The Upper Valley region of New Hampshire and Vermont provide prime real estate for golf course designers. The picturesque landscape and rolling terrain provide an ideal location for courses both challenging and serene. Golf was introduced to the region in the late 1800s. Courses designed by Robert Trent Jone Sr. and Donald Russ were first realized in the 1920s. Many courses built in the 1920s are still played to the present day, albeit with minor design changes to offer players modern challenges as the game matures. Modern maintenance and irrigation programs have been introduced to keep historic courses consistent and playable all season long. There are 189 golf courses, both old and new, in New Hampshire and Vermont to explore. Here are five of the best golf courses in the Upper Valley.
1. Woodstock Country Club: This 18-hole golf course in Woodstock, VT is ranked #1 in New England by Golf Advisor and ranks in the top 100 golf resorts in the world by Golf Magazine. The course was first built in 1895. It was redesigned by Robert Trent Jones Sr. in 1963. Players enjoy the serenity of an unspoiled landscape overlooking Mount Peg in the Kedron Valley. The course is walkable and may initially present as simple until players reach the six par threes. Your skills will be tested along Kedron Brook winding through the course. The course is open to the public. Collared shirts and appropriate footwear are required.
2. Fox Run Golf Club: This 18-hole championship course in Ludlow, VT with bent grass greens and fairways will keep your game moving. You will enjoy pleasant challenges through the rolling hills and moderate elevation changes, and a felt-like putting surface on the greens in this mountain golf experience. The golf club is truly family and beginner friendly. They feature a 4-hole novice course for beginners to enjoy. This is an excellent learning facility for beginners to develop skills before testing them on the championship course.
3. Carter Country Club: This 9-hole par 36 historic golf course in Lebanon, NH is perfect for a short day on the links. The course is very hilly, with narrow tree-lined fairways and small greens. It provides short game challenges to the scratch player and provides an excellent day for beginners and casual players alike. The course was designed by Donald Ross in the 1920s and redesigned in the 1930s and again in 1991. Discover this classic New Hampshire gem, and share the news with your neighbor.
4. Lake Morey Resort: This 18-hole course in Fairlee, VT has provided golfers with challenges since 1929. The course was redesigned in 1989 to provide a more mature layout. The relatively flat front 9 leads to the mountainous and rolling back 9. You will be treated with beautiful views as you approach the well guarded greens. After your round, you can enjoy a little kayaking, a swim in the lake, a hike, or waterskiing at the resort. And when the temperature drops…stop back for a little pond hockey. The resort hosts the frostbite face-off in January and the Vermont Pond Hockey Championship in February. Lake Morey Resort provides a challenge for every season.
5. Eastman Golf Links: This 18-hole course in Grantham, NH has been voted #1 repeatedly by Upper Valley locals. There are seven tee options to accommodate players of all skill levels. The first nine holes of this Audubon International certified course opened in 1973 and the following nine holes opened in 1976. The 12th hole plays downhill opening to views of Mt. Cardigan and the White Mountains. Enjoy the casual atmosphere with exceptional views at this local favorite.