photo courtesy PGA Tour
Hartford, Connecticut is a beautiful city located in southern New England. The city hosts The Travelers Championship, an annual PGA Tour event, each year at the TPC River Highlands in the Hartford suburb of Cromwell, CT. This year the event is being held June 25-28 and has attracted a strong field including Brooks Koepka, Phil Mickelson, Jon Rahm, and Rory McIlroy. The following is GolfLink’s guide to golfing in Hartford.
What to do in Hartford
Historic Hartford has many attractions to keep everyone in the family happy. Kids will enjoy a trip to the Connecticut Science Center, a museum offering over 150 hands on exhibits and a 3D theater will provide an entire afternoon of fun. If you’re interested in the history of flight, a visit to the New England Air Museum is the best way to view 66 airplanes and 26 helicopters on exhibit from every era of aeronautics. A refreshing stroll through the Elizabeth Park Rose Garden is a great way to let your stress go, or consider a visit to the New Britain Museum of American Art to see some of the country’s best art from Colonial times to the present. Adventurous visitors will love Brownstone Exploration & Discovery Park where you can try your hand at wakeboarding, kayaking or ziplining. Less adventurous options include snorkling, swimming and hiking are also available at Brownstone Exploration & Discovery Park.
photo courtesy Connecticut Magazine
Hartford has numerous wonderful restaurants offering some of the region’s best food. Firebox, a local favorite, provides authentic New England dishes using crops grown locally. Or go rub elbows with the professionals at Max Downtown and sample their hand cut steaks or delicious oysters. The City Steam Brewery Cafe provides excellent pub food, but is best known for its house brewed beers on tap. If live music is what you seek, consider Black Eyed Sally’s, a blues joint featuring its own well-known southern fare to provide a delicious dinner with entertainment.
Hartford’s Best Golf Courses
Golfers looking for a quick round won’t have to travel far to find an excellent game of golf. The following are the the best public Hartford golf courses.
1130 Maple Ave.
Hartford, CT 06114
Goodwin Park Golf Course was first build in 1906 and had suffered as recently as 5 years ago from mismanagement. However, a million dollar investment and redesign in 2015 created a municipal park that is wonderfully playable and affordable. The course is relatively flat with water coming to play on numerous holes, and golfers should expect to use their short game on this course.
171 Windsor Ave.
Windsor, CT 06095
The area’s other noted municipal course, Keney Park also was given a facelift beginning in 2014. The front 9 was built in 1927 with the back 9 coming in 1930, but the recent redesign has been spearheaded by Matthew Dusenberry, a disciple of Greg Norman who has worked on both Doral in Miami and Doonbeg in Ireland. The course is a parkland style with unique bunkering and some of the best greens in the state. Keney Park is regularly listed as one of Connecticut’s best courses and promises a wonderful round.
Topstone Golf Course
516 Griffin Rd
South Windsor, CT 06074
Built on Connecticut’s rolling hills, Topstone Golf Course first opened in 1997 and quickly won local acclaim. The course strikes a good balance of providing a challenge but being playable enough for mid-handicappers to enjoy their round. Its wide open feel and generous fairways make this course a great warm-up to more challenging courses or a fun diversion for the afternoon. Be prepared to play your wedges as the fast greens and numerous sand bunkers almost guarantee a shot or two from the sand.
300 Hill Rd.
Harwinton, CT 06791
This public course features a layout on a former farm and is one of Hartford’s most picturesque courses. While it doesn’t maintain as high a profile as some of the other courses on this list, Fairview Farm is known to locals for its fast greens and challenging layout. Elevation changes provide the challenge of uphill and downhill holes as well as water hazards make this a shotmakers course. End the day with delicious food at the restaurant overlooking the shared green on the 9th and 18th holes.
206 Terry Plains Rd.
Bloomfield, CT 06002
This Pete Dye layout set in suburb of Bloomfield is often considered Connecticut’s best municipal course. The course plays through both forest and wetland holes and is best enjoyed walking. The course does receive the heavy play but remains in good condition thanks to expert management. The course is difficulty but plays easier than many of Dye’s heralded design so even high-handicappers have a chance to enjoy one of golf’s best designers.