Bretwood Golf Course is a Public, 36 hole golf facility located in Keene, New Hampshire. The facility has two 18-hole golf courses, The North Course and The South Course.
Geoffrey Cornish designed the original 18 holes, nine of which opened in 1968 and the remaining nine open in July 1969. These nines haave been combined with two other nines designed by Hugh Barret. Barret's first nine opened in 1989 pairs with the original course's back nine to make what is now the North Course at Brentwent. The South Course at Brentwent pair's Barret's 1995 nine hole design with the original front nine.
The facility expanded to 27 holes in 1989, with the new holes designed by Hugh Barrett, who had worked with Cornish. Barrett blended the new holes in with the original back nine, to create what is now the North Course.
A 4th nine was completed in 1995. This 4th nine was also designed by Hugh Barrett. The South course as we know it today was completed in 1995, with the new nine, designed by Hugh Barrett, again blended with the original Cornish front nine.
Two 18 hole courses here routed along the Ashuelot River. The North course is around 7,000 yards, 73.7/136 from the gold tees. The South is 6,950, 73.2/133. Lots of water, tree lined fairways, elevation change, a very challenging course no matter while course you play.
These are old-style courses that go out and back, neither ninth hole finishes by the clubhouse.
Bretwood's North Course is generally considered the more interesting and challenging of its two routes. One of its attractions is the par-3 13th island green (OK, more accurately a peninsula and isthmus affair), not a long shot even from the back tees (145 yards), but if the ball doesn't land on the green, it's destined to land on (and then spectacularly off) the rocks. There is a huge double green shared by holes three and 11, and short but tough par-5s at five and seven, which calls for pinpoint placement on every shot. The second hole, if played from the championship tees, is a long whole measuring 612 yards.
The South opens with consecutive par-5s, and then sends golfers up a steep hill for an exciting downhill par-3. A series of short but tight holes follows. The course opens back up before the turn.
After a short par-5 10th, the inward bound nine on the South is particularly demanding. The 536-yard 13th seems like it will never end, and that's just a warm-up for holes that play around bends of the Ashuelot River or wetland ponds.
$41 (cart not included), played on Thursday, September 2011 at 2pm
Whenever I have a golf guest from outside New England come, I take them to Bretwood. The covered bridges, surrounding hills and river meandering through both the South and North course make this the quintessential New England course to play. And when you factor in very reasonable greens fees and the well-maintained, interesting course layouts on both the South and North courses, you can't go wrong. It seems better laid out from the back tees, but the forward tees still make it a somewhat forgiving but challenging course. Since there are no refreshment carts, I'd suggest bringing your own beverages. I play this course about 20 times a year and really appreciate the friendly, non-pretentious attitude of the players I've met there.
$56 (cart included), played on Saturday, July 2011 at 8am
This ranking could apply to either the North or the South Course. It's sort of been a secret my golfing friends and I like to have, but the truth is there's no more enjoyable place to spend a totally relaxing day golfing than Bretwood. Price, (though a great value), conditions, challenge, etc. don't seem to come into play as much as the sheer pleasure of being there. Stand in any spot and rotate 360 degrees and a smile will come to your face. Totally pressure free play. My favorite place to go. (I live about 50 miles away and make the trip 3-4 times a year). Have played about 55 different New England courses over the years, and when my golfing starts to frustrate me, I just return to Bretwood and get rejuvenated.
$41 (cart not included), played on Saturday, September 2010 at 6am
With the many diferent set of tee choices it is a challange for any leval. An enjoyable time making my way around the very large greens. Found the river that ran through the course to be a great test as well as the island green on #13. Front and back 9s are mixed well so there isn't really a time to relax. If you stay focused and keep your ball in play it is a great test and gives you the opportunity to use all the clubs in your bag.
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