If you’re fond of sand dunes, and salty air
Quaint little villages, here and there
And like to hit a three wood on in two
And have a putt for eagle with an ocean view,
You're sure to fall in love with old Cape Cod

With due apologies to Patti Paige, the Donald Ross Society remembers...

An Escape to the Cape

May 21 – 24, 2010

Often referred to as simply the Cape, and called Cape of Keel by early Norse explorers, while technically a peninsula, a constructed canal makes it unofficially one of the biggest barrier islands in the world. It shields much of the Massachusetts coastline from North Atlantic storm waves. This protection helps to erode the Cape shoreline at the expense of cliffs, while protecting towns from Fairhaven to Marshfield.

The Cape's small-town character and large beachfront attract heavy tourism during the summer months and its sand dunes attracted Donald Ross, and the work he did here inspired DRS Massachusetts members Ed Frackiewicz, Steve MacQuarrie, Jack McGeorge and David Osborn to arrange an outing for our members. With Outings Chairman Derek Dobbs’ coordination, we were given access to four Ross treasures at fine private clubs.




Friday May 21 – Pocasset Golf Club

The Ross group started began our odyssey at Pocasset Golf Club. Nestled in the quiet village of Pocasset, Massachusetts, just 3 miles from the Cape Cod Canal, Pocasset Golf Club earns its reputation as one of the Cape's finest golf courses. Originally built in 1916 and totally restored over the past five years, this Donald Ross design features rolling, natural terrain, and pristine conditions. Heather blows freely in the summer winds while strategically placed bunkers and gently contoured fairways provide a welcome challenge. Pocasset displays the Ross signature: elevated greens, a demand for correct club selection due to the effects of wind off the ocean, strategically placed bunkers, and quietly undulating fairways. This is a golf course that really feels like a walk with nature.

After 18 holes under sunny skies, the DRS enjoyed a dinner at the Pocasset Club and were joined by Bob Barry the President of the club.  The group was given a historical narrative of the club and course by Steve Carr, the superintendent whose family has been deeply involved since 1948 when Mr. Carr’s father bought the course for $20,000.

Although the club has undergone extensive changes over many decades, including the loss of several holes that bordered the water, the course has retained a remarkable continuity. We later learned that Ron Forse lent his architectural assistance in 2003. Again the Society was well received by the club and the staff that included general manager Chuck Wright.



Saturday May 22 – Plymouth Country Club

The following day the touring party met at Plymouth Golf Club that is celebrating its centennial. The weather again cooperated which allowed our members to enjoy one of the best par 69 courses in the country featuring 6,228 yards of golf from the longest tees. PCC originally featured 27 holes when chartered in 1908 by the affluent Hornblower family. Nine of the 27 holes were later abandoned to make room for a new state highway, and Ross then redesigned much of the remaining 18. Regarded as one of the finest courses in Massachusetts. PCC hosts the annual Hornblower Memorial tournament (now in its 5th decade), which draws some of the best amateur players from across New England and the Northeast. PCC, which overlooks Plymouth Bay, is located a few miles from Plymouth Rock, Plimoth Plantation and the Mayflower II near the junction of Route 3A and the Plimoth Plantation Highway.

Club President Bill Kelly and Director of Golf, A. J. Petrulax joined us for a tasty lunch prior to our golf. Lobster dinner followed the golf, and we were assured that the lobsters were freshly caught that day from the waters we saw from the golf course.


Sunday May 23 – Oyster Harbors Club

On Sunday our golfers crossed the Cape Cod Canal again to visit yet another Ross gem at Oyster Harbors in Osterville. A member of the club joined each group.

The greens are large, and the fairways are narrow. This course was built on rolling terrain and has two small ponds that come into play. Many of the fairways are tree lined, and four of them are doglegs. "Golf Digest" rated this as the 7th "Best in State" course for 1995-96, and 6th best in 1997-98. In addition "GOLFWEEK" ranked it 76th among "America's 100 Best Classical Courses" in 1997, 97th in 1998 and 85th in 1999.



From the longest tees it offers 6,800 yards of golf for a par of 72. The original course was designed by Ross, and opened in 1927.

We had the pleasure of a dinner in their spectacular clubhouse dining room and were joined by member Tim Nugent, who was instrumental in allowing us access to this magnificent property. The club staff prepared a sumptuous dinner and we lingered long retelling stories of our magnificent shots.


Monday May 24 – Hyannisport Club

The weather again held for our closing round at Hyannisport Club. The staff and members advised us that we drew a one out 50 day for weather considering the time of year. A member of the club joined each group. Hyannisport Club is a private, 18-hole golf club set on the southern coast of Cape Cod. Spectacular views of Nantucket Sound and historic Hyannis Port can be viewed from many of the golf holes. The salt-water marshes surrounding much of the front nine provide a summer home for many migratory birds. This is a beautiful part of Cape Cod that serves not only as a golf course but also as a wildlife habitat and sanctuary

Balancing both parts of this equation in perfect harmony is a rare accomplishment these days. As stewards of this property, the members feel that they have a tremendous responsibility to maintain and improve its ecological environment.”


Greens Chairman Rick Coville organized members to join us for golf, and dinner was on the balcony that overlooks the course.  The view from the clubhouse must be the best in golf and the Outings Chairman organized a sunset that could not be bettered. Architect Ron Forse who has been working with the club on their spectacular property for 20 years, joined us for golf and dinner. Forse Design started in 1989 and has worked on 43 Ross courses and 12 of Golfweek’s top 100 Classical courses, Ron provided some background on recent improvements that have been made with his professional assistance.

Our Outings Chairman and the members of our Massachusetts Organizing Committee presented each of these wonderful clubs with a commemorative Royal Dornoch Award plaque acknowledging their commitment to the preservation of Classic Golf Architecture, and our trip came to a close with many members looking forward to our Knoxville outing, which will include a visit to Holston Hills, in August.

The Escape to the Cape was a successful and memorable outing.


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