Walpole Country Club

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Head Golf Professional

Jake Leech, PGA

Jake is a graduate from Ferris State University in Big Rapids, MI in which he was enrolled in their Professional Golf Management Program. Jake spent his first few years in the golf business by splitting his time between Evanston Golf Club in Skokie, IL and Jupiter Hills Club in Tequesta, FL. He moved to New England and worked as a First Assistant at Dedham Country and Polo Club before moving over to Charles River Country Club. Jake also gained experience as a Head Golf Professional at Tedesco Country Club in Marblehead, and Plymouth Country Club (MA). Jake’s passion for golf includes teaching all level of players, playing the game and all things related to this wonderful game.

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Course Tour

The 1st at Walpole CC is one of the more visually intimidating opening holes in Massachusetts. Measuring only 364 yards from the back tees, a carry of 160 to 200 yards is needed to clear the water from those markers. From the white tees, the carry can be from 140 to 180 yards. And from the red markers, it is still over 80 yards. A bunker guards the landing area along the right side of the fairway, and three more protect this relatively flat green.

The 2nd hole gives a player a risk/reward decision to make off the tee. You can try to clear the two bunkers at the turn off the dogleg left. If you’re successful, you’ll have a considerably shorter second shot to the green. Or you can take the conservative route and play to the right of those fairway bunkers. In either case, a deep bunker waits at the front of the green for those second shots not cleanly struck. The green slopes considerably—even severely—from back to front.

The par 3 3rd hole plays at 175 yards from the back tees. Two bunkers guard a pin placement on the left side of one of the biggest greens on the course. Long is trouble. A row of pine trees along the right side of the hole can come into play on a windy day.

The 4th hole is the only par 5 on the front nine. The tee shot plays uphill. A drive that stay close to the tree line on the left will shorten the hole, making the green reachable in two for long hitters. Two fairway bunkers—one on the right side of the fairway at about 100 yards from the green, the other on the left and about 60 yards out—must be taken into account on most players’ second shots. The well-bunkered green slopes from right to left, making it tough to get even a short wedge close to the pin.

The 5th hole is a straightaway par 4. Two fairway bunkers are left of the landing area, and out of bounds stakes run from the tee to green on the left side as well. The second shot is downhill, making the shot play a little shorter than the yardage. Also, the downhill slope helps many shots reach the green. The undulations on the front of this green can make a front-hole location treacherous.

The 6th hole plays 165 yards from the back markers. Four bunkers protect this par 3 green, and a shot missed to the left can kick down a slope and into the trees. The subtle undulations on this large green make it one of the trickiest to read on the course.
The par 4 7th is the toughest hole on the course. Favor the right side of the fairway on the tee shot, as the slope will bring it back toward the middle. You could still have over 200 yards left after a good drive, and this approach plays slightly longer than the yardage. A large deep bunker guards the left of WCC’s most difficult putting surface. It is not uncommon to see a player putt his ball right off the green.
You might not need a driver on the 8th. Either way, your tee shot will run to the left after it lands. A big tee shot will get to the bottom of the hill, leaving only 100 yards or so in. If the ball doesn’t reach the bottom, though, you’ll have a challenging downhill/sidehill lie. Two bunkers sit about 30 yards short of the green, making it difficult to run a shot on. The 8th is another green that can be lightning fast.

On the 9th hole, the pond comes into play about 190 yards from the white tees. An aggressive tee shot can leave just a short iron over water to this elevated, two-tiered green that’s guarded on the right by a deep bunker. Shots that come up short can roll back to the bottom of the hill. And you don’t want to be long!

The hills to the left and right of this long, uphill par 4 will push drives a little offline back into the fairway. Add at least one club for the uphill second shot. The green slopes gradually from back to front. A challenging start to the back 9.
The 11th hole is the longest and toughest par 3 on the course, measuring over 200 yards from the back tees. Three large bunkers surround the narrow green. It is a difficult up-and-down for anyone who does not reach in regulation.
The 12th is the first par 5 on the back 9. If you aim your tee shot to the left of the big hill you will have a clear view of your landing area for your second shot. Big hitters may try to carry the corner of the hill with their tee shots, making the green reachable in two. Four bunkers are positioned around the green, providing an alley for a shot to run on. The two-tiered green slopes from back to front.

The 13th hole is a challenging, narrow, dogleg-left par 4. The right half of the fairway slopes away and towards the trees, making it tough to stop a ball on the flat landing area in the middle of the fairway. Three bunkers await errant approach shots to another two-tiered green.
From the white markers, the par 4 14th is nearly a 90-degree dogleg left, and it’s only 200 yards to reach the turn. From the back tee a driver is the play. From either tee, though, three fairway bunkers along the righthand side narrow the landing area considerably.  The left and right bunkering guarding the green make it possible to run a shot onto this relatively flat putting surface.

The 15th hole is the shortest of WCC’s par 5s. Just aim between the two bunkers and rip it. A well struck tee shot will run downhill, making this green very reachable in two. All shots that land beyond the two bunkers visible from the tee will run to the right. The green slopes from back to front and can be very fast. Staying below the hole here can save a shot or two.
This challenging par 4 doglegs to the right. From the back markers, a tee shot of 220 yards will give you a clear look at the hole, while a shot of 200 yards will do the job from the whites. This will leave a shot of about 150 yards into a slightly elevated green. An aggressive play here would be to blast tee shot over the trees that guard the corner of the dogleg. Pull it off, and you’ve only got about 100 yards to the green. Fall short and you’re probably looking at bogey at best. The tricky 16th green slops from back to front.

The final par 3 of your round can be a real Jekyll/Hyde experience. From the back markers, this is a very difficult hole. From an elevated tee, it’s 185 yards to a small, well-bunkered and elevated green. From the white markers, the hole measures 170 yards. Pull it left from either marker and you’ll likely kick down the hill and into tree trouble, i.e., where you’ll meet Mr. Hyde. The two-tiered green slopes from back to front, and it’s a difficult up-and-down from any of the bunkers.
At #18, you are back to the same pond that you had to negotiate on Hole #1. The toughest par 4 on the back 9, #18 is a challenge from tee to green. Strategy is very important here. Regardless of the markers you play from, you will face a tee shot that offers the course’s best risk/reward option. A target can be chosen that requires a carry of anywhere from 160 to 280 yards. Aim at a safer target to the right, and you’ll be left with a second shot in excess of 200 yards to the green. Take a riskier, more aggressive line requiring a longer carry over water and you may have a second shot of just 100 to 150 yards. Fairway bunkers frame the landing areas off the tee as well as providing an additional challenge. Three bunkers surround this two-tier green, which is extremely fast from back to front. It is one of the most difficult and, with the Clubhouse encircling the back of the green, beautiful finishing holes in Massachusetts.