There are those in the golf industry that believe the future of golf will actually see a return to the nine-hole country club because of modern time constraints and commitment to family values.
Well, Suffield Country Club Suffield, Ct. has been just that for 88 years, a welcoming place where the entire family can have fun in a relaxed atmosphere.
“I really believe that the nine-hole golf course, whether it is private or public, is going to be the revitalization of the golf industry,” says Head Professional Stan McLennan. “There are so many time constraint elements on today’s families that it is difficult to play 18 holes many days. What we are selling here is convenience, a great course that is always well manicured, set in a beautiful area with a restaurant, tennis and a pool.”
Suffield Country Club is indeed a gem of a layout, built on a former tobacco farm basically in the center of town.
“We don’t have tee times and someone can walk in after work and go and play four or six or nine holes. That’s the way we want to keep the club, user-friendly.”
Suffield is a private club, but subscribers to Golfing Magazine New England can access the course. The club’s restaurant is always open to the public.
Despite being only nine holes, the club has hosted a number of Connecticut State Golf Association and Connecticut Women’s Golf Association events, a nod to the conditioning and quality of the routing, which was done by Ian Smyth way back in 1927. It’s a classic, traditional New England-style course that ambles over the rolling land, and plays only around 3,000 yards for nine holes.
“People come here and look at the yardage and think they are going to eat the course up, but that doesn’t happen,” says McLennan. “We are known for our greens, which always roll true.”
The short distance of the course is offset by tight fairways and small, fast undulating greens. Out-of-bounds borders holes three through six, heavy rough and tall oak trees off the fairways. Only two holes, three and seven, have fairway bunkers. Holes five and eight do not have any green side bunkers. No par-five is over 500 yards, and no par-four is over 400 yards. Many of the greens do not face the tee directly. With the exception of the sixth green none can be considered truly flat. The club’s second hole has been rated as the fourth toughest par-three in the state. It can play as far back as 230 yards.
Says McLennan, “It’s a beautiful hole, as is our other par-three, which measures 135 yards. But you can make double bogey there as easy as on the second hole.”
Quite interestingly, McLennan is only the fourth head pro the club has had in its history. He’s been at his post for 27 years. “The members have been wonderful to myself, my wife and my son, who now plays golf.”
He speaks about the future of the club. “We are private and somewhat secluded, even being in the center of town. We want the people of the community to know about this club and what we have to offer. We’ve been adding new members the past few years.”
Suffield CC is offering a membership special where if a person joins after Aug. 1, he or she pays $1,000 and plays the remainder of the year, with the money going towards next year’s dues.
For further information about Suffield Country Club, visit www.SuffieldCC.com.