“To call the greens postage stamp in size, would be an exaggeration.”
Dudley Hill Golf Club is located in Dudley, Massachusetts. It is 25 miles south of the city of Worcester Massachusetts. Dudley Hill’s original name was Nichols College Golf Course. It was owned and operated by Nichols College. The college is a highly regarded business school and attracts students from all over the United States and abroad. About a dozen years ago the college sold it to a private owner. It was renamed Dudley Hill Golf Club after the hill in which the college sits, just above the course. It was designed in 1926 by Devereaux Emmett. Two years after Emmett designed the famous Congressional Country Club in Bethesda,Maryland.
On to the golf. Dudley Hill is a 9 hole course. It’s a Par 36 with a rating of 69.7 and a slope of 123 for 18 holes. From the tips it is 3,233 yards. From the whites and red tees it is 3,007 and 2,594 respectively. At first glance, the Hill comes across as a bomber’s paradise. It can be. The fairways are very, very wide. Some as much as 45 yards, and crossing into other fairways doesn’t generally punish the tee ball. The trick is don’t go left. The first 7 holes, woods, out of bounds and the like are all to the left. Being that the fairways are generous, and trouble is basically a one way miss, sand traps are not a major issue, and water really comes into play on two holes, with a severe right side slice.
One would think that scoring should be a breeze. Not the case. One would wonder how a relatively short, wide open course would earn a respectable 123 slope. Well it’s in the greens and bluegrass/bentgrass mix collars that surround the greens. To call the greens postage stamp in size, would be an exaggeration. They are tiny, hard and speedy. To get a 30 foot putt at Dudley Hill is nearly impossible. Long putts would be in the 20 foot range. While the land surrounding the greens is of the slight rolling variety, the greens themselves are fairly flat. There are slight breaks left and right. The plan of attack, is to go no farther out from either edge and firm. Over reading is easy. When one looks at the lay of the land around the greens, don’t over read, center cut to edge, and firm will do the trick. Approach shots to these greens can be a nightmare. With the thick collars, bump and runs are a marginal success at best. More often than not they get stuck in the bluegrass/bentgrass mix. Pin seeking is as nearly impossible. The size and firmness of the greens almost always won’t allow it. So, landing the ball , usually 5 to 10 yards in front, with one hop, and a little roll usually will find you within 10 feet or better of the cup. Remember edge or center, firm.
The condition of the course is from very good to excellent. The greens roll true and are in good condition. Irrigation for the course is supplied from the small man made pond.
The staff is friendly and accommodating. Tee times are readily available. Except during League nights or during Members Tournaments. Pace of play is usually quick. Depending on the time of day, an average 18 hole round can be played in 4 hours or less. By today’s standards, that is a plus. I highly recommend this little known, out of the way venue, for an enjoyable day of golf.