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The Shattuck Golf Club in Jaffrey is much more than just a three-hole stretch on the back nine (“The Triangle”). Everything about The Shattuck stands head and shoulders above the competition and then some! From the friendly staff checking you in at the Pro Shop to the beautiful Dublin Road Tavern where you will certainly enjoy an after-round beverage, you can count on having a memorable experience when you visit this unique course!
I must admit I got a little nervous when reading the course book (a must have for your first visit). This helpful guide offers a few tips to enjoy your initial round at the Shattuck. “Do not keep score” is the first line you read. Next, if you would like to play in under 4 ½ hours, do not search for lost balls. I have played some narrow courses, some with little to no forgiveness along the boundaries, but reading this on my way to the first tee was a bit unsettling. What exactly was I getting myself into? Any anxiety that may have tried to creep its way in instantly evaporated when we pulled up to the first tee. A quick glance down the fairway revealed the majestic Mt. Monadnock rising in the background. My playing partner for the day and I hit a couple of crisp hybrids off the tee and with that, our round was underway…
The front nine at The Shattuck is a fantastic play! The way the course is cut through the natural landscape is equally challenging and impressive. Accuracy is key when playing here, and there are yellow stakes throughout to help give you a target on almost every hole. With plenty of doglegs and blind shots, if you like to just swing hard and see where it goes, this is not the course for you. However, given the breathtaking landscape highlighted by many water and stone features adding to its character, if you love golf, then this is indeed the course for you! The Shattuck ranks as the 43rd most difficult public course in the country. With hole names such as “The Gauntlet”, “Triple Threat”, and “Squeeze Play” among the first eight that you play, it is easy to see why Shattuck has earned its rank. Regardless of the intimidation factor, you should be having an enjoyable day by the time you are ascending the aptly named 9th hole “Shattuck Inn” to make the turn. The front nine here is truly a golfer’s delight. Be sure to replenish your refreshments in the Tavern before heading across the street for the back nine. Your good golf day is about to get a whole better!
Without question you have heard of the Bermuda Triangle. You may know about the Dragon’s Triangle found in the South Pacific Ocean. Here in New England, you might even have knowledge of the Bennington or Bridgewater Triangles (located in Vermont and Massachusetts respectively). You would certainly not want to get lost in any of these places of mystery, but there is one location in the southwestern part of New Hampshire that is home to a triangle where, if I get lost there, I hope nobody comes to find me!
Nobody will argue that the first nine holes of this course are a joy to play, but it is the back nine at The Shattuck that stands out. Hole #10, “Mountain Draw”, has an uphill tee shot followed by a downhill approach. One of the many photo-ops from around the course with Mt. Monadnock as your backdrop can be found from the top of this doglegged fairway. Make your way through the par-5 11th and you will find yourself at the entrance to “The Triangle”.
The moment you arrive at hole #12 you will be taken aback by the sight of the 17-acre beaver swamp as the canopied cart path opens, once again revealing the mountain in the background. Without question, #12 & #13 are the signature holes at The Shattuck. While most golf courses have just one signature hole, The Shattuck boasts two, or three if you include #14 (and a triangle does have three sides). The argument could even be made for more, as this course is fantastic all the way through. But let’s get lost in The Triangle for a bit. “Waterloo” is a daunting task as you look across a 190-yard carry over part of the lake. A solid drive can stick the narrow green, or there is a run of fairway to the right for a safer play. Perhaps no hole is more appropriately named than #13, “Temptation”. A short par-4 that wraps around the outer edge of the lake. Guarded on the right by an oak-lined, bunkered hillside, this picturesque hole dares you to see how much water you can bite off. Go for the green or play it safe to the middle of the fairway for a 100-yard approach, either way, this will probably be the hole you talk about the most on the ride home. Once you putt-out on 13, you have another one of the more memorable features of The Shattuck, the long and winding bridge across the lake. As we began our traverse, I was instantly taken back to my time playing golf in the south. Crossing the water, heading back into the woods, this did not feel like I was in New Hampshire. I have often spoken to the power of escapism in golf, and this particular path over the pond did just that. It was my personal favorite part of the day. “Alcatraz”, a short par-3 over an inlet of the swamp, completes the trifecta as you escape the clutches of The Triangle.
Get Lost In The Triangle
Just like everything else you will encounter during your time at The Shattuck, the “19th Hole” as we like to call it, is also a notch or two above the rest. The Dublin Road Tavern presents classy ambiance while retaining its New England charm. The hand-cut wooden tap handles behind the bar encapsulate this perfectly. The outdoor patio deck offers two floors of seating with a great view of the 9th green and 1st fairway, and of course, you guessed it, Mt. Monadnock! But seriously, very few clubhouses offer a better place to relive your great drives and recall your missed putts. And very few golf courses offer a better place to make those memories. The perfect way to end a perfect day!
“Double Trouble” is the next hole you come to, a long par-5 with a peninsula green. Yet another magnificent golf hole that is fun to play, regardless of your score. “Driver’s Delight” gives a green light off the tee! There are not many of these here, so grip it and rip it! Next up is a tempting, short par-4 that is reachable, although that may not be the smart play. However, considering this is the second to last hole and depending on your day, maybe it doesn’t matter. Next up, “Home” is a lovely finishing hole with a sloping doglegged fairway. Per the norm at Shattuck, a well-placed shot off the tee is rewarded with an approach that is as aesthetically pleasing as it is enjoyable to play.