Review: Wayland Country Club

Course Name: Wayland Country Club

Designer: Unknown (1920, 9 holes), Unknown (1950s, 9 holes added)

Location: Wayland, Massachusetts

History: Originally a 9 hole course, Wayland Country Club became a full 18 hole course in the early 1950s.

Conditions: 7/10, Wayland prides itself on “private club conditions” and it follows through with this for the most part. The greens are fantastic, while the different cuts around the green are rarely seen on public courses. The bunkers were also in great shape. The only complaint I have is that some of the rough was patchy, but then again, I played in November.

Value: 7/10, Wayland is one of the most affordable courses in the Boston area, with peak weekend tee times putting you back only $48. Weekdays and off-season rates are also competitive at $38.


Tee                           Par         Yardage         Rating          Slope

Blue                         70/69     6002/5967      68.5              118

White                      68          5415                66.3              114

Red                          71           4831               68.4              116

Best Score: 86 (Blue Tees), 11/19/2016 with Mike S., and two people we met up with

Front 9 Best: 45 (Blue Tees), 11/19/2016 with Mike S., and two people we met up with

Back 9 Best: 41 (Blue Tees), 11/19/2016 with Mike S., and two people we met up with

Hole Descriptions: Although a short course, this charming par 70/69 is an underrated and worthwhile place to play. Built in the 1920s, classic architectural motifs are seen on many holes, with small greens, strategic bunkering, and teeboxes directly adjacent to the previous greens.

The opening hole at Wayland CC acts as a warm-up hole as a short 454 yard par 5 that plays as a par 4 from the forward teeboxes. The landing area is generous on this hole, and the only real danger comes in the form of a small, well-bunkered green. Anything worse than par here would be a disappointment.

The generous par 5 1st is a good scoring opportunity

At 418 yards, the straightaway par 4 2nd plays as the number 1 handicap and the longest par 4 on the course. Although trees line both sides of this fairway, playing from the opposite fairways is certainly doable as I found out. This green is small and guarded by three bunkers on both sides.

The 2nd hole requires a brief carry over water

The 3rd hole is without a doubt my favorite hole at Wayland CC. Playing 400 yards, this slight dogleg right plays uphill with trees lining the left of this narrow, sloping fairway. Left is the miss, however, as the right side slopes off into a large pond that I assume catches many slices. This tiny, undulating green is difficult to hit, and shaved down embankments and well-placed bunkers on either side make getting up-and-down a tough task.

The uphill 3rd slides right

The first of three par 3’s on the par 34 front, the 4th hole is a pretty fantastic short par 3 that almost certainly was one of the initial 9 holes designed in 1920. This downhill, classically-designed one-shotter places a premium on hitting the green in regulation, as slopes and funkily shaped bunkers make up-and-downs rare. The hallmark of a good short par 3 is one that rewards good shots on the green with reasonable chances at birdie, but punishes missed shots by making par very hard to achieve.

After starting with some wide open holes, Wayland narrows considerably as you reach the 5th hole. This 381 yard par 4 is lined tightly by dense trees on both sides. While there isn’t a single bunker on this hole, this green is tiny and difficult to hit. At 193 yards, the long par 3 6th is again quite claustrophobic. Dense woods guard the right, while a line of trees overhangs the left. A large bunker collects any balls hit just a bit right of this difficult green.

The par 3 6th from the tee

The 7th is an interesting short par 4 and one I wasn’t particularly fond of. At only 265 yards, this hole is definitely reachable, and a plaque commemorating someone who made two holes-in-ones within a 3-day span in 1961 makes this point abundantly clear. However, there’s a lot of danger by this green and hitting long iron off the tee only leaves you a pitch. The 155 yard par 3 8th hole is Wayland CC’s signature hole. This hole requires a carry over a creek to large back-to-front sloped green with steep embankments on all four sides. Three putts and even putts into the water are not out of the question here.

The “island” par 3 8th

The closer on the front 9 is a strong 412 yard par 4. While it’s hard to lose a ball on this hole, trees line the entire right side and might even interfere with some balls on the right side of the fairway. This small green is bunkerless.

The opener on the back side is a bit quirky and is most likely a product of the limited space they had to build course. At only 320 yards, this tree-lined hole turns sharply left at about 250 yards. You’re almost forced to hit wood off this tee because drives under 220 yards will be blocked out by the dogleg. A good drive here only leaves a pitch in, and makes this a very good chance for birdie. Another short par 4, the 334 yard 11th is a straightaway par 4 that plays as the easiest on the course on the scorecard. I recommend hitting long iron because there’s a valley of rough for the final 100 yards before this green. Holes 10 and 11 are undeniable the weakest stretch of holes at Wayland CC.

At 503 yards, the par 5 12th is the longest hole on the short course by a wide margin. Playing relatively straight with a wide fairway, the main dangers on this hole are a creek bisecting the fairway at 170 yards and bunkers on the left in the lay-up zone. The par 4 13th is essentially a longer version of the 10th. This 360 yard hole is another sharp dogleg left that requires a driver to reach the dogleg. This green is guarded short left by a bunker and slopes hard back-to-front. Although this is a poor design, my memories of this hole are fond as I drained an 80 foot sidewinder for birdie here. You only realize how short the par fours and fives at Wayland CC truly are when you consider the length of the par threes (the 6th, 14th, and 17th all play about 200 yards). The 14th is 205 yards as a flat, relatively mundane par 3. Bunkers guard both sides of this circular green.

The par 3 14th from the tee

At 378 yards, the 15th is one of the more difficult holes on the course with a tight fairway lined by clumps of trees and bushes. This small green is tough to hit, with well-placed bunkers on both sides. The hardest hole on the back 9, the 400 yard par 4 16th is a very strong hole. What you see is what you get on this hole, as a narrow fairway is guarded by rough on the left and trees on the right. Two bunkers and woods guard the left side of this large green, which slopes hard back-to-front.

The slight dogleg right par 4 16th

At 222 yards, the 17th is the most challenging par 3 on the course. This green is much smaller than it appears from the tee, and marshes line right and behind this green. The view from this green (seen below) is fantastic, as you can see for miles of marshland.

Looking out from the 17th green

At only 457 yards, the 18th is another hybrid par 5/4 that unfortunately played much longer into a stiff breeze for me. The drive on this hole must carry about 180 yards of pond to a pretty open fairway lined by trees on the left and OB on the right. The clubhouse is in the backdrop of this tiny green, and while it’s no mansion, it leaves for a nice approach shot.

Your view from the 18th fairway

Best Par 3: 4th Hole, 145 yards, 15th handicap. Following the fantastic 3rd, this short downhill par 3 is pretty great in its own right. Hitting this green in regulation is key, as this kidney shaped green is guarded on either side by cavernous bunkers.

The downhill par 3 4th

Best Par 4: 3rd Hole, 400 yards, 5th handicap. Easily the standout at Wayland CC, this reverse Cape-like hole screams classic design. Playing uphill to a tiny green guarded by tight slopes and bunkers, this hole would fit in nicely on many of the top private courses in the area.

My approach from the 3rd fairway

Best Par 5: 12th Hole, 503 yards, 6th handicap. The only true par 5 at Wayland, the 12th is a decent hole, but nothing special. Trees line both sides of a wide fairway, which narrows as you reach the green.

General Comments: While there’s neither a range nor water coolers, Wayland CC has the feel of a private course. There are free tees in the clubhouse and the pace of play was simply fantastic when I played, as we played in under 4 hours despite the course being packed.

Verdict: Wayland Country Club is obviously a very well-run course. It’s affordable, well-conditioned, and offers better pace of play and design than other nearby courses. I recommend this course to those in the Boston area, especially those who like classic architecture.

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