Tallwood Country Club
|Black M: 71.2/126||541||302||226||500||415||200||389||385||172||3130||306||525||381||359||159||377||481||387||415||3390||6520|
|Blue M: 70.1/122||541||302||183||495||415||172||360||371||172||3011||306||513||381||359||159||377||481||387||379||3342||6353|
|White M: 69.3/121||528||287||176||483||400||158||341||359||167||2899||296||500||361||346||157||364||460||377||366||3227||6126|
|Red W: 71.0/126||486||261||133||390||390||146||323||335||148||2612||246||442||294||327||149||352||382||315||311||2818||5430|
This place never disappoints...
We make it here a couple of times a year, and we always leave satisfied.
Great practice facilty (range, sand trap, chipping area, and two putting greens).
Course demands attention. Several risk/reward opportunities on both sides.
The Back Nine Can Be A Watery Grave
Tallwood is a great tract with a super back nine. The front has three par threes that require different clubs. The rest of the front nine has some interesting holes and requires you to think before just pulling driver every-time. Number 8 is a great strategy hole. The back nine is the real challenge with water on every hole except 18 and the lone par 3. Once again driver is not always the correct club and your approach shots must be precise. Not much movement in the greens but they are well protected. A ton of length was added a few years ago but really didn't make much of a difference.Improved bunkering in terms of line of sight and protection could make this one of the best courses east of the river. Right now the bunkers are just large instead of being true hazards. The back nine is definitely not for beginners.
I play this course at least once a season. GREAT practice facility (range, chipping area, putting). Staff is super-friendly. Course is ALWAYS top-shelf.
I find the course somewhat challenging. there are some short-ish par 4s, but the lack of length is offset by the hazards (water!). Good par threes and decent par 5s.
Yeah, Tallwood may be a stone's throw from the Blackledge tracks (both of which are great layouts, by the way), but you should NOT overlook playing at least one round here this season. You won't be disappointed!
I gave it three stars for "Off-course amenties: only because it it in the middle of farm country, so there's not much going on in the way of retail stores (not a Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts anywhere near!)
Water. Water. Everywhere
Located in the rolling, rural hills of Hebron just off CT RT 85, family-owned Tallwood Country Club is a great course for players of all levels. Many state tournaments use Tallwood as their tournament site, which attests to the quality and management of this course. It also has a very large and active men’s league indicating the popularity of Tallwood.
At 6523 yards from the tips to 5424 yards from the forward tees, Tallwood is longish for the average public course in central Connecticut. It is also quite hilly with a slope rating ranging from 121-126. It’s not an easy course, especially with six ponds to contend with. Four of these ponds are located on the back nine, which is more difficult and longer than the front nine, thus the 35/37 par differential. There are three par 3’s on the front nine and only one on the back side.
Rates are reasonable: $38 weekdays, $41 weekends and $29 seniors/juniors/military (weekdays only). Carts are extra.
Upon arrival, overhead power lines and a large gravel parking lot awaits. To the right of the clubhouse are two large putting greens, a chipping and sand trap practice area (with three traps) and a large driving range. Inside the clubhouse there is a fully-equipped pro shop and comfortable but Spartan eating area. The restaurant is not known for gourmet meals, though the basic fare is satisfactory.
The day we played it was hot and humid. An acute lack of rain in the past weeks dried out the course a bit but the fairways and greens were still in excellent shape. There were also plenty of strategically-located water jugs to keep us hydrated and quite a few porta-potties for relief. Most fairways are narrow and bordered by deep woods or ponds so hitting your shots straight is crucial in keeping the bogieman at bay.
Good course management is necessary at Tallwood so here are some tips for the trouble areas you’ll need to cope with. All distances are from the white tees.
At 528 yards, the uphill first hole is the longest on the course, but it should not be a too difficult for accurate hitters. Problems and decisions start at hole #2, a short (287 yard) dogleg right. The fairway runs out on the left into deep woods so a long or mid-iron/hybrid is an excellent choice off the tee to get within wedge distance of the green. A fade with a driver or 3W is desirable but not many of us mortals possess a fade on demand. My fade is more like a slice that comes without warning. On #8 a pond protects the green starting roughly 240 yards from the middle tees. Keeping to the right side of the fairway is smart. Long or left on the par 3 ninth spells trouble.
Almost every hole on the back nine has a pond that comes into play, starting with the short (296 yard), downhill 10th where a small one defends the front of the green. It’s about 225 yards to the water from the white tee box. Although only the #8th handicap hole, #11 gives many players fits. I hate it. This twisting par five 500 yard double dogleg is troublesome. Off the tee is not the problem, your second shot is where trouble looms. You’ll be hitting blind over a hill with water long. I suggest a trip to the hilltop to see what you’re facing. You’ll see that anything too long and straight gets wet as yet another pond guards a very small green that is bordered by water in front and a steep bank behind. Choose your weapon carefully to give yourself a short wedge to the green. The next hole, requires a tee shot over a geese-infested pond than uphill to a small green. Walk carefully near the tee box and pond to avoid the “gifts” the geese have left. Number 15 is water all along the right side of the fairway and deep woods down the left. Some players are tempted to go for the green on their 2nd shot but any ball short goes for a swim. A smart play is driver or 3 wood off the tee then a mid-iron to a collection area along the left side of the fairway. From there it’s a short wedge to the green. The short (317 yard) #4 handicap 17th has the last pond you’ll see; it crowds the left fairway just short of the green. With a blind tee shot, club choice off the tee and accuracy to the green are the keys to par. If you can, ride or walk up the hill before teeing off, to survey the hole layout.
There’s only one negative I can speak of and that is the condition of the gravel cart paths. They could use a new layer of gravel to cut down on the kidney-jarring ride around the course. Also, a suggestion is a menu at the ninth tee box so players can call in their order when making the turn.
In conclusion I give this course high grades. The staff is friendly and helpful, the course very well laid out, challenging and the practice area is great. It’s also worth the trip from anywhere near Hartford and a good place to bring a client and still stay within your budget.
Finally, I’m surprised that there are no other reviews for Tallwood. I use reviews frequently to check out golf courses I’ve never played, vacation sites I’m planning to visit and restaurants I’m thinking of eating at. Oh well.
That is a spot on comprehensive review of Tallwood. I have played many a round up there with a close friend who use to live locally for years. Each hole has its challenges and the design has left a number of quality and distinctive holes to play. There are a few holes that always seem to get me up there even when I have been playing well. Its a great muni track and worth a visit or two