Course Name: Connecticut National Golf Club
Designer: Mike and Sally Donovan (1994), Mark Mungeam (Redesign, 2007)
Location: Putnam, Connecticut
History: Built in 1994 as Putnam Country Club, a private course. New owners hired Mark Mungeam in 2007 to revamp the course and made it public.
Conditions: 7/10, Conditions were very good, especially for a public course. Greens rolled well and fairways and tee boxes were in good shape for the most part. Bunkers were very playable and the fescue also looked fantastic.
Value: 7/10, Played on a weekend (twilight) for $43 and a cart. This was a really great deal, but it was much more expensive before that. Also, carts seemed mandatory, as the course was on rugged terrain and tees were far from the greens.
Tee Par Yardage Rating Slope
Black 71 6935 72.9 133
Blue 71 6321 70.5 128
White 71 5913 68.4 123
Gold 71 5002 69.2 119
Best Score: 77 (Blue Tees), 7/16/2016 with Michael S.
Front 9 Best: 39 (Blue Tees), 7/16/2016 with Michael S.
Back 9 Best: 38 (Blue Tees), 7/16/2016 with Michael S.
Hole Highlights: Most of the holes have extreme elevation changes, seen from number 10 green (on the left). The highlight holes on the front are clearly holes 3 and 8. These two holes share a tee-box, but couldn’t be more different. 3 is a long dogleg left with native area to the left and OB right. 8 is an extremely downhill short par 4 that is reachable with even 3-wood. On the back, the course is flatter and the holes seem very similar. 18 is a great finishing par 5 down the hill to the clubhouse. This 550-yard three-shotter is bunkered well and looks fantastic from the tee-box.
General Comments: Connecticut National is way out in the country. Driving there is an adventure and it’s hard to find the course. The front 9 is much shorter than the back, but accuracy is a must with lots of elevation change and woods. Iron off the tee is a strategic play of many of the holes in the front. With the exception of holes 10 and 18, the back 9 plays as a links course, with flatter, fescue-based holes. The greens are heavily sloped and seem to be cut into the mountain. The driving range was average, but definitely long enough to hit driver. Pace of play was about 4 hours.
Verdict: As with other hilly courses, this course had a ton of very fun holes. Not a huge fan of the greens, which verged on silly at times or the par 3’s. There were five par 3’s and 3 of them were essentially the same hole. But for the price, conditioning and challenge, this course is certainly a great option if you are within 30 minutes of it.