Connecticut has some wonderful golf courses to play. To make this article as straightforward and helpful as possible, we’ve broke it up into 5 different categories: best overall course, best private course, best value course, most challenging course, and most scenic course.
Best Overall – Yale Golf Course
Location: New Haven, CT
Having made plenty of appearances on top-100 lists throughout its 100-year history, choosing the Yale Golf Course as our best overall track in Connecticut was an easy decision. It is also rated the number one college course in America.
Most golf courses are lucky to have a single signature hole. Yale Golf Course has at least two, though some consider the par-4, 4th hole one worth writing home about. The others, the par-3 9th hole and par-5 18th hole are architectural wonders, and have left even the most skilled golfers scratching their heads as they walk off the course.
Hole 9 is most notably characterized by its Biarritz design. For those who have not putt on this type of green, consider yourself fortunate. After a tee shot over water, you’re faced with tackling a 65-yard long green with a 5-foot dip in the middle. Even the most talented putters will have a difficult time 2 or 3-putting if they find themselves on the opposite side of the flag.
Hole 18 measures nearly 600 yards from the back tees and features more hills than you can count. With a pair of blind shots needed to get to the green, making par on this closing hole is equally as impressive as not losing a ball in the process.
Yale Golf Course’s unique and memorable design have made it a bucket list course for many.
Best Private Course – Stanwich Golf Club
Location: Greenwich, CT
A Fairfield county gem, Stanwich Golf Club might be the longest course in Connecticut. Thankfully for those that do not want to play from the “Witch” tees that measure 7,445 yards, there are a handful of tee options to fit your skills as a golfer.
The best part about being a country club in Fairfield is that when you see somewhere the course can improve, funds are readily available. Continuous upgrades in the 60 or so years “The Witch” has been open is among the reasons GolfDigest considers it amongst top courses in the country. Whether it’s new bunkers, greens or tees, Stanwich is always looking for a way to make their course better.
Do not let the flat and open layout fool you. If a shot is hit off line, you will be punished courtesy of well-placed bunkers and unforgiving rough. On the greens, you must be weary of their lightning speed and difficult to read breaks. Should you get a chance to play this gem, a local caddie is a must.
As one would expect with a country club of this pedigree, golf is far from the only thing you can do there. Stanwich Golf Club members also have access to tennis and paddle courts, a swimming pool and dining facilities that rival top restaurants in the area. Rumor has it that cell phone use anywhere on the course results in a short suspension and the waiting list takes years to get off of.
Best Value Course – Connecticut National Golf Club
Location: Putnam, CT
Best value does not mean the cheapest, and in golf you often pay for what you get. The Connecticut National Golf Club offers the sought-after combination of affordability and quality. For the price of a mid-range public course, you’re getting private country club atmosphere.
Located near the Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts border, Connecticut National is the favorite course of residents from three states. Despite appearing to be “in the middle of nowhere”, it is worth the drive.
Accuracy off the tee is essential to keeping the ball in play on most holes due to fescue surrounding the fairway. Additionally, constant elevation changes encourage players to place shots, rather than attack greens with reckless abandon. Playing it safe and taking an extra shot to get to the green could be the difference between par and triple bogey.
Surrounded by woods and nature at large, Connecticut National is the perfect escape from city life for golfers in the Hartford, Providence and Boston metro areas.
Most Challenging Course – The Golf Club at Oxford Greens
Location: Oxford, CT
People love the idea of playing on old courses, but what if I told you the most challenging course was also the newest in the state? At its longest, Oxford Greens measures 7,186 yards. At its shortest, 5,188 yards which provides a variety of tees that you align with how daring you feel that day.
Make no mistake, regardless of tee choice, this course presents a challenge hole-in and hole-out for everyone from scratch golfers and up.
Oxford Greens is also home to the most difficult hole in Connecticut, as voted by the fine people the Nutmeg state. The par-5 3rd hole stretches 630 yards from the tips, and comes with a surprising absence of even a single bunker. With thick woods on both sides of a tight fairway, even the longest golfer in your group needs to hit three precise shots to make it to the green.
Length is a constant theme, or should I say challenge for golfers at Oxford Greens. Among the four par 3s, two are over 200 yards. To make things worse, three of the par 5s are over 550 yards. Throw in the three par 4s over 450 yards and it’s practically guaranteed you’ll be spending most of your day with a wood or long iron in your hands.
Most Scenic Course – Lake of Isles
Location: Stonington, CT
Home to 36 holes of golf, Lake of Isles was carved into the woods of Southeast Connecticut with the mesmerizing Foxwoods Resort Casino serving as a backdrop. Of their two courses, the North Course is open to the public, while the South Course is private.
With elevated tees, wooden bridges and lakes sitting behind seemingly every green, even a bad day on the course can be offset by the pure beauty of this course. Amongst the most well-kept courses in the region, it would be shocking to find a bad lie in a fairway or a putt that doesn’t roll true at Lake of Isles.
It would be a disservice to not to mention the 50,000 square foot clubhouse. Exposed wood and a rustic feel make you forget that you’re in a modern building. All things considered, there are far worse places to wait out a rain delay or spend some extra time at a golf course.
Once your round is over, you can press your luck at the second largest casino in America. After a bad day on the course, what better place to be if you want to turn things around. An ideal location for bachelor parties and weekend getaways, Lake of Isles has a little something for everybody. Added bonus, some of the best Instagram pictures in CT come from Lake of Isles with Foxwoods in the background.
Do you think we missed out on an obvious choice? Let us know in the comments below! We might add the course you recommend as a noteworthy alternative.