Golf is always a great time… as long as you’re playing better than your friends. All jokes aside though, with businesses considering closing again amid corona virus concerns, golf is a great activity. It provides a chance to be able to spend time with your friends, doing what you love, in a safe environment that promotes social distancing.
Connecticut is filled is some amazing golf courses that range across the state. All the way from Stamford to Hartford to Manchester you will find some challenging courses that test even the best golfers. This list will provide you with the best of the best so you can test your game and see how you match up with the pro’s.
The golf course at Yale University is one of the best in the country. Ranked the number one course in the state, it is also ranked the 68th best course in the country. It was built in the 1920’s with a budget of $400,000, the largest golf course budget ever at the time. Known for its cavernous bunkers that require wooden steps to climb into, veterans of the course avoid them at all costs. The greens are also very challenging, so definitely expect a few three puts when you play. The Yale course has hosted every significant championship in the State of Connecticut as well as two USGA Junior National Events. The most famous hole on the course is the par four 10th, which is around 400 yards from the tee. The hole is directly uphill, as the fairway elevates immediately after the tee box. The green is 40 feet above the fairway and has a long sand trap across the front of the green to catch anything that you leave short. Overall your skills will be tested at the Yale golf course.
Another course built in the 1920’s, the Country Club of Fairfield is one of the best courses the state has to offer. Some minor changes were made in 1939, and in 1960, however the majority of the course is its original design. The course is flat, windy, exposed and is “links-like” in nature. Be weary of the lightning fast greens with subtle yet challenging complexes. It has a great group of par 3 holes that will make you question whether you need to use the 7 iron or the 9. Recently they removed a few trees along the fairways to open up the breathtaking views. There is some water on the course that will be sure to take a few of your balls if you are not on your game. Overall, the Country Club of Fairfield is considered one of the better courses America has to offer.
Stanwhich is an interesting name, derived from the fact that it sits between both Stamford and Greenwhich. It was designed in 1964 and is relatively flat. The course was engineered across former farmland and reclaimed swampland. The fairways are lined with trees, so keeping the ball on the fairway is important off the tee. Water is in play on about half of the holes and the greens are sloped, making approach shots very risky. The greens are considered to be some of the fastest in the area and are tightly bunker-ed. This makes a recipe for disaster if you leave your putt long, potentially having it roll off the green and into a sand trap. The most notable hole is probably the par three 13th, which plays over a creek then a pond before approaching a bunker rigged, raised green. Another one is the par three 4th hole, where the green is right on the edge of the water making it a factor in your approach shot. They also rebuilt several other greens to put the water in play and make the course more challenging. Overall, precision and command is what is going to keep your game sub-90’s on this course.
Located in Greenwich, Tamarack Country Club was designed by Charles “Steam Shovel” Banks in 1929. The course features a couple of replica par three holes, designed like holes from famous courses around the world. The par three 3rd hole is based on “Eden” at St. Andrews, known for it’s deep bunkers. The 196 yard par three 7th is replicated after “Redan” at North Berwick with treacherous fairway bunkers. Finally, the 214 yard par three 12th is a version of France’s “Biarritz” hole. The rest of the course makes good use of steep and deep bunkers, causing players to take extra precaution on their tee shot’s. The most prominent hole on the course is the par five 17th. The hole stretches 508 yards doglegging to the right where a notorious sand trap coined “Big Bertha” protects an elevated green. It is rumored that this sand trap depth and placement is modeled after the Cardinal bunker at Prestwick. Make sure to get a few practice swings out of the sand before playing at Tamarack, because at some point or the other you will find yourself in there.
Wee Burn Country Club is one of the older courses in the state. Originally built in 1896 by George Strath (designer of St. Andews), it featured only 6 holes. Not too long after another 3 holes were added to the course. By 1923 the club decided they needed to expand the course to 18 holes, the only problem being that they had lacked the room. So they decided to purchase a nearby plot of land and recreate the original 9 holes. They then added another 9 holes in addition. The new course was so well designed that it has been featured in 3 USGA Women’s Amateur Championships, in 1939, 1958, and 1970. In recent years significant modifications have been made with over 3,000 yards of stream and lake banks being renovated. It is said that there are few opportunities for scoring, and the couple they have still require skillful execution.