Soar with the Red Tail Golf Club outside Boston

DEVENS, Mass. -- Red Tail Golf Club has soared above the competition to became arguably the best public golf course in the greater Boston area.

Golfweek ranks Red Tail no. 1 among the top public golf courses in the entire state of Massachusetts for 2013, and GolfNow.com users rated Red Tail no. 24 nationally out of more than 4,000 courses in the network.

The Brian Silva design, located roughly 45 miles northwest of downtown Boston, opened in 2001 on 196 acres that used to be a part of Fort Devens, which was decommissioned in 1996.

The 7,006-yard course, named after the hawks that fly overhead, delivers moments of sublime scenery mixed with the terror of trying to execute a shot over a gaping bunker or deep ravine.

Red Tail, the first Audubon International Signature Sanctuary golf course in New England, hosted the 2009 U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links.

There's only one water hazard to fear, the pond guarding the final green of a long par 5. Instead of ball-gobbling hazards, Silva uses intimidating sandy waste areas and massive bunkers to keep players on edge.

Several giant waste areas make appearances on the par 3s of the back nine, no. 11 and no. 15, and the back-to-back strong par 4s at no. 16 and no. 17.

Linger longer after the round with lunch or dinner on the patio of the clubhouse's Red Tail Tavern, which overlooks the 18th green.

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed and photographed more than 1,000 courses and written about golf destinations in 20 countries for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Instagram at @jasondeegangolfpass and Twitter at @WorldGolfer.

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There are subtle signs of the historical significance of the land now occupied by the Red Tail Golf Club in Devens, Mass. It's hard to fathom that once upon a time barrack after barrack of Fort Devens once lined the midsection of the golf course where holes 7, 8, 9, 10, 12 and 13 now reside. These days, Red Tail is tops among the Boston area's best public golf courses. And it's a destination play worth finding.
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Soar with the Red Tail Golf Club outside Boston