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  • Writer's pictureDooner

Boston Tee Party at George Wright G.C.

Updated: Jun 28


For year's we've read - at great length - praise about Donald Ross's Municipal Beantown gem. We figured we'd get there eventually, but Boston hadn't been in our regular orbit... until now.


Not to assume it was THE place to go, we threw out the poll to our @golfcrusade channel in an IG story: "If you had one day to play in Boston, where would you go?" The Country Club answers aside, the overwhelming choice was George Wright Golf Course.


So naturally, with just a few hours to spare before a flight home, nabbed a 6:30am tee time and were the first (and just about only) one on the course. A tee party for one? Might have been the best party in town at that hour!


So does it live up to the lofty perch it's been anointed in many a national municipal course ranking?

You betcha!

We've played our fair share of Ross courses on the road to 1000 courses (550+ as of this writing). After a few holes, one starts to compare each of those previously laid down by The Donald. After a few more holes, we started to wonder if this is one of the best (if not the best, then perhaps the most fun) Ross layout we'd every played. We don't really rank our roster, but by the time the ball found the bottom of the cup on the eighteenth, it was a legitimate question we'd have to soon wrestle with.


We'll get to it in a minute, but the proof is in the photos. Yet there are a few things to digest if you're a Ross fan or aficionado before we get to that.

The first thing you notice is the ambiance and old-world charm. It is everywhere, even in the walk from parking lot! Most muni courses have a modest pro shop, maybe a snack shack and a detached cart barn some where else. Not here. The clubhouse must win the award for the largest muni digs ever. It's as beautiful as it is a presence over the first tee and final green.

The clubhouse presence above the 18th green is ominous - even through the unnecessary tree!

Once you're out there on the course, the transitions from green to tee are sublime and short. So short that in at least three, arguably four cases the next tee box is connected to the previous green - one of our favorite features on a golf course. Below you'll see what we mean as the 14th green smoothly gives way to the 15th tee.

The next focal point is the par threes. The entire set is one of - if not the best - set of Ross single shotters we've ever played. They each offer a different challenge from intense bunkering, elevation (gain and fall), full carry, yardage variation and more. Click each of the images to unlock some of the tasty goodness...

The first three really grab your attention and focus - especially the fourth hole (pictured first above, followed by the 8th, 14th and 17th, respectively). Likewise, the 17th is the cherry on the sundae. The whip cream the cherry sits atop is the connected walk from the 16th green to the tee box perched on a granite landform.


The last big takeaway is the year of the design: 1938. According to the Donald Ross Society, that makes George Wright one of the last fifteen original designs the ol' Scot drew up. By that time, he had about 400 other designs from which to draw upon. If you've played enough Ross courses, you'd certainly recognize some similarities.

The tee shot from the 5th at Southern Pines (NC), a nearly identical look that you'll find on #9 at GW

The first one that stood out was the long, par-4 ninth hole. Playing forward as a very short two-shotter thanks to some tee box work, the initial shot is blind over a mild ridge. After cresting the hill, the hole opens up into a magnificently wide fairway with a more severe downhill grade to a green wedged into a natural amphitheater.


The sister hole that immediately came to mind was the par-5 fifth at Southern Pines (NC). Having played it before its very recent restoration, the same fairway turn, massive width, dive down into the bottle and green placement were evident. Here's a side-by-side:

Another memorable hole was the 16th. This great driving hole plays uphill the last 150 yards, getting steeper the closer you get to the plateaued green. Upon seeing the uphill slope from the tee, it instantly brought to mind the 7th at Inverness Club.

Now granted, the IC version's fairway twists and turns up the hill, but let's be realistic. IC has hosted multiple US Opens and PGA Championships, two NCAA Championships, a US Amateur (with another one in the near future) a Solheim Cup. George Wright is for the people. Inverness is for the pros.


That said, if you take out the twisting fairway at Inverness and replaced it with a similar mowing pattern at GW, they're stunningly similar.


Yes, its a muni. The course was in great shape on the whole. Sure the bunkers could have been raked a little more religiously and the green speeds are probably a little slower than the ones over at Charles River CC or The Country Club, but they do the job and roll smooth.


One final fact remains... If this were our local muni, we'd be frequent visitors.


As for the rest of the course, enjoy some of the best of the bunch at George Wright below!


Sincerely Fores,

Dooner




A mid-hill shot of the 12th with views of 17, 16, 15 and 13 at George Wright Golf Course.





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