Tucked away on Ponemah Rd in Amherst, NH is a great executive nine hole golf course. Ponemah Green is the little sister to Amherst Country Club located just up the road. Ponemah is a bit more than just your average nine hole course; it is also a family fun center.
You can start the morning by picking up a bucket of balls to hit at the driving range. There are both grass tees and mats. There are 2 bucket sizes, a small one to warm up with and a large one if you’re there to loosen your golf muscles up. After making sure your golf swing is up to par, head over to the putting green where there are nine holes to practice putting. Had enough putting? There is plenty of room on the back and sides of the green to practice chipping. For the real adventurist there is a practice bunker area. All warmed up? Head over to the first tee!
The course opens with a pair of par 3s. At just over 100 yards, the hole is one you’re going to think “piece of cake.” You may not want to think that on any of these short holes.
The Par 3 First: Trouble behind, guarded by a bunker in the front, OB if you go too far to the left (The road).
The Par 3 Second: Not much trouble other than a couple of large bunkers.
The Par 4 Third: There is a real temptation of trying to drive the green here, that isn’t recommended... If you’re too long you’re in the river, too far left and you’re out of bounds. Any other place besides the fairway, you’re in trouble too – short right is water, and the rough is thick clover.
The Par 4 Forth: A dogleg left and another one that you’re going to be tempted to go for. Again, you may want to reconsider. Going over the trees to reach the green can make the hole real short, but if you hit one tree, this easy par 4 can quickly put a snowman on your card. Go for the center of the fairway and you can make birdie.
The Par 4 Fifth: At 375 yards this is the longest hole on the course. If you’re going to use a driver on this course this is the hole to go for it all on. This is a slight dogleg to the left and fairly wide open. The river runs along the left , so you should try to stay in the middle of a little to the right.
The Par 4 Sixth: It’s a short dogleg right. You don’t want to be too long (woods) or right (you’ll have to deal with a band of trees protecting the green. You’re better off to staying along the left side of the fairway (not too far left though or you’ll find trouble there too).
The Par 4 Seventh: Not an overly difficult hole if you play it right. Out of the chute like tee box you’ll need to carry about 50 yards over a hazard to reach the fairway. The club choice off the tee is key, you’ll want your club selection to be something you can hit fairly straight and at least 175-180 yards to put yourself into position for a relatively straight forward second shot. Your second shot needs to carry a pond in the front without flying the green – there is OOB if you overshoot the green too much. Advice here is to play up the right side and you can take the pond out of play.
The par 4 Eighth: This short hole makes everyone think they can score a double eagle. Your best bet is to take a 150-160 yard shot off the tee and use a short iron into the well protected green. Short of the green is a culvert, long, left and right of the green are woods. There is OOB on this hole, but you’ll have to go pretty far left to reach it (the driving range is there).
The Par 4 Ninth: Other than the left side, where there is thick brush, this is a very open hole. The tight chute type tee box plays a major psychological role for many golfers on this hole. If you can get past teeing off out of a relatively tight space, you’re going to do just fine on this hole.
Golf’s over and now it’s time for a hot dog! You have the option to stop by the clubhouse proshop to grab a hotdog or you can go out on the porch to the clam shack for some other tasty delights.
If you’re looking for something a little slower paced, try the mini golf course. Like the real golf course at Ponemah, the mini course is short but challenging. The course par is 36, but it should probably be closer to 40 for these 18 holes! Some of the holes are very makeable in one, but there are others that are much more difficult than what the card show.
If you’re an ice cream lover, hit the clam shack for some ice cream before you leave. Be aware that the sizes on the menu may not match the size you actually get… You will get much more than what the menu suggests! A kiddie size cone or bowl may take you a while to finish, but you’ll enjoy every bite.
Overall, it doesn’t what you decide to go to Ponemah Green for; you’re going to enjoy yourself there.
For more photos and slideshows visit my Manchester Life-in-Photos page. http://www.examiner.com/x-52595-Manchester-Life-in-Photos-Examiner
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