A roundup of Fairfield County's finest golf clubs
Play the ball as it lies, play the course as you find it and if you cannot do either, do what is fair. The underlying principle of the rules is fairness…. thus, the game of Golf. The modern game as we know it today, originated in Scotland, in the 15th century. Here in Fairfield County, one of the wealthiest counties in the country, affluence and wealth has driven this popular game to a whole new level. Fairfield County alone boasts approximately 44 country clubs, both public and private.
For those looking for a quality public golf course, the following are recommended:
D. Fairchild Wheeler, 2390 Easton Turnpike, in Fairfield boasts two 18 hole courses, one named Red, the other Black. Both are similar in length at about 6560 yards from the back tees. The Red Course demands accurate tee shots and has tough greens making most golfers double and triple check their breaks. The Black Course has beautiful winding hills, great scenic views and offers a great challenge with newly renovated fairway and greenside bunkers. In addition to two courses, Fairchild Wheeler has a fully stocked Pro Shop, a snack bar, an onsite restaurant and a Nike Junior summer golf camp.
South Pine Creek Golf Course on Old Dam Road in Fairfield is a nine hole, par three public course. Tee times can be reserved and Fairfield residents pay half price at this moderately priced course. This is a good course to improve your short game with its very short pitch and putt type of layout, while enjoying rare sea breezes from the nearby Long Island Sound.
H. Smith Richardson Golf Course, located at 2425 Morehouse Highway in Fairfield, is yet another challenging course. Not for the beginner golfer however, as the layout twists and turns and has plenty of woods to get you into trouble. It is in excellent shape and is probably the most prestigious public courses in Fairfield.
Griffith E. Harris, 1300 King Street, is the only public course in Greenwich. Tee times can be reserved in advance by Greenwich residents and this municipal golf course has an interesting Robert Trent Jones designed layout, measuring 6512 yards from the back tees.
Oak Hills Park Golf Course in Norwalk, Ridgefield Golf Course, E. Gaynor Brennan and Sterling Farms, both in Stamford, also offer quality courses, significant discounts to residents, advance tee time reservations and most offer onsite dining options.
For those of you who prefer a private country club numerous excellent selections proliferate in Fairfield County:
In Greenwich alone, eight country clubs prevail:
Burning Tree Country Club on Perkins Road
Fairview Country Club on King Street
Greenwich Country Club on Doubling Road
Innis Arden on Tomac Avenue in Old Greenwich
Round Hill Club on round Hill Road
Tamarack Country Club on Locust Road
Millbrook Club on Woodside Drive
Stanwich Club on North Street.
Each is steeped in tradition, has strict dress codes (for each golf, tennis, clubhouse and pool),has majestic rolling hills nested between glistening streams and ponds and offers truly imposing challenges for even the best of the best. Burning Tree CC boasts not only an 18 hole course which has hosted US Open Qualifiers and Met PGA events, but also offers an 8-lane 25-meter pool with a diving well, Har-Tru tennis courts, a platform tennis complex, active Junior programs in each and multiple member and event dining offerings.
Wee Burn (meaning small stream) Country Club, 410 Hollow Tree Ridge Road, in Darien ranks in the esteemed prestige only five clubs in Fairfield County can brag about… each is one hundred + years old: Wee Burn, Greenwich Country Club, the CC of Farmington, CC Of New Canaan and Brooklawn CC in Fairfield. Wee Burn offers one of the toughest ( a 139 slope rating for the black tees) and most beautiful gold courses in the Northeast, along with tennis, platform tennis, bowling and an elegantly furnished Spanish-style clubhouse, a steady stream of social activities and a private beach club in Rowayton. Wee Burn was also included in a list of the Country’s ten “stuffiest” golf clubs a few years ago by Nat’l Golf Magazine.
The Country Club of Darien, 300 Mansfield Avenue, is located in the Long Island Sound shoreline town of Darien and claims to have the finest golf practice facilities of any golf club in Fairfield County. Their practice area has a large grass range with a maximum of twenty six hitting stations, a small range of 120 yards, and a new putting green and two chipping greens. Greenside bunker and fairway bunker practice areas are a part of the practice facilities. Other amenities include first class dining, eight Har-Tru tennis courts, four platform tennis courts, a six lane swimming pool and a fitness room which includes cardiovascular and Nautilus equipment and free weights.
The Country Club of Fairfield offers one of a kind, un-obscured breath taking views of the Long Island Sound, in addition to its many sterling amenities. Rightfully regarded as one of the best in the Country, their superb member’s golf course (rating 71.5) offers a challenging venue and has hosted tournaments, including the Met Open, the Connecticut Open and the Met PGA Championship. The CC of Fairfield also offers fabulous dining (seasonally from their seaside terrace), platform tennis, Har-Tru tennis courts and a lovely beach club swimming pool ON the beach.
Brooklawn CC is, as afore mentioned, one of the oldest grand golf courses in New England. Redesigned by famed golf course architect A.W.Tillinghast in 1929, Brooklawn has hosted several USGA Nat’l tournaments including the 1987 US Senior Open. While being proud of all their club amenities, Brooklawn is most proud of their great golf tradition. The oak paneled grill room has a rich history and allows members to enjoy casual dining, the clubhouse has its own bowling alley; pool, tennis and a family atmosphere abound at this hill top CC.
In contrast, the CT Golf Club, located at 915 Black Rock Turnpike in Easton was designed to create ideal playing conditions for members who are interested in (solely) playing golf. It claims to have never been intended as a Country Club, nor does it compete with them, but rather as a club devoted primarily and exclusively to the playing of golf. The clubs mission is to provide a golf retreat in the middle of a stunning New England landscape, far removed from the busyness of daily life. One of the great assets of the club is its greens. With a variety of contours, sizes, shapes, and multiple elevations, the greens at the CGC give the golfer a variety. The terrain in southwestern Ct provided Geoffrey Cornish an opportunity to to design a course nestled away in the midst of a rugged and underdeveloped New England landscape. First time visitors will be immediately tested and seduced by the courses first and longest hole, a 575-yard par 5. On this course players will navigate around doglegs, elevation changes and water hazards.
With 44 either public or private country clubs/ golf courses in Fairfield County, there is more than ‘something for everyone’ (additionally most now offer lower pricing/dues/initiation fees and/ or extended pay periods/ due to the current economic times). So go and enjoy, however, if you do hear someone yell ‘fore’ shouted as a warning, please do duck!