Jun 27, 2014

5 Connecticut Courses That Challenge Golfers With Island Greens

With its massive purse and unofficial "fifth major" status, the Players Championship is a perennial favorite of golf fans, but most would probably agree that it's mainly the iconic 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass that allows this tournament to transcend golf... and capture the attention of the masses.

There's something about an island green: the prospect of a sudden watery demise can play on the nerves of even the most experienced golfer...  and drama will often ensue.

It's a good bet there's not a golfer anywhere who's watched the Players Championship without imagining themselves poised on that 17th tee, aiming for the island.

If a trip to Ponte Vedre Beach isn't currently in the cards for you, chances are you may be able to find a island green right in your own home state because... contrary to popular belief... island greens aren't all that rare.

Though they're not a traditional feature of golf course architecture, they've become quite popular since the mid-20th Century.  In fact here in Connecticut, without doing much research, I've already discovered five, so you may want to see what your state has to offer.  Meanwhile for those living in, or traveling to, the "Nutmeg State" this summer, here's what I've found:




Vineyard Valley Golf Course • 34 Brayman Valley Road • Pomfret, CT - It used to be a vineyard, now it's a 9 hole golf course... and the finishing hole on this scenic, steeply sloped course is an island green.
"The ninth hole is what Gus Loos, the designer of the course, considered to be eastern Connecticut's answer to the famous island green at the 17th hole at Sawgrass in Florida. Playing anywhere from 120 to 160 yards, the green is fronted by a watery marsh that has been and will continue to be the graveyard of many a good score."  
Chanticlair Golf Course • 288 Old Hebron Road • Colchester, CT 06415 - The 9 hole Chanticlair Golf Course has been in operation since the early 1970's in the scenic town of Colchester.  The island experience greets golfers on the 4th hole here.  • • MORE CT ISLAND GREENS





 The Tradition Golf Club • 37 Harrison Road • Wallingford, CT - This 18 hole course offers a variety of shot selections but the most memorable is certainly the par 3 island green 12th.

Minnechaug Golf Course • 16 Fairway Crossing • Glastonbury, CT 06033 -
"Hole 8, a 126-yard, par 3, which some consider to be the first island green of its kind in the nation, is a gem for all to see." 
Lake of Isles • 1 Clubhouse Drive • North Stonington, CT 06359

With two Rees Jones championship courses... each featuring a unique island green... and a state-of-the-art golf academy, Lake of Isles offers a stellar golf experience to both resort guests and club members.

I played the North course at Lake of Isles a couple of times very, very early in my golf life. I thoroughly enjoyed it, if my memory... and old blog posts... serve me well, but can't offer much in the way of a first hand review as my golf skills... and my knowledge of the game... were both in their infancy I had absolutely no idea what I was doing out there.

I do however, look forward to playing there again this season and will provide a complete overview, including a dry (hopefully) review of the island 11th.

In the meantime if your planning on spending some time in CT this summer, a round of golf on one of our island green courses, might just be the perfect compliment to a cruise around the picturesque islands along our coastline.  Our state is also a stellar destination in the fall, when fabulous flaming foliage provides an added attraction to our islands. In either case, have fun... and try to stay dry.

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