Despite its seemingly short length of 2,668 yards from the back tees, Minnechaug Golf Course keeps rounds interesting by packing a cornocopia of hazards into a 9-hole layout. Players confront an onslaught of elevation changes, dogleg turns, and trees that won’t respond to verbal commands throughout the par 35 course. And the degree of difficultry truly ramps up on the par 3 eighth, which invites players to unsheathe their 9-iron or pitching wedge, take stock of the prevailing winds, and send tee shots flying toward an island green that rests on the other side of a 126-yard water hazard.
A recreational destination since Devereax Emmet and Alfred M. Tull sculpted it into the East Hartford countryside in 1930, Long Hill Country Club’s 18-hole course unfurls 6,014 yards of manicured fairways and greens. Mature trees form a path along the par 70, impeding golf balls that stray to the rough in a short-sighted search for a soft landing. The course features three tee options to appeal to golfers of all abilities.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 70 course * Length of 6,014 yards from the farthest tees * Course rating of 68.1 from the farthest tees * Slope rating of 115 from the farthest tees * Three tee options * Scorecard
When Arnold Palmer’s architectural firm set out to design the 18-hole course at Gillette Ridge Golf Club, it incorporated a long, wooded layout that would showcase the 19th-century politician and reformer Francis Gillette’s original homestead. Today, the course continues to showcase its beautifully crafted layout that has maintained the elegance of a bygone era while opting to share its charming characteristics with the public. Gillette Ridge welcomes all golfers to take on the blistering 7,191-yard tract that integrates groves of mature trees, placid water hazards, and white-sand bunkers that surround contoured greens.
Much of the course's difficulty comes from its length, as demonstrated on the par 5 seventh and 12th holes, which stretch 612 yards and 607 yards from the tips, respectively. Both holes make it nearly impossible to reach the green in two, though for different reasons: the seventh green prevents run-ups with a front side stream, whereas the 12th hole has an early dogleg right that demands more conservative tee shots and golf carts that are pro-environment. The course's premium on distance continues right through the finishing hole, a par 4, 478-yard straightaway that splits two fairway bunkers and forces players to carry the green's front side pond on their approach shot or hope that a friendly frog will lend a lily pad for safe passage. Three practice putting greens, two practice bunkers, and an all-grass driving range provide ample space for golfers to stretch their swings before rounds.
After rounds, players can unwind in Gillette Ridge’s 6,000-square-foot clubhouse, where the course restaurant serves up sandwiches such as the philly cheesesteak and chicken-salad sliders, and starters such as Maryland crab cakes and quesadillas—the late Mrs. Gillette’s specialty that has carried on since the 19th century.
Course at a Glance:
Blue Fox Run boasts a stunning 27-hole championship golf course in the Farmington Valley. Use this Groupon to schedule a full-day outing with friends: your 18-hole game allows you to practice your drives, perfect your putts, and conquer your fear of the bogeyman ($35 on weekdays, $45 on weekends). Stroll the green on foot or rent a cart for $15. Ironless chippers can rent a full set of clubs for $25.
Measuring 5,825 yards from the farthest tees, Hawk's Landing Country Club's 18-hole, par 70 golf course doesn't require extreme length off the tee—but it does demand accuracy. Dense groves of trees squeeze nearly every fairway and green, and water hazards lure errant golf balls and thirsty golf carts on seven holes. On the 5th and 6th holes—two midlength par 4s—and the par 5 hole 17, golfers must exercise caution on both their drives and approach shots to avoid peripheral waterways that run along the length of the fairways. After carefully working around ponds and streams throughout the course, the 18th hole brings the round to a fitting end: a 190-yard par 3 where tee shots must somersault directly over a water hazard stationed right in front of the green. Before rounds, golfers can warm up their swings at the club's grass-tee driving range or sign misbehaving short irons up for a lesson at Hawk's Landing's golf academy.
Course at a Glance: