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5.0
5 Reviews (5)
5 Stars
4
4 Stars
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0
1 Stars
0
Conditions
4.9
Value
5.0
Layout
4.7
Friendliness
5.0
Pace
4.3
Amenities
4.3
100.0%
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5 out of 5 reviews
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5.0
1 Reviews (1)
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Conditions
5.0
Value
5.0
Layout
5.0
Pace
4.0
Amenities
5.0
StaffFriendliness
5.0
100.0%
Recommend this course
1 out of 1 reviews
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Average Rating
Avg Rating
5.0
1 Reviews (1)
5 Stars
1
4 Stars
0
3 Stars
0
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
0
Conditions
5.0
Value
5.0
Layout
5.0
Pace
4.0
Amenities
5.0
StaffFriendliness
5.0
100.0%
Recommend this course
1 out of 1 reviews
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About

Holes 18
Type Public
Par 72
Length 6952 yards
Slope 132
Rating 73.5

Course Details

Year Built 1968
Greens Penncross Bentgrass
Golf Season Open: 4/01 Closed: 11/15
Architect Geoffrey Cornish (1968) Bill Robinson (1968)

Rentals/Services

Carts Yes
Clubs Yes
Pull-carts Yes

Practice/Instruction

Driving Range Yes
Bunker Yes
Pitching/Chipping Area Yes
Putting Green Yes

Policies

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

Food & Beverage

Snacks

Available Facilities

Banquet Facilities

Reviews

5.0
5 Reviews (5)
Advanced Filters
Overall Rating
Recommended
Handicap
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Type of Golfer
Gender
Played On
Reviews 180
Handicap 0-4
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Top 25 Contributor
Connecticut Advisor
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Walked

Premier Test of Golf

Having played and been favorably impressed by the Bretwood North Course in the late 90’s, it seemed a good idea to try the South. I was more than glad I did.

The dominant opinion about Geoffrey Cornish’s work in the golfing press seems to be this: it’s good overall, but his courses just aren’t hard enough because they’re made, essentially, for average golfers. Surprising as this may seem, I’ve read the same version of this several times. Well, maybe none of these gentlemen has played either of Bretwood's courses from the back tees. Just a few facts on the South layout: A) course rating 73.2 against par of 72; B) Slope 133; C) seven four-pars in excess of 400 yards; D) lots of water, some woods, only two straight holes and plenty of narrow ones, forced carries, doglegs, perched greens with lots of mounding and, around several of them, big falloffs.

Toughness, however, shouldn’t be the main measure of a golf course, though it’s fine for golfers to ‘rate’ layouts with an eye to it. But the South also benefits from a varied and balanced design, featuring high quality turf along with smooth and fast greens that have wide-ranging shapes and contours. The layout rounds things out with several well-incorporated elevation changes, some very difficult holes (especially a couple of monster par-fours) and one of the best par-fives--#13, the signature hole--I’ve played anywhere.

Although a good portion of the course is relatively level, the careful design of Cornish and Hugh Barrett (his co-designer) more than compensates. One of the key features is the relationship established between the length of each hole and corresponding width of its fairway: longer par-4’s (especially) almost always have more generous fairways; shorter ones are mostly tight. This may seem only logical, but I’ve been noticing that this tendency is mainly prevalent on better-designed golf courses like Bretwood. Moreover, on the short holes the hazards are more threatening and closer to landing zones. The net effect for me was this: I could not take my driver out and slash away because trying to get near the greens on the smaller par-4’s involved big risks. In fact, what’s at stake here is making sure you hit these tighter fairways, rather than landing in a bunker that squeezes any one of them, or being blocked by any of the scattered copses on their borders, or, worse still, splashing a ball into the Ashuelot River, which snakes its way around the margins of many of Bretwood’s holes. My 3-hybrid, then, got a workout from many tees. Longer par-4’s and par-fives, on the other hand, provide ample room for cutting loose with a driver, even though their landing zones are often offset or angled or doglegged.

Bretwood’s conditioning, outstanding for a public course, is highlighted by greens that roll beautifully and true, by well-kept and properly cut fringes, fairways and roughs, and by manicured tees.

Since all of the holes on the South are at least good, here are highlights of the best:
1)..Even though every par-3 is strong here, two of them are outstanding. The third plays from a high tee down to a sizable green. It will test not only your clubbing skills but your pitching/bunker game, as well, if you miss it in regulation. Also playing steeply downhill and yet with a forced carry over a U-shaped pond, the sixteenth is a masterpiece of aesthetics, bunkering, and ground contouring--both on and around the putting surface.
2) The second hole is a classic 5-par whose fairway arcs gently toward a green set atop a hill. At 552, it’s reachable by bombers, so most of us will need three controlled strikes to find a green tilted back to front.
3) Front and back halves are each closed out by a pair of rigorous and lengthy par-4’s, but the standouts are 9 and 18. Nine (462) has an almost wide-open feel that encourages you to smash your driver, but you’ll still need a precise approach shot to land anywhere near the pin on its huge putting surface that rolls like a links-style green. Eighteen (466) demands a long drive, ideally drawn, that lands somewhere on the fairway if you hope to hit this green on your second.
4) Fifteen, the #2 index, pulls out all the stops: bunkered landing zone with water threatening on the right; a wide but shallow green fronted by water and backed by bunkers; slopes on the putting surface that encourage three putts.
5) My favorite hole is thirteen, a sprawling uphill 5-par dominated by its big slopes and bunkers, swerving rightward as you play your second up the hill, and concluding on a pitched green with a large falloff on its right flank. Played in the wind, this hole becomes even more beastly--as it was today. Into a strong breeze, I knocked down a six-iron softly and found the green. A great challenge.

Some Conclusions: Mr. Tim Gavrich, a Senior Writer for this publication, cited both of Bretwood’s layouts as “a good place to start” a well-planned mountain road trip in New Hampshire (see article: June 12, 2020). A native son of Connecticut, Mr. Gavrich knows New England golf as well as anyone. Other widely-known publications have also chosen Bretwood for their lists of first-rate N.H. destinations. How can they not? Here you’ll play over great terrain for golf within a postcard-like country setting, a setting that is equaled by the course’s terrific layout. Today, by the close of the outward half, I realized that the South possessed everything necessary for top-notch golf. It only got better on the back.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Extremely Challenging
Played On
Reviews 2
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
Incentivized Review
5.0
Previously Played
Windy weather
Walked

Best kept Secret in NH

We have played this course both last and this year. A family run course (which is fairly uncommon nowadays) and you might see the senior of the family driving around checking up on the maintenance, pace of play or just to say Hi.The fairway and greens are close to country club conditions. The variety of holes especially between nines is a nice change as well... mounded and rolling fairways with some dog legs and carry waters from the brook running throughout the course. As you are waking or riding you have covered bridges with magnificat flower boxes. All depicting NH at it's finest! Hightly recommend either the North or the South course which one could easily do 36 holes in a day.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Average
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 47
Handicap 15-19
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Top 1000 Contributor
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Used cart

Fantastic 36 hole Course

I found this course online a few months back and desperately wanted to play all 36 holes in one day prior to moving out of the area. I was able to drive up last weekend and play all 36. I was very impressed. The staff is very friendly which is typically the case with lots of privately owned courses. The conditions were good. The layout was great. The entire course is built alongside a river and although this means there are lots of water hazards, it's also aesthetically pleasing. People say that the north course is much preferred over the south and although I would agree, I definitely enjoyed playing both. The pace of play was a little slow, but I think that was more due to the amazing weather and the fact that it was a weekend. I was told by several people that it isn't typically that slow. I drove 2 hours each way to get up there and I am very pleased with my decision.

Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Fair
Amenities Good
Difficulty Fairly Easy
Played On
Reviews 1
Handicap 15-19
Skill Beginner
Plays Once a month
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Previously Played
Perfect weather
Used cart

My Course of Preference

This course is honestly my favorite in the Keene Area. I always have a great time no matter what the weather and the staff work hard to ensure whether you booked a tee time or not that you are able to get onto the course as quickly as possible.

The course itself has its relatively easy hold, i.e. the 1st hole is a straightaway par 4 that can easily be a birdie hole to boost your confidence. I am a huge fan of the "island" or "peninsula" par 3. Its a short shot, but can be very intimidating. This course really caters to all levels of golfers and I bring my father in law and friends here every time they visit.

You will not regret playing here.

Conditions Good
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Average
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 10
Handicap 25+
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Previously Played
Perfect weather
Walked

Exceptional 36 Holes

I took up golf again in 2016 after 40 years away from it. I got to a number of courses, but most of the time I played Bretwood. They have a very reasonable membership rate ($1100/year i think) and this place is an amazing value - a local treasure if you like golf.

I picked a random fall date for this review, since I played here at least twice a week and the quality was consistent.

The South course is quite open, but with some well guarded greens and some very sneaky water on the left (the Ashuelot River) that a couple of times looks easy to avoid but snakes further into center than expected. On these tee shots play it safe to the right.

As an older guy with a max drive of about 210, I play from the whites. Here, the front nine is more forgiving than the back, and the back nine's architechture is stunning. The whole course is very scenic, with covered bridge river and stream crossings and there's seldom ever an issue with balls crossing to other holes.

For a budget-friendly course, I'm amazed at the creative design, the condition and the beauty of this course. It will challenge you from the tips, greens are in nice shape (OK there are always a few ball holes in greens, but people generally make the effort here) and is very playable for the high handicap folks. I always feel like I'm on an expensive club course when I play here.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Difficulty Moderate
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