Winter Golf at a Manly Resort

A weekend getaway to Atkinson Resort and Country Club in Atkinson NH



In many of our weekend getaways, we find ourselves enjoying country inns and B&B’s – the kind of places my wife tends to find especially attractive with their four poster beds and lace doilies. But on a recent trip to New Hampshire we experienced a much more masculine ideal – a place with golf, a sports bar, flame-grilled steaks, and manly accommodations with a crisp clean décor.  Not a lace doily in sight.

We were guests of the Atkinson Resort and Country Club on a cold rainy weekend when golfing on the resort’s 18 hole PGA course was not an option. Golf was limited to the four virtual golf suites where golfers were experiencing Pebble Beach, whacking a real ball into a video image of the real course, with the computer projecting the ball’s path.  Even in the deepest snow and most soaking storms New England weather can offer, golfers can have a virtual experience on any of 30 famous courses.

Had the weather been cooperating, we might have been able to experience the resort’s 18-hole championship golf course, a Best of Northeast Golf Readers’Choice, that winds across 400 acres of New Hampshire field and forest. Or, perhaps the 9-hole Par 3 course, a favorite for casual games, family events and beginners. Both take full advantage of the rolling  Southern New Hampshire hills to make a memorable challenge

Instead of braving the weather, we visited the 10,000 sq. ft. Willowcreek Golf Academy, dedicated to the education and advancement of golfers of all skill levels and abilities. With the big doors open, we could tee off from heated bays while digital video recordings are made from four different vantage points. These cameras showed exactly how we hit the ball and compared our angles and speeds to the pros. A weekend of coaching, instant feedback, and precise computer measurement promises to improve anyone’s swing.

But man does not live by golf alone.  We enjoyed the resort’s “manly” food in the Stagecoach Grille. Honoring the symbol of New Hampshire’s early hospitality – the Concord Coach, the iconic stagecoach that connected people from far and near, the Stagecoach Grille showcases American cuisine at lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch, with steaks, burgers, and seafood grilled on open flame and served in manly portions.

Merrill’s Tavern offered a more casual sports bar atmosphere and pub menu. The Tavern is a focal point for major sporting events on the plasma TV’s. Adjacent to the Tavern is a fully outfitted billiards and darts room that hosts league event, private parties and informal rounds among friends. The resort’s four virtual golf bays are right next to the tavern, making it a simple task to grab a cold beer and chicken wings on the 15th hole at Augusta.

The resort has a small number of guest rooms – just 16, just enough for an executive retreat, sales conference or wedding party. Called “Fieldstone Suites”, these rooms feature a whirlpool tub, mini-refrigerator, coffee-maker and microwave oven, color/cable TV and free Internet access. Room packages include a breakfast voucher for a full, hearty breakfast and the Stagecoach Grille provides room service to the Suites. Rooms offer views of the championship golf course or rolling woodland of the 400-acre property.

The resort is the area’s favorite location for weddings, proms, and civic events, accommodating groups up to 600 in 75,000 square feet of beautifully designed meeting and function space. All of the 10 meeting/function spaces have windows allowing for natural light. Outdoor patios extend from three of the ballroom facilities that offer expansive views of seasons unfolding across the championship golf course.

The resort is located just over the NH/MA border, just off I-93 and 495 near Salem NH. Visit Atkinson Resort online at You can call them at (603) 362.8700.

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