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Massachusetts Golf Association. This association represents 400 clubs in the state and has information on courses that are open to the public. 300 Arnold Palmer Blvd., Norton, MA, 02766. 774/430–9100. www.mgalinks.org.
Although you’ll need to know someone who knows someone who is someone to play at Chestnut Hill’s Country Club (which is actually called the Country Club), one of the nation’s top-rated private courses, anyone can use the public courses in Boston, which are among the best in the country.
George Wright Golf Course. This hilly course is more challenging than the other Donald Ross–designed course at Franklin Park. It opens for the season starting in April each year. Tee times are necessary on weekends. 420 West St., Hyde Park, Boston, MA, 02136. From Forest Hills station, take the #50 bus, which goes right by the course. 617/364–2300. www.cityofbostongolf.com. 18 holes. 6600 yards. Par 70. Green Fee: weekends, $45 ($39 for residents); weekdays, $40 ($35 for residents). Forest Hills. Facilities: Putting green, golf carts, pull carts, rental clubs, pro shop, lessons, restaurant, bar.
William J. Devine Golf Course at Franklin Park. Donald Ross crafted this course in early 1896. It's open year-round, weather permitting. If you want to play 9 holes instead of 18, you can do so only after 1 pm on weekends. Charges for a golf cart tend to run about $11 to $20 extra per person. The course is part of delightful Franklin Park, which also has picnic facilities and jogging courses. Festivals and other outdoor activities take place all year. 1 Circuit Dr., Dorchester, Boston, MA, 02121. 617/265–4084. www.cityofbostongolf.com. 18 holes. 6009 yards. Par 70. Green fee: $40, weekdays; $45, weekends. Forest Hills. Facilities: Golf carts, pull carts, rental clubs, pro shop, lessons, restaurant.