A Sweet Test for All Abilities
Connecticut National Golf Club in Putnam in what is known as the state’s “Quiet Corner” was truly really created almost 15 years ago after extensive renovations added 800 yards of length to its original 6,169 yards, as well as a modern styling.
In all, some 4,000 trees were removed, new fairways seeded and sodded, bunkers added or altered, and new green complexes built. The work turned it into one of the best daily fee layouts in Southern New England. Connecticut National Golf Club is a pleasant mix of links-style and parkland holes with nary a house to be seen during your round.
A little history: Connecticut National was once nine-hole course known as Putnam Country Club. It was a nice little layout, the locals loved it, but new ownership wanted to make something special and believed creating a championship 18-hole course was just the ticket.
The locals fell in love all over again after changes were made to the course. The renovations took place in 2007 were headed up by well-known course architect Mark Mungeam, known for his challenging yet approachable-for-all routings. Every hole was modified to increase both playability and toughness.
Keeping the ball in the fairways is key to scoring well at Connecticut National as the fescue grows tall in the summer and bunkers are deep and difficult to recover from. The real challenges here are the green complexes, which feature multiple tiers and some tough slopes that make finding a flat lie a tough task.
Connecticut National is a true shot-makers course, where a well-thought-out plan is a must. The scorecard is a bit misleading as some of the higher handicap holes can pay difficult when you are not accurate in club selection.
Following an inviting, fairly uncomplicated par-five to start things off, the par-four second gives you an indication of what is coming. The dog-leg right places a premium on finding the fairway as it is well protected by mounds of fescue on the right and trees on the left. The green has a severe slope, requiring an accurate approach to get close to the hole.
The ninth hole is a short par-three but if you miss the green to the right you are in trouble because of a severe drop off. If you do wander, miss left because you might get a lucky bounce onto the green.
The back nine has a nice blend of par-fours, some of them long. The 14th, a 447-yarder, demands you find the fairway to stay away from the high rough from where getting onto the green is almost impossible in two shots. The approach must steer clear of mounds and bunkers guarding the green.
The finisher is a long, downhill par-five that is real pretty, giving you a sweet view of the hills in the background as you approach the putting surface and clubhouse. The green on 18 can be accessed in two shots by long hitters and is a fairly easy three-shots-to-the-green for everybody else.