Good Golf and Food
When Joseph Quattrocchi took a glance at Canaan Country Club in northwest Connecticut he knew he had found what he was looking for.
“Someone approached me about wanting to create a club,” said the Canaan resident and owner of a classic auto restoration business in New York State. “I liked the idea and started looking around at land, saw the country club, thought it was very interesting and said, `Let’s think about this.’ I knew it was for sale. I liked the idea that it had an existing restaurant and the building had good bones so we started negotiations to buy the property.”
Canaan Country Club, a nine-hole course built in 1931, sits on slightly more than 200 acres with several holes bordering the scenic Blackberry River. The course plays 2,941 yards from the back tees and plays to a par of 35.
Two of the par-trees, the third and eighth holes, are very challenging, each playing around 185 yards. The tee shots on both must be well struck to reach elevated greens. Perhaps the best hole on the course is the 380-yard par-four sixth. It demands a well placed tee shot that steers clear of wetlands to the right and pine trees on the left, and then it’s across a small stream to a putting surface sloped from back to front.
Quattrocchi has ambitious plans for the property. In fact, he’s already been busy making changes to the restaurant, which was renamed the Belted Cow Farmhouse Tavern offering lunch and dinner menus and libations.
“I took a flyer and figured that we would get the deal done, so we renovated the bathrooms in the clubhouse and made some changes to the dining area. I didn’t want to just use a large space we have in the building strictly for banquets and other events. So we installed booth seating and set up moveable partitions to separate it from the larger event pace and give it a cozy feeling. When we do have a larger event, we simply take the hanging partitions away and open the room up to allow for more people.”
On the renaming of the restaurant, Quattrocchi said, “The Belted Cow is a breed we felt was appropriate for the rural area where the club is located. We put pictures of belted cows on the walls inside the restaurant to give it a unique feel and reflect the name.”
The Belted Galloway is a traditional Scottish breed of beef cattle. It derives from the Galloway cattle of the Galloway region of south-western Scotland.
The new owner also set up an expanded outdoor dining area in front of the clubhouse that has been popular with golfers and guests. The driveway into the property was also repaved.
“We don’t need to get a lot more people to the course,” said Quattrocchi. “We we do want is for people to experience a restaurant that is different than the old one. We will get the place rocking and rolling.”
He also has plans for the golf course that includes drainage work to several of the holes. The course’s sand bunkers are also being repaired or renovated. And work is and will be done around the edges of the course to remove dead trees and perhaps open views of the Blackberry River that rolls alongside he second hole and past the third tee box.
Canaan Country Club’s course is open seven days a week until November, weather permitting, and is located a half mile south of the junction of routes 7 and 44.