There aren’t a lot of golf courses in New England that play directly on the ocean or Long Island Sound.
That’s why Shennecossett is such a favorite, for it has three holes that
play near of near the Sound, 15, 16 and 17, which makes the layout, a Donald
Ross original that was reworked to include the water holes, so unique.
The course was actually founded way back in 1898 and Ross came in and redesigned the layout in 1916. It is one of only five courses in Connecticut the master designed. The course remained untouched until the company Pfizer made a land swap with the town of Groton, which owns and manages the course, to allow for the construction of three new holes near the Sound.
Over the years such famous golfers as Walter Hagen, Bobby Jones, Tommy Armour, Francis Ouimet, Babe Didrikson and Arnold Palmer have prowled the fairways and greens at “Shenny,” further imbuing the course with a deep and significant sense of place and history.
Shennecossett plays only 6,213 yards from the back markers, but there are ample bunkers, deep rough in the summertime, and sloping greens that place a premium on accurate approach shots and a good short game.
The 195-yard 15th is a tough par-three where you first catch sight of the water. The 16th, a 400-yard par-four, plays over wetlands and uphill to a green that is located close to the Sound. The 345-yard par-four 17th has its tee box near the water and demands a well-struck tee shot to place the ball in position for a wedge into the elevated green.
Another superb hole is the 208-yard par-three fourth that could aptly be called “Little Round Top,” as the putting surface sits upon a hill and sometimes punishes even well-struck tee shots.