Short on length, long on fun: Squirrel Run Golf & Country Club in Plymouth, Massachusetts

PLYMOUTH, Mass. -- Squirrel Run Golf & Country Club takes less than three hours to play, is interesting, is in excellent condition and is inexpensive to play.

What's not to like?

For some, it might be the 2,859 yards in length, which is what you get when you have 15 par 3s. But for most golfers, Squirrel Run has enough length and more than enough interest.

"The most important part is that it's enjoyable," said Dave Moore, general manager and head professional at Squirrel Run. "I always tell everybody had they built more golf courses like this in the '90s, there would be more people playing golf today."

Located just a couple of miles away from where the Pilgrims landed, this par-57 layout that opened in 1991 has become a favorite among locals and a course that travelers to the area owe themselves to take in. It's the sister course to another favorite short course in the area, Village Links Golf Club. Golfers love to play before or after lunch or even late in the day, when Squirrel Run isn't conducting league play.

Squirrel Run features 15 par 3s

Designed by Ray Richards, the golf course actually starts out with a par 4 (for those who feel the need to hit driver) but quickly morphs into its par 3s, which are varied in character. Most of the holes are short, as you can tell by the overall length, but there are a few that are longer from the back tees, like the 14th, a 192-yard hole that favors a draw for right-handers.

The signature holes are the 13th and 16th, a couple of par 3s that play over water hazards. The 13th features a bridge on the right and a tree by the green. The 16th has a skinny but long green and a wetlands area with plenty of colorful flora.

The par 4s are all reachable by strong players, but you have to hit perfect shots. The ninth, for example, is just 230 yards from the blue tees but doglegs around tall pines. Even if you shape it perfectly, unless it's on the green, you could be faced with a difficult short-sided pitch out of rough that makes par a challenge.

Squirrel Run Golf & Country Club: The verdict

Squirrel Run Golf & Country Club really is a course for all levels. Good players would get bored playing it all the time, but it's great for a quick round and perfect for honing your wedge game. Low handicappers will hit mostly wedges and 9-irons on the par 3s, but there is the occasional hole that calls for a different club. And if you miss the greens, there are plenty of bunkers and different lies that call for a sharp short game.

For higher handicappers and beginners, Squirrel Run is nothing short of perfect. Anybody can play it, and you certainly don't need length. There are three sets of tees, and the forward tees are just more than 3,000 yards. The course is obviously family and junior friendly, and the leagues, junior programs (and junior rates) are evidence of that. The club also offers a practice facility that includes a bentgrass chipping green with greenside bunker and putting greens. The golf shop is also well stocked with men's and women's apparel as well as equipment.

Mike Bailey is a former Golf Advisor senior staff writer based in Houston. Focusing primarily on golf in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America with an occasional trip to Europe and beyond, he contributes course reviews, travel stories and features as well as the occasional equipment review. An award-winning writer and past president of Texas Golf Writers Association, he has more than 25 years in the golf industry. He has also been on staff at PGA Magazine, The Golfweek Group and AvidGolfer Magazine. Follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeBaileyGA and Instagram at @MikeStefanBailey.

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Short on length, long on fun: Squirrel Run Golf & Country Club in Plymouth, Massachusetts