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
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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

Guilford Lakes Golf Course

Guilford Lakes was originally a 2 hole course that was expanded to 9 holes in the 1930s; shut down in 1989, and reopened in ’99. With not many golf courses on the shoreline I am sure many are happy it reopened. Its better to have a 9 hole par 3 than nothing at all.  Doesn’t hurt that it is the nicest manicured par 3 in the state. Not much to talk about with a short track like this but like I said its in great shape so not a bad spot to work on your short game. I would say that #4 is my favorite; with it’s firm green nestled between a bed of rocks and water to the right.

Rates are 15/17 for  non residents so why not go walk it with your buddies and get a cash game going.

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

http://www.guilfordlakesgc.com/

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

Grassy Hill Country Club

Grassy Hill is an average course with above average greens. The course consists of three bunches of holes. Holes 1-2 and 8-9  go back and forth and are behind the pro shop. Hole 3 is a down hill par 3 that sends you to the “lower” holes(4-7, and ,17-18). My favorite group of holes are 11-16 which are across the road. 11 requires a good drive to clear the stream and 12 has two ponds on it so you really need to choose the correct club. After an uphill par 3 and a downhill short 4 you come to what I think is the toughest hole there(#15). The par 5 #16 is protected by a large wetland so you may need to lay up with your second shot or if you do go for it, stay left!  17 is a downhill par 3 with a huge green so hit it and give yourself a chance at par. Not a huge fan of the finishing hole here. If you miss your tee shot right you end up in their iron only range and your approach shot needs to stay right or your ball will end up down a steep hill.

Of the 4 similiar courses in Orange/Woodbridge, I play Grassy the least due to them not having any deals or tee times online.

Call the Pro Shop for Tee Times 203-795-1422

http://www.grassyhillcountryclub.com/

Overall a 7

  • layout-7
  • condition-7
  • food- NA
  • staff- 9

Gainfield Farms Golf Course

I was shocked to learn that this course was only nine years old. This par 28 has a classic New England feel and a cute little club house that gives it old character; the town of Southbury helps with that too. First couple holes are of decent length then you can make back strokes on 4,5,and 6 which are sub 120 holes that go back and forth . 7th is the longest par 3 there, then a challenging uphill #8 leads you to a cool downhill ending hole who’s green is the clubhouse’s backyard. My favorite hole is #3; tee box is tucked back away from the path and has a mulch lined tree hazard on the left side. I suggest playing Pomperaug right after since this is just a warm up and its pretty much connected via Heritage. Tee times can be made  by phone only 203-262-1100

http://www.gainfieldfarmsgolf.com/Pages/default.aspx

  • layout-5
  • condition-7
  • food-NA
  • staff- 8

Fox Hopyard Golf Club

Fox Hopyard is a semi private course on my top 3 list. The Roger Rulewich designed course is in East Haddam which is about 20 minutes inland from Old Lyme. The entrance takes you in along side their 5 acre pond with a glimpse of the 18th green. A classic New England style clubhouse sits atop a 30ft rock ledge over looking the 9th/18th greens and the range. Wedged between holes 9 and 18 is the best range in the state which is enclosed by dense fescue lined hills. The fox starts you out with the easiest par 4 all day. After that you will face a tricky uphill slanted par 4 then a tight uphill par 5 both requiring carries over wetlands. Hole 4 is a par 3 that drops 90 feet onto a huge green. With 7 tee boxes club selection is crucial as being long will leave you on a downhill slope  above a downhill sloped green- good luck. I suggest you lay up twice on the par 5 5th and then get aggressive with your tee shot on 6. With more hazards than fairway, hole 7 fits the 1 handicap perfectly. The 8th is a beautiful par 3 that is all carry over the lake onto a wide yet narrow green. Rounding out the front is a short 4 with a multi tiered green. After your hot dog at the turn its off to hole 10 which is almost identical to #1. 11 and 12 are both protected by wetlands in front of the green. Hole 15 is a long dogleg right par 5 that would challenge players on the tour. The 16th is a long par 3, keep it to the left and hope you get a nice kick onto the green. 17 sends you out, setting you up for the BEST hole in the state. The score card says 528 from the blues but if the tee box is up and you get a good roll on your drive it leaves you with a tough choice. Either way you will need a precise shot, as that large lake you saw coming in looks even bigger now.

FoxHop gets a 10 and I suggest checking out their sister course Crumpin Fox in Mass(very similiar but more difficult)

http://golfthefox.com/fox-hopyard/about/

  • layout-10
  • condition-9
  • food- 9
  • staff- 9

Cool logo

Grassmere Country Club

Grassmere is a nicely landscaped nine hole course in Enfield. Surrounded by large farms, it is a perfect place for a casual outing. It plays relatively short but does have a decent amount of brooks running through it that can cause your strokes to add up. I am not a fan of the severely sloped par 3 ninth but besides that the course is fun and you can see they take pride in keeping it clean.

For a hole by hole walk through see their website below

http://www.grassmerecountryclub.com/tour_the_course.jsp

Tee times can be made by calling  (860) 749-7740

Overall it gets a 6.5 and is a great value.

  • layout-6
  • condition-7
  • food- NA
  • staff- 7