Luxury Golf Courses: Recently hailed by Golf Digest as one of the "Top 10 Best New Upscale Golf Courses in the Country," Granite Links of Quincy offers 27 challenging holes of links-style golf with some of the best views of Boston's skyline just seven miles south of the city. Many celebrities have been spotted here, including Boston's own Mark Wahlberg, comedian and Rescue Me star Lenny Clarke and tennis star John McEnroe.
Granite Links, which is located on 450 acres surrounding the Blue Hills Reservation, offers one-of-a-kind scenic views, which are truly breathtaking. The immaculate, well-designed course was constructed utilizing fill material removed during the $14 billion Big Dig project and deposited in the site of the former Quincy landfill location. Shortly thereafter, nearly millions of cubic yards of excavated soil from the Big Dig were transported to fill the site to depths of up to nearly 100 feet, saving the state of Massachusetts nearly $200 million in disposal fees. Today, the course has played host to the Senior LPGA Legends Golf Tour and BJ's Charity Championship.
The service here is first class and the accommodating staff will even shuttle you to the driving range before your first tee off. There are three nine hole courses here- Granite, Milton and Quincy, each a par 36 course. The first shot on the Granite course is a Par 5. A golf pro suggested the safest way to play is to keep the tee shot to the right of the bunker. The first hole offers not only a variety of lengths but also many different shot options. The golfer who chooses to go for the green in two shots will have about 220 yards over a marshy area to the green. It was then we recognized the challenging course is best played by an experienced golfer, who is familiar with long hits, numerous sand traps and afternoon high winds.
Don't be discouraged if you lose a ball early on in the game as you're sure to lose a few by the end of the day even if you are a professional golfer. Equally challenging, the undulating greens represent a fair test of your putting ability.
If you have an afternoon or evening tee time scheduled, be sure to arrive early or plan on staying late so you can enjoy lunch or dinner at the popular Tavern Restaurant, which is open to both members and non-members. The restaurant is located upstairs from the Pro Shop and offers a beautiful view of the course. The Nantucket-style shingled clubhouse sits 300 feet above sea level with outdoor balconies perched above a water-filled quarry overlooking the 18th green.
The name Granite Links Golf Club was chosen for its reference to the Granite Quarries and its links attributes- situated atop what were once actively mined quarries, close to water, sandy base and scarcity of trees. Today, remnants of the quarries still surround the courses with impressive water hazards, some of which run up to 400 feet deep. Several of the former quarries have been filled and reshaped to form the three courses.
Granite Links also offers, in addition to the 27-hole championship golf course, a state-of-the-art practice center, spacious clubhouse, banquet facilities, meeting rooms and an outdoor pavilion. The driving range remains lit for nighttime practice as well.
A round of 18 holes here on the weekends is $125 per player, which includes the cost of a cart rental (which comes with a GPS system for distance and directional assistance), and the best value is at 4 p.m. (twilight) where the rate drops to nearly half price at $65. Quincy and neighboring Milton residents receive a 20-percent discount and must show proper identification.
For LxM Kellie K. Speed