The original course was deemed too penal, and management recruited Chi Chi Rodriguez and Jim Fazio for a makeover. The revised layout is softer but clearly no wimp. Spanning 6,928 yards from the back tees, this stretch is so up and down that you'll adjust your stance on just about every shot. The key to scoring well is prudence off the tee. Long irons and fairway woods are often the wiser choice.
While Ballymeade's off-course accoutrements are a departure from the Cape's predominantly modest golf scene, the course itself flows artlessly through the voluptuous terrain. And not a fairway home in sight.
Which is also the case at the new and private Cape Cod National Golf Club, in Brewster. Guests at the nearby eighteenth-century Wequassett Inn are the only nonmembers who can play here without string pulling, but it's well worth adding this marvelously imaginative layout to your itinerary. The pride and joy of Brian Silva, it was fashioned to evoke vintage Scottish links, with fairways as wide as soccer fields, random clusters of burrowed bunkers and inverted-saucer greens. Several holes are fringed by a local specialty -- cranberry bogs.
Even on this plush ground, the stoic New England character dominates: Hand-carts are not only allowed but are preferred. Moreover, all 6,954 yards of Cape Cod National are manicured to a fare-thee-well, with not a blade out of place -- which, of course, should make it a shoo-in someday for the Golden Sprinkler.
Phone 508-385-8347. For a tee time, call up to four days in advance, or if you prepay you can book as far in advance as you like.
Phone 508-394-5597. For a tee time, the rules for Dennis Hills apply.
Phone 508-540-4005. You can reserve a tee time up to seven days in advance.
Cape Cod National
Phone 800-225-7125. To get a tee time you must be a guest at the Weequassett Inn.
The Regatta Restaurant of Cotuit: How does a lobster martini grab you?This elegantly comfortable restaurant, in a 208-year-old Federal mansion that was once a stagecoach inn, has created an ambrosial appetizer of fresh lobster served in a martini glass with marinated olives and vodka-laced mayonnaise. Loquacious proprietor Brantz Bryan is a lobster aficionado and avid golfer, too. Ask him everything you always wanted to know about lobster, but don't go near his handicap. Route 28, Cotuit. Call 508-428-5715.