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Earl October is great for golf on the Cape. You'll have a blast

You have about 20 public access courses on the Cape, and the muni's (IMHO) are your best bet. I would definitely play the following

Highland Links - 9 hole course in Truro. Truly a unique experience, closest thing you'll have to a true Links experienceOlde Barnstable - 18 hole course designed by Mark Mungeam. Great walking course, good mix of fun holes. Always in good shapeBass River - 18 hole old Donald Ross (or so they claim). Short, but fun. If you want to make a really fun 36 hole day, play bass river in the morning and cross the street to play Blue Rocks - an 18 hole par 3 course where you need your entire bag sans DriverBeyond that, The two captains courses (Brian silva) are very well regarded. I like them, but would be after the above. The Dennis courses are also well regarded, but I haven't played them in a long time, so I'll let someone else chime in

For other public fee (non muni courses), I would say The Cape Club, Cape Cod CC, and Brookside are all fun courses

Now, If you're a member of a private club, the private courses on the cape in early October can be accessible if your pro makes a call. Not sure if that will be the case during COVID, but I know plenty of people who have played the old Cape courses that way. Maybe not Eastward Ho!, but Woods Hole, Oyster Harbors, Pocasset, Wianno, Cummaquid, Hyannisport are all worth trying to get access to. Also, if you stay at Wequasset Inn, you get access to Cape Cod National and if you stay at Ocean Edge, you get access to their golf club too. I suspect you can get on both in October, though, without even staying there

As far as where to stay, I would gravitate towards Chatham. Just a cool town in the fall. No idea how COVID will impact it, but there are decent restaurants in town and a couple of really nice places to stay (Chatham Bars, Wequasset) if you want to break the bank but also plenty of airbnbs as well. There are plenty of hotels / motels in Hyannis, but they're very sterile. Ptown is too far

Lastly, if you want to have a true "woke golf experience", check out Marion Golf Club in Marion, MA. It's not on the cape, but is a 9 hole course designed by George Thomas. To say it is rough around the edges would probably be too kind, but it is one fun golf course. has stone walls protecting a number of part 3's and is really a great experience. You'll end up playing 9, and wanting to go right back out and play more. It cost $13 when I played in June and was the best $13 I ever spent. It's probably 20-30 minutes from the bridge to the Cape

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My favorites on the Cape are Captains (Port and Starboard) and Cranberry Valley in Harwich. Very nice courses. The others mentioned above are also pretty nice as well and I would add Old Barnstable and Bayberry to the list as well. Also if you are in the Chatham area play the 9 hole course behind Chatham Bars Inn - nothing special but great views of the ocean and just a fun time.

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Olde Barnstable is my home course. Cant recommend it enough. But not so much Hyannis which is the sister course. It's hilly and awkward and not easy to navigate IMO. And you might want to search the two courses at Pinehills just off the Cape in Plymouth. Right off the highway and accessible. I've played the Nicklaus. Very nice.

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I’ll add Bayberry Hills in West Yarmouth, which hasn’t been mentioned above. I played it last week for the first time in years. The course was in very good and is a good layout. They also have a good practice area.

I’m also a fan of Olde Barnstable, both Dennis courses, Captains, and Cranberry Valley.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Town of Barnstable has two muni's - Olde Barnstable Fairgrounds and Hyannis Golf Course.  Town residents can join for ~$1200 for an adult.  There are other deals (juniors, seniors, family, etc.), but is a pretty good deal.  There is a lottery tee time system available and member only tee time windows that make it fairly easy to get a good tee time on weekend mornings.  You can also join as a non town resident, I think for an extra $500 or so.  I don't know the deals in other towns, but many have two muni's and would imagine deals are very similar.


 Given that Barnstable, Dennis, Yarmouth, and Harwich all have two muni courses, not to mention another 3 or 4 towns that have a single muni, there is a fair bit of competition amongst the towns for golfer dollars.  IMHO, this is great for golfers - keeps the pressure on the towns to maintain and keep the muni's in good shape.  It also keeps prices manageable (although still expensive for visitors).  Relative to other areas, I think the muni offerings on the Cape are outstanding.  You could spend a week on the cape and only play muni courses and not play them all

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Cape Courses:  

  • Dennis Muni’s Pines and Highlands - Both excellent courses.  Replay on other for only cart fee.
  • Cranberry Valley:Excellent Course, fairly bland as far as difficulty
  • Bayberry Hills:  Similar to CV as far conditions and layout.
  • Captains:  Probably the most challenging of the above, but generally crowded and pricey.
  • Bass River:  I think this is a nice course.  Some interesting holes and generally very good conditions.
  • The Cape Club:  Over priced and not worth the extra $.  Rather play others or Pine Hills
  • Falmouth CC:  Decent course, but nothing really stands out,  Still a decent play.  Has  single golf boards that you can rent.
  • Brookside in Bourne (near Bridge).  Very good conditions, but tract winds through neighborhood.  4 or 5 holes with blind shots and undulating fairways .  Holes 3, 4 and one other have side sloping fairways, so if you hit a ball down the middle, it can roll to the edge.
  • Sandwich Hollows.  Hilly, and a fun tract, but when I played 4 weeks ago, several areas of burnt fairways and no real second cut in the rough.  Less expensive than others, but conditions are not as good.  Still a decent play for the $.
  • Quashnet - This is my hidden gem.  Some target golf, some grip and rip, some fitness.  Conditions aren’t as good as some of the more well know tracts, but every hole is interesting.  Not crowded.

I think the deal is an annual membership at the Dennis courses.  $775 for resident, $1200 for non.  Gives unlimited golf on both courses, preferred tee times, and some other perks.  Average greens fees for the w/e are $69 before 11 AM, $55 after (walking).  Play 20X a year and your membership pays for itself.  If you have a house in Dennis,  14X is all you need.


I’d play the top five on the list And Quashnet any day of the week.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

I would swap out Olde Barnstable for Captain's Port.  Part of that is personal preference, but also, Olde Barney is probably only 15 minutes from when you cross the Sagamore so makes for an easier drive that morning.   


The other thought is you could do both Captains Courses instead of the Dennis courses if you're nervous around aeration (although I admittedly don't know when Captains aerated)

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14 hours ago, socccer4life3 said:

thanks for the heads up.  as it is just the cost of the cart fee, do you think by the 15th the greens will be recovered enough to make it worth playing

Tough to say. The weather has been unusual the last few weeks even by New England standards. It’s been warm then unseasonably cool with almost no rain. I really like both Dennis courses so if you’re only paying a cart fee it might be worth the chance.  

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  • 5 months later...

One addition that hasn’t been mentioned on this thread is Cape Cod Country Club in Falmouth.  Is rumored to be closing in a couple of years as the ownership wants to turn it into a solar farm.  Course was apparently designed by Devereux Emmet and has some really fun holes.  Given its future appears short lived, make sure you get out this season in case ownership is successful with their transition to solar

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On 3/31/2021 at 1:13 PM, kevinricci said:

Book your tee-times early as possible. My buddy is a member at Cranberry Valley and was unable to get a tee-time at all last July. 


This is just not possible or your buddy doesn't understand the system. CV uses the "Chelsea System" to allocate member tee times in the summer and times are allocated to people based on how little they play. Somebody who 'wasn't able' to get a tee time in a given week would be first in line the next week.


The only way your buddy *could* get hosed is if his three playing partners play a lot so he's always getting lumped into a high-point group, despite not having any points himself. I had zero issues getting out last year...but I tend to not play at prime times.

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