If you and your three favorite golf companions are looking for some fun and picturesque golf destinations, consider the rolling hills and majestic trees of the Blackstone Valley in Central Massachusetts. While often touted for its beautiful autumn colors, New England’s lush greenery in the spring and summer is pretty spectacular as well. Located within fifteen miles of one another, the following three public courses all offer idyllic views, challenging shots, and welcoming 19th holes.

Blissful Meadows Golf Club

blissfulmeadowsAs the most rustic of the three courses listed, Blissful Meadows Golf Club is a lovely 18-hole course in Uxbridge that is trickier than an initial perusal of the scorecard might indicate. You’ll want to hit a few balls at the driving range before teeing off, bearing in mind that staying straight will be the mantra for the day. While both nines are challenging, the front is relatively flat with a good bit of sand and water in just the right—or wrong—places. The back nine provides much more elevation, and you will be presented with several opportunities for that exciting risk-reward shot. While you may lose a ball or two during the round, the scenery will make up for it, especially the covered wooden bridge on the par-3 15th hole. The Meadowview Tavern is a great place to unwind with a juicy burger and beverage at the end of the game, and odds are good that you’ll hear a few of the locals lamenting their various shots-gone-bad that particular day.

Highfields Golf and Country Club

True to the name, it’s difficult to miss this gorgeous facility located high on a hill in Grafton, Massachusetts. A venue for highfeildswedding receptions and other celebrations, Highfields Golf and Country Club definitely caters to golfers as well. With a driving range and undulating practice green available for your warm up, you’ll then experience spectacular New England views and some amazing homes during your round. With some perfectly straight holes, some doglegs, some all-uphill-holes, and some all- downhill holes, this course is full of variety. Post golf, the indoor dining area has an assortment of tables for your foursome or a large U-shaped bar for watching your favorite golf events. With an excellent and affordable menu, the pizza and nachos are sure to put a salty smile on your face. If you prefer outdoor dining, the covered patio just off the final hole is a roomy and comfortable area to discuss whose putter behaved the worst that day.

Shining Rock Golf Club

shiningrockLocated in Northbridge, Massachusetts, Shining Rock Golf Club opened in 2010 and arrived with authority. With national and regional awards already under its belt, ‘The Rock’ was voted #1 Best Public Golf Course in the region in 2014 by New England Golf Monthly. There is a large practice green near the clubhouse but no driving range at this time. Carved straight out of massive rocks and towering trees, this idyllic-yet-challenging layout has an elevation change of over 400 feet and will see to it that you utilize nearly every club in your bag. With lovely homes located along many of the holes, you may just get some wise advice from a friendly resident or two. After your round, the indoor section of the restaurant is somewhat small, but with the amazing treetop views at Shining Rock, the large outdoor patio is a wonderful place to watch the setting sun and enjoy some quahogs and a drink with your friends.