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 »  Home  »  Regional Editorials  »  Northeast  »  The Quiet Corner in Connecticut
The Quiet Corner in Connecticut
By Tom Landers | Published  08/28/2006 | Northeast | Unrated
A Golfing Journey to Connecticut’s ‘Quiet Corner’


While that moniker has a nice little ring to it, northeast Connecticut has plenty of things to see and do, making a day trip or mini-vacation anything but quiet if you so choose.

The Quiet Corner is known for being underpopulated and isolated in contrast with the rest of Connecticut, with many of its towns having populations below 5,000. It received its name from its status as an area largely comprised of rural and semi-rural towns containing large areas of farmland, lakes, and state forests. Interestingly, it forms one of the least-urbanized districts along the Boston-Washington corridor

The region is popular with tourists for its traditional New England scenery, culture, and many charming bed and breakfasts, and is especially noted for its many antique shops where it is reported good buys and special finds abound.

Attractions in the Quiet Corner include the main University of Connecticut campus in Storrs (check out the Husky sports museum); Connecticut State Route 169, a national scenic highway running north-and-south through the region; the Prudence Crandall House Museum in Canterbury; the Nathan Hale Homestead in Coventry; and the many antiques shops of Pomfret, Putnam, and Woodstock.

For those who like to tote their clubs around with them on holiday, The Quiet Corner has several superb 18-hole layouts and a number of fun nine-hole tracts. And just over the Massachusetts border are two excellent 18-hole tracts--Blissful Meadows and Blackstone National golf clubs that are worth the short drive.

Putnam Country Club was opened to the public in 1994 and has been ranked among the top 100 courses in New England by several regional publications. New management has invested money in upgrading the conditions of the tract, which plays to a par of 71 and measures a deceptive 6,169 yards for the tips.
Putnam CC is a fun course to play. It was craved out of a wooded area with gently rolling terrain. The greens are undulating and some are slightly elevated, making the holes play a bit longer than their yardage suggests. Water hazards in the form of six ponds come into play on two holes.

Number five is a neat, short 323-yard par-four that big hitters can get close to even though it doglegs slightly to the left. Bunkers guard the front of the putting surface.

Number eight is definitely reachable off the tee as it plays only 282 yards from the tips. But there is a pond to the right of the green, so don’t wander or you’ll be dropping and hitting three onto the green.

Number 14 is one of the better par-fours on the course, measuring just under 400 yards with a pond guarding the landing area.

Twin Hills Golf Club in Coventry opened in 1971 is a solid test. The par-72 layout measures almost 6,300 yards from the back markers.

As at Putnam, Twin Hills offers several reachable par-fours, the first being the 303-yard second. Number three is a superb, 556-yard par-five that demands an accurate lay-up to leave a short iron over water that guards the front of the green.

The 12th hole is a very good par-three, measuring 226 yards with woods hugging the left side of the green. And number 18 is another fun, short par-four. It’s only 285 yards from the tips, but a pond guards the right side of the green, making a three-wood or long iron off the tee to leave a short pitch short perhaps the wiser choice to finish off your round on a good note.

For those who want to squeeze in a few holes between sightseeing and shopping The Quiet Corner offers several nice nine-holers.

Brooklyn Golf Course is a hilly tract that measures 2,783 yards and plays to a par of 35.

Harrisville Golf Club in Woodstock has nice mix of holes, with the 2,895-yard par-36 tract recently having had some work done to it.
The Vineyard Valley Golf Club, located in what is known as the wine country of The Quiet Corner in Pomfret, is a rather stern test, measuring over 3,000 yards from the tips with some severe elevation changes.

Woodstock Golf Club is a pretty little, 2,454-yard, par-34 course that is located in a town park. It is a bit hilly with narrow fairways and smallish greens.

Spend a half a half hour or so in the car and head north if you would like to see spectacular golf in the Bay State.

Blackstone National Golf Club, a Rees Jones design, is one of the better daily fee courses in the region. It was carved out of mature woodlands and Jones did a masterful job of setting the holes apart from one another.

There are several great par-threes on this 6,909-yard, par-72 tract, the best being the 173-yard 11th, which plays over a small pond. The monstrous 486-yard dogleg left par-four 15th dares the payer to cut the corner in order to catch a steep hill that flows toward the putting green.

Blissful Meadows Golf Club, a Cornish and Silva design located in Uxbridge, is another woodland tract that is challenging for the better players and fun for higher handicappers. Water comes into play on several holes, including the great finishing hole. The par-four measures 420 yards from the back markers and calls for a nervy approach shot over a pond that guards the front left side of the putting surface.

About a 45-minute drive to the east into Rhode Island you’ll find one of the great Donald Ross courses in southern New England, Triggs Memorial Golf Course. The 6,631-yard, par-69 layout hosted the 1930 U.S. Open and it considered one of Ross’ best public tracts, with his famous pushed up greens and strategically placed bunkering in evidence.