Red Tail Golf Course in Devens, MA is easily one of the top 3 public golf courses in Massachusetts. Located out by Fort Devens, between 30-45 minutes outside of Boston, the course is named for the frequent Red Tail Hawks you can see flying overhead.
The undulation and landscape of the course is fantastic and it’s always in great condition. The greens are very tricky and you’ll be lucky on most holes to get out of there with a 2-putt.
I’ve been lucky enough to play Red Tail 4 times over the past 2 summers, the most recent during a one week break in between jobs where I played 5 straight days of public golf all over Massachusetts. Hopefully this walkthrough of Red Tail Golf Course can give you a leg up and lower your score next time you head out to Devens. Red Tail is one of the top golf courses in the Boston area.
The opening hole is a bit of a drive from the range and clubhouse. Head back out the exit and cross the street – there’s a putting green over there to warm up on so show up 15-20 minutes prior to your tee time to check in.
Keep your drive on the 1st up the right hand side and try to catch the hill to keep you in the fairway, everything left can easily be lost. The green is protected in the front left by a bunker, so don’t be afraid to miss long and left.
The 2nd is a long par 5, make sure to keep your drive in the fairway. You don’t need to be too long off the tee as you’ll have an opportunity to go for it with your second as everything opens up. Large green with landing zone up front makes a good chance for birdie early.
The 3rd is the first par 3, all you need to know is do not miss right. Missing left and you’ll get a kick off the hill rolling you towards the green – right and you’re going to have a very tough up and down.
The 4th at Red Tail is one of the best constructed holes on the course. The par 5 is reachable in two, but you’ll need to draw the ball around a perfectly placed tree protecting the fairway. Second is blind, but give it a ride as the hill in front of the green can carry the ball.
The 5th is a great par 3 where a fade will play nicely. Avoid missing down the hill or front left as it will make a difficult par. Missing front right is a nice play for an up and down.
The 6th is a short par 4 where the long hitters, with a little wind, have a chance to drive the green. However, accuracy is key as the fairway drops off on either side – club down on the approach as it’s shorter than you think.
The par 4 7th seems long by the numbers, but a good drive can catch the downslope and make the hole play much shorter. Overall, a difficult hole so be happy to get out with a par.
The 8th hole is a short par 4, but be very wary of missing right. There is a large bunker and tree protecting a drive right at the hole, so the play off the tee is to take an iron and play it just beyond and to the left of the fairway bunker. Good chance for birdie here.
The theme around the par 4 9th is do not miss right. There is an environmental area that drops off so only about 2-3 yards of rough to play with on that side. Same with the approach, do not miss right.
Back nine starts off with a long par 5 – but a good chance for a red number. Play your drive up the left hand side, as your second short will need to be to the left of the long fairway bunker. Two good shots can start you off with a birdie.
The 11th is an intimidating par 3, with a 40 foot drop to the green. Club down, as there’s a generous bail out area front right – just do not miss left as the gravel pit has been the death of many rounds.
The par 4 12th and 13th are two shorter par 4’s but need accuracy. The adventurous will attempt to clear the trees and cut the corner on 12, which makes for an easy birdie. On 13, take your medicine and hit an iron – don’t make this hole harder than it has to be.
The 14th is another hole with a fantastic view, with the tee box a good 30-40 yards above the fairway. Lots of room to hit the fairway, but up the left hand side is best as a tree semi-protects this green. Don’t try and be too tricky with your approach, as the green is a large punch bowl with everything feeding into it.
The par 3 15th hole is a really fun hole. It’s quite long so make sure to club up and do not miss to the left, as there’s not a lot of room over there and a miss that way could really blow up your score.
The par 4 16th hole has two different paths for golfers to take. The conservative can take an iron out, and play to the left of the trees on this dog leg right, leaving about 150 yards on your second shot. The big hitter and risky golfer can try and clear the trees to reach the green or have a very short pitch in. If you hit 250+ yards consistently – take out the big stick and let it ride over the trees (then pray).
The 17th hole is one of the best on this course and is your classic risk reward. It’s surrounded by waste bunker, and from the tee it’s like a ‘bite off what you can chew’ as you can get as close to the hole as you want, but don’t come up short or you land in the waste. If you hit the fairway here, you should have a short pitch into the green.
The 18th is what makes Red Tail and one of the best finishing holes I’ve ever played. The par 5 drive should be kept down the left hand side and on your second shot you’ll be tempted. The downhill green is protected on the left by a bunker and on the right by a large pond. Lay-up to the bottom of the hill and leave around 100 yards into the green, or go for it. Just remember – everyone up at the clubhouse can you see your shots from the balcony!
I hope you liked this walkthrough of Red Tail Golf Course, to access more reviews on Boston Golf.
Good luck and as always, hit ‘em straight!
**Conor is an Inbound Marketing Specialist at Hubspot and expert in Boston area public golf courses. Follow his blog for reviews on the state's other top public courses.