Review: Stone-E-Lea Golf Course

Course Name: Stone-E-Lea Golf Course

Designer: Edward Lapierre Sr./Leo Lapierre/Eddie Lapierre/Albert Lapierre (1955)

Location: Attleboro, Massachusetts

History: Stone-E-Lea Golf Course was built in the 1950s by Edward Lapierre Sr. and his three sons. To this day, the course remains operated by the Lapierre family.

Conditions: 3/10, Courses in the Northeast are generally in the best shape of the year during Fall, but Stone-E-Lea is underwhelming in this regard. The fairways here are rock hard and the greens roll true but are extremely slow.

Value: 7/10, Stone-E-Lea prides itself on offering competitive prices, including $17 on weekdays and $27 on weekends. Additionally, there are even cheaper rates for juniors and twilight. You won’t find many rounds more economical than this.

Scorecard:

Tee                     Par         Yardage         Rating          Slope

Blue                   70           6037               69.5               116

White                70           5650               64.8               115

Red                    70           4700               67.8               112

Best Score: Played in a scramble, 10/21/2017 with Roger C. and two others

Front 9 Best: Played in a scramble, 10/21/2017 with Roger C. and two others

Back 9 Best: Played in a scramble, 10/21/2017 with Roger C. and two others

Hole Descriptions: I went into Stone-E-Lea not expecting much considering the scorecard is littered with goofy smily faces and the course advertises on Route I-95. I came away with about exactly what I expected: a short, simplistic design with relatively few hazards.

The opening hole at Stone-E-Lea is in my opinion the most difficult on the course as a 340 yard downhill par 4. Although not long by any stretch of the imagination, this dogleg right features a teebox directly next to the patio and an extremely tiny landing area. With thick forest along the entire right side, golfers will need to hit their drive at least 230 yards to avoid being blocked out by tall trees on the right. Additionally, drives over 260 yards will run through the fairway into the left trees. Like most greens at Stone-E-Lea, this one is circular and runs back-to-front.

IMG_4458
Golfers are faced with a tough opening teeshot on the 1st

The 2nd is a blind 320 yard dogleg left that plays slightly uphill. Golfers only need a drive of about 210 yards to find this wide fairway and leave themselves an easy wedge in. Trees line the left side of this hole, while sparse pine trees and an industrial park line the right. Like the 1st, this green slopes back-to-front.

IMG_4459
The blind teeshot on the par 4 2nd

At only 280 yards, the par 4 3rd gets my vote for worst design on the course. Cramped between several other holes, this short par 4 is not reachable and instead plays as a sharp tree-lined dogleg right. A drive of only about 170 yards is needed to reach the dogleg, leaving about 100 yards in on an uphill approach.

IMG_4460
The green is only about 210 yards from the teebox on the 3rd

The first par 3 at Stone-E-Lea is a decent one playing 165 yards straight uphill. This large, flat green is guarded by a bunker short right but should yield plenty of birdies to those who hit it.

IMG_4462
The uphill par 3 4th is a bit intimidating

The 5th is one of several straightaway short par 4’s on the course, but this one is a bit trickier. Playing only 310 yards, this hole features a well-placed bunker at 260 yards on the right side of the fairway and a slightly elevated back-to-front sloped green.

IMG_4463
The par 4 5th from the tee

At only 400 yards, the par 5 6th would be a par 4 on most courses. This dogleg left features a downhill teeshot followed by an approach straight uphill to a back-to-front sloped green. For selfish reasons, I’m happy this is a par 5, as my 3-wood-pitching wedge combo resulted in my only eagle of 2017.

IMG_4465
The par 5 6th plays straight uphill on the approach

The 7th is the shortest hole at Stone-E-Lea as a 150 yard par 3. This green is one of the best protected on the course with bunkers short right and on the left. For what it’s worth, only 1 player in our group of 20 hit this green for the closest-to-the-pin challenge.

IMG_4466
Trees make the wind hard to gauge on the par 3 7th

The 8th is another boring, straightaway par 4 at 360 yards. With a wide fairway and little danger, golfers can rip driver here. This green plays back-to-front.

IMG_4467
To call the 8th straightforward would be an understatement

My choice for best par 4 on the course, the 9th is a tasteful dogleg right playing 390 yards. With the dogleg coming around 250 yards, you’ll have to hit a pretty solid drive to ensure a clear shot at this green. The approach here plays slightly uphill with a bunker short right.

The back 9 opens with the second and final par 5 at Stone-E-Lea. At only 470 yards, this dogleg left is reachable for longer hitters. This approach plays uphill and trees line this fairway the entire way.

IMG_4470
The view from the teebox on the dogleg left 10th

The 11th is (surprise!) another straight, flat par 4 with no hazards. The only thing that makes this hole semi-challenging is its length at 380 yards.

IMG_4471
Grip it and rip it on the par 4 11th

The longest par 4 at Stone-E-Lea is also one of the worst holes in the 400 yard 12th. This tree-lined dogleg right doglegs at only about 125 yards, pretty much forcing the golfer to hit a left-to-right ballflight or find the trees. Even better, there’s a giant bunker smack dab in the middle of the fairway for those skilled enough to navigate the dogleg. I’d rather play boring straightaway holes all day than tricked out holes like this.

IMG_4472
The par 4 12th gives the golfer not many options

Naturally, the 360 yard 13th runs parallel to the 12th as a dogleg left. This hole features a wide fairway at the turn which progressively narrows as you approach this tiny green. This green slopes hard back-to-front.

At only 250 yards, the 14th is a legitimate reachable par 4 for most golfers. The major danger on this tight hole is a cross-bunker about 20 yards short of the green. If you can successfully avoid this bunker, this becomes an easy birdie hole.

IMG_4473
The drivable par 4 14th from the teebox

The 15th is the signature hole at Stone-E-Lea and easily the best hole on the property. Requiring a carry over the course’s only water hazard, this 175 yard par 3 features a shallow green as well. Given better conditions, this hole would be a welcome addition to most private courses.

IMG_4474
The signature par 3 15th

You can see the 16th from I-95, but unfortunately this is one of the poorer designs on the course. At 390 yards, this par 4 bends slightly to the left and is notable for having two egregious trees blocking the left side of the fairway. How are supposed to play the hole? Get lucky and hope your ball goes through the trees?

IMG_4475
Hard to cut the corner with two tall trees blocking the fairway

Your round wouldn’t be complete without another straightaway tree-lined par 4. This time, it’s the 300 yard 17th. While tighter than the others, this is still a boring design.

IMG_4476
The straightforward par 4 17th

After being lulled into a false sense of security all day, Stone-E-Lea closes in strange fashion with a beastly 210 yard par 3. This hole requires a well-struck long-iron or wood to carry a large bunker just short right.

IMG_4477
The finishing par 3 at Stone-E-Lea

Best Par 3: 15th Hole, 175 yards, 2nd handicap. Having a par 3 be the 2nd handicap isn aggressive move, but many golfers will find the water on this all-carry par 3. This is easily the best design at Stone-E-Lea.

Best Par 4: 9th Hole, 390 yards, 5th handicap. One of the more difficult holes at Stone-E-Lea, this dogleg doesn’t come until about 250 yards, forcing many golfers to lay-up after a subpar drive. Par is a strong score on this strong hole.

IMG_4469
Your view from the 9th teebox

Best Par 5: 6th Hole, 400 yards, 18th handicap. I’m always a fan of reachable par fives, and they don’t get much more reachable than this. A medium length par 4 at most courses, this dogleg left plays downhill and then back uphill to a tiny green. With firm conditions, I only had wedge in. A par or worse here would be devastating.

IMG_4464
Your teeshot on the par 5 6th

General Comments: There is no range at Stone-E-Lea, but there is a small putting green near the 1st tee. I can’t comment on normal pace of play since we played in a tournament.

Verdict: The affordable Stone-E-Lea is a good course for beginners to learn the game, but serious golfers will be underwhelmed by the simplistic design and poor conditions.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s