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New Haven Country Club sits on a beautiful rolling piece of land with sweeping vistas of Lake Whitney around the property. The design by Willie Park Jr. is mostly still intact from what I understand. In recent years many trees were removed which opened up corridors, increased air flow and improved the visuals on all of the holes. The course is visually stunning and has vaulted into my Top 20 courses played so far. I was so impressed by the layout, design and conditioning.
On my afternoon at the club there was a major storm system that came through and dumped a large amount of water on the property in a short amount of time. As unaccompanied guests, the Club was gracious enough to allow us to stay and have a drink while we waited out the storm. After the storm passed we were basically the only one’s around playing golf. The course drained extremely well and after the sun started to appear the greens started to roll very quickly.
At first glance the course appears to be an easy test of golf, but once one considers the incredibly subtle contours in the greens, the Par of 70 and length you will know that New Haven has teeth.
The front nine starts with a gentle but fairly long opener, it requires two good shots to find the large putting surface which has several ridges to feed the ball around the green. The Par 4 4th hole is an excellent shorter 4 with a horizontal swale that bisects the green, hitting it to a close proximity to the pin is tough. The 5th hole from the back tee was one of my favourite tee shots at New Haven, a semi blind drive with beautiful fescue runway that frames the fairway exceptionally well. The 9th hole is a massive downhill Par 3 flanked by bunkers on all sides and a fairway cut at the back of the green.
The back nine starts with the course’s first Par 5. This tight hole is reachable in two and has a sick pot bunker plopped right in the middle of the fairway, well short of the green for those who choose to layup. The Par 4 11th is the hardest hole on the course, a sharp dogleg then up the hill blind second shot into a very large green surface. The finishing stretch of 16-18 is a spectacular way to finish your round, especially as the sun is coming down on the day. The 16th is a great downhill Par 4 with a blind approach shot to a sloped back to front green, beware of 3 putts! The 17th was perhaps my favourite hole on the course, a beautiful Par 3 surrounded on 3 sides by deep bunkers reminded me of the 16th at Sleepy Hollow in a way. The 18th is a tough, long Par 5 finisher with another look at the beautiful clubhouse in the distance.
New Haven is well worth a round of golf if you get a chance to play. And don’t skip out on the showers after your round! We were told they are the best in New England and I would have to agree, it was the best shower I think I have ever had. aha.
June 01, 2022