Timberlin Golf Club in Berlin has dutifully been accorded respect by Connecticut golfers.
Long noted for its pleasant, park like routing and playability for all levels of golfers, the course was given a facelift two years ago in the form of new bunker complexes, fairway and green complex work, an effort led by noted golf course architects Stephen Kay and Doug Smith. The course is kept in immaculate condition and the renovations added a few more teeth to this scenic track, originally designed by Al Zikorus.
“At Timberlin we had a perfect example of a very good public golf course,” Smith told Golfing Magazine. “Good topography and a good layout, but a course that needed a little bit of work everywhere to make it pop. It was mostly on the bunkers. We went in there and acted as though we were placing bunkers at a brand new course. We rebuilt some and left them were they were, and in other instances we moved them or built new ones, all with an eye on strategy and how they affected play on each hole. I think we succeeded in bringing a new feel and playing experience to Timberlin.”
The course stretches to 6,722 yards from the back markers and has water that comes into play on a number of holes, mostly on the back nine. While not overly long (there are seven par-fours under 400 yards in length), Timberlin demands proper placement of the ball off the tee and accurate shot making to hit the medium-sized greens. A number of the greens are elevated, which further complicates matters.
The course throws a toughie at you right away with a 581-yard par-five that is somewhat of a double dogleg. It will take most players three good shots to get home in regulation.
The number one handicap hole on the course is also a par-five, the 567-yard sixth that bends slightly to the right and has a green that is elevated and protected by three bunkers.
We really like number 13, another great par-five, 517 yards from the back. A stream cuts across the middle of the fairway forcing the player to choose the right club in order to stay out of trouble.
The best par-three may be the 170-yard 16th, which plays dramatically uphill, with bunkers guarding the front sides of the putting surface.
The par-four 17th hole is only 372 yards from an elevated tee, but water guards the deep left side of the fairway and the front of the green. The proper play is a fairway wood off the tee and a short iron into a large green.
Timberlin Golf Club