A Hidden Playground
The group of college buddies you met during The Still FPC Classic are spread out across New England, now that we’re all on our way to being “grown ups.” So when it comes time to get together, there’s usually a good amount of travel involved. This was no exception, as we found met in the middle to take on a golfing playground hidden among the trees in Southern Mass.
COURSE: Mill Valley Golf Links (Belchertown, MA)
DATE-TEE TIME: July 9, 2017 – 9:00 AM
GROUPING: CaseyB, Steven, Jeff S., Craig
CONDITIONS: 85 degrees and clear skies
This Saturday started early with a ‘quick’ 30-minute ride from Southern NH to Stoneham, MA to pickup Steven and Jeff, then another hour-plus down to Belchertown. Craig had is own haul to deal with, driving about 1.5 hours up from Connecticut, but we all made it with plenty of time to spare. Now the fun begins…
That video gives you a glimpse of the adventurous nature of this round. None of us had played at Mill Valley before, nor had we received any tips, so we were ready for anything… and it was a good thing, too.
It all starts on the par-3 first hole located just outside the back door of the clubhouse, which feels a lot like chipping around my back yard. Then there’s the second hole that starts alongside the driveway to the property, and features an interesting challenge. The power lines leading to the building also run along the driveway, and cross directly in front of the blue tees, making for a tricky tee shot. (Thankfully I’ve been lacking height on my drives this year.)
After the second hole it gets even more interesting. Once you finish up on #2 you might feel like you’re heading to Grandma’s house (you know, over the river and through the woods), but there are no cookies to be found. Just a bunch of elevated tee boxes with amazing views of the surrounding areas, and the comfort of knowing that your drives are flying much farther than normal.
The front nine was an adventure and beverages were required at the turn so we stopped by the clubhouse. The staff was wicked friendly, to use a New Englandism, and set us up with a few coolers and ice for the back nine. My marketing brain knows good business is all about the customer experience, and Mill Valley sure knows their customers.
So needless to say, the rest of the round was a great time, aside from the slight delay when group of ladies that jumped in front of us as I tee’d up on 10. We have no problem letting a group play through, but I’m not so sure they even saw us standing there, ready to tee-off. It didn’t matter much since they were ROLLING. Like, they finished 10 and I don’t think we saw them again.
And of course, a slow-mo video…
Until next time, GO LOW!