Saturday, May 12, 2012

Golfing on the North Shore

This morning at Olde Salem Green Golf Course in Salem, MA.

Friends Marc Hawlena and Marilyn Whelan at number seven tee box, with number six green in the background.

Ed Henning approaching number seven green.  Regulars play this right to left.

As one of the avid golfers who work at the Hawthorne Hotel, I'm often asked by our hotel guests for a recommendation for a golf course in the area. I usually try to find out what kind of golf experience they are seeking, and the timing, as there are a number of 9-hole tracks around, with fewer 18-hole courses. And of course, the demand is much higher on weekends and late afternoons during the week.

Here are my choices, with notes about each.  They are listed in order of proximity to the Hawthorne Hotel.

In Salem--
Olde Salem Greens -- 9-holes, public, preferential rates for Salem residents.
Tee-times can be reserved on the day before by calling 978-744-2124. You may call for a tee-time six days in advance or fewer, but the early bird gets the best ones.  Pass-holders get to call seven days in advance.  This information was what I was told on May 13, 2012.  However, their website says otherwise, but I think the website is carrying old news.

Kernwood Country Club -- 18-holes, very private, but your club may have a reciprocal. Check with your home club.

In Beverly --
Beverly Country Club -- 18-holes, you can call five days in advance or fewer.  Again, the earlier the better is the case for preferred times. Not too far from the Hawthorne Hotel; it is only about a 10 to 15 minute drive there. Call 978-922-9072

In Wenham -- (Both courses are a 20-minute drive from the Hawthorne Hotel, unless you're going at 5:50 am -- I can make it then in about 12 minutes.) 

Lakeview Golf Course -- 9-holes, easy executive track. Fairly easy to get out on this course. Call 978 468-9584 to check availability and make reservations for a tee time if you want one.

Wenham Country Club -- 18-holes, semi-private course with only one par 5 and a number of par threes and fours. This is a tougher course than it appears on the scorecard. You need to be accurate or you can be in big trouble. Good availability on weekdays and after Noon on weekends. 978-468-4714 You can make tee-times for the weekend on the Thursday before.  Check with them about credit/debit cards.  They may only accept cash so best to ask.

In Peabody --
The Meadows -- 18-holes, public course, but in excellent condition and very challenging. Preference given to residents of Peabody, but if you are able to golf in the middle of the day, you will probably be able to get out. Call 978-532-9390. Reservations taken 3-days out and not sooner.  This course is about a 12-15-minute drive from the Hawthorne Hotel.

In Middleton -- (about 25 minutes from the Hawthorne Hotel)
Middleton Golf Course -- 18-hole, all par three holes. Very well maintained and challenging. If you need to work on your short game, you will look long and hard to find a course of this caliber and availability. You can book tee-times by phone or on their website.  Call ahead though to make sure they are not having some kind of event there, although most of their events are open to the public, but you need to reserve for them. Phone 978-774-4075

In Essex --  (about 25 minutes from the Hawthorne Hotel)
Cape Ann Golf Course. 
While only 9-holes, this is one of the most beautifully scenic golf courses around.  One hole is nearly an island green rising up out of the salt marsh.  Views out over the salt marshes along the fourth, sixth and seventh holes at Cape Ann combine with a challenging track to make a lovely round of golf.  Nice clubhouse for a beer or a bite to eat after your round. Tee times may be reserved up to 7 days in advance through the Pro Shop by calling 978.768.7544

(If you have a non-golfer traveling with you, the town of Essex Ma. is quite compact and has a lot of antique stores to discover.  Also it is home to a number of really good seafood restaurants including Woodman's and Farnham's)

In Lynnfield -- (about 25 minutes from the Hawthorne Hotel)
Sagamore Springs Golf Course -- 18-hole regulation public course. You may call 4 days out for a tee time. Call 781-592-8238 for reservations.

If you have any other questions regarding golf, or the Hawthorne Hotel, post a comment to this BLOG, and I will instantly be sent an e-mail. I'll get back to you if you include your information. Or you can call the hotel at 978-744-4080.

Hit them long and straight!



  1. What an excellent idea to have posted this list of recommended courses for guests! If you haven't done so yet I think it would be a great idea to print this out and have it available at the front desk to hand out to golfing guests - I bet they'd really appreciate it! I know I would if I ever got around to picking up a club again!

  2. The fact you leave out Gannon (Happy Valley), perhaps leaps and bounds better than every public course listed here besides posibly the Meadows is really upsetting.

  3. I wish I could recommend Ganon but it is so incredibly hard to get out to play there that I based my article on courses where I thought our guests might be able to actually play. Have things loosened up at Ganon, because in prior years you virtually had to be a resident of Lynn and a season pass-holder to get out there?

  4. Honestly, who needs Ganon when there are so many other options in the area? You shouldn't have to go through all that trouble just to be able to play.