Connecticut’s Best Public Courses

By Ryan Watson

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Connecticut remains one of America's more underrated golfing communities. Beautiful courses abound in the Constitution State, home to the PGA Tour's Travelers Championship at the TPC River Highlands. And while you won't be playing at the TPC River Highlands without a tour card, there are still plenty of options for a great game of golf at one of Connecticut's best public courses.

Wintonbury Hills Golf Course

206 Terry Plains Rd, Bloomfield, CT 06002

Located a short drive away from Hartford, Wintonbury Hills is one of Connecticut’s best love municipal courses. But this course is no slouch, in fact this Pete Dye and Tim Liddy is seen as the gold standard for New England munis. It is a walking course that meanders through both forest and wetlands near the Bloomfield reservoir and is a reasonable course at just over 6,700 yards. The course relies on strategic bunkering and routing rather than length to create its challenge. A must-play for any golfer in the area and an incredibly affordable option to play a Dye course.

Lake of Isles Golf Course

1227, 1 Clubhouse Dr, North Stonington, CT 06359

Built in 2005, the Lake of Isles golf course located in North Stonington offers a fair challenge to all golfers. The wooded course winds through the Connecticut forests and heavily uses water and forced carries to keep the challenge steep. The course was designed by Rees Jones and also makes great use of elevation changes to add variety and allow for beautiful vistas. Excellent facilities help ensure one of Connecticut’s best golf experiences.

Fox Hopyard Golf Club

1 Hopyard Rd, East Haddam, CT 06423

East Haddam’s Fox Hopyard Golf Club is a semi-private facility owned by businessman Bill Sandri. The course was designed by Roger Rulewich in 2001 and takes advantage of the hilly terrain and wetlands. The course is considered by many as Connecticut’s best, and it’s easy to see why. The course combines penal golf with a plethora of high risk/reward shots with stunning elevation changes. The course demands accuracy and will test every facet of your game.

The Golf Club at Oxford Greens

99 Country Club Rd #1188, Oxford, CT 06478

Located near the scenic Naugatuck State Forest, The Golf Club at Oxford Greens features a Mark Mungeam designed woodland course. The course gives players a taste of all of New England’s often overshadowed inland beauty over 680 acres, with no holes running parallel. The course is more forgiving than many on the list, making it a great choice for a more laid back round or when playing with more casual players.

Great River Golf Club

130 Coram Ln, Milford, CT 06461

This very challenging layout comes from legendary architect Tom Fazio courtesy of Milford’s Great River Golf Club. The course uses the ample water to create both obstacles and stunning views, the 30 foot waterfall behind the 8th green is just once such beautiful view. The Housatonic River, strategic bunkering and the often elevated and guarded greens means that golfers must bring their best to tame this course. The facility is semi-private and well maintained, though the green fees reflect that. Still, any list of Connecticut’s best courses would be incomplete without this course.

About the Author

Ryan Watson is a freelance sportswriter and history professor. He has been an avid fan of golf since his father signed him up for golf camp as a young child. Ryan enjoys following the professional game and learning about new equipment and gadgets.