Best Golf Courses in Connecticut: A Small State with Great Golf

Best Golf Courses in Connecticut: A Small State with Great Golf

The small state of Connecticut certainly gets a bad rap in the golf world, especially when it comes to top 100 courses. With the exception of the Golf Course at Yale – rarely do you see other Connecticut golf courses make top 100 lists.

That being said, this is not a golf state to sleep on.

Some of the top municipal courses in the country reside in Connecticut, one of which, Wintonbury Hills, was built by Tom Fazio. It’s one of the only municipal Tom Fazio designs in the country as far as we know. It’s a fantastic course, full of great holes and meanders through rolling hills, woods and rivers.

Shennecossett Golf Course is another municipal that is famed for being the only public Donald Ross course in the state.

Want to spend your time at a resort?

The best golf resorts in the state are right by each other at the state’s two casinos. Foxwoods Resort & Casino lays fame to a 36-hole golf facility called Lake of Isles Golf Club.

The South course frequents the top in the best in states is private, but the North course isn’t too far behind and is open to resort guests and the public.

The other casino, Mohegan Sun Resorts, is home to Mohegan Sun Golf Club. Both resorts are tucked in the southeast corner of the state, near the Rhode Island border. Both casinos are some of the biggest in the United States and there are plenty of amenities outside of golf to make this a great destination as a Connecticut golf resort.

 

 

The state is host to a PGA tournament annually at TPC River Highlands for the Travelers Championship. River Highlands is a private course, and surprisingly it only appears on one list, coming in at #7 on Top 100 Golf Courses – Best of Connecticut list.

THE BEST GOLF COURSES IN CONNECTICUT 2022

These rankings are averages of the Best in State Rankings from Golf Digest, Top 100 Golf, Golf Magazine and Golfweek. For ties, where possible we ranked based on our personal experience.

To be included there needed to be a minimum of two inclusions in one of the publications listed above, and if there was a course with only one, and I’ve played it, I added my own vote to make this list.

  1. Yale Golf Course (New Haven)
  2. Country Club of Fairfield (Fairfield)
  3. Stanwich Club (Greenwich)
  4. Tamarack Country Club (Greenwich)
  5. Wee Burn Country Club (Darien)
  6. Round Hill Club (Greenwich)
  7. Brooklawn Country Club (Fairfield)
  8. Bull’s Bridge Country Club (South Kent)
  9. Country Club of Waterbury (Waterbury)
  10. Keney Park Golf Course (Windsor)
  11. Lake of Isles Golf Club (South) (North Stonington)
  12. Hartford Golf Club (Hartford)
  13. Wintonbury Hills (Hartford)
  14. Great River Golf Club (Milford)
  15. Shennecossett Golf Club (New London)
  16. Lake of Isles Golf Club (North) (North Stonington)
  17. Shorehaven Golf Club (Norwalk)
  18. Mohegan Sun Golf Club (Norwich)
  19. Fox Hopyard (New Lond0n)
  20. Golf Club of Oxford Greens (Waterbury)
  21. Hotchkiss School Golf Club (Millerton)
  22. Richter Park Golf Course (Danbury)

HOW OTHER PUBLICATIONS RANKED THE TOP GOLF COURSES IN CONNECTICUT

If you’re anything like us, you can never get too many opinions about golf courses when you’re trying to plan a trip. So we wanted to include the lists from other publications as well.  This way you can get a sense of where everything stacks up.

Below you’ll find the current rankings for the best in state across some of the biggest golf publications. The idea was to not only include the composite ranking that you see above, but also give you one place where you can find all of the major information you’re seeking out when it comes to the best golf courses in Connecticut.

GOLF DIGEST BEST IN STATE – CONNECTICUT

  1. The Stanwich Club (Greenwich)
  2. Yale Golf Course (New Haven)
  3. Country Club of Fairfield (Fairfield)
  4. Tamarack Country Club (Greenwich)
  5. Wee Burn Country Club (Darien)
  6. Bull’s Bridge Country Club (South Kent)
  7. Lake of Isles Golf Club, South (North Stonington)
  8. Shorehaven Golf Club (Norwalk)
  9. Hartford Golf Club, Red/Blue 9’s (West Hartford)
  10. Country Club of Waterbury (Waterbury)

TOP 100 GOLF COURSES – CONNECTICUT

  1. Country Club of Fairfield
  2. Yale Golf Course
  3. Tamarack Country Club
  4. The Stanwich Club
  5. Wee Burn Country Club
  6. Round Hill Club
  7. TPC River Highlands
  8. Country Club of Waterbury
  9. Brooklawn Country Club
  10. Bull’s Bridge Golf Club
  11. Keney Park Golf Course*
  12. Shuttle Meadow Country Club
  13. Connecticut Golf Club
  14. Woodway Country Club
  15. Wintonbury Hills Golf Course*
  16. Great River Golf Club*
  17. Hartford Golf Club (Red & Blue)
  18. Lake of Isles (South)
  19. Black Hall Club
  20. Shennecossett Golf Course*
  21. Lake of Isles (North)

* Public Course

GOLF MAGAZINE – BEST IN CONNECTICUT

  1. Yale Golf Course
  2. Country Club of Fairfield
  3. The Stanwich Club
  4. Tamarack Country Club
  5. Brooklawn Country Club

BEST CONNECTICUT PUBLIC GOLF COURSES – GOLFWEEK

  1. Keney Park Golf Course
  2. Great River Golf Club
  3. Wintonbury Hills
  4. Lake of Isles (North)
  5. Fox Hopyard
  6. Hotchkiss (9 hole)
  7. Shennecossett Golf Course
  8. Richter Park Golf Course
  9. The Club at Oxford Greens
  10. Mohegan Sun Golf Club

BEST CONNECTICUT PRIVATE GOLF COURSES – GOLFWEEK

  1. Yale Golf Course
  2. Country Club of Fairfield
  3. The Stanwich Club
  4. Tamarack Country Club
  5. Round Hill Golf Club

TOP 100 COURSES IN CONNECTICUT FOR 2022

The only current course on one of the major top 100 lists is the Course at Yale, which comes in at #46 on the Golf Digest Top 100 public list.

That being said, Yale is also on the Breaking Eighty Top 100 list at #31. This is the list of my favorite courses I’ve personally played.

Yale Hole #9 Biarritz

Country Club of Fairfield has been on previous Top 100 lists, but is not on one currently.

CONNECTICUT GOLF TRIPS: DREAM ITINERARIES

In this section, we’ll look at a handful of “Dream Itineraries” to consider if you’re planning a trip to Connecticut.

1) THE CASINO TRIP: BEST CONNECTICUT GOLF RESORTS

Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun are two of the biggest casino resorts in the country, and they happen to be found in Connecticut.

Between the two there are 36 holes of resort golf, and 18 holes that are reserved for private play.

Two of the biggest casinos in the country with 36 holes of resort/public access and 18 holes of private access, there is no doubt that a great weekend is to be had at Connecticut’s Foxwoods Resort & Casino and Mohegan Sun surely make for a great golf trip, with plenty to do once the sun goes down.

Lake of Isles North at Foxwoods is routinely considered one of the best public courses in the state, and the South course is considered one of the better private courses in the state.

Mohegan Sun Golf Club rounds out another public resort course.

Both resorts are close to each other, so you could easily knock out both courses in one long weekend. You have the added benefit of all of the other amenities offered at both resorts, so this could be an excellent place to get away with your friends, and play some good golf in the process.

Other courses to consider on this trip would be Shennecossett Golf Course, or if you have the access, Fox Hopyard which recently went private.

2) THE CAPITOL: PUBLIC ACCESS COURSES ABOUND

Hartford is an easily accessible city with a major airport nearby and a number of public and private tracks in the metro area.

Recently renovated, Keney Park Golf Course tops the public courses in the state and can be found on a number of top municipal course lists in the country. The greens were recently re-done and are stand-out features, as well as church pew bunkering. 

Not far up the road is Wintonbury Hills Golf Course, another municipal course that ranks highly amongst municipal courses across the country. A Pete Dye design, this course blends forests, parkland, and even some links style holes to create a unique vibe.

Wintonbury HIlls Golf Course

The greens play quick and are challenging, but the course overall is very fair. You could make the argument this is one of the best values in the state.

3) COLLEGE GOLF COURSES: HOME TO COLLEGE GOLF’S TOP COURSE

Great River Golf Club is a semi-private golf course not far from Hartford that boasts pristine conditioning and beautiful holes along the Housatonic River. The course is home to Sacred Heart University men’s and women’s golf teams and frequently tops the state’s best of for public courses. If you are in the New Haven area, this is a must-play.

The Golf Course at Yale is likely the top public course in the state depending on who you talk to. It’s a bit of a long shot to call it a “public” course as you have to have a connection to the university to play.

Going into 2022 it will undergo a complete restoration effort by renowned architect, Gil Hanse.

The Redan at Yale

The course has also been limited to Connecticut residents during the COVID pandemic but will move to a daily-fee model once after Hanse completes his renovation of this classic Seth Raynor and C.B. McDonald design.

Home to the Yale University Golf teams, it’s often considered the best collegiate course in the United States.

4) THE PRIVATES

If you look at the rankings, most of the best golf courses in Connecticut are private. That said, if you have the connections you can play some world-class golf in the state.

Along with Yale, the lineup we’d consider would be:

  • Country Club of Fairfield –  Considered one of Seth Raynor’s finest designs, this course is regularly amongst the Top 100 in the country. Slight modifications by A.W. Tillinghast and Robert Trent Jones Sr. make this flat and linksy style course very sought after. Getting a chance to become a member is quite difficult, however.
  • Tamarack Country Club –  Just over the Connecticut border from Westchester County, Tamarack is another golf architecture lover’s dream. Designed by Charles Banks, an associate of Seth Raynor, the course features a number of template holes with an Edan, Redan and Biarritz greens. Other template hole features include a Cape, Alps and Road hole, giving nods to some of the most historic holes in golf history.
  • The Round Hill Club – Another Greenwich staple, the Round Hill Club was designed by Walter Travis in the early 1920’s and is home to an exclusive membership. Tipping out at just over 6,500 yards, the course has maintained much of its original design with some modest modifications by Robert Trent Jones Sr. in the 1960’s.
  • Wee Burn Country Club – This private club gets it’s name from, no surprise, the “Wee Burn” or small creek that runs throughout the property. This is one of the great underrated clubs of the north east that gets outshined by more famous neighbors in nearby states.

CONNECTICUT GOLF HIDDEN GEMS

Every state has a few under-the-radar courses that people on a national level usually haven’t heard of, and Connecticut is no different.

  • Manchester Country Club –  Designed in 1917 and then redesigned by A.W. Tillinghast in 1935, this semi-private municipal course is a treat and while on the shorter side, provides plenty of challenges especially around the greens. Although it falls outside of most top lists, it could be a great additional add-on if you are in the greater Hartford area.
  • Fox Hopyard: Another course that does not always appear in the state rankings is Fox Hopyard in East Haddam, CT. The course was recently transitioned to private, so it could prove more challenging to get on than previously, but it’s worth the effort. The course has a gorgeous layout, with each hole setting up differently and testing every shot in your bag. Dramatic elevation changes with a par 3 Hole #4 that drops over 70 feet in elevation from the tee box. 

Fox Hopyard in Connecticut

OTHER NOTABLE COURSES NEARBY

For most of us, you’re probably not taking a dedicated golf trip just to Connecticut considering how close it is to so many other states (and fantastic golf courses).

A great example is Westchester County.

It’s only a 16-minute drive from Greenwich, Connecticut to Winged Foot. Add a minute more and you’re at Quaker Ridge.

So despite a shortage of “Top 100” courses in Connecticut, you can very easily travel close by to some of the world’s best courses.

Although, access is another story.

That said, here are a few tracks worth playing that are a stone’s throw from the Connecticut border:

  • Westchester Privates (Less than 20 minutes) –  We mentioned Winged Foot and Quaker Ridge above. But there are a few dozen worthy courses in this area within a 30-minute drive of the Connecticut border (if you have the access). Pound Ridge Golf Club is one of the best public courses in Westchester County as well.

Winged Foot West Hole 10

  • Ferry Point (25 minutes) – Looking for a world-class public option? Ferry Point is a fantastic option, and we found it to be even better than anticipated. If for no other reason, go for the view of the Manhattan skyline on 13.

Ferry Point Golf Links

  • Bethpage State Park – The Black and Red certainly come to mind as top public access courses though they can be difficult to get tee times on. Bethpage Black consistently ranks inside the top 10 of any Top 100 Public lists and has a historic pedigree of tournaments. Host of the 2025 Ryder Cup, it could certainly be added onto a trip to Connecticut. The Red course also gets favorable nods in most Top 100 public lists.

Bethpage Black Hole 4

  • A quick ferry ride from the Connecticut coast puts you in range in some of the best private clubs in the world (Shinnecock Hills, National Golf Links of America, Friars Head, Sebonack Golf Club, Fisher’s Island Club, and Maidstone to name a few). Head out to the end of the island (or world) and land on Montauk Downs State Park Golf Course, another highly ranked municipal course that frequents top public course lists.

Safe to say there are certainly plenty of options to head into other neighboring states for fantastic golf. Whether or not you can access them is a different challenge.

Looking for More Best in State Rankings? We got you.

Check out more of our “Best in golf” content.

Member of a private club and love to travel and meet other golf nuts? Check out our Eighty Club Golf Society.

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Sean Ogle

+Sean Ogle helps people build businesses they can run from anywhere in the world. Oh, and while he's traveling around doing that, he also golfs as much as humanly possible in his quest to break eighty for the first time ever.