Golf can be fun at D.W. Field
by Paul Harber
When you think of Brockton, you think of trouble.
I lived there for a quarter century and there are sections you simply avoid.
Drugs, murder, prostitution, it’s a shame.
However, there are some nice areas in what was once a thriving shoe manufacturing city that are overlooked.
And one of them is D.W. Field Golf Course.
It is one of the finest inner-city municipality-owned courses you will find.
It was built in the 1920s by the underrated golf architect design team of Wayne Stiles and John van Kleek.
As the story goes, they were building the prestigious Thorny Lea Golf Club a few miles away and since they were in the area, they built this course, thanks to the magnificence of David Waldo Field, who donated more than 700 acres for a golf course and adjoining recreational area to the city.
They called it the Crown Jewel of Brockton and the golf course has withstood the test of time.
And when you are out on the back holes, you might think you are in Wellesley or Weston. You might see a deer prance across a fairway or a herd of wild turkeys waddling away into the brush.
There are so many great holes here, but there are some that even a beginner can par. It is a good mixture for a municipal course.
Every hole shouldn’t demand drives the length of John Daly off the tee and irons the precision of a Tiger Woods, or the short game of Phil Mickelson to par.
Average Public Golfers call it a great round if they can finish the round without losing a ball and make a few pars. Any birdie demands a celebration.
It is a place where a golfer trying to break 100 will be tested and a golfer who can break 80 has a chance to shoot par.
Don’t get me wrong, there are a few demanding holes at D.W. Field that will challenge the best.
For instance, the 13th hole belongs on any championship course.
It is only 355 yards from the back tees and all uphill. Trees guard the left and right side of the fairway and if your drive favors the right side, the pitch of the fairway could direct a good shot into the tree line.
The green is fronted by a huge drop off. Approach shots that come up short will carry away from the green into a terrible lie. If it is to the right, there is a giant old tree just waiting to aggravate you.
And if you hit the green with your approach shot, your work is just beginning.
It has two tiers and it has caused plenty of tears for golfers who had dreams of birdies only to walk off with a three-putt bogey or worse.
Another favorite is the par-3 fifth hole. Only because if you hit it too far, you could wind up on Oak Street, a busy thoroughfare.
However most of the par-4s are in the 300-350 range, accommodating for the average golfer.
In all, the course measures just under 6,000 yards from the tips and plays to a par 70. The slope is a manageable 120 and the course rating is 68.4.
It is also a place that won’t set back a mortgage payment for a greens fee and a cart, either.
What it is, is a lot of fun for a few hours.
What else do you want from a golf course?