Not only has Golfing Magazine New England lined up some of the best daily fee golf courses for our subscribers to play this year, we also have a number of private layouts that can be assessed for those who take part in our Course Play Stimulus Program.
Let’s take a look at these private courses that are part of our comprehensive list for 2018.
Hop Meadow Country Club in Simsury, Ct. was designed by Geoffrey Cornish and the architect used the terrain available to him to create some dramatic elevation changes, especially on the par-three ninth and 16th holes, which begin from elevated tees and finish at greens that are fronted by a pond (the ninth) and a small stream (the 16th).
One of the best holes in the course is the finisher, a 521-yard par-five that has water hiding on the right side and a stream and water to the left and cutting into the right side about 30 yards out from the putting surface.
Farmington Woods Country Club in Farmington, Ct. was designed by renowned American designer Desmond Muirhead, who also crafted the famed Jack Nicklaus Muirfield Village course in Ohio.
The late Muirhead is remembered for his fully integrated course communities like McCormick Ranch in Scottsdale; the Dinah Shore Tournament Course at Mission Hills near Palm Springs, and his six-year partnership with Jack Nicklaus, which produced the aforementioned Muirfield Village.
The layout is unique to the Farmington River Valley area in that there are some dramatic elevation changes in what is usually a rather flat section of Connecticut. The course features ample woods that line many of the fairways and wetlands that, of course, must be cleared or avoided.
Cohasse Country Club is a Donald Ross 9-hole masterpiece celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2018. The club is marking this milestone by offering special introductory membership rates. This private course is known for its outstanding course conditions and beguiling greens. Encompassing over 3,000 yards, Cohasse is challenging and enjoyable for golfers of all skill levels. Recently named the 8th best 9-hole course in North America!!! Cohasse is located less than 10 minutes from historic Sturbridge, MA and is easily accessible from the Mass Pike, Route 20 and Route 84. The club also boasts a charming banquet facility, and a stellar culinary staff making Cohasse the perfect location for golf outings and weddings. Golf at Cohasse, the way it was meant to be. The restaurant and pro shop are open to the public as well as the membership.
Suffield Country Club in Suffield, Ct. is an historic, finely manicured track that is set in a beautiful area. The routing was created by Ian Smyth and is a classic, traditional New England-style course that ambles over the rolling land, and plays only around 3,000 yards for nine holes.
The short distance of the course is offset by tight fairways and small, fast undulating greens. Out-of-bounds borders holes three through six, heavy rough and tall oak trees off the fairways. Only two holes, three and seven, have fairway bunkers.
Holes five and eight do not have any greenside bunkers. No par-five is over 500 yards, and no par-four is over 400 yards. The club’s second hole has been rated as the fourth toughest par-three in the state. It can play as far back as 230 yards.
Tumble Brook Country Club in Bloomfield, Ct. was named for a brook that flows through the property. It was incorporated and organized in October of 1922 and features 27 holes.
Willie Park, one of the foremost golf course architects of the time, was commissioned to design the first nine. A second nine, designed by Orrin E. Smith, was opened to play in the spring of 1949. The third nine, designed by George Fazio, opened for limited play in the fall of 1970, and was eventually integrated with the rest of the golf course in 1971.
In 2002 the club began a renovation program for the golf course. Mark McCumber and Associates was the architects for the renovations, and in 2005 the course work was completed.
The seventh hole on the “Green Course,” a combination of two of the three nines, is a 440-yard beast where par is an accomplishment for any level of player.
Tumble Brook Country Club is known for its visual beauty, not only on the course but around the clubhouse and elsewhere on the property. The club’s flowering cannas and dahlia displays are worth a visit in and of themselves.
The tubers are dug up in the fall before the ground freezes and overwintered in a heated garage and then replanted in the spring. It labor intensive, but the flowers are spectacular in the warm weather months and add to the golfer’s enjoyment. The club is also adorned with impatiens, coleus, zinnias, snapdragons and many varieties of begonias. And, there are flowering shrubs and trees and other perennials scattered about the rambling 27-hole layout.
Watertown Golf Club is located in Connecticut’s picturesque lower Litchfield County. In 1898, the first nine-hole golf course was built on the estate of Horace Taft, the founder of The Taft School.
In 1931, a second nine holes were built, along with a clubhouse, just north of the Taft School holes with Watertown Golf Club becoming a fully functioning 18-hole course.
Between 1971 and 1973, nine more holes were crafted in to the rolling hills to the north, and across West Road, with Taft School converting the “original” nine holes to athletic fields.
Watertown plays 6,667 yards from the tips and is a fair, challenging test. The second is a 420-yard par-four that demands a strong drive and an accurate approach over a pond to the green.
The course at Chippanee Country Club in Bristol Ct. plays to a par-70 from the blue tees (a modest 6,310 yards), but has small, challenging greens and tight narrow fairways.
There are 33 sand traps throughout the course with water coming into play on the par-five fourth hole, the par-four 10th hole, and the par-three eleventh hole. The course is eminently fair and not overly tough, and a track that players of all abilities can approach without too much trouble, even higher handicap golfers.
To have access to these premier private courses, call 860-563-1633, or visit www.FreeGolf.net.