Wintonbury Hills is one of my favorite courses in the state, maybe #1 based on how well I usually play it. Located Northwest of Hartford, in Bloomfield, is a Pete Dye designed gem. Opening in 2006, it was the first Pete Dye designed golf course in Connecticut. The renowned golf course architect, who normally charges up to $750,000, billed the city only $1 for his services because of his commitment to more affordable golf. You start off here with a friendly, flat straight away 4. To get to it though you need to drive through the parking lot which is a minor flaw. I wish they would build a path from the practice green in the back of the clubhouse to the first tee. Moving along to hole 2 which is an uphill dogleg left with a pretty large landing area. Your approach shot will be somewhat impaired by the hill so leave it short left if anything. Next up is a short par 3; aim for the left side of the green as everything funnels right. Hole 4 is a skinny par 5 that gets even skinnier up by the green so I suggest laying up cause whatever you do, do not miss the green long or left. Hole 5 is a downhill 4, driveable for long hitters but I suggest laying up. 6 is a tiered fairway hole with a very elevated green followed by a long tough par with plenty of trouble on the left(first sign of water all day). Next up is another skinny par 5 but without any real hazards give it all you got twice. 2 years ago, after watching Thursday morning at the Travelers, I was having the round of my life here. I was 1 under and just crushed my drive down this fairway as the horn went off. I tried to finish the hole and the very short par 3 9th but the carts wouldn’t let me(you will see why later). Another flaw I have with the design here is that the back nine starts off almost identical to the front. Not only does it go par 4,4,3,5 but the holeshave the exact same layout. Holes 14 and 15 are both very nice and very much alike. They are skinny and have OB on the right the whole time and their greens are very protected on the right too. After the long par 3 17 you close it out with a pretty, flat hole similar to 1 and 10.
Overall it gets a 9.5 and is an absolute steal at the prices they offer. Funny note here is that encourage you to drive in straight lines ON the fairways only and the cart’s GPS is so good that if you stray into areas unwanted, the cart will turn off and you will need to push it. Also are the only carts I have seen that you can order your food via touchscreen. They have a range, chipping area and putting green so if you want to host an upscale tournament and treat your guests, this is the place.
Woodstock is a run down 9 hole course in the middle of nowhere Norheast CT. The course is over 120 years old and it looks and feels like it(1896). You start off on a par 3 with a very chewed up tee box. After that you face a short 4 that doglegs at the very end and can leave your ball on a hill in front of the green. Next up is an angled hole with a blind tee shot. Just when you thought the layout couldn’t get any worse, #4 is a 90 dogleg. 5 and 6 are straightaway 4s that lead you too a long downhill 3 that you can not go long on. 8 would be a good hole except its too tight.
You can book a tee time on Golf18 Network. Their website is http://www.woodstockgc.com/
Overall course gets just a 3.5 and feels like a community/league place that doesn’t get many visitors. If you live around there you should frequent this place since its so cheap, esp the range balls.
The “Wheel” as referred to by the regulars, is a 36 hole facility in Bridgeport. The better of the two courses is the Black Course. The Red course has awful starting and finishing holes(1,9,10,18) but if you need to play golf on a weekend, you can pretty much always get a last minute time there. As the rest of the Red is boring and goes back and forth I will go through the Black course now. Hole 1 is a slight dog leg right 4 that brings you to my least favorite hole there. #2 has a blind tee shot that requires the group in front to ring a bell. 3 is a very short par 3 and 4 is an uphill 4 that requires a good tee shot to get the green in 2. Keep your driver in the bag for the next hole but make sure you bring it right back for the long #6. 6,7, and 8 are a very tough bunch of holes so get through there at even and be happy and close out the front. From the 10th tee box you can see Long Island Sound which is miles away. Let it rip and avoid the left side fairway bunkers for an easy par. After a short, well protected par 3 you will have to play a draw(or aim left) on the dog leg left #12. No coincidence that #13 is my favorite hole here. From an elevated tee box you need to carry around 230yds to be left with a beautiful, not easy, approach shot in. 14 is short so best bet would be a draw hybrid. 15 is a nice flat wide open par 4 that feels like it belongs on the red course,not in a bad way, just the fact that it sits on that layout. 16 is a challenging hole with an elevated green that you want to be long on. Next up is the prettiest hole on both courses. A beautiful par 3 hitting over tall cattail. If the pin is in the front you will miss your only hole in one. The closing hole here plays up hill and unless you can hit a fade you will be left with a fat chance to make par.
Tee times can be made online at https://www.fairchildwheelergolf.com/ or on GolfNow
Overall I give the Wheel a weak 6 as a combined score.
Woodhaven is a nine hole track hidden very deep in the woods in Bethany. Hole 1 is a banana shaped par 5 that is an easy par especially if you can fade your drive. Hole 2 is a short slightly uphill par with a very tough green so make sure you get on in one. 3 and 4 are both very short so should be no prob parring both unless 4’s green is rolling quick. No need to use your driver on the next hole who’s green plays just as tough as 4’s(big slope). 6 is a long straightaway par 5 followed by a quirky par 4 where you should club down off the tee to avoid the water. After another par 3 you get the nicest tee shot all day. Carry the water and hopefully your ball will kick forward off the big hill on the left. If your looking for a deal, they used to offer nine and an unreal fried hot dog with chips all for $21. Hope its still offered.
Overall it gets just a 5 and since its only nine holes and in the middle of nowhere its for recreational use only. Its family ran and everyone there is friendly so bring the kids and have a relaxing time here.
Westwoods is an 18-hole, 4407 yard, par-61 executive course in Farmington. I don’t see this course being more than a place for an after work league or a senior league. Sub par layout and it needs some tender love and care. That’s all I got for this place and I probably won’t ever play it again.
Tee times can be made by calling (860) 675-2548. The starter there is a veteran and is on top of everything.
Overall it gets just a 4.5 as its not really a course but the girl working the snack bar was top 3 on my mini tour.
Whitney Farms, located in Monroe, is an 18 hole classic New England style course. With my fade, hole one is usually an easy par. Holes 2 and 3, not so much. They both have water running the whole way down them and #3s green jets out into that aforementioned water. Holes 4-8 are spread out and run through a community which requires you to cross with traffic. The only hole out of those that I like it the zig zag 8th. After you see your buddies shank their tee shot on the par 3 9th, you may want to move your car. The back nine starts off with a nice downhill 4 followed by a tough but beautiful par 5. My favorite hole here is the picturesque par 3 15 that is surrounded by water. Right after that is a nice but bland par 5. 17 and 18 are nice but feel a little forced in around the range.
Western Hills is East Mountain’s sister course and the other, very similar muni in Waterbury. Not too much to write about this one either, as per my East Mtn review, I played 54 in the rain this day. I do remember power lines running through it which doesn’t help its attraction. The course plays only 6300 from the tips so is not the place for single digit handicapers.
Tee times can be made by calling (203) 755-6828 http://www.waterburyct.org/content/5063/5065/default.aspx
Woodbridge is a recently turned public course in the Amity area right outside of New Haven. When the club initially went public the town hired MDM to run the course who of course did not provide any upkeep or make any enhancements. For the past year, Billy Casper mgmt have operated the course but I have only seen minor improvements. To their defense, it takes twice as long to bring a course back then to let it get like it did so I have faith in Billy Casper golf as they have a great track record. They have already added some life their by creating lots of events including the great Sunday Football Scramble on game days. Hole 1 is always in the worst shape there so don’t get too discouraged..it will get better. That fairway just floods and so does the green when that pond overflows; the pond with the biggest frogs and turtles in CT.
Willow Brook is an exceptionally well maintained pitch n putt in South Windsor. Not much to go through here as most holes are short little straight away 3s. The immaculate condition is surprising as par 3s are usually played by kids and “not serious” golfers who tend to not know etiquette as well. Goes to show you the respect the South Windsorians have and the pride the management has for Willow Brook. No reason to take a cart here unless you need to and don’t worry the walk to the first tee is the longest all day.
I will def be back here and hope I will be lucky enough to join #BUCCI MANE and his son to walk 18 and talk puck.
Rates are very reasonable so call 860-648-2061 for tee times now.
Overall I give it a 8.5 and is the best par3 I ever played(yes i know there are a couple par 4s but its a par 3 course in my book)
Just won the Walter Lowell award for most distinguished Public Golf Course in CT and Western Ma
Tunxis is a 45 hole facility located just west of Hartford where golf courses are a plenty. Not going to go through every hole as I played all 45 in a row and who knows what courses I played in what order. There are some really scenic holes here but I liked the holes by the big pond the most. With so many holes around you, bad shots won’t go OB but will often be blocked by the abundance of trees or in the drink. Wish I had more to say about this great facility but it was a long day in the sun here.
Tee times can be made on GolfNow or their website http://www.tunxisgolf.com/golf/tee-times.html
Overall I give it a strong 7 as it is maintained and ran well for such a huge place. There is a great range there and they can obv host tournaments.
Tradition’s other CT course is in Wallingford and is the exact opposite of Oak Lane where as I love the back nine layout and not the front so much. The first 5 holes are jammed in and have power lines constantly in sight. To get to hole 6 you need to take your cart through the parking lot and across the street to a hole that sits very close to the highway. Hole 7 is a driveable par 4 with many bunkers and OB left and right so may not be the best hole to try to show off on. #9 looks tougher than it is….with an uphill blind second shot take one more club and keep it right. Hole 10 is another easily driveable hole but with bunkers and varying slopes near the green, once again its not that easy. I do not recommend walking this course as I did once especially cause of the long uphill walk to #11. After you par 11 you’re on to the famous island green. Although its in better shape than others, it still has too much goose poop on it and they need a ranger there to stop people from hitting 3 balls that leads to a guaranteed huge backup. Holes 13-16 are great(16 being my favorite) except for the fact of the damn power lines again. #17 is yet another driveable par 4 but this one instead of being tough if short, is unplayable and will cost you a drop. After you drive over the “dragon coaster”(reference to Rye Playland) you finish up at a downhill 3 with a 2 tiered green.
Overall it gets a 6 and tee times can be made on http://wallingfordtradition.com/
This club is now under new management and has changed names to the Windham Club. The University Club did not last long…it was the former Willimantic Country Club which was been sold to a group headed by former University of Connecticut basketball star Donny Marshall in 09. The course last year was not maintained too well, crab grass and lack of signage. The pro shop is pretty much empty. Hopefully the new owners do as they say and modernize the grill and clubhouse and in doing so raise money to keep up with the course’s needs.
Tee times can be made by calling for now 860.456.1971
Overall it gets a 5.5 and regardless of the management won’t go up too much as the layout is very bland and short.
Twin Hills is an average at best course located in the surrounding farm land near UCONN(its on Bread and Milk st). I won’t go through every hole here as there aren’t any that really standout. There are too many sharp turns out here.
Tee times can be made by calling (860) 742-9705
Overall it gets only a 5 but is family ran so def worth playing if you live in the area and don;t take golf too too serious.
Villa Hills is a nine hole course only a long walk away from “Celeron”. This par 3 course is so bad it has you hitting off of mats. I got there around 9 am(I think on a sat) and there was no not one person there, not even at the restaurant. I teed off with the plan of paying on the way out, but was greeted by a guy who drove his actual car out to collect the fare! I only suggest this place for an underclassman trying to get to second base with a UCONN freshmen.
Overall I give it a 2 just because its so close to the original Wings Over.
Oak Lane was once a private club, but like many, went bankrupt, feel apart then went public. Since Tradition took it over the course has made some significant improvements. They first off re-greened #s 10 and 11, which were pure dirt 2 yrs ago. They resurfaced parts of the driving range and I suggest they get new mats ASAP. Although I never ate at Oak Lane when it was private, they did a great job on the bar and the food is excellent. Hole 1 is a very tough par 5 and sets you out in a bad mood, usually a par at best. The hole bends uphill to the left making your layup second shot crucial. Too far right and your in a bunker, too far left it slides down and leaves you behind a tree. Hole 2 is fairly tight and windy, so put your driver away. Don’t cut the left corner too close on #3 as you may end up in the bunkers with no shot of getting that green. Next up is a very short par 3 over water followed by a par 4 that makes you layup before another pond. After the long par 3 6th you come to one of the toughest holes here. With water running the whole way on the right, you’re forced to layup left, but too far left you will get blocked out by the massive in front of the green. Hole 8 is another sort narrow 4 that makes no sense to use your driver. Rounding out the front 9 is an easy version of hole #1. Long hitters beware of the pond at the bottom of the fairway, its reachable.
I hate hole #10 ha. Me, having a sometimes bad fade, should like this sharp dogleg right but I have never hit the green in 2 here. Even if you do hit the fairway you have a tough shot in to a steep green where you need to be below the hole. The rest of the back nine is very bland and the only tip I have is try to be below the hole on #18 as it has a very steep front sloping green as well(like #10)
Tower Ridge sits pretty much on top of Talcott Mountain, making it one of the hilliest courses in the state. I can not critique this course too much because I played it last year after a couple days of heavy rain. Being on such a steep mountain, the water all collected on the flat holes making some of them unplayable(esp #1, 2 and 13). The 8th hole is the hardest par 3 in the state just edging out Great River ‘s #17. Their signature hole has to be the finishing hole. Don’t let the narrow tee box scare you; bomb your drive and be left with a short wedge over the fountain pond and hit the green with everyone watching on the outdoor patio.
Overall I give Tower Ridge a 6.5 but if I play it again on a nice sunny day it would prob go up to a 7
Opening in 1997, this very young course is still in great shape. Not only does South Windsor have 1-800-hockey1, and Buccigross, it also has a couple really nice golf courses. The first two holes are short so you shld get off to a one under start. #3 is short and best bet would be to leave your driver in your bag. The first par 3, hole 4, can play very long from the blue tees, just keep it left. The rest of the front is pretty wide open and easy, especially the sharp dogleg right 9th. On the back, I really like the long straightaway tight par 5 16 and then the short 4 17 that requires you to play the right side of the fairway to avoid the oak tree on the left.
Tee times can be made on their site and they have hole by hole walk through. http://topstonegc.com/hole1/
I suggest playing the par 3 Willow Brook course before or after since its so close. Overall Topstone gets an easy 7.5…make it an 8. Don’t be surprised to see some Bucci overtime challenge ball markers on the greens there.
Nestled along the base of Ragged Mountain located in Berlin CT, Timberlin Golf Club, is a premier 18-hole municipal golf course designed by Al Zikorus. The course had a major renovation recently which included the addition of bunkers, like they needed anymore. The bunkers, a couple uphill long par 3s and the water on 12-14, makes the course challenging. I don’t remember this course too well as I played it with my friends Tyler Vermette and Brian Sotire and for those of you that don’t know them they tend to make everything a blurr, a blurr in a great way.
Te times can be made on their site http://www.timberlingolf.com/
Tashua is a very good muni located in Trumbull. With the perfect mix of tree lined fairways, hills, and water, Tashua is a classic New England style course. I will not g through every hole as there is a great hole by hole walk through with tips from their pro on http://www.tashuaknolls.com/knolls_18.php My favorite hole there is the par 5 14th.
Tee times can be made on their site and good luck getting a weekend tee time before noon. http://www.tashuaknolls.com/
Overall the course gets a 7 and if you only have time for nine after work the executive course there is more than sufficient to settle that craving. There is a range there to hit irons to warm up before your round. Residents of Trumbull are lucky to have this complex that contains a pool, tennis and basketball courts as well.