The International puts New England golf in the spotlight

BOLTON, Mass. — We have become desensitized to residential golf.

Fairways lined with massive, cookie-cutter houses. A feeling of claustrophobia every time. Losing a golf ball in a yard and having to leave it there because of a “No golfers beyond this point” sign.

Many of us have agreed to play tracks like this every Sunday because that’s what’s nearby. That’s what’s practical.

It’s no different in professional golf.

The majority of the incredible courses where the best players in the world compete each week are surrounded by housing estates that take away from the experience.

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This week outside of Boston, that won’t be a problem.

The International, host of this week’s LIV Golf Series event, is the perfect escape. As soon as players leave the 1st tee (or 2nd or 3rd – I guess it all depends on what hole they draw from the shotgun tee) they will be totally isolated. Dense lines of trees create a sense of separation between you and the rest of the course, something you rarely experience in professional golf.

“There are very, very nice holes, very nice holes. Like on TV, I think it’s going to be beautiful too,” LIV newcomer Anirban Lahiri said on Wednesday. “I think visually and in terms of delivering the broadcast, it’s going to be extremely enjoyable. I know playing it is going to be a lot of fun.

The often severe elevation change will take credit for the incredible viewing experience. After covering a large part of the golf course, players will be lucky to find flat ground.

One hole perfectly sums up the golf course – the 4th par-3.

Stunning views, uninterrupted golf and a steep downhill. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Another example is the very next hole, the par-4 5th.

After a long walk from the fourth green, the fifth feels like its own world. Heavy tree isolation makes it impossible to see a joint hole, leaving players to worry only about their next shot.

Fans aren’t the only ones who are thrilled to have professional golf in this area again – players also seem pretty excited.

“First of all, I love coming to New England. It’s a great sports city,” Cameron Tringale said Wednesday.

“I played a few times. Obviously Travelers was a venue I would love to return to. I played a few times at TPC Boston in the Playoffs. Phenomenal golf courses, and the International is definitely up there,” added Lahiri.

“Yes, I love coming here, especially how beautiful the golf course is,” said Joaquin Niemann.

With eyes on New England, The International looks ready to deliver.

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