Nine-hole courses serve a valuable role in the golf industry. They allow all players–from beginners to seniors–to enjoy the game in a relaxed setting without having to spend five hours of your day looping the links.
Even if we are busy with all that life throws our way, there still is time to fit a quick nine holes into a day. Especially on the weekdays or late afternoons on the weekends, nine holes can be managed in about two hours…or less. The USGA’s “Play 9” campaign is aimed at potential players who don’t have the time or inclination to play a full round.
Take advantage of Golfing Magazine’s Free Golf offer and test out the following nine-holers. Call 860-563-1633, or visit www.FreeGolf.net.
Green Woods Country Club in Winsted (www.GreenWoodsCC.net) is a former private track that went semi-private a few years back. The conditions are very good, even on this early season day. Typical of the old nine-hole courses in New England (Greenwoods was built over 100 years ago) the layout is on the short side, with small, tricky greens as its only defense in these days of powerful drivers and juiced golf balls.
Walking onto the Hotchkiss School Golf Course (www.Hotchkiss.org) in Lakeville is akin to stepping back in time, that is, from a golfer’s viewpoint. The course is located on the grounds of a prestigious private school, and has been virtually untouched since it opened in 1924.The course was originally built Seth Raynor, one of the legendary names of American golf course architecture. Raynor’s’ work was routed over the existing terrain, which makes for mounding in the fairways and sometimes wildly undulating greens, as well as deep greenside bunkers.
Canaan Country Club
(www.CanaanCC.com) in Canaan is a scenic routing in the northwest hills of Connecticut The par-35 course, which borders the Blackberry River and crosses over wetlands, has several holes that feature a picturesque view of Canaan Mountain. The par three eighth, which plays from 170 to 210 yards depending upon tee placement, has made several “Ten Toughest Par 3’s in Connecticut” lists over the years. It plays over a deep gully to an elevated green. The green is deep, so a back pin placement adds 10 to 15 yards to the shot. There’s OB left, but a bailout to the right is possible, which leaves a finesse pitch shot to the green.
Eastwoods Country Club
(www.EastwoodsCountryClub.com) in Torrington is a great place for beginners and accomplished players alike. The layout plays to around 3,000 yards from the tips and features one of the toughest par-fives in the state. The 564-yard ninth hole demands a right to left tee shot that must steer clear of trees on both sides. The second shot is uphill and needs to clear a pond to set up a mid-iron approach to a table top green.
Copper Hill Golf Club
(www.CopperHillGolf.com) in East Granby is a very good test of golf, with a nice mix of short and long par-fours, two very demanding par-threes, and two par-fives that are reachable in two for long hitters. Copper Hill measures 3,030 yards and has two par-fives, the 473-yard fourth and 459-yard eighth, that are reachable in two for the big hitters, and a cool par-four, the fifth, measuring 265 yards, where you can drive the green.
Pomperaug Golf Course
(www.HeritageSouthbury.net) is sited near the Pomperaug River in Southbury. The course isn’t long but there is water on every hole, which can play havoc with your tee and approach shots to the modest-sized greens. Number nine is a good, short par-four. The drive must lay up before the river to set up a wedge across the water to a very wide green. Get too greedy if the pin is tucked up front and your ball might fall back into the river.
The par-three ninth hole at Vineyard Valley Golf Club
(www.VineyardValleyGolfClub.com) in Pomfret is one of the coolest short holes in the region and is northeast Connecticut’s answer to the famous island green at TPC Sawgrass in Florida. Playing anywhere from 110 to 160 yards, the green is fronted by a marsh that has been the end of many a good score. If you’re even a foot shy of landing on the green your destiny is a double bogey at best.
Minnechaug Golf Course (www.MinnechaugGolf.com) in Glastonbury offers excellent conditions and a fun test of golf. It also has one of the few true island greens in New England, the 126-yard eighth, which some consider to be the first of its kind in the nation. Graham Clark did the original routing for the course, and Al Zikorus and William F. Mitchell undertook some redesigns years later.
Historic Roseland Golf Course (www.RoselandGolfCourse.com) in Woodstock is one of the oldest nine-hole layouts in the state. Originally built in 1896, Roseland celebrated its 100th birthday more than a decade ago. The course is a modest 2,397 yards in length, providing golfers of all skill levels with the opportunity for a fun, relaxing and enjoyable round of golf. The track features narrow, tree-lined scenic fairways. Small greens present a challenge to all golfers. With only one moderate hill, the course is relatively flat and is quite easy to walk.
The Chanticlair Golf Course (www.Chanticlair.com) in Colchester opened in 1972 and was designed by Hy and Gigi Stollman. The course has undergone continuous improvements. The track measures just under 3,000 yards and its signature hole is a pretty, 138-yard par-three, the fourth that plays to an island green. The layout boasts some of the state’s best conditioned greens.
Highland Greens Golf Course (www.HighlandGreens.com) in Prospect is a lighted, nine-hole par-three course that is ideal for beginner and senior golfers who may shy away for the country club or high-end daily fee golf course scene. You can play nine holes here in about an hour and a half, and those new to golf enjoy the shorter holes that don’t beat them up as they attempt to learn the nuances of the game. Accomplished players can work on their iron play. As mentioned, Highland Greens is lighted, so you can spend a great evening with family and friends at the course.
Gainfield Farms Golf Course (www.GainfieldGolf.com) in Southbury is an executive layout located between Waterbury and Danbury. It is ideal for beginners, women and children, as well as for working on your short game or when you have limited time. The course can be played in less than two hours, a plus when trying to fit some swings into a busy work day. Gainfield Farms Golf Course has eight par-threes ranging in length from a short 94 yards up to 195. The latter hole, plus the 188-yard third hole, are tough to par even for the best players. The one par-four plays around 260 yards and can be reached off the tee by big hitters.
Quarry View Golf Course (www.QuarryViewGolf.com) in Canaan, along with its full-service golf center, is a great place for the beginner golfer. You won’t feel intimidated if this is your first time out. Experienced players will enjoy the quick play and the ability to concentrate on improving their iron shots and short games. Quarry View has the feeling of playing on two unique types of golf courses, for each hole has fairways lined with fescue similar to a links course, while the surrounding woods is typical of a traditional New England layout. The course, driving range and short game area are well manicured and designed with excellent drainage that enables Quarry View to remain playable even after a heavy rain when other courses are under water.
Sleeping Giant Golf Course (www.SleepingGiantGolfCourse.com) in Hamden is set in the shadows of the Sleeping Giant Mountains southern Connecticut. Drop the notion that you need a collared shirt, a ranger, and the most expensive golf carts in the world to enjoy a round; the club is laid back. The course plays 2.671 yards from the tips and has a par of 35, with six par-fours, two par-threes and one par-five. Several of the par-fours are stern, such as the 407-yard second and the 374-yard fourth. The final four holes are all birdie holes, with the seventh and eighth playing only 207 and 227 yards respectively. The only par-five can be tricky. It plays 459 yards from the back markers and the green can be reached in two shots by long hitters, but it’s three good shots to find the putting surface for most golfers.
Quaboag Country Club
(www.QuaboagCountryClub.com) located in Monson is a splendid 9–hole course with a championship layout and private club conditions. The course offers sweet views and was ranked a 9 out of 10 by the Worcester Telegram & Gazette golf review. The second hole is a 215-yard par-three and the next hole is a very demanding, 440-yard par-four. The seventh, a 255-yard par-four, can be reached from the tee by big hitters. There’s a fully stocked pro shop, full service restaurant, and golfers lounge.
Greenock Country Club (www.GreenockCC.com) in Lee was established as one of America’s first courses, dating back to 1895. Redesigned in 1927 by the legendary golf architect Donald Ross, the 9-hole course has stood the test of time, a masterpiece of craftsmanship and original style. The club is located just one mile from exit 2 off Interstate 90, within minutes of the historic town of Stockbridge, and just a few short miles from Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The sixth hole is a risk-reward par-five, measuring only 465 yards, but there is water left and right of the green if you are thinking about going for it in two.
Unicorn Golf Course (www.UnicornGC.com) in Stoneham has an interesting history. It was originally designed as an 18-hole private golf course. The layout was crafted by the renowned architects Wayne Stiles and John Van Kleek, and covered portions of the towns of Stoneham and Woburn. In 1972, the town of Stoneham purchased the property within Stoneham and redesigned the course to play as a nine-hole course now known as Unicorn. The course traverses a hilltop piece of land, with some holes playing out in the open, and others surrounded by huge old oak trees lining the fairways.
The former Worthington Golf Club is under new ownership and is undergoing numerous improvements to the course, clubhouse and restaurant. Now a fully public course, the newly named Links at Worthington (www.WorthingtonGolf Club.com) is offering many new golf options, such as league-only memberships, unlimited public play, corporate events and packages. Children kids 18 and under are offered free memberships. Newly hired PGA Professional Francis Kringle is on duty to accommodate all your golfing and hospitality needs. For more information visit
www.WorthingtonGolfClub.com, or call the golf shop at 413-238-4464.
While an 18-holer we include Rockland Golf Course (www.RocklandgGC.com) in Rockland because you can be fit it into a busy day with ease, as it contains all par-threes. The course was carved out of a piece of land featuring tall oaks and rock outcroppings lining some fairways. Due to its friendly layout, the course also provides an ideal learning environment for the beginner golfer, while presenting a challenge to even the most skilled player due to the beefy length of some of its holes.
The Blandford Club (413-848-2443) in Blandford is a delightful nine-hole layout nestled in the scenic hills of the western portion of the Commonwealth State. Only 2,722 yards from the tips and playing to a par of 35, this a fun track for all skill levels. The course is one of the oldest in the region, having opened in 1910. It was designed by William Dexter.
Maynard Country Club (www.MaynardCC.com) in Maynard, Ma. offers pleasing atmosphere and a very solid test of golf, with the course
playing more difficult than its overall yardage of 2,783 yards
suggests. The ninth hole is a 280-yard par-four and has a green that can be reached off the tee by longballers.
The Meadows Golf Club (www.MeadowsGolf.com) in Deerfield is a popular nine-hole course believed to have opened sometime in the 1930’s and designed and built by Knappy Greenwood. The surroundings at Meadows GC makes for an aesthetically pleasing round, and the holes are routed through a slightly undulating area adjacent to the Deerfield and Green Rivers. The course plays to a length of 2,800 yards, is a par-36, and has a USGA course rating of 66.5 and slope rating of 104.
The Stoneham Oaks Golf Course (www.StonehamOaks.com) in Stoneham is a par-3 executive course open to the public that was established in 1994 and is owned by the Town of Stoneham. Located right off the I-93 highway and only eight miles North of the heart of Boston it is in the perfect location for commuters traveling from around the Boston area to grab a quick nine holes of golf. Featuring a 1,125 yard course Stoneham Oaks recently, has undergone a change of management and is now being operated and maintained by Sterling Golf Management. The course, while short in length, provides golfers with unique challenges and beautiful greens which run true to form. The short length of the course creates the perfect opportunity for players of all ages and abilities to be able to enjoy the course and work on their short-games.
Bedrock Golf Club (www.BedrockGolfClub.com) in Rutland is a privately owned, challenging, nine-hole, par-36 golf course operated by the Carr Family. Former PGA Tour Professional and current PGA of America member Joe Carr has served as Bedrock’s Golf Professional since the club’s inception on May 23, 1992. The amenities offered include a scenic course carved through the Rutland woods, fully stocked pro shop, practice putting green, motorized carts, pull carts, tournament schedule and the “Back Nine Pub”, a full service bar and grille. Bedrock is located 10 miles west of Worcester. The well manicured course weaves through woodlands and measures 3,443 yards from the longest tees. The course was designed by Bill Greene and Joe Carr.
Kings Crossing Golf Club (www.KingsCrossingGolfClub.com) in North Kingston was originally designed by renowned golf architect, Geoffrey Cornish and opened in 1964. From the beginning of the round players will find an unexpectedly meandering and flowing landscape with holes that offer variety, aesthetic charm and flexibility. The course is uniquely laid out to allow players to enjoy a round of 4 holes…which we call the “shorty”, a solid 9-hole test or, with a truly flexible tee marker system, 18 holes that provide enough variety to challenge all abilities. The greens are softly moving and fair, while the bunkering on the course bring a classic style to the eye. Another characteristic of Kings Crossing is playability.
Pinecrest Golf Club (www.PinecrestRI.com) in Carolina is a sweet nine-hole course. The layout is kept in splendid condition, and the routing is fun and challenging at the same time. While not overly long, Pinecrest is fairly tight and has several doglegs and uphill shots that complicate navigation.
Rose Hill Golf Club (401-798-1088) in South Kingstown is a par-three layout in that has holes ranging from 118 to 218 yards. You can play nine in an hour and 18 in perhaps less than two hours. The course is well maintained. Three holes, the second, fourth and fifth, play across water and test your nerves.
The owners and management at Coventry Pines Golf Course
(www.CoventryPines.com) in Coventry have invested dollars and labor into refurbishing their nine-hole course. Coventry Pines is a little tester, measuring 3,170 yards. Two of the toughest holes are back to back, the 408-yard par-four fifth and the 520-yard par-five sixth. The latter is listed as the course’s number one handicap hole.
Midville Golf Club
(www.MidvilleGolfClub.com) in West Warwick is a sweet nine-hole course. Ownership and the superintendent place a premium on superb playing conditions. The layout measures just under 3,000 yards from the tips, and there are several par-fours that are almost reachable off the tee by big hitters. The number one handicap hole is the 6th, a par-five that measures 535 yards.
Brookstone Golf and Driving Range (www.Brookstone-Golf.com) in Derry, New Hampshire is the state’s premier nine-hole, par-three golf facility. The routing was created by noted golf architect, Howard Maurer, who worked to preserve the natural characteristics of the site. The course features large greens, sand traps, rolling hills and water hazards that are strategically placed to create “target style” greens.