Bloomfield, Ct.’s Gillette Ridge Golf Club poses a challenging, aesthetically pleasing test.
Matt Manchetti and MDM Golf, LLC takes over the day-to-day operations of the club this year and aims to continue the tradition of excellence that Gillette has become famous for.
Gillette Ridge is skillfully routed over the softly undulating terrain of land owned by the Cigna Corporation and fits nicely into the existing natural landscape.
There are a number of peninsula greens here with the builders using granite from the site to build walls near several greens and tee boxes. There are some forced carries at Gillette Ridge, both off the tee and on approach shots to the medium size, undulating putting surfaces. But this imbues Gillette with its challenge, and most of the carries will be hit with a short iron. There are ample bunkers and water in some for or the other comes into play on half the holes. The fairway landing areas are ample.
There are four sets of tees at Gillette Ridge, making the course play anywhere from 7,191 yards at the tips to 5,582 from the forward markers. The course has been given a slope of 135 and a rating of slightly over 74 from the back markers. Heed this advice; play up if it’s your first time. You’ll enjoy your round to a far greater degree.
The second hole is the course’s signature. The tee box affords a view of the Heublein Tower in the distance, and the 505-yard, par-five winds down to a peninsula green. This is a true risk-reward hole as a long drive will leave the player with an opportunity to go for the green in two. But a pond guards the right side of the putting surface and long is bad.
The 182-yard 11th hole is a stunning par-three that calls for a shot across a small pond to a green framed by large trees to the rear of the putting surface.
The 18th hole at Gillette Ridge may be the best finisher in the state. It’s 478 yards from the tips and the tee shot must be lusty. The approach will be made to a narrow green protected by a large pond to the right and bunkers.
Gillette Ridge Golf Club