Golf Advisor Icon
Rating Index Rating
Tooltip Information Icon
3.0
2 Reviews (2)
5 Stars
0
4 Stars
0
3 Stars
2
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
0
Conditions
2.8
Value
3.8
Layout
4.0
Friendliness
4.0
Pace
3.2
Amenities
3.0
100.0%
Recommend this course
2 out of 2 reviews
Read Reviews
Average Rating
Avg Rating
3.0
1 Reviews (1)
5 Stars
0
4 Stars
0
3 Stars
1
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
0
Conditions
3.0
Value
4.0
Layout
4.0
Pace
3.0
Amenities
3.0
StaffFriendliness
4.0
100.0%
Recommend this course
1 out of 1 reviews
Read Reviews
Average Rating
Avg Rating
3.0
1 Reviews (1)
5 Stars
0
4 Stars
0
3 Stars
1
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
0
Conditions
3.0
Value
4.0
Layout
4.0
Pace
3.0
Amenities
3.0
StaffFriendliness
4.0
100.0%
Recommend this course
1 out of 1 reviews
Read Reviews

About

Holes 18
Type Public/Municipal
Par 70
Length 5812 yards
Slope 111
Rating 67.8

Course Details

Year Built 1898
Golf Season Open: 5/01 Closed: 10/31
Architect Fred White Donald Ross (1910) Alex Findlay (1898) Ross Forbes (2000)

Rentals/Services

Carts Yes
Clubs Yes
Pull-carts Yes

Practice/Instruction

Driving Range No
Golf School Academy Yes
Teaching Pro Yes
Putting Green Yes

Policies

Credit Cards Accepted VISA, MasterCard Welcomed
Metal Spikes Allowed No
Walking Allowed Yes

Food & Beverage

Bar, Grill, Restaurant

Reviews

3.0
2 Reviews (2)
Advanced Filters
Overall Rating
Recommended
Handicap
Age
Type of Golfer
Gender
Played On
Reviews 180
Handicap 0-4
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
3.0
Top 25 Contributor
Connecticut Advisor
First Time Playing

Lively Walk Around a Vintage Course

Bethlehem Country Club is situated in a quiet rural town where, rather than golf, other pastimes may be thought of first: camping, hiking, winter sports such as skiing. or moose-sighting. Perhaps surprisingly, then, this golf club is a main attraction in Bethlehem, along with another less than a mile down the road, the Maplewood Golf Course and Inn. And both courses happened to have been designed well over a century ago by Donald Ross: Maplewood was established in 1897, Bethlehem in 1909. Bethlehem is a short but solid layout and possesses several features that make it worth playing. Mainly these are the slopes, angles, elevation changes, and hazards exploited adeptly by Ross. Most of the holes play straightaway and a few bunkers populate the partially hilly terrain, but the fairway versions of these are smaller pots, with a few larger ones sprinkled here and there near some of the greens.

Bethlehem’s distinguishing feature, however, is Ross’ green design. Nearly every green on the outward half is quite small, even on a hole like the 428-yard opener, where the size of the first green, relative to the hole’s length, may seem shocking. The third hole presents another relatively small green for a long, 233-yard three-par playing downhill. Hole four, a 274-yard four-par set hard by the road to the right, features a green dominated by a central hump. It demands a near-perfect wedge if you hope to end up near the pin. It’s Donald Ross ingenuity at its finest. The fourth green comlex is also set among trees for further defense.

On the inward side, larger greens mix in with the small. Most of these are sloped significantly, often in ways that affect approach shots. Putting rigor intensifies on the back: you’ll encounter a two-tiered green at the twelfth and a small but fortress-like green at fourteen, guarded by a prominent frontal bunker. Only a few of the putting surfaces have sizable falloffs around them, and a couple use false fronts.

So what about the driving test here? It’s respectable, but your tee shots won’t won’t have to be as strong as your approaches: this is not a layout with tight fairways lined on both sides by thick woods. The back nine is more rigorous than the front, primarily because it has a few tougher holes, but nearly all fairways give plenty of room to maneuver--when woods appear, they lie toward the margins. The front side’s openness (it’s often field-like) is balanced by fairways only loosely lined by trees. You will have to contend with some side-slopes, most notably at thirteen, fourteen, and sixteen. And a small brook crosses fitteen in the landing zone.

Several 400-yard long par-4’s break up the numerous drive-and-pitch holes, Still, it is the par-threes that require highest precision at Bethlehem. Particularly impressive among these are the short but carefully guarded seventh and the uphill twelfth, with its outstanding green raised, two-tiered, and false-fronted. The two par-fives here are average (fifteen is the better of the two, but neither is dramatic). Among other holes, I particularly liked the uphill closer, a tough 4-par which ends with the clubhouse set to the right and overlooking the eighteenth green.

Conditioning was average today over these fairways and greens. The putting surfaces ran on the slow side, while the fairways were marred a bit by patchiness and some uneven cutting. Northern New Hampshire has been undergoing moderate drought conditions lately, so this has had mild effects and fairways and greenside areas. The roughs were acceptable.

Most Interesting Hole: 14th, par-4, 235.
The fourteenth may be the shortest four-par I can remember encountering in my travels. But it’s ultra-tight and tricky: the hole runs straight uphill and is guarded by tall, wide-spreading trees on the left. The fairway also slopes ruthlessly from right to left. You may be tempted to risk a driver in an attempt to hit the wee green, but large trees and woods should say otherwise. I played a three-hybrid and then sand wedge. If you miss this green left, a difficult recovery will follow.

Favorite Par-3: 13th, 175 yards
An uber-protected short hole, playing downhill to a small-ish green, this is one among a trio of hard par-threes at Bethlehem. Among the greenside hazards are falloffs around three sides of the surface; a visible, a barely visible, and a hidden bunker; a tall pine tree leftward; and some marshland behind. You may opt to bounce it on the green, but be careful not to be more than ten yards short--a cross bunker awaits the weakly-hit tee ball. Just for good measure are the inclusions of a stone wall, the cart path, and some boulders, all lying on the right.

Some Conclusions: Sloping at 111 from the blues and 110 white tees, Bethlehem will appeal to most average golfers who want some challenges mixed into an enjoyable and playable layout. The course features beautiful northern New Hampshire scenery with vistas to the White Mountains. I had fun during my first round here and realized that this should be a neat course for a future match with my son, who was not with me on this trip. A good player who bombs it, he likes courses with a measure of openness.

Conditions Average
Value Good
Layout Good
Friendliness Good
Pace Average
Amenities Average
Played On
Reviews 15
Handicap 10-14
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
3.0
First Time Playing
Fair weather
Used cart

Early Ross Course

An interesting short course especially if you are into playing Donald Ross courses. This 1909 course is an early Ross Design and was his 1st in NH. Short par 4's and a long par 3, only one forced carry off the tee and small undulating greens are found here which is typical of his design. The course was in ok shape after a tough winter but it should improve as the year goes by. The greens were medium-slow and the grass in the fairway was thin but velvety soft. A good course for high handicappers and beginners though not much of a challenge to good players. Its still a fun course i'd play again

Conditions Fair
Value Average
Friendliness Good
Pace Good
Amenities Average
Difficulty Fairly Easy
Nearby Courses
Bethlehem, New Hampshire
Semi-Private/Resort
4.4215588235
55
Franconia, New Hampshire
Private
0.0
0
Sugar Hill, New Hampshire
Public/Resort
0.0
0
Whitefield, New Hampshire
Public/Resort
0.0
0
Lisbon, New Hampshire
Semi-Private
0.0
0
Bretton Woods, New Hampshire
Resort
5.0
1
Bretton Woods, New Hampshire
Resort
4.939
83
Jefferson, New Hampshire
Public
3.0833333333
3
Concord, Vermont
Public
0.0
0
North Haverhill, New Hampshire
Semi-Private
0.0
0
Saint Johnsbury, Vermont
Semi-Private
4.2100588235
10

Stay & Play Offers

Now Reading