Golf

GC Reviews: Newton Commonwealth Lacks The Basics

Boston Golf Course Reviews: Newton Commonwealth Customer Service Fails At The Basics

Newton Commonwealth Golf Course is located right in Newton, Massachusetts near Boston College. The course is frequently played by Newton residents and college students alike.

Newton is a Donald Ross course situated on a hill landscape with the distance of the course being short 2738 from the blue tees. What makes this course difficult is the narrow sloped fairways that can cause any golfer a headache.

This will be a comprehensive review of the course, its layout, maintenance, amenities, and customer service.

For some background, I have played the course 9 times this season and have averaged an 84.

Course Overview:

Hole 1 starts you off nice and easy with a wide open driveable par 4 with the blue tees residing 277 yards dead center to the hole.  Hole 1 is a birdie hole to start. The courses front 9 is a tad interesting with 3 par 5’s and 4 par 3’s in the front. Hole 2 is a par 5 dog left with a creek running along the middle of the fairway. Any shot to the right off the tee and you are likely to be in a reservoir. Hole 2 is a hole you are likely to par given the 533 blue tee distance and the raised green.

Hole 2 is a par 5 dog left with a creek running along the middle of the fairway. Any shot to the right off the tee and you are likely to be in a reservoir. Hole 2 is a hole you are likely to par given the 533 blue tee distance and the raised green.

Hole 3 and 4 are both par 3’s with the first being 193 from the blues and the second being 129 yards. A front left pin placement on hole 3 makes even a par challenging with a slim green to work with. Hole 4 is a green with drop offs along the left and back edges. Smart to play this parable hole right and short.

Hole 5 is drivable in 2 par 5 with a 455-yard distance from the blues. A birdie on this straight hole is easy, but watch out for the severely sloped fairway.

The last par 4 of the front nine comes at hole 6. A driveable par 4 that requires a left tee shot with anything right running down to the fairway on hole 5. Getting to the green in regulation is easy, putting it is not. The green on hole 6 has hills throughout making a 2 putt a safe bet.

Hole #7 is a raised tee box to a low green par 3 with a back blue tee box placement making it a hard distance to judge in the wind. Tricky hole to pick the right club with it changing day to day.

Hole #8 is the final par 5 on the front 9. A good tee shot on 8 sets the golfer up for a reachable green in regulation with yardage being 488 from the blues. The last hole on the front, 9, is another raised tee box down to the lowered green. The Wind once again a factor here.

Back Nine:

The back 9 starts off with a driveable par 4 on hole 10 1t 276 yards. But with a narrow fairway, the smart bet is a 3 iron up the middle to get within 50 yards of the green. This is a birdie hole to start for many scratch golfers.

Hole 11 is where things get tricky, you have a 307 par 4 but with condos on the left side of the green no driver or wood of the tee. Laying up to the direction pole is the smartest bet here. An elevated green on shot #2 can make this a tough hole to par.

Hole 12 is a 159 par 3 that requires precision. Any shot on the right side and you roll down to the fairway on hole #10.

Hole 13 is a 247 par 4 heading back towards the clubhouse. But like the 11 hole you cannot go for the green with this tee shot requiring a lay up to the front of the water and then a short chip onto the green. A hole man golfers get par on if not better.

Hole #14 is one that favors a golfer with a shot that tends to go left, any shot to the right and you are in the street, anything short and it is in the water. This is a driveable par 4 at 247 yards from the blue tees but many play the ball towards the right side of the fairway and go for the green on shot 2. The green on #14 is a multi tier green that requires many two putts.

Hole #15 is the last par 5 on the course at 451 yards. It is reachable in two shots with a good tee shot and a solid second shot with a wood. A smaller than expected green though will often cause golfers three shots to get on. A birdie par 5 though.

Hole #16 is a two-tier green par 3 that favors a right side tee shot. Anything too far left and you are down the hill, anything short is on the first level, even shorter, in the bunker.

Hole #17 requires a dead center see shot, anything on the right side of the fairway and there won’t be a good shot to the green. If you find yourself right just lay-up to the front of the pond and chip in from there.

Hole #18 favors golfers with a big fade. Easy par to finish out a round on this par 70 course.

Overall Thoughts

The course itself is tight, tough to play if you are a golfer that isn’t down the middle. With the sloped fairways, even a dead center shot can run out of the middle with ease. The course’s layout is challenging and requires a smart golfer.

But the hills on the course make it un-walkable in the summer months.

Those looking for water fountains on the course will find that the only two on the course are within 100 yards of each other and are both out of order. This is the type of course that will leave the average golfer frustrated.

With residents playing the course for a discount they often play the course a lot throughout the year. Some of the regulars at the course will often play slow with multiple balls as if they own the course. Multiple times I have seen this frustrate the golfers I am playing with.

Maintenance:

The course’s condition is fair even at peak season, but talking to golfers who have played there for years and they will tell you the courses conditions have fallen off. Fairways are littered with massive divot marks and tee boxes often with little to no grass.

The grounds keepers here are an oblivious bunch with little to no care for the golfers. There once was a groundskeeper collecting the mildew of the green as 4 golfers were trying to chip on. He did not stop or look once to see if golfers were coming. Another instance of not paying attention comes regularly on the 11th tee box with a service road underneath.

The grounds crew will often pull out of that road without looking to see if there is a golfer on the box. A low tee shot has a real chance of hitting someone on that service road.

Customer Service And Price:

Overall for the area, the price is spot on for the type of course it is. 33 for 18 during the week for non-residents and $40 on the weekend. Cart’s being a must are priced at the standard $16 for 18.

They do offer Junior, Senior, and College discounts. Prices have increased recently on those discounts though.

Being a college student, I have enjoyed the student rate being offered. It was originally $22 for 18 Monday through Thursday and $25 on Fridays with it not being offered on the weekends. Recently though management has upped it to $25 and $27. Now that is still a great deal for the area and compared to other courses.

But the way they handled the change was one that makes any person with a customer service background cringe.

After playing my 8th round of the year I noticed my receipt for 18 holes said $25 for a Wednesday round. Now I didn’t pay much attention to it at the time. But when heading to the course for my 9th round at the course I decided to look on my phone to see if the rate had changed.

To my surprise, the price rates on their website had the $22 rate for college students. Upon arriving for my tee time the manager at the desk said the rate was $25, so I brought up the rate I saw on the website.

He said to show it to him, having Google Searched Newton Commonwealth rates, pulled upon the rates on their website, I was right it said $22 for 18 for College Students. The manager pulls it up on his desktop and shows it to me saying $25. I suggested to him that no one on their end had updated their mobile version. The manager replied with it being my phone having the old page and not their website.

Instead of doing what anyone with a customer service background would do, he charged me the $25 instead of the $22 that I showed him on my phone on his website. A customer service no-no. Upon finishing my round I decided to pull up the rates again on my phone before writing this review.

And what do you know? The mobile version of the site was updated with the raised pricing. Instead of owning up to their mistake, the course blamed it on me, the customer.

The difference of $3 on an already cheap rate is not a big issue. But with this being a customer service world, the principle of what happened is.

Overall Grade:

C

While the course itself is a challenging option, there are better courses at that price point in the immediate area.

GC Reviews: Newton Commonwealth Lacks The Basics
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