Sleeping Giant is a small 9 holer located on Whitney ave, Hamden, not far from Quinnipiac. Its a shame that they dont add 9 more behind holes 4 and 5 as there is plenty of room. Speaking of holes 4 and 5, they are the two best there. They are secluded from the rest of the course and go back and forth, parallel with a creek running through it. 6,7, and 8 are short before coming home on a normal length hole.
South Pine is a 9 hole par 3 in Fairfield, near the LI sound and the beautiful Fairfield Country Club. An ideal layout for juniors, seniors and new golfers but enjoyed by all. With this short 9 and a very nice 18 hole muni, the town of Fairfield has the best town courses in the state.
Tee times can be made at http://direct.activegolf.com/default.asp and you can often walk on here. I suggest getting your child started at this course. Its fun for kids and very affordable(JR res is 7/8$)
Overall the course gets just a 5 as its a par 3 and its more for family fun than the serious golfer.
Short Beach is a par 3 pitch and putt located on the water right next to Sikorsky Airport in Stratford. The course has a decent amount of water and traps to slow down play for the beginner golfers. Good golfers should be able to shoot par here as long as they don’t three put these large greens. Hole 5 has a beautiful view of the ocean in the background. 2 hurricanes in 2 years did a decent amount of damage to this course. Being right on the water it is obviously prone to heavy flooding. There are plenty of regulars there and the starter there Bill Kotches is a GREAT guy. He is an all around fun friendly guy who will trade stories with you any day of the week.
Overall the course gets only a 5 as its just a place to bring your beginner friends or squeeze in nine after work.
Skungamaug holds the title of the course with the funniest name in the state. It is a short(6500 par 70) course located in Coventry which is very close to UCONN. Not too much to talk about with this course. The back nine is pretty tight and challenging. A hole worth mentioning is #15 which has a tiered fairway with a giant tree right in the middle of it.
Tee times can be made online at http://www.skungamauggolf.com/
Course gets just a 5.5 and should be played by locals and UCONN students only.
Shennecossett is a historic course located on the shore in Groton. Founded in 1898, the course was originally only a four-hole layout. Over the next 18 years, the course was enlarged to a six, nine, eleven, and eventually an eighteen-hole track. Then, in 1916, famed golf course architect Donald Ross redesigned the course layout (one of only five courses in the State of Connecticut that he designed). The course remained this way until 1997, in which a land swap with Pfizer gave the course the property to build three holes overlooking the water. While the course is well known for the water holes, it is only a small piece of its beauty. My first time playing here I was let down right away. The first tee box requires you to hit over a road and the green has chain link fence behind it. As my round went on though I saw why its a top 5 course. With almost 100 bunkers and high rough, Shenny is an old style course. Its beauty is a reason why it hosts many state tournaments. Hole 4 very well might be the toughest par 3 in the state. Sitting on top of a “volcano” is a blind green that you must stick in order to make par. Hole 16 is my favorite here. The tee box is on a “pier” and it’s green has the best view in the state(see pic below).
Side note- so as you may know I collect pencils from every course I play. Shennecossett’s were blank(maybe to keep its historic feel). I told my story to the guys I was playing with and at the crossover to the water holes one of the guys said he was gonna run into his beautiful home on the 17th green to grab beers. When he returned he sure enough had a 12 pack AND a Shennecossett engraved rocks glass to store my pencils. THANKS MARTY!!
Tee times can be made on their site https://register.parksreconline.com/wbwsc/groton.wsc/wbsplash.html?wbp=4
Overall the course gets a 9 from me and I highly recommend getting out to play the only Ross designed course in the state open to the public. While walking it think of the many pros that possibly stepped where you just did( Arnie, Bobby Jones, and Francis Ouimet) I would have loved to play this course before the surrounding area was taken over by the homes and business now here.
Rockledge is the best “Hartford” course. Although technically in West Hartford this is the nicest course in the city by far. Playing at 6440yds(rating 71.1, slope 127) its not all that hard but greens are small and bunkers are a plenty so your iron game needs to be on. Holes worth mentioning on the front are 7 and 8. 7 is a short downhill 4 that plays only 330 but you need to leave the ball on the left for a shot into this tough green. Anything long of the green will roll into the water behind it. 8 is a tough uphill par 3 with a 2 tiered green. My favorite hole here is the par 5 14th. If you choose to go for it in 2 you need to stay left and avoid the bunker. Anything right can land on the slope and kick into the pond. Be happy with par on #17 and come home on the long straight away final hole.
River Ridge is a very average course located about 15 minutes North of Foxwoods in Jewitt City. Built in only 1999, the course is still new so is in good shape still and has distance. The front nine is way easier than the back on this 6800 yd layout, so get off to a good start. They converted an old apple orchard into the first 3 holes so its wide open and flat and should send you out smiling. The back nine has narrow fairways, doglegs and water which makes it tough for any golfer. To score here you may need to lay up often because of the quantity and placement of the fairway bunkers.
Tee times can be made on their site. The restaurant is decent and has a ski lodge type of feel.
This beautiful Tom Fazio designed course is in Ridgefield, touching the NY border. With the perfect amount of water and bunkers this course is challenging but not over the top. The front nine is wide open while the back gets pretty tight and less forgiving off the tees. You will see the beauty of the course right away on the first tee which is elevated on a downhill slight dogleg right. #2 doglegs even more right so make sure you play a fade here. If the tee box is across the pond on #3 then you are facing a very long par 3. 4 and 5 both play pretty easy which is def not the case for #6. This long par 5 is uphill and bends hard left making it a 3 shot hole. #8 is a pretty plain mid length par 4 but for some reason I really like it. Other holes worth mentioning here are #10 a long par 5, #12 traditional par 3 over water,#15 as narrow as it gets, and the long wood bridge between 16 and 17.
Tee times can be made on their site or on GolfNow. They have good range to hit up before you play.
Rolling Meadows is a beautiful family owned course located in Ellington which is halfway between Hartford and Springfield. “The first nine holes feature rolling hills and gently undulating greens, while the back nine demands accurate play thanks to the narrow fairways lined with towering trees”. I won’t go hole by hole here as they have one of the best video walk throughs ever on their site. If you had a great front nine I wouldn’t get your hopes up as the back is very tough. Like I mentioned before the fairways are narrow with OB on both sides and the green is often not visible from the tee box. The course is a great place for a scramble tournament and I will definitely be back. my favorite hole there is #3 which is a par 3 over a peaceful little pond. I also love it cause it was my closest to an ace all yr(see pic below).
Rolling Greens is a beginner 9 hole course in Rocky Hill. As far as rolling greens go I didn’t come across any. The fairways were long and straggly and the greens were long and slow. With many condo complexes surrounding the holes, you feel crammed in but at the same time green to tee box is often a decent walk.
Raceway is an average 18 hole course located on the Thompson Speedway property. Hole 6 is the strangest hole in the state. Its a par 5 that doglegs 90 degrees right twice so that the green is adjacent to the tee box. With plenty of water and pot bunkers on front of the green I doubt many get here in 2. My favorite hole here is #12 which is a short par 4 who’s green jets out into the water and is capped off by the halfway house. The view on the 18th tee box is kinda cool even for a non fan of NASCAR like myself.
Richter Park is often mentioned in the top course in the state conversation. For me in falls in the 5-10 range. Its located on Aunt Hack Rd(sounds made up) in Danbury. The course layout is very nice and its spread out well touching on the reservoir and Boggs Pond. Holes 3 and 5 are great par 3s that require you to carry water the whole way. The tee box on 7 sits all alone on the reservoir on this tough par 5. If you hit your drive 300yds, best bet would be to layup as the fairway runs downhill and to the right into water. My favorite hole here is #12 which is a dog leg right par 5. You need to lay up here as the green is tiny and is almost totally surrounded by water.There are signs marked Humus-quicksand on 15 and 16. Although I always enjoyed Humus and thought quicksand was make believe, they make these holes narrow and tough. After a short par 3 you are sent in with an uphill dogleg long 4. This is where your match can usually be won or lost.
They have a great virtual yardage book on their site.
Overall it gets an 8.5 from me. Tee times can be made on their site or GolfNow
Portland West is an 18 hole par 60 executive course in that bend of the river area near Middletown. Playing at only 4000 yards the course is tougher than it looks with water on half the holes and some long par 3s. There are no homes around the course so you feel like you are playing in the deep woods. Fun fact- the golf course is unique in the way that all the ponds and water ways were man made. #9 is my favorite hole here as you tee off from an elevated tee but need to land it in a tight fairway being squeezed by two large ponds.
Overall it gets a low 6 and I suggest playing Portland right after.