Granite Links is so close to downtown Boston, you can make the trip from hotel to tee in 15 minutes. From the course and the clubhouse, which has an excellent restaurant, there are spectacular views of Boston, the Harbor Islands and the Blue Hills Reservation. It was a beautiful, clear, blue-sky day when we played the course — a fantastic time for a trio of guys on a break from a convention.
Upon opening, Granite Links ranked in Golf Digest’s Top 10 Best New Upscale Golf Courses in the Country, and more recently made the list of America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses. The course offers 27 holes of links-style golf in three nines — Quincy, Milton and Granite — in a former granite quarry and the surrounding land by John Sanford of Sanford Golf Design. During its lifetime, the quarry supplied granite of such high quality that many of our nation’s best statues started here.
Hole 1 | 551 yards, par 5 (Quincy)
Why not start on the No. 1 handicapped hole? This is what Bill, Chris and I did when we took a day off from a busy conference in Boston to play Granite Links. It was like the “Pros from Dover” arrived. We all took mighty swings, and three drives were dead center in the fairway. This hole runs nearly straight down to the green, which is tucked into the left side with woodlands backing it. I took a more rightward direction and ended up in the far right-side rough. It’s best to follow the pro tip, which encourages you to favor left. We all had decent approach shots, but the green is difficult to hold, and we were surprised when all three shots rolled off the back of the green. Chris’s ball went so far afield it was out of bounds, but not for long. We still question his score.
Hole 2 | 242 yards, par 3 (Quincy)
If you asked the pro the best approach here, he would say to favor the right side. I hit a decent drive slightly left and it bounced downhill to an unplayable area. Chris drove the green, suggesting you need more club than you think. Bill came up short but secured a bogey. The hole features a large pond you have to cross and a huge sand trap to the left.
Hole 3 | 515 yards, par 5 (Quincy)
This is an interesting hole, as you play uphill gradually to the green. The three of us had great drives; Bill’s and Chris’s were slightly longer and more in line than mine, which landed on the left. From this position, I aimed toward the right fairway bunker, landing just beyond it and within attack position of the green. Chris climbed like a goat herder on the right side but had no issues advancing his ball. Bill came up slightly behind me on his second shot, just missing the fairway trap. The green has one large trap in front, which ended Bill’s chance for par. I took a lob wedge and cleared the trap, landing squarely on the green. A decent and fun par 5, but beware the false front on the green.
Hole 7 | 327 yards, par 4 (Quincy)
A little course knowledge might have helped, but my drive landed right in front of the green, so I can’t complain. This is a classic risk/reward shot, as you can cut the hole on this dogleg right and possibly drive the green if you have stamina and the right trajectory. Or you can have a sad golf tale to tell, like my partners — one landed in the deep rough right, and the other “macho man” turned into a far trap at the dogleg’s knee. I chipped on while I watched their shenanigans but missed my birdie putt for par.
Hole 1 | 483 yards, par 4 (Milton)
The “Pros from Dover” were at it again as we made the turn off Quincy and were directed to Milton. After securing a few craft beers at the turn, we teed up to start our second nine. Each of us made spectacular tee shots to the center of the green, mine more right but avoiding, by a hair, the rough and out of bounds. The club professional suggests you aim toward the far left bunker and avoid the right side at all costs. From here, there’s a long shot to the green which we all successfully accomplished, but none of us could hold the green. Chipping on, we “Three Musketeers” carded bogeys.
Hole 3 | 457 yards, par 4 (Milton)
The key to this hole is a little local knowledge. From the tee box, you cannot see the pond on the right side of the fairway. Unfortunately, Bill’s ball rolled into the water and caused a series of mishaps. I was fortunate to land clearly center and then hit a squishy wet shot to the right of the elevated green. Chris took the high road to the left, taking the water out of play.
Hole 6 | 219 yards, par 3 (Milton)
This par 3 requires a long, straight tee shot to the green. There is rough and fescue to the right and a hill to the left that can send your shot rolling far off course. Be prepared for the threetiered green, which can produce some whimsical “circus putts.”
Hole 9 | 521 yards, par 5 (Milton)
This was a great finishing hole to our enjoyable round. The par 5 runs all the way uphill to the green and the outside bar, where you can celebrate your victory or drown your sorrows. From the tee box, avoid the left side, as the hole drops off to some nasty rough. On the right is an area where your ball can easily go out of bounds. The best position is to aim for the large trap on the right of the fairway, and hope to land slightly left of the trap. For your second shot, avoid catching one of the many traps that guard the green. Chris and I pulled this off, but Bill’s wheels came off, and he was down for the count. Take an extra club for your approach shot to clear the traps and land safely on the green.
Granite Links Golf Club at Quarry Hills
100 Quarry Hills Drive
Quincy, MA 02169
tel 617 689 1900
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