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A Hidden Gem in the Valley
You may not think of golf when you think of a campground. It’s probably the thoughts of cold beer or s’mores around the campfire that come to mind, but that’s about to change...
Hidden Valley RV and Golf Park in Derry is a hidden gem among the golf courses of New Hampshire. Nestled into the woods of East Derry, just west of the Sandown border, Hidden Valley is a welcoming retreat for any family looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city-life for a weekend or the entire summer. But it also has an executive 9-hole par 3 course as well as a championship 18 hole course.
When I was a younger, my family would turn our campground plot into a temporary abode for the dog days of summer, and we loved every minute of it. The campground owners were some of the nicest people, and sisters Cathy and Laurie are still there today. It was during our final summer there when original owner Ed Simonsen began to turn his airstrip (yes, he landed planes there) into what would become the par 3 course. I can actually say that I played on that course during it’s first days of life, long before it was ever open to the public.
In 1999, the par 3 course combined with the front nine to create the original 18 hole course. The back nine was later added in 2006 to complete the championship course that is there today that boasts USGA course and slope ratings of 67.8 and 124 respectively.
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The course is as narrow as it is peaceful, which can make for a long day if you’re hooking or slicing your tee shots. Despite the lack of room for error, The Valley is a very enjoyable course. You’ll almost always find the fairways and greens in tip-top shape, and when compared to other, more expensive courses, you notice the great value that this course has to offer.
When you make the turn, you’ll need to proceed to the other side of the campground for the back nine. Wait…what???
The back nine here lives up to its name, as it is detached from the front and located in the back of the campground. A dirt cart path takes you on a small ride through part of the campground where you’ll get a friendly wave from some campers and notice the unmistakable smell of a campfire. As you approach the 10th tee box, you can see the campground’s beach area across the pond to your left.
The back nine at Hidden Valley is a little more open than the front, at least the first few holes are, but you still need to exhibit good accuracy to avoid the thick woods that line this course. Challenging yet enjoyable, Hidden Valley is not for the faint of heart, but not so difficult that you don't want to play. You will have some tough shots, but you will also have some that you dream about!
Any length of stay at Hidden Valley is sure to be peaceful and tranquil, if it’s for a weekend, a summer, or just for a round of golf. When you’re checking in at the office or paying your green fees at the pro shop, you’ll be greeted with a friendly smile every time and made to feel welcomed. So enjoy your time at “The Valley” and remember, it’s fun to play in the sand, just make sure it’s at the beach and not in the bunker!