Designed by Brian Silva, the 18-hole championship layout at Waverly Oaks Golf Club first opened its doors to the golfing public in 1998. Back-to-back par fives at the 4th and 5th are real feature holes on this engaging track.
It’s located just a short 15-minute drive southeast of Plymouth, among a little collection of golf clubs that straddle either side of the Pilgrims Highway. Crosswinds Golf Club is situated right next door while world-ranked Old Sandwich and the 36-hole Pinehills facility lie on the other side of the freeway.
The 369-yard 9th (“Double Trouble”) is another notable hole at Waverly Oaks, with water in play off the tee and the approach shot. On the back nine, the two par three holes are rather contrasting: The 184-yard 14th (“Raynor”) is a pretty straightforward one-shotter but the 251-yard 17th (“Black Hole”) is a monster, where mishit shots to the right of the target will result in players posting a big number at this hole.
As someone who routinely has traveled to/from Cape Cod -- I am amazed that certain courses in the Commonwealth - especially those open to the public -- do not receive their fair share of attention.
Waverly Oaks fits that bill.
Architect Brian Silva smartly produced a layout that can handle the hordes and those with higher handicaps while still having enough flexibility to provide a quality test for the more seasoned player.
Given the sheer number of rounds played during the peak playing months -- Waverly Oaks is generally in fine shape and the overall pace of play when I have been there has been monitored by management.
Silva allows a bit of freedom on tee shots for a number of the holes but the most important attribute that Waverly Oaks tests is on the varied approaches encountered and the diversity of the greens -- in terms of overall shapes and internal movements.
The ending stretch of holes is where one is tested to finish off a round in splendid fasion. The long par-4 15th is a stout hole and the sprawling 632-yard par-4 16th mandates three quality shots to have a sniff at making par. Silva smartly adds a lengthy par-3 in the mix as the penultimate hole and it's tenacious in mandating a stellar execution to reach the green. The closing hole is a bit of a downer -- at 376 yards it provides one last good birdie opportunity and given the pressure packed three holes that precede it the desire to have golfers leave with a smile rather than a frown is likely the smartest of calls by Silva.
There's plenty of golf in the immediate neighborhood and a number of people simply head to the Cape for their golfing enjoyment. Waverly Oaks is well worth seeing prior to heading to the Cape and realizing how a quality architect can successfully merge playability and challenge together on a site with over 100 feet of elevation change and 240 acres of land that is free and clear of unnecessary clutter and mindless disruption. The overall land plan is done very well.
I will be heading back to the immediate area later this summer and will want to see how things have progressed since my last time there. A possible even higher rating may be in order.
M. James Ward