The centerpiece of Shuttle Meadow Country Club in Kensington, Ct. is a marvelous track designed by two-time British Open Champion Willie Park, Jr. The course opened in 1917 and has been ranked one of the top 200 Classic Courses in the United States for several years.
In addition to the great golf course, many changes and improvements have been made to Shuttle Meadow under a $2.6 million renovation project. Work included updating and improving all interior spaces in the main clubhouse; an expanded casual dining space; a renovated and expanded kitchen; a renovated pro shop and golf building; a newly built mixed use facility (community room) for children, teens and adults; a new terrace to expand outdoor seating; the construction of a new cart pavilion to house brand new cart fleet; resurfaced Har-Tru tennis courts, a renovated pool area and new kids playscape; and the addition of a “Kids Camp” in collaboration with Mooreland Hill School.
Shuttle Meadow represents golf as it was meant to be–an authentic original designed in the Scottish tradition by Park, Jr., known as “the man who brought golf to the world.” He designed and built only 13 golf courses and Shuttle Meadow was his first on this side of the Atlantic. Park’s elite courses include Sunningdale in England and Maidstone, Olympia Fields and Woodway in the United States. His courses have hosted U.S., British and Canadian championships.
Historic Shuttle Meadow was placed by Park on over 400 acres. The great Bobby Jones once said that Shuttle Meadow’s 14th hole was among the 18 prettiest holes he had ever played.
The number one handicap hole on the 6,534-yard course is the beefy 566-yard third. Play your tee shot down the middle and avoid the fairway bunker on the right with the second shot. The green is one of the largest and slopes slightly from back to front.
The finisher is a fairly short par-five of less than 500 yards that can be reached in two. If going for the green isn’t an option, make sure you avoid “Big Mouth”, a deep bunker that bisects the fairway. A triple tiered green complex (designed to replicate one of the oldest greens in the world) more than compensates for the lack of length.
The course, which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2017, is so highly regarded that it served as both a U.S. Amateur Qualifying site and a Senior Amateur Qualifying site in 2015. In the run-up to its 100th anniversary, the Green Committee under the leadership of Jerry Day with the support of long term golf professional Tim Gavronski and its outstanding superintendent Andrew Hannah undertook a multi-year restoration of the course using Willie Park’s original design as a guide.
The newly restored course is complimented by an equally historic clubhouse also established on its current site in 1917. The clubhouse was designed by Kenneth Murchison, an architect of several other club facilities throughout the Northeast, which were enjoyed by families such as the Astors and the Vanderbilts.
As Shuttle Meadow enters its Second Century it is continuing to invest in its facilities by: adding new back tees for low handicappers; new forward tees for high handicappers; expanding casual dining options; renovating the kitchen to improve productivity; upgrading the pool facilities; and refurbishing its tennis courts
While the course and clubhouse provide a certain historic sense to Shuttle Meadow, as with any club, its spirit emanates from its warm and welcoming members, many of whom are multi-generational. Shuttle Meadow, whose founding roots extend back to 1899, truly has a “special feel” to the place. In addition to the course and the clubhouse, tennis and pool facilities make it an easy place for families to enjoy multiple activities. In addition to excellent sporting programs, the clubhouse has a superb dining facility.
The club is also continuing to invest in member experiences by: expanding junior golf programs; initiating a summer kid’s club combining tennis, swimming and golf; expanding programs for women; and increasing the frequency of social activities and entertainment related events
Shuttle Meadow Country Club is a relaxed, family-friendly, full-service club with much to offer individuals, couples and families at every stage of their lives. The club has a range of golf, tennis and pool or social membership opportunities.
The club has also unveiled a new membership structure designed to offer a range of membership opportunities to meet the specific needs of their members. In addition to a regular golf membership, the new structure includes all Inclusive offerings for both families and individual golfers, more affordable off-peak and sports offerings for occasional golfers, and a new dining category for those interested in simply dining in the newly renovated clubhouse.