Course Review: Renaissance Golf Club – September 13, 2023
I had the opportunity to play Renaissance Golf Club in Haverhill, Massachusetts. Prior to my visit, I understood it to be a great golf course and experience. I am glad it was because it is a haul to get there.
Haverhill is close to the New Hampshire boarder and is a 275 mile round trip for me from Rhode Island.
Renaissance Golf Club is consistently ranked amongst the best – and best conditioned courses– in the Greater Boston area and was one of three finalists for “National Course of the Year” in 2012.
It is a 295N / 95N / 495N trip which can be easy or hard. We worked hard to avoid the traffic but to no avail.
We had a 10:30 AM tee time and arrived to the gates at 9:50 AM after a little speeding.
We dropped our clubs at the bag drop and was warmly greeted by our host. The area – and much of New England for that matter – has received a lot of rain and our host gave us the option of hand carts or cart path only. We chose hand carts.
We then went to the range to warm up. The practice facility is quite nice.
I understand everyday there is a music theme on the range. Today it was Country music. The day before was Guns and Roses / heavy rock.
I don’t particularly like country, but I thought that this was so cool and added to the ambiance ~ I was now a member of the LIV Tour!
I had a good warm up and went to the first hole. Our host is a good player and wanted to play from the red tees (circa 6,700 yards) and we agreed.
The 1st hole is a 385 yard par four. I hit an excellent drive down the middle – so I thought. With the rain, there was zero rollout and I still had 165 yards in. I hit an approach shot, hit an excellent chip and blew the 4-foot par putt.
The course theme was quickly discovered ~ high intimidation off of the tee, but not nearly as tight as it appears. I found the course conditions to be outstanding and literally shocked how much the course absorbed the significant rain water.
Again, despite the rain, the course was in fantastic condition. The cart paths were in the right places so we actually could have taken a cart and walked to our balls, but it was great to walk anyway.
There are several very memorable holes. One is number 4 – which is a par 3, 185 yards on the card but uphill that plays well over 215 yards.
Number 10 is a short par 4 (341 yards) with a downhill funnel green.
The hole I may remember most is the 245 yard par-3 15th. I put my ego away and hit a baby driver to the front of the green and chipped within a foot for a par.
The last hole was also memorable to me.
It is a tricky par-5 which plays 558 yards. I hit a terrific drive, smoked a three-wood and had an 88 yard shot. I chipped a 48 degree gap wedge and had a 12 footer downhill for birdie.
The restaurant deck is close to the 18th green so I decided to have some fun and engage the two couples on the deck watching us. I quickly explained that this was my first time here and asked them for a read. They laughed and watched me lip out a birdie putt.
I had artificially created my own gallery and they were incredible sports about it.
I actually played decent. My drives were good and my short game excellent. My approaches were poor, but I had a good amount of ups and downs.
After the round, we went inside for drinks and appetizers. The two couples who saw the putt came over and gave me some good natured teasing.
As we were leaving, the course was filled with many members of the local high school teams. We stopped and watched some excellent swings taking place on the range – young men and young women.
One thing that should have been obvious to me on this day was Renaissance’s focus on fun ~ i.e. golf should be fun!.
One can really feel it there and I had an absolute blast.
If you receive an offer to play RGC, you need to accept!