Along the road to the Shattuck Golf Club an intriguing road sign caught our attention. How can you not drive down the “First Tavern Road” to see if there is indeed such an old, historic building? Unfortunately, we only found private homes. It was a little early to start drinking anyway, so we continued on to the course.
To say that the course at the Shattuck Golf Club was rough would be a huge understatement. It appeared as if they started to carve this course out of the foothills of Mount Monadnock in the southern New Hampshire wilderness and the bulldozers quit work a year too early on the project. The cart paths were on the verge of being too rough for golf carts; 4-wheel drive All-Terrain-Vehicles would have been a more fitting match for the steep & bumpy terrain. The course was very daunting with narrow, twisting fairways bordered by forested areas, and marsh land. There were blind shots on virtually every hole except the par 3’s. To make it even worse, I played the round with two guys from Hudson, New Hampshire who had just walked onto the course for the first time that morning.
Location: Jaffrey, NH
Golf Digest Best-In-State Rank: #9
Date: 24 Jun, tee off at 9:40 AM
Conditions: sunny, 4 MPH wind, 78 degrees
Lost balls: 9
Lost balls: 9
Score: 86 on a par 71
My playing partners drove an hour from Hudson to enjoy playing a different golf course. As I walked up to the first tee box, they were discussing the slope rating of 141 from the blue tees, which played at a short 6,077 yards. The slope rating of a golf course is a measure of it’s difficulty. My current USGA handicap is a 9 so I would be expected to shoot 72+9=81 on an average course. The slope rating of 141 increases my handicap for the par 71 course at Shattuck to an 11; so I would be expected to shoot 71+11=82. In my opinion, they should develop a new rating system that takes into account the number of lost balls!
343-yard par 4 hole #3
312-yard par 4 hole #4
551-yard par 5 hole #5
View of the hole #5 green
373-yard par 4 hole #8 (view of approach shot to the green from the fairway)
My two playing partners were buddies traveled 1-hour that morning to Jaffrey just to play a different course; both of them were named Chris. “Chef” Chris Cowen is a chef at the Legal Sea Foods restaurant in downtown Boston on the water front. He started working for the company at the age of 16 while continuing his formal education. With an associates degree in food service management and a BS degree in culinary arts from Johnson & Wales, Chris is well qualified for his chosen profession. He has a girl friend who worked in the spa industry.
The other member of our group was “Big” Chris Chadwick. He is employed as a district sales manager with AT&T. He pursued a career in the navy until a knee injury changed his direction. He has a degree from the University of Southern New Hampshire. Big Chris has been married for 13-years; his wife is an attorney who litigates cases in the medical field. One of her clients is John Deere, who she represents on claims related to asbestos exposure.
Big Chris & Chef Chris
Chef Chris was a 7-handicap player who, like myself, had his share of problems keeping the ball in play. I can not recall when I have lost as many balls during a round of golf. My score would have been much higher had it not been for some great chip shots; I was able to 1-putt several holes to save bogey following an out-of bounds shot and 1-stroke penalty. Big Chris did not fare quite as well. He continually hit his ball out-of-bounds throughout the round. At one point he joked that it was a good thing he had stopped at Dick’s Sporting Goods the previous day to buy golf balls; even than he was very close to running out before we reached the 18th hole. I threw him a ball on the hole#12 green that was swimming with the fish a minute later.
155-yard par 3 hole #12
View from the hole #12 green back toward the tee box
303-yard par 4 hole #13
121-yard par 3 hole #14
508-yard par 5 hole #15
367-yard par 4 hole #16
313-yard par 4 hole #17 (view from the green back up the fairway)
Although I am not sure I would want to play the Shattuck course every day, it certainly provided me with a memorable and humbling experience.