Geeked on Golf

A Celebration of the People & Places that Make Golf the Greatest Game


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Myopia Hunt Club Tour by Jon Cavalier

MYOPIA HUNT CLUB – A COURSE TOUR & APPRECIATION

South Hamilton, MA – Herbert Leeds

I had the pleasure of playing an early morning round at the one-of-a-kind Myopia Hunt Club outside Boston.  To put it mildly, it was well worth the drive up from Philly (smooth sailing when you leave at 1am).

Suffice it to say that I loved Myopia.  There is a vibe emanating from certain of these old clubs that I find quite appealing, and Myopia, like Garden City, has it in spades.  The building that houses the bar and dining areas was built in 1772.  The course is virtually unchanged from 19th century origins, save for a bit of added length.  It’s an incredible place.  I hope that you get a sense of that in these photos.  Enjoy.

The Entrance

You know when you arrive at Myopia that you are in for a special day.  As you make your way down the long entrance drive, you pass polo fields and horse barns and other areas that reveal that, unlike many other clubs of its ilk, Myopia still maintains strong ties to its equestrian roots.  And then there’s that outstanding logo.

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Like Yeamans Hall, Myopia’s entrance road lets you know right away what kind of experience you’re in for.  Horse barns are to your left as you drive in.  No parking, please.

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Horses are not the only creatures roaming the grounds at Myopia.

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That said, there are plenty of horses.  The 18th fairway is in the background, bordering the grounds.

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The Scorecard

In fitting with the overall theme of the club, even the scorecard looks old.

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The Clubhouse

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This view from behind the 18th green shows the wraparound clubhouse/locker room building, along with the putting green.

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No bartender – serve yourself.

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Fireplace signage

I can honestly say this is the first advertisement for a sled dog race I’ve seen at a golf course.

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Myopia’s weathervane

Locker Room

For me, Myopia’s locker room facilities rank right up there with Garden City, Merion and National Golf Links.  Myopia’s facilities have a more modern feel, but they’re still very unique.

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MYOPIA HUNT CLUB

Hole 1 – “First” – 276 yards – Par 4

Myopia opens softly, with a short, uphill par-4 with a blind but wide fairway.  The small green is easily reachable for some, but it can be treacherous, with its severe right to left slope.

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The angle that most wedge approach shots will see into the first green reveals the necessity of avoiding the miss right.

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The view from the first green – wow.

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Hole 2 – “Lookout” – 488 yards – Par 5

A very unique half par hole, the elevated tee allows a full view of the all the interesting obstacles presented.  The first in a three hole stretch of great golf.

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The second shot is blind to the green, as is the cross-bunker between the two mounds.  The flag in the background is on the 7th green.  The 2nd green is sunken below.

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The green and bunker are revealed.  This hole reminded me a bit of Emmet’s 4th at St. George’s on Long Island.

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The 2nd from behind shows the recessed nature of the green.

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Hole 3 – “Brae” – 252 yards – Par 3

A monster par-3 reminiscent of the 8th at Oakmont, only short doesn’t work well here.  In truth, the third of three half-par holes to open the round.  Anything long is dead.

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A small green for such a long par-3.

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Hole 4 – “Miles River” – 385 yards – Par 4

A fantastic and beautiful par-4, and one of the most widely recognized holes at Myopia.

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Beautiful bunkering.  The photo does not reveal just how much the green slopes from back right to front left.  I was told that this green has less pinnable area than even the tiny green on #9.

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From behind the green.

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Hole 5 – “Lone Tree” – 417 yards – Par 4

The fifth is a tough par-4 divided by a stream.

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The approach, with the morning dew still glistening.

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The reverse view reveals hints at the subtle demands of the fifth.

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Hole 6 – “Brook” – 255 yards – Par 4

Another brilliant short par-4.  By this point, the player knows he’s playing a course meant for match play.  This hole is drivable, with the caveat that the green slopes from front to back.

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The look back, with the rock wall as yet another reminder of Myopia’s timeless New England style.

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Hole 7 – “Myopia” – 401 yards – Par 4

The course’s namesake provides a capsule view of what you’ll find at quirky Myopia.  Good luck finding a level lie in this fairway.

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The approach view on the 7th from the top of the hill.

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The view from the green back shows the elevation change and side-slope.

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This panoramic view of the 7th hole, taken from the 4th fairway, gives a good idea of the challenge of the slope in the approach, and shows the many background elements that add to the experience at Myopia.

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Hole 8 – “Prairie” – 473 yards – Par 5

The hole begins with a drive over a small rise to a blind landing area.

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The second shot is obscured by an Alps-like rise in the fairway that hides the green.  The very top of the flag is visible here.

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Like the 4th, the bunkerless 8th green is built with severe slope from high right to low left.  Anything to the right of this pin can easily be putted all the way off the green.

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Hole 9 – “Pond” – 136 yards – Par 3

One of the best short par-3s in golf.

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The green is a mere 9 paces wide at the middle, and the creative bunkering results in some interesting recovery shots on misses.

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Hole 10 – “Alps” – 404 yards – Par 4

The “alps” here are carried off the tee.  The blind tee shot makes for an uncomfortable drive, since anything missed right …

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… ends up in a really bad spot.  Note that the landing area is wider that it would seem from the tee, but the price for missing is quite high.

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The 10th also has some great contour and bunkering around the green.  One of my favorite holes on the course.

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Reverse view, showing the wonderful green complex.

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Hole 11 – “Road” – 349 yards – Par 4

An uphill par-4 with trouble down both sides.  The tee is to the left of this photo, which shows the gorgeous red fescue that abounds at Myopia.  Any left to right tee shot here is in danger of running off the canted fairway.

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This green view reveals another great use of a cross bunker.  There’s room between the bunker and the green to land a ground approach, but you won’t get away with a skulled runner here.  Along with 4 and 8, the 11th is one of the most sloped greens on the course.

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Hole 12 – “Valley” – 451 yards – Par 4

A picturesque tee shot back down into the valley, the 12th runs parallel to the 8th and 7th holes.  The red fescue frames the hole beautifully.  Another half-par hole.

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The view of the green on twelve shows the danger of missing right.

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This view back toward the 12th tee reveals the rugged nature of the terrain at Myopia.

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Hole 13 – “Hill” – 358 yards – Par 4

Playing back through the valley of the 2nd hole, the 13th requires proper placement of the tee shot to have a reasonably playable angle into the elevated green.

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The approach on 13.  Straight up the ridgeline.

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Anything short of the green will roll back off the front of the green, ending up as far as 30 feet from the putting surface.  You really don’t want to be long here either.  The bottom line – hit the green, or else.

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Hole 14 – “Ridge” – 393 yards – Par 4

The landing area on this par-4 is flanked by more of Myopia’s signature ground features.

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The green is defended by bunkers from which recovery is no easy task.

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Hole 15 – “Long” – 529 yards – Par 5

The slight rise in the fairway hides the fairway bunkers up the right side.

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Likewise, the bunkers fronting the green are hidden from view on the second shot.

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Myopia’s seeming simplicity masks nuance that is discovered over many plays.

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Hole 16 – “Paddock” – 192 yards – Par 3

A gorgeous par-3 with the clubhouse as a backdrop.  Once again, many of the greenside bunkers are hidden from view.  The 18th green is seen behind.

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The view from behind the 16th green, with the first fairway in the background.

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This view from a different angle behind the 16th green better shows the great bunkering on this hole.  The pro shop is just out of view to the right.

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Hole 17 – “West” – 394 yards – Par 4

The green is not in view from the tee, nor is the bunkering on the right of the fairway.

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The 17th green, tucked in among the trees and bunkers.  Not much room for error.

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Hole 18 – “Home” – 400 yards – Par 4

Great courses have great closers, and Myopia is no exception.  The 18th here reminded me a little of the finishing hole at Oakmont.  A ridge runs the entire length of the right side of the hole.  Horses run the left.

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Double bunkering fronts the green on the right.

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A final set of signature Myopia bunkers guards the greenside and runs from front left to back right.

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The view back down the 18th – beautiful.

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Copyright 2016 – Jason Way, GeekedOnGolf


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Journey Along the Shores – Part 14a (The Power of Volunteers)

The contributions that our volunteers make to Canal Shores continues to warm my heart and blow my mind.

In the fall of last year, among various off-season projects, we decided to rework bunkers and clean up around our 12th green.  That little project has become something much cooler, and it is all because of our volunteers.

NSCDSDudes.JPGI will get back to the bunker and green surrounds work.  First, I want to highlight the contributions of four students from North Shore Country Day School.  NSCDS has a senior service requirement.  CJ, Sam, Dillon, and AJ came to us and asked if they could do their service hours at Canal Shores.  It just so happened that we were hoping to add a native plant and habitat area behind the 12th green.  The adjacent sidewalk is heavily trafficked, and we thought the community would appreciate the natural beauty.  I asked The Boys (as they have come to be known) if they wanted to see our idea through – planning to fundraising to implementation – and they agreed.

It has been fun to see them work through the steps of the project.  Thus far, they have:

  • Met with me to learn about the changes to the area from a golf design perspective.
  • Met with Steve Neumann from Logic Lawn Care to work on a design, plant list, and budget for the work.
  • Done outreach to landscaping companies to try and get free top soil to recondition the area.
  • Researched fundraising platforms and provided me with their findings.
  • Met with our Superintendent Tom Tully to work through the details of handling the funds.

Making this progress hasn’t been easy because their various points of contact are busy people.  They are persistently taking action and making it happen though, and that is what I love about our volunteers.

This is the rough design The Boys worked on with Steve and his designer Ana.

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The design includes these native shrubs, flowers, and grasses:

 

The Boys also produced this video about the project.

 

And they have launched a fundraising campaign on IndieGogo.  Click here to check out their page.

I donated to their campaign and I hope you join me.  Not just because their work is helping us to progress in the transformation of Canal Shores, but also because theirs is exactly the kind of volunteerism that we should support.  They are role models for how to make a difference, and I believe that they deserve our recognition and donations.

In my next post, I’ll share more about the bunker and green surrounds work that the golf geeks crew did, but for now, support The Boys.

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More Journey Along the Shores posts:

 

 

Copyright 2016 – Jason Way, GeekedOnGolf