The Takeaway: Famous for its proximity to the Kennedy family compound, Hyannisport enjoys a wonderful location on the ocean but doesn’t offer enough beyond the final four holes to consider it elite for the Northeast. Grade B
Designer: Donald Ross 1936 (Alex Findlay 1897)
Phone Number: 508-775-0669
Course Website: Official Website - Visit Hyannisport Club's official website by clicking on the link provided.
Directions: Get here! - 2 Irving Ave, Hyannis Port, Massachusetts 02647 – UNITED STATES
What to Expect: Hyannisport has been famous for years as the preferred playground for John F. Kennedy when he teed it up in his home state. Located just down the road from the famous Kennedy compound, the course enjoys a nice setting near the ocean although the water rarely is a factor to consider when playing. Holes 15-18 are flat out awesome and worth waiting for, however the opening 14 are mostly flat, tree lined offerings with a few highlights but mainly lack character or memorability. Out of the par 3s, 4s, and 5s, it is the one-shotters that make the best offering with a commendable collection. Overall the course is kept in great shape and it can be enjoyed on foot as an easy walk or by cart for a more leisurely outing. Ultimately, Hyannisport is a solid track, but in a state as loaded as Massachusetts is for elite golf, it lacks the juice to be considered among the Bay State’s best.
By the Numbers
Individual Hole Analysis
Signature Hole: 17th Hole – 143 Yard Par 3 – The short 17th is a beauty of a one-shotter with the ocean in the background and Halls Creek framing the right side. The sides of the green are protected by a pair of bunkers on the right and an elongated bunker along the left while the front has fescue that needs to be carried enroute to the putting surface. The green tilts from back to front so keeping below the hole should yield a good opportunity to roll in a birdie putt.
Best Par 3: 15th Hole – 185 Yards – The start of a fantastic stretch of finishing holes, the 15th plays south towards the ocean with Halls Creek meandering in the backdrop. The tee shot drops nearly 20 feet to the green, which like the 17th, is framed by bunkers on each side. With full exposure to the wind, players need to account for the velocity and direction that Mother Nature may want to move this ball.
Best Par 4: 18th Hole – 310 Yards – One of the most enjoyable finishing holes in the Bay State, the 310 yard finisher offers an opportunity to drive the final green or get up close to it. The tee is located at the southern tip of the property with the fairway traveling northwest to a greensite surrounded by a quartet of bunkers but the front being left open for balls running in on the ground. The wind will often be coming in from the left so a power fade the rides the wind is a great play before setting up to wedge an approach shot close.
Best Par 5: 16th Hole – 482 Yards – Easily the best par five on the property, the 16th is the most dramatic and engaging hole to play at Hyannisport. The tee shot plays straightaway to a rising fairway that peaks nearly 30 feet above the tee before bending right and descending to the green that sits at sea level. The approach shot is beautiful as it plays towards the water and follows the course's theme of the front being wide open while the rest of the green is surrounded by bunkers; six in this instance. The most engaging terrain on the property yields the course's finest risk/reward opportunity and is appropriately found near the end of the round.
Birdie Time: 2nd Hole – 280 Yard Par 4 – While the 18th is a great birdie opportunity, the 2nd is even better as it measures 30 yards shorter and plays flat rather than uphill. The largest of the six bunkers is up the left side just short of the hole, but it is a great line to start on with a baby fade back towards the green since the fairway tilts slightly from left to right. The edges of the green falloff on each side but the front is plenty welcoming, so a straight shot at the putting surface will be rewarded. Whether it is a putt or a short chip on the second shot, you should be able to get your ball close and convert a birdie.
Bogey Beware: 4th Hole – 410 Yard Par 4 – A classic cape hole that bends left around a bay in Halls Creek, deciding just how much of the dogleg to take on is a precarious decision. There are no fairway bunkers to help offer an aiming point or give any depth perception, so a 225 yard tee shot straight away is the safest strategy. Additionally, a large tree sits left of the forward tee box that blocks players from trying to cheat yardage off the hole by taking a direct line at the green. With a marsh area on the near side of the fairway and fescue on the far side, there is no safety other than to find the fairway before approaching the green that slopes off on all sides and features a crescent of bunkers around the back.