Tallwood is a very mediocre course in Hebron. Located right next to Blackledge, this densely wooded course requires you to be accurate off the tees. The course has plenty of water in all the wrong places, mostly right in front of hard to reach greens or in 15’s case the whole way. Its not all that long of a track but that doesn;t mean its easy. Don’t get too excited if you make the turn at your all time low, the back nine is par 37 and with plenty of water….buckle down.
Overall the course gets a 5.5 and is decent for the price. Decent driving range and practice area.
Sunset Hill is a short, somewhat hilly, nine hole course in Brookfield CT. The overall feel here is very laid back and has many regulars. Hole #1 is long and with a tight chewed up fairway it plays very tough. If you include the elevation drop hole 3 is prob the shortest hole in the state. Not much more to talk about here…feel free to leave comments.
Tee times can only be made by calling (203) 740-7800
Overall the course gets just a 4 and is for beginners only. I warmed up here before Candlewood but I wldnt recommend it as it may do more harm than good.
Stonybrook is a nice nine hole course located in Litchfield. If it weren’t on a steeeep hill it would be the best nine hole course in the state. The layout is pretty short but has a good mix of straight away holes, slight doglegs and water hazards. As far as condition goes, its excellent especially for a nine hole track where you usually get more beginners that may not know basics(replace divots/ball marks etc). #5 is the toughest hole there as you need to have the perfect tee shot to leave you with a good angle into the super elevated green. My favorite hole there is #8. Its not all that long but the fairway and green are small and protected by water.
The course has the same owner as Fairview Farms so I suggest playing both and having a great day.
Southington CC is a par 71 18 hole course located in the apple valley town of Plantsville. Playing at only 6000yds the course has a rating of only 67/122. The course itself is a perfect rectangle and as seen from google maps looks like it belongs on a NYC block. With that said, they make use of every square inch of land and turn what you would think to be a tight course into a pretty good layout. The front nine goes back and forth, up and downhill for the most part. The back has some twists and turns and some water in play.
Tee times can be made on their website http://www.southingtoncountryclub.com/teetimes.html
Overall it gets a weak 7 and I recommend playing it in the middle of a hot streak as you can go low and maybe set a new personal record here.
Sterling Farms is the better Stamford course and with the limited number in Fairfield County its often packed. Packed means usually one thing- slow play. The tight layout and lack of many hills make it an easy walk. Hole 1 should send you out with confidence as it plays only 337yds downhill and is the easiest hole there. Next up is my favorite hole there. The 500 yd par 5 has an elevated tee box but the green is well protected which makes your long second shot tough. Holes 3 and 4 are both very short but on #4 you will need to play it smart as its a sharp dogleg left. #5 is a very long tough par 3. AT 221 yds hope to be long and right and just make par. The par 5 6th is a short par 5 on the scorecard but plays way longer especially your second shot. Not a fan of the dogleg right handicap 1 hole #7. After aiming left on the uphill par 3 next, you get to close out the front 9 with a short straight away par 4.
The hardest hole at Sterling is the 232 yd par 3 17. The tee box is pretty tight but luckily the tree front left of the green went down in one of the storms. 18 is a very nice plain finishing hole. You should close your round just like you finished it with a birdie!
This course was the sought after place at 5 pm on weekdays while at UBS. With that said it was dirt cheap for residents only. Now because of lack of play like everywhere, they offer frequent play discount cards to non residents.
Tee times can be made on their site or GolfNow. They have a very nice 2 tier driving range here as well.
This past week I was on my annual Spring Training trip down South. This year I was joined by my best friend John Porzio. We flew into Atlanta, surprised my 2 nephews, had dinner with them, my brother and his wife then started our drive back home. First stop was Tanglewood in North Carolina(home of the 1974 PGA championship). Upon arriving there, we were greeted with about an inch of snow that delayed opening until 12pm. On the fly we decided to skip Tanglewood as we were on a tight schedule the next couple of days. Next stop was Primland resort in Meadows of Dan Virginia. This resort is ranked #21 in golf digest public course list and is now home to a Tavistock Cup team and consists of a lodge and a very large hunting ground. After driving on a country road for about 20 mins you arrive at a gate and must buzz in. Once through the gate you have a 8 mile drive up the mountain on a very windy road that takes about 30 minutes; its worth it. The lodge,pic below, is stunning and has neverending views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Next stop was the Pete Dye River Course at Virginia Tech. This course runs along side of the New River, which is the oldest river in the country and the second oldest river in the world behind the Nile. Don’t ask me how they age rivers but I guess they do. The river is wide and runs fast, and I am sure is home to tons of wildlife in the Summer. We saw a mink on the course; first time I ever seen one of those. As far as the course goes, the holes feel repetitive and the greens are as small and tough as they come. Its a flat links style course and is one of the best college courses in the country.
The final stop on this short trip was Spring Creek in Gordonsville VA. Spring Creek is #58 on golf digest’s list and is deserving of that. They are in the middle of finishing a beautiful club house that will make this a top class country club. The pro there, Kevin Haney, no relation to Hank, was very accommodating and the members there are lucky to have him. The never flat fairways here make this course very tough .
Overall the trip was great but too short. I am thinking about doing another one this year; maybe Williamsburg or Ocean City. Stay tuned.
Stanley is a 27 hole course located in New Britain. The course is a traditional, old New England layout with tree lined fairways, not much water, and not much length.
Holes 4 and 5 on the white nine are the toughest. They bend back and forth, raised greens and have plenty of water in between them. Hole 7 on the Blue 9 is my favorite. A good drive should put you right in front of the mini river running across the fairway.
They have specials on their website http://www.stanleygolf.com/
Overall it gets a weak 7 and has a nice range with some covered stalls to use if the weather is bad. Like always, if there are more than 18 play more than 18.
As many of you, like myself, are heading South for spring training, make sure you stop into Golf Galaxy before you go. This chain superstore has EVERYTHING you need, including clubs, balls, shoes, clothes and now carrying the TW clothing line. All of this years clubs are now in store so stop in and take advantage of the best deals in the state. If you are looking for used clubs, they have plenty of those as well so stop in periodically to see the ever changing inventory. With that said make sure you bring your old clubs to trade in as well.
If you are shopping for new clubs have Mark Ashby or Ed “shaftman” Tayag fit you for the perfect set. They will have you hit many diff settings in one of the 2 simulators there. Cody’s sense of style will get you looking like a parking lot pro, and Bill, Chris, Gary, and Mary will be happy to help with anything in the store. GM Pat has done a great job with the store and keeping the above mentioned all in line ha.
If your thinking about lessons before your trip schedule a couple with PGA pro Mike Gramelis. His “classroom” is in the store so you will stay warm while he fine tunes your swing on the slowmo screen. He will give you tips to improve your game and work on during your trip.
I recommend joining their advantage club as its free and provides great specials and earns in store credit. 10$ for every 300 you spend
Overall the store gets a 10. Many golfers think they are on the tour and above chain stores. Golf Galaxy Milford has the expertise of a seasoned boutique with the supply and price of a box store. Be sure to stop in soon!
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.