Course Spotlight

Best Public Golf Courses in Boston

By Kris Hart, PGA
Published on

Being an avid golfer, and now PGA of America Member, who lived in the Boston area, I’ve been able to play a lot of different golf courses. The below list highlights some of the best public golf courses in Boston (within 45 mins) which you can play (public).
I chose courses within 45 minutes because that is how far I am willing to drive on an average day to play a regular weekend round of golf.
Gannon Municipal Golf Course
(Photo courtesy of Gannon Municipal Golf Course)
(Photo courtesy of Gannon Municipal Golf Course)
Located in Lynn, Massachusetts and 24 minutes away from Boston, I played this course for the first time at the beginning of 2020 and was really impressed. The course has significant undulation, was in great shape, and architecture of the course provided a good challenge with a variety of holes making you hit every club in the bag.
The course was founded in 1881 and has a rich history. You can see the city of Boston skyline from a couple of tee boxes which is pretty cool. I found the greens fees very reasonable for a decent public course ($47 weekdays and $55 on weekends). After the round my friends and I went into the bar to find cheap beers, nice people and a fun environment. The only downside to the course is that it is semi-private and may be pretty busy during peak times. Check out Gannon as it is a hidden gem and one of the best public golf courses in Boston.
Red Tail Golf Club
Red Tail is an awesome golf course. It's in Devens, which is 45 minutes from Boston but the layout of the course, condition and overall experience at this facility makes it worth the trip.
And while this course is a little more expensive than others on this list, you get what you pay for. There are many unique features on Red Tail, including an awesome 17-18th hole finish which presents a number of risk/reward shots. The course is carved into the woods and is really special to play in the fall when the foliage adds to the beauty of the course. The downside to this course is the driving distance to get there, but it's well worth the trip.
Brookline Golf Course
Located in Brookline and 22 minutes from Boston city center, this golf course has a variety of names . . . Robert T. Lynch, Putterham Meadows and Brookline Golf Course. It's located just west of the city and has a great 18 hole layout and some of the best greens around Boston.
(Via Facebook/Brookline Golf Course)
(Via Facebook/Brookline Golf Course)
There is a full driving range available, too, and it's one of the best in Beantown because it's unique compared to other Boston area golf courses. The course costs are reasonable ($40 on a weekday and $52 on a weekend), and you can't beat a twilight rate of $20 in the summer.
The downside to this course is that many of the fairways are in rough shape. The grass is not consistent, there are bumps and burnt out spots. If you play the course with preferred lies in the fairways, everything is pretty good though.
George Wright Golf Course
This is a great facility owned and operated by the City of Boston. In Hyde Park about 20 minutes from city center, the course layout is fantastic and designed by legendary architect Donald Ross.
No. 17 at George Wright.
No. 17 at George Wright.
The course is priced similar to other municipal courses in the Boston area ($62 on weekends and $55 weekdays). George Wright has a very large membership making it quite difficult to get a tee time and the rounds can be slow sometimes. The course is usually in pretty good condition and provides a good challenge for those who play it.
If you are a resident of the City of Boston, the season membership is pretty reasonable and provides you the opportunity to play the sister course, William Devine, in Dorchester, too. Warning: It sells out fast!
Braintree Municipal Golf Course
Even though Braintree may be located a bit further from the city, getting to the course is pretty easy since you just take Interstate 93 south and the course is located right off the highway. It's less than 20 minutes.
Braintree is a fun golf course to play. The holes are not too challenging and for a weekend golfer, the best word to describe the course is, well, fun! The price to play is similar to other public golf courses in the Boston area ($55 on weekdays and $66 on weekends). It also has another steal of a twilight rate: After 4 p.m., you can play for less than $40.
South Shore Country Club
This is a really nice public golf course owned by the town of Hingham. The course has a good variety of holes, including a drivable par 4 to start off the round. The greens have some significant slope to them, making putting a challenge . . . especially if the greens are cut and rolling fast in the summer.
(Via Facebook)
(Via Facebook)
The cost to play the course in line with other Boston public spots ($55 on weekdays and $75 on weekends). This course has a busy membership so it can be harder to get a tee time during peak times. South Shore also has a neat bar set-up with multiple bowling alleys and golf simulators, as well as a nice pool for families, making it a great place to hang out after the round and enjoy.