Golf participation continues to rise across the country but unfortunately, so are greens fees. Finding time to fit in 18 holes is hard enough, but the soaring costs are making it difficult to play as much as we would like to throughout the year. I find that I am constantly checking golf Apps, such as GolfNow, to find the best bang for my buck in determining where to play on a given week. There are many options here in the Lakes Region, so here is a guide to five courses that are worth playing but won’t force you to break the bank!
Den Brae in Sanbornton, New Hampshire
Den Brae is a 9-hole course located just off of Exit 22 in Sanbornton. It has a very welcoming atmosphere and is a fun course to play no matter what your handicap is. Even though it is only 9 holes, Den Brae has many unique holes that makes it worth your while to play 18, even though you are repeating holes. Den Brae is also perfect for getting in a quick 9 holes after work during the week to fine-tune your game. While many of the bigger courses charge upwards of $60-70 for 18 holes and a cart, Den Brae will only cost you around $40 on the weekend.
To visit Den Brae’s website, click here.
Ridgewood Country Club in Moultonborough, New Hampshire
Ridgewood Country Club is an 18-hole course that doesn’t play long, but offers a tough challenge. Most of the par 4’s aren’t over 350 yards but almost all of them have hazards either in the middle of your landing zone or protecting the left and right side of the fairway. The course also offers many amazing views of the mountains and boasts a water driving range. While they can be on the pricier side, I have found many deals on the weekends that allow me to play for around $45. The slightly higher price is definitely worth the longer drive through Meredith and Center Harbor.
To visit Ridgewood Country Club’s website, click here.
Pembroke Pines in Pembroke, New Hampshire
The first time I played Pembroke Pines in 2016, I was shocked at how many people were already on the course, even though I had a tee time at 7:00 am. I quickly figured out this was because it was a fun course but also very affordable. We couldn’t help but play here 4-5 times in 2016 because we never had to pay more than $35 for 18 holes and a cart on the weekends. Even though the course is usually packed, play moves quickly and the course is well maintained. They were in the process of revamping some of the holes last year, so this year promises to bring an even better experience.
To visit Pembroke Pine’s website, click here.
Canterbury Woods in Canterbury, New Hampshire
Maybe best known for its “Highway Hole” that runs along I-93 North, Canterbury Woods is a beautiful course that has many elevation changes, keeping golfers on their toes. Canterbury was very well maintained in 2016 and offered challenging pin placements that were different each time I went. While Canterbury can be pricey on the weekend, early morning tee times are a great way to save money, as those times will only cost you between $40-$50.
To visit Canterbury Wood’s website, click here.
Loudon Country Club in Loudon, New Hampshire
Located right off of Route 106 in Loudon, Loudon Country Club is a difficult 18-hole course that is a total bargain. The greens at Loudon are among the toughest in Central New Hampshire and are very difficult to hold on your approach shot. Once you get to the green, reading the breaks can be tough and many times they are opposite of what you think. This makes playing Loudon a challenge, but a fun challenge. You will need to be on your A-game to take on this course, but luckily you won’t have to empty your wallet. Prices through GolfNow typically range from $35-40 on the weekends for 18 holes and a cart. Franklin Savings Bank customers can also redeem their Buzz Points at Loudon Country Club, which makes this course an even better bargain!
To visit Loudon Country Club’s website, click here.