red Tail is a Brian Silva production that sits lightly on the landscape and it boasts New England’s first Audubon International Signature Sanctuary designation. Red Tail hosted the 33rd edition of the US Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship in 2009 and Jennifer Song, who also claimed the US Women’s Amateur the same year, won this event.
Holes such as the par three 11th and the par four 17th at Red Tail are characterised by sandy waste bunkers whilst others, like the par four 4th and par five 18th, assimilate dramatic elevation drops into the design. And with blind approach or tee shots required on the par four 14th and 16th, there is certainly plenty of variety to be found here.Red Tail’s most attractive design feature may well be its green sites, all of which fit beautifully into the surrounding terrain. From the plateau greens at the 2nd and 9th to the semi-punchbowl putting surfaces on the 4th and 14th, the absence of water and sand hazards at many of Red Tail’s holes allows golfers the option of indulging in low running approach shots if they so decide.