Before I begin my tale, I have to admit that I’m lying.
The 8th hole on the blue course at Bayberry Hills on Cape Cod is only a par 5. But it plays like a par 7 especially in a 20 mph headwind!
Yesterday, three friends and I decided to use our reciprocal advantage and booked a tee time at a course no one of us had ever played. Bayberry Hills in Yarmouth, MA. It’s a bit of an unusual course by Cape Cod standards. It has three nine hole courses to choose from: Red, White and Blue. (Very patriotic!)
The Red and White courses are typical nine hole courses, lined with trees and an occasional pond surrounded by tall grasses. Very picturesque, very Cape Cod. There are four tee boxes and the holes are long enough so that those players who love to play from the “tips” will enjoy the course as much as those of us who crowd up the forward tees.
The Blue Course at Bayberry Hills is another story. It’s a links style course, built on top of what was once the Yarmouth Town Dump. The land was filled in and converted into a wide open links course and like a traditional links course, there are very few trees to block the prevailing southeast winds. The course has five par 4 holes, 2 par 5’s and thankfully 2 par 3’s. The par 3’s are the first and ninth holes. On the par 3’s there is water to contend with but these two holes are surrounded by trees which block the winds. After playing holes 2 – 8 on the wind swept wide open spaces — trust me, you’re grateful to get in behind the trees again!
We started our day on the Red Course. Two of the group were in a golf cart and two of us pulled hand carts. If the course had been crowded, and the pace leisurely, that would have been fine. But we discovered soon enough that walking the course was not going to work well. There are long distances between holes and when a group of two long hitters suddenly came up behind us and started to “push” us along, it made the first three holes feel like a road race. We finally let them play through.
When we got to the turn, we decided to try out the Blue Course. The two walkers turned in their trolleys and all four golfers headed for the links course in golf carts. Good idea.
The links course is challenging. This is one course where accuracy really counts. There aren’t a lot of places to lose your ball, though tall grasses and gulleys are present. Almost every hole has a blind shot. So if you are unfamiliar with the course as we were, it’s essential to run your cart forward to check out the lay of the land.
You have to really plan each shot and aim carefully to stay on the fairway. And you have to know how to play the wind. The 20-25 mph winds we faced made every hole feel twice as long as indicated on the card. The 452 yard par 5 8th hole felt and played like a par 7! It seemed endless.
The Blue Course was a challenge, but we all agreed playing the links course was the most fun and we want to play it again — perhaps next year when the summer winds are softer than the autumn gales.
If you’re going to play the Blue Links Course at Bayberry Hills remember to bring a hat, a wind jacket and face cream! No matter the season, that wind can do a number on your skin.
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Have you ever played a links course? Have you played the Blue Course at Bayberry? Add your two cents in the space below.