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.
PGA-certified professional golf instructor Keith Everett has spent 12 years teaching beginner and advanced clubbers, currently mentoring within the meandering creeks and colorful foliage of Farmington Woods. With a philosophy that mistakes are rooted at the setup of each tee, Keith schools orb-clobbering students on the game's fundamentals prior to recommending changes to their swings. An evaluation of the trainee's clubs is followed by a computer-aided analysis of the student's swing from different angles, played back to the pupil. Following a review of the evidence, Keith recommends necessary changes to irons, woods, and swing technique. Throughout the process, Keith encourages players to stretch their reconfigured wings by practicing on the putting green, chipping area, driving range, on the course itself, and anywhere other than on top of the hood of their boss’s BMW.
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
Operated by the town of Farmington, Westwoods Golf Course leads players on an 18-hole jaunt past rivers, lakes, and bunkers that extends to 4,407 yards from the back tees. Despite its relatively short stature, Geoffrey S. Cornish designed the course to demand accuracy and consistency. The facility is designed as a great practice facility for all golfers, offering a 30-stall driving range and a practice green, which, at 24,000 square feet, affords ample room for practicing short game skills or landing a self-built helicopter.