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.
Quarry View…. is all you get here. The course is a nine hole rinky dink course in East Canaan CT. Some of the holes have you hitting off of a mat. The view of the limestone quarry on the 8th tee box is the best thing about the course.
Tee times can be made by calling them. http://www.quarryviewgolf.com/index.html
The day I played there was no one there at all, not even in the pro shop. Sign said drop money in the mailbox…which I did.
Quarry Ridge is the final course in Portland and the best one there. The first couple holes are classic woodland holes with amazing views. When you get to hole 7 you will see why its called Quarry Ridge. From here on you will start to see these magnificent rock formations(sometimes getting in your way and other times helping keep your ball in the fairway). The best view can be seen when you tee off on #10. From it’s elevated tee box you can clearly see the CT river. Holes 12 and 13 are my favorites here. #12 is a long tough par 4 and the 1 handicap. It has a large rock wall running the length of the hole on the left which ultimately leads to the rock cliffs on the short #13.
Tee times can be made on their site or on GolfNow
Overall it gets a solid 7 and they have a hole by hole walk through on their site.
Pequot is located right along side I-95 in Stonington. The course itself is somewhat short and pretty beat up especially holes 4-8. I enjoyed the back nine alot more especially the 10th hole which contains the only water on the course. After the tight #11 you get a nice short secluded par 3 with a large green. #13 may be the sharpest dog leg I ever played. The woods on the left make an exact 90 degree turn and is the reason its a par 5. #16 is a tight winding hole with a creek through the middle that plays long. The final hole here is probably my favorite. Its a wide open short 5 that you should par or better.
Portland, as you would have guessed, is located in Portland, sandwiched in between Quarry Ridge and Portland West. The 18 hole course is very short but the many elevation changes and bends make it somewhat challenging. If you can draw and fade your ball you can really score here as the greens are huge and “getable”. With the lack of water on the course and no need to be hitting driver often most players should finish with the ball they started with.
There is a hole by hole shot by shot guide on their site.
Oxford Greens is definitely in the top 10 list of public courses in CT. Probably should be in the top 5 but not on my list because it beats me up every time I play it. This Mark Mungeam design is a very long and very challenging course. If you miss the fairways with your driver you may often be hitting 3, as balls run down the sloped run offs into the woods easily. Hole #3 is the longest hole in CT measuring 630yds and is mostly all uphill. Winding through the scenic woods, open meadows, and housing community, no holes run parallel.
There is a nice range as well as a great bar on site so I would plan on spending most of your day there since its kind of off the beaten path. One drawback is not being able to hit the bar/grill at the turn.
Tee times can be made on their site or on GolfNow
Overall it gets an 9 and can be a great place for a scramble format tournament.
This course has more water than fairway. Pomperaug is a nine hole course in Southbury that has water in play on every single hole. With the period of heavy rain this summer much of the course got flooded and therefore lost luster and lots of grass. Most of the holes are pretty easy; short with large greens. The exception is hole 7 which is the toughest here as it arcs hard to the right over a big pond. You need to pick your target point not too far right where you won’t clear the water but not too far left where you will hit through the fairway.
There is a nice little semi outdoor grill area that is a nice place to enjoy a post round meal at.
Call (203) 264-8200 for tee times.
Overall it gets just a 6 and should be paired with another 9 or 18 near by. I would suggest maybe Crestbrook
Not THAT Pine Valley…I wish. This one is located in Southington and is far from it. Measuring only 6300yds, Pine Valley has two distinct nines. The front nine is very hilly, while the back is more wide open with water hazards.The course has a similar feel to Hawks Landing; probably cause of its close proximity. I think the first couple holes are very simple yet nice; tree lined fairways, couple bunkers and decent sized greens. I would layup on hole 6 as you can’t reach the green so why bring the water into play? Hole 9 carries a 2 handicap and has a very wide skinny green that requires you to club up or down 2 depending on where your tee shot landed. The back nine starts off with a fairly long par 3 but it’s huge green is tough to miss. Hole 11 runs parallel with the street which is obviously OB so best bet is to layup with a long iron or 3 wood. Next up is a very tough stretch of 3 holes. First up is # 12 which is a long dog leg left that feels pretty narrow at times. #13 is the hardest hole here as its measures 442 is a dogleg right with a stream at the bend. The second shot will be longer than you think. Speaking of second shots, the second shot on 14 needs to be dead on as the green is narrow, there is water short, a hazard long, and OB right. 15 has the largest bunker I have ever seen. Looks more like a sandy waste area found in Arizona.
The Orchards aka MCC- Milford Country Club is located in my hometown Milford. It is a short 9 hole course with a couple par 4s but most are reachable or are 90 degree doglegs that require 2 to get home. One hole worth talking about is #4. I wish they would get rid of the large tree right in the middle of the fairway. They should cover the trunk in chocolate and have the world’s largest ground hog, usually found on that tee box, chew it down.
The people that play here are very laid back so don’t expect a quick round on the weekends or in the mornings. To help speed up play, on the long par 3s and the 4s they encourage the group in front to call on the next group once they get onto the green. There are signs reminding players of that.
Rates start at 10.80 for residents so it makes for the perfect place for you and your buddies to race to from the train(making sure one guy stops for the beers)
I consider Orange Hills my HOME course. It was the first course I played 3 years ago and is the course I rushed to after work many a days from the train station. This course is as family run as it gets; the whole Smith family takes pride in their course including “Bud” himself who has watched over the course for the pasty 50+ years. You will also get the family feel on the first green where there are sculptures of the family dogs. Hole 1, which I eagled, is straight away and if you let it get away right you have two fairways wide in play still. #2 is a decent length par 5 with a stream running through that can swallow up your drive. Best bet is to lay up with your tee shot. It is risk/reward so if you have wind at your back go for it and you can get there in 2 and eagle it like me. Next up is a par 3 with an uphill sloping green. Following that is a slight dogleg right long par 4. This hole is very tough and if you slice your drive at all your ball will not be found. I suggest aiming for the last bunker on the left. The fifth hole is the easiest hole here so let it rip and you will have a short wedge in. #6 is a dog leg left that requires a 230y tee shot to stay left and you will still have a mid iron in. Now its time to take on the hardest hole here. This is a long par 4 that bends left but the fairway slopes hard right; good luck. Closing out the front is a short par 4 and a par 3 who’s green slopes more than it looks to the right. Now for the back nine. Starts off with a long downhill 3, don’t take too much club here as there is water long and right. If you fade your drive you should be able to score on the par 5 11th(eagled this one too). #12 and 13’s greens are protected by a pond so don’t be short. I am not a huge fan of the 90 degree dog leg right #14 but make sure you get it around that corner or else its a par 5. Tip- you need about 210 to get around the corner from the back tees. If you pure your drive on the next hole you will be left with a wedge in to a somewhat volcano green. Remember that big hill you went down on 10, now its time to go up it on 16. This is the toughest green here as it rolls fast back down the hill and right. You are not in the clear yet. #17 has a very sloped fairway so if you fade your drive I suggest you aim off the fairway left or else your ball may find the OB. The closing hole here usually leaves you with a smile on your face. It is barely longer than #17 but is a par 5(eagled this guy too…wish they were all the same round).
Note- there are not too many yardage markers here but there are small bushes on every hole 150 out if you don’t have your rangefinder.
Last Summer they added the one thing I thought they were missing all this time….a cart girl. And they didn’t just get any girl, this blonde was gorgeous with a beautiful smile and we all hope shes back again this yr.
Tee times can be made on their site and have daily deals on EZLINKS
Pequabuck is a beautiful, semi private 18 hole course located in Terryville CT, which is just minutes away from the ESPN headquarters in Bristol. Noted for years as the “working” man’s club, they have a great history section on their site as well a great description that I will borrow -“Built over 100 years ago, Pequabuck is routed through a mature pine forest, the Bristol Reservoir, and railroad tracks. The course is immaculately groomed and features firm fairways with lighting fast greens” The front is nice but the back 9 is my favorite. Starts off with a long par 3 who’s fairway/green sits floating in the Bristol reservoir. Looks alone, #11 is my favorite hole in the state. The right side is lined with monstrous pines that remind me of Pinehurst, and the left side runs the length of the beautiful reservoir. Another cool hole here is the downhill par 3 16th. The thought of an old train track running through it would sound like an eye soar but to me it adds a little character.
I had the pleasure of playing this track with an ESPN soccer anchor who was great company. Only thing better would have been pairing up with Buccigross!
Miner Hills is a short 9 hole course right along side of I-91 in Middletown. Its a real tight par 3 course with 3 par 4s all under 300yds. The course is overall in just decent shape and is ideal for after work league play when thats all you got time for. They also have a little range so may be a good place to join for beginner golfers looking to improve their game.
There are very cheap rates on GolfNow. Overall it gets a 5
Minnechaug is operated by MDM so as you would expect, it is in terrible shape. Its a nine hole course in Manchester which serves as a warm up spot to Manchester country club at best. The holes line a somewhat new housing development. I suspect that the builder used the course to jack the price of the condos then put no money into it after he made his money on house sales. I could only imagine how many people that live on that course actually belong to Manchester though. So like I said the holes go out and around with only holes 4 and 5 touching fairways. Hole 7 is a really “unfun” sharp right turn. If you are walking, the stretch from 7 to 8 is longgg and takes you through part of the neighborhood. Their claim to fame is the island green par 3 8th. While yes it is an island green, the green itself is in toughhh shape. Never mind all the goose crap on it, there are actual geese themselves on it and most of the green is dead from that and flooding.
Lyman Orchards is probably my favorite golf facility in the state and it got even better this past year with the addition of the Apple nine and the new grass driving range. Now totaling 45 holes, the facility is made up of an 18 designed by Robert Trent Jones, another 18 designed by Gary Player, a nine hole course and TWO driving ranges. The original range plays dramatically downhill and is great to just warm up on. If you want to play for big bucks that day I suggest you hit the grass range by the Apple and then maybe even walk the apple quick. I am not going to take you through every hole here as there are too many but I will mention my favorite holes on both. Big fan of #14 on the Player with the big red barn on your left and then a very “New England” style house looking onto the green, but #15 on both courses are my favorites. People tend to think that the Jones course is far superior but I think they are closer to equals. The Player course has a lot more hills but it also has the best view on the course( tee box on # 11).
Overall it gets an 8+ and is a great place to host a tournament or bring the family and enjoy all of what Lyman has to offer(apple and other fruit picking, pumpkin picking, corn maze, and a fresh produce shop).
If i lived closer I would sign up for a lifetime membership here.
You can book tee times on there site or can book the Player and Apple on GolfNow
Oak Hills is located in Norwalk and is one of only two courses located in the heavily populated area between Stamford and Bridgeport. With that said the course is usually very crowded and with cheap rates,esp to residents, it gets torn up. It is a classic woodland style course with the traditional par 3s over water and a nice stretch of wide open holes(7-12).
Located very close to Mohegan Sun Casino is Norwich Golf Course. The course is slightly above average and has some fun, challenging holes on it. Hole 1 starts you off easy with a short, wide opened, downhill 4. The tee box is completely surrounded by tall shrubs so you should have no distractions here. Next two holes are dog legs with #3 being very tough if you can’t draw the ball. Next up is the handicap 1 hole, stretching over 400 yds and going straight uphill with a blind second shot. Holes 5-8 are pretty plain and simple and lead up to the first and only par 3 on the front. The tee box here lines you up left where there is a huge trap and a water hazard that is not that far out of play especially if you hit the hardpan near the path. You start to make your way in with a huge dogleg right that has a hill long of the fairway serving as a backstop if you miss your fade. #11 is wide open but requires a great second shot on this left sloping green. Next up you have the two par 5s that go back and forth with par 3s after each one. To play the final three holes you need to cross a busy street. After going uphill on 16 you get to play my favorite hole here. #17 has a downhill funneling fairway that more than likely will put your ball in a prime scoring spot. You end the par 35 back nine and your round with a slightly uphill par 3.
If you are looking for a nice cheap weekend trip. I suggest playing here rather than Mohegan’s course and staying at the Hyatt rather than Mohegan.
Longshore is a short par 69 course located in Westport, just off the sound, although you can’t see it while you play. The town owns and operates the course so it is very cheap for residents and they have advance booking rights. If you are looking for a place to play after work and you work anywhere between Bridgeport and Stamford you need to stop and play here as its only 20$. Upon arriving at Longshore, you are taken down a mile lone one way road to the pro shop and Inn which IS on the water. The course plays very short but is filled with fescue lined bunkers so be sure to bring your sand game. Since there are no hills here its a great place to walk. After your round be sure to stop by Splash especially if you took my advice and went after work as the happy hour scene there can be pretty good. Tee times can be made on their site or by calling and non residents can not make tee times on weekend mornings.
Another Top 10 course. The beauty of this course is seen right when you check in at the pro shop. Holes 1 and 18 sit right on the lake along with the putting green. Hole 1’s tee box is adjacent to the outdoor dining area and reminds me of Merion. Being a short hole and water on the left I suggest not using your driver and starting off on the right foot. You can break out the big stick on #2 which is a decent length downhill left breaking par 4. Now you need to cross a busy main road that’s actually called Main St to play #3 and #4 before crossing back over the road to play the rest of the front 9. You get a nice break on the downhill short par 3 before playing the hardest hole on the course. #6 is a dogleg right with an elevated green and if you let your drive get away right its all but gone. Rounding out the front 9 is a decent length par 4 with a creek, a par 3 that requires you to hit the green and a tough hole that is protected by that same creek but grew and sits at the bottom of a large hill in front of the green. Before taking on the second half of the day there is a nice halfway house to refuel at. 10 ,11, and 13 are somewhat short quirky par 4s with another short downhill par 3 jammed in between. To get to #14 which is my favorite hole there, you need to cross the street again and this time its on the top of a hill and can be somewhat blind. From this elevated tee box you can see all of the hole except the green. Its nestled in the back left behind a large pond. Even if you lay up here(which most will need to) there is a lone tree in front of the pond that can block your third shot in. 15 is a dogleg left par 5 that brings you to the home stretch, 16 and 17 are straight away simple 4s but for some reason I really enjoy them. Onceeee again you need to cross the road for the finishing hole which is a long 3 with water long and left. As you could tell I do not like the fact that you need to cross a busy road often but I’m sure that road probably wasn’t there when the course was built.The only other thing I do not love about MCC is that the par 5s are both back to back on the front and then back. Besides that I love this course and will be going there often. When I do I will prob warm up at Minnechaug or use MCC’s range which is located in the middle of the course.
This is a family run course located in Middlefield and they take pride in it. The course is constantly improving and always in great shape. The clubhouse was recently updated and so was the practice green and driving range. There are many hills and blind shots here including your second shot on the par 5 5th. If I could make one change here I would make hole 6’s dogleg less sharp especially since the left is just woods and can easily be widened. #9 is my favorite hole there as it is a downhill wide open short par 4 with a large green and sends you home happy every time.
Tee times can be made by calling 860-349-8109 and are on EZLinks