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Griffith E Harris Golf Course

The “Griff” is a Robert Trent Jones designed course in the upper class town of Greenwich. Being in Greenwich you would expect them to have the best muni in the state and they provide just that. The Griff is a beautiful classic parkland style course that competes with the local private clubs as far as layout/style go. Hole one is a tough dog leg left but with a downhill second shot you shld be able to get near the green, if not on it. Hole 2 is tough to find; its not the tee box right next to the 1st green seperated by a chain link fence(which needs to go). You need to stay right and go down the hill and across the street. Stay away from the fairway bunker on the right and you should be able to get par on this hole who shares its fairway with the par 3 5th. #3 is a tight par 5 followed by an open par 4 then the par 3 5th I mentioned. Handicap 1 is next, 451yd  par 4 with a tricky green. If you bogey that one look to get a stroke back on the next hole as its the shortest there (132yd). The gorgeous par 5 8th and short par 4 9th send you back to the clubhouse hopefully with a smile on your face. The back nine starts with a long tough par 4 then a 200 yd par 3 with a narrow green(be thrilled with one over through those two). If your driver has been erratic today I suggest laying up on the short par 4 12th. #13 and 14 are totally carved out of the woods and require strategic shots as you can find yourself OB quick. 15,16, and 17 are a blur as I walked this course carrying my bag in the 90 degree heat. I DO remember my birdie on the short dogleg left 18, making me wanting to visit the GRIFF again soon.

Being on the NY border I recommend this course to all my fellow Westchester golfers since the # of public courses in Westchester is low and are always packed. With its close proximity to Westchester airport I suggest playing it before picking someone up there or if that person flies with his or her clubs book a twosome!

Overall it gets an 8

Call the starter for reservations  (203) 531-8253. Full length range on site.

  • layout-8
  • condition-8
  • food- NA
  • staff- 8

Green Woods Country Club

Green Woods is a nice nine hole course just minutes North of Torrington in Winstead. As you pull into the course, make sure you look both ways as you drive right through the second fairway(unusual). Hole 3 is a downhill par 3 then comes the challenging dog leg right #4 that looks carved out of the “green” woods. The fifth hole is very unique…it has two different greens. The fairway forks and if you go left it plays as a par 4 but if you play 18 it plays as a par 5 to the right. Holes 6 and 7 mirror each other going back and forth and sending you to a generic par 3 over a lake. The ninth is a driveable 4 so wait for the group in front of you to clear before teeing off. My one suggestion is to put in a net or some shrubs blocking the parking lot from the ninth fairway. Hard to believe many cars don’t get dinged up over there.

They have a range and are semi private so weekends before noon are off limits.

http://www.greenwoodscc.net/

Overall it gets a 7.5 and one of the top 5 nine hole courses in state.

  • layout-7
  • condition-8
  • food- NA
  • staff- 8

Hawk’s Landing Country Club

Hawk’s Landing is an 18 hole par 70 course minutes off of I-84 in Southington. The course plays very short(5800) but has lots of water and some holes are tight so you need to play smart golf here and club down often. Hole 1 is a perfect example, downhill 300 yds but OB left and blocking trees right. Hole 3 is another one where you may want to not use your driver. 440 yd par 5 with I-84 collecting dozens of drives a day. Holes 4 and 5 go back and forth and are pretty open but have a stream snaking through it and some high grasses that leads to a back up. Hole 6 adds to that delay having 3 large lakes that are tough to avoid. Hole 7 is as tough a par 3 as they come(235 uphill). Hole 8 is an easy par 4 sandwiched in between yet another 235 par 3 with a pond in front of the green and bunkers everywhere. I don’t like courses that have short 4s and then try to make up yards with the par 3s. To find hole 10 you need to drive through the parking lot and across the street.  Unlike the front there is no water on the back until hole 17. After the dogleg left #10 holes 11 and 12 are very nice and wide open. Next up are the two toughest holes there besides the front par 3s; 13 and 14 go out and in along side the highway and are tight(handicaps 3 and 5). #15 is my favorite hole there, probably cause I eagled it! 16 is a downhill par 3 and 17 is where the water comes back, runs all along the left side of the hole. The final hole is very similar to #9 but thankfully is shorter and has a little bit of fairway on the other side of the pond.

There is a huge grass tee driving range there so if you live nearby you should take advantage of it. The outdoor patio bar is great(almost too good to be on a golf course).

Tee times can be made on their site or on Golf Now

http://www.hawkslandingcc.com/index.php

Overall it gets a 7

  • layout-7
  • condition-6
  • food- 9
  • staff- 8

Great River Golf Club

Over priced! This course is located in my town of Milford, running along side the Housatonic River across from Sikorsky and the sports center of CT. It is semi private and has an extraordinary club house,pro shop, and restaurant(all the best in state). The course itself was designed by Tom Fazio, whom I am not a big fan of, and opened in 2001. You start out on a par 3 which I have never seen before. I was told that the par 3 was originally #10 and  the front and back flip flopped; they should flip back. The rest of the front nine feels jammed in between the river and the Waterbury line train tracks(luckily that line doesn’t run too often and breaks down once a week). The back nine layout is nicer and has water on almost every hole. The 10th is a dog leg right with a pond and bunkers on the right so make sure you stay left which will make your second shot longer. The picturesque par 3 11th plays pretty long and has a nice rock waterfall behind the green. Then there is a long par 5 with an elevated green that some find rather silly. Next up is my favorite hole there. If you are Bubba long you may need to club down as the fairway gets narrow at around 250 and the pond comes into play. Your approach shot has to be perfect with the green sitting on a lake and a miss to the left leaves a downhill chip. Hole 14 is somewhat easy but then you go back to back with two of the hardest holes there followed by the toughest par 3 around. 18 is a pretty finishing hole with the clubhouse in the background(why they prob flipped the front and the back). It has a great range and practice facility which is included with your round so I would get there early and make use of it; you will need it on this slope 146/142.

I suggest not biting off more than you can  chew here…don’t be embarrassed by playing the whites because the blues can play very tough and make that $140 round taste even worse at the bar.

Overall it gets a 9 and is def a top 10 course  but tough to dish out top dollar to play it when there are other courses just as good for a third of the price.

http://greatrivergolfclub.com/

  • layout-8
  • condition-10
  • food- 10
  • staff- 7

Harrisville Golf Course

Harrisville is a short par 36 located in Woodstock CT. The course is rough around the edges as is the town itself.  The first 3 holes are traditional holes (par 4,3,5 in that order) followed by a driveable par 4 that plays about 260. Next up is a cool elevated tee box that helps you carry the large pond on the toughest hole there. #7 is my favorite; it is not that long but it gets narrow before the green which feels smothered by pines. Keep your approach shot left as everything will funnel down and to the right.

Tee times can be made by calling  860-928-6098

http://www.harrisvillegolfcourse.com/

Overall it gets a 5.5 and can improve on its fairways and greens.

  • layout-6
  • condition-5
  • food- NA
  • staff- 8