Course Spy: Pinehills Golf Club (Nicklaus)

Teen phenom Ryo Ishikawa, posing here with President Clinton and Geoff Ogilvy, was Norman's other surprising pick.
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Pinehills Golf Club (Nicklaus)
7,243 yards, par 72
Jack Nicklaus II, 2002
Green Fees: $60-$130
508-209-3000
pinehillsgolf.com

\nSERVICE
\nRed-carpet treatment, coupled with the outsize clubhouse and oak-paneled locker room, make you feel as though you've stepped onto the grounds of a private club. The mats on the range? Well, not so much.

\nPACE OF PLAY
\nSomehow, the staff manages to keep rounds under 4:30 or so, which is an achievement for a course that gets such a steady stream of play. The relatively flat, broad, forgiving fairways also help move things along.

\nQUALITY
\nJack Jr. authored this one, so there are fewer demands for huge drives and towering approach shots. The downside is a paint-by-numbers feel. The fancy clubhouse and sprawling practice facilities lend the place the upscale grandeur of a high-end destination.

\nVALUE
\nThe tab is costly by most standards, but not in the Boston area. The well-groomed greens and fairways meet the lofty expectations that usually accompany $100 green fees. Given the location, what you pay is the right market price.

\nVERDICT
\nPinehills is the golf equivalent of a cup of Starbucks coffee: what it lacks in uniqueness it makes up for in reliability. A round here is not exactly a sublime experience, but more than good enough for you to get your fix.

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