Mink Meadows Golf Club

A NASCAR-ring nine-holer that stays open all year 'round, Mink Meadows caters to the island's golf junkies

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The following story is part of a larger feature, Glories of the Island, which attempts to better understand Martha’s Vineyard through its five courses. View the full feature here.

Mink Meadows Golf Club is carved out of the woods of West Chop, the westernmost of the two humps, or chops, that protrude from the top of the island. On your way to Mink is the time to hit The Black Dog in Vineyard Haven for coffee and a donut—and, if you feel like blending in, a T-shirt. (Black Dog T-shirts on Martha’s Vineyard are as pervasive as Dodger hats in LA.)

Mink Meadows

The nine-hole course runs in a counterclockwise ring, one giant left turn all the way around, like a NASCAR track. It is one of the island’s two true public courses, and often gets short shrift when stacked up against the other polished gems of MVY, but it is a stout and extremely fun round of golf, with an aggravating set of tectonic-plated greens and a sea breeze that features in all four directions. Most critically, it is open for play all year long.

When the private courses tell you to buzz off, or when every other local option shuts down after the season’s last battle with your FIL at Thanksgiving, you can still get out at Mink Meadows, in the dead of Massachusetts winter, and find a playing partner in a general contractor or commercial fisherman who keeps his sticks in the bed of his F-150. The turf holds up in all seasons due to the mostly walking winter regulars. And though it can get a little old going round and round the nine-hole merry-go-round all offseason, it’s the one place where everyone on island can feel at home during every month of the long year.

Mink Meadows

The doubled-up nine (there are two sets of tees that flex par on a handful of holes) tops out at 6,200 yards and includes a downwind par 5 that just sniffs 440. But beware: The course is like a carnival game. You keep handing over money thinking you can out-game it, but Mink Meadows has enough oval-shaped basketball rims and trick mirrors to keep you from ever going as low as it feels like you should. I love it.