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4.5
21 Reviews (21)
5 Stars
12
4 Stars
6
3 Stars
3
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
0
Conditions
4.2
Value
4.2
Layout
4.5
Friendliness
4.4
Pace
3.7
Amenities
3.8
96.1%
Recommend this course
20 out of 21 reviews
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Average Rating
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4.4
14 Reviews (14)
5 Stars
9
4 Stars
2
3 Stars
3
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
0
Conditions
4.3
Value
4.3
Layout
4.5
Pace
3.0
Amenities
3.9
StaffFriendliness
4.6
92.9%
Recommend this course
13 out of 14 reviews
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Average Rating
Avg Rating
4.5
15 Reviews (15)
5 Stars
10
4 Stars
2
3 Stars
3
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
0
Conditions
4.3
Value
4.3
Layout
4.5
Pace
3.1
Amenities
3.8
StaffFriendliness
4.5
93.3%
Recommend this course
14 out of 15 reviews
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About

Holes 18
Type Public
Par 72
Length 6523 yards
Slope 126
Rating 71.2
Book a Tee Time at
Tallwood Country Club
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Course Details

Year Built 1970

Rentals/Services

Carts Yes
Clubs Yes
Pull-carts Yes

Practice/Instruction

Driving Range Yes
Bunker Yes
Caddies No
Golf School Academy Yes
Teaching Pro Yes
Pitching/Chipping Area Yes
Putting Green Yes

Policies

Credit Cards Accepted VISA, MasterCard Accepted
Metal Spikes Allowed No
Walking Allowed Yes

Food & Beverage

Snacks

Accolades

  • Golf Advisor: Top Courses in Connecticut (2019 #5)

Reviews

4.5
21 Reviews (21)
Advanced Filters
Overall Rating
Recommended
Handicap
Age
Type of Golfer
Gender
Played On
Reviews 103
Handicap 0-4
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Top 100 Contributor
Connecticut Advisor
Previously Played
Windy weather
Walked

Standing Tall

Front Nine Review: Ranked highly in Golf Advisor’s 2019 ‘top fifteen’ list of Connecticut courses, Tallwood keeps earning its place as a strong venue highly praised by reviewers. The first thing I noticed here today, after I noticed how incredibly full the parking lot was for Wednesday during mid-afternoon, had to do with the course conditions. Considering the long dry spell we’ve recently gotten over, the fairway and green/greenside conditioning was excellent. Harsh critics may fault the rough, though it was mostly playable and often still quite lush. But I think it a stretch to really attack Connecticut golf course conditioning in the waning days of the summer of 2020. More than that, this course is heavily played, and despite that fact it remains in fairly remarkable shape.

I was reminded again of how I respect the high quality of this front nine, also liking it a bit better than Tallwood’s more watery and somewhat more target-oriented inward half. The whole course is a strong driving test, but even more so on the front, with its strongly sloped, tree-lined and bending fairways, a few of them on the tight side. I’ve always felt that this nine, too, favors those who can patiently grind out every shot from tee to cup. But it’s not a boring grind, mainly because there is enough width on most of the fairways, especially the first, fourth, and seventh, to work the ball creatively. You can also have a go at both of these five-pars, especially the fourth. And at the second hole, I was pleased to see some pruning done on the prominent tall tree guarding the first fifty yards or so of fairway’s right side. This has opened up the hole dramatically, and enough so that you’re not forced, virtually, to fade the ball strongly for a decent result. Tallwood keeps getting better.

Pace of play was excellent, about 1:50 for nine holes. Yes, there didn’t seem to be marshals here today (a recent reviewer complained about this) and this time no harm, no foul, but I’ll chime in and say every course should have them. I also had a good time with my two playing partners (they’re pictured), who were enjoying their match and went on to play eighteen. They both, if I have this correct, live north of Hartford and have typically enjoyed Rolling Meadows and Topstone, but they liked it here today; one is planning to become a Tallwood member. Picking up a course scorecard, I found that it’s been bettered, with an extra ‘foldout’ detailing individual holes—this includes key yardages, safety notes, and some quick tips to abet player strategy.

Favorite Holes on Front Side:
One: Perfect opening hole that challenges somewhat on the uphill drive: go too far right and you’re in the trees; too much leftward and you’ll usually roll down the slope into an awkward lie. The second shot is about precision. Usually I’ll hit a three-hybrid on the second followed by a flip wedge. I once was able to reach this green in two, but no more. That’s not, unfortunately, because Tallwood made the hole longer. Don’t miss right here on the approach. The first green is huge, so three-putting it is common.
Five: An unyielding, long 4-par on which you’ll need an excellent tee shot, ideally a fade. The approach may even be tougher with its uphill carry into a well-guarded green. Another obstacle to a par here is having to two-putt a strongly contoured, two-tiered green.
Seven: Although its quality may be overlooked, this seems to me one of Tallwood’s best holes. Short but strategic, it should force you to think carefully about tee shot placement: Do you want to carry the bunkers, or maybe thread them? Get by them and you’ll have a short wedge into the green; get into them and bogey becomes distinctly possible: two more big bunkers front the green, and the woods come up fast behind it.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Good
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Played On
Reviews 22
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
3.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played

Course Needs a Ranger

Tallwood is a great course that needs a ranger in the worst way. Course layout is great with water on 9 holes. Conditions of tees, fairways & greens were very good, Rough was dry and hard on some holes. Ponds were very low indicating just how dry this summer has been. Pace of play was the worst I've seen this year, especially the front 9 which took 2:45 alone. Overall round was 4:50 totally unacceptable especially for a 10:40 tee time on a Tuesday..

Conditions Good
Value Good
Layout Good
Friendliness Good
Pace Poor
Amenities Average
Played On
Reviews 1
Handicap Don't know
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a month
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Walked

Perfect Weather

First time playing at Tallwood. The course was very good. The greens were in excellent conditions but the pin placement were a bit hard.. Despite the lack of rain lately the fairways were very good only a few yellow patches. I would recommend the course and I look forward in playing again soon.

Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 30
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played
Perfect weather
Used cart

Great Layout & in Super Condition

Tallwood is always one of the best maintained courses in the state...even in a severe drought state.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 2
Handicap Don't know
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Previously Played
Perfect weather
Used cart

Great Golf Course

Quite frankly there are not enough stars here to give this place a proper rating. The course pro Eric is an awesome guy. Kind, understanding and runs a great course. Extremely helpful with golf grips and suggestions to help my golf game. I love talking golf with him. I find the staff there very friendly and warm as well. Allison came over from Willowbrook and she is awesome too. She continues to be helpful and friendly. Tallwood is lucky to have both of them. I like that. I started playing Tallwood this year but I have already played about 20 rounds or more there. It is a very well kept course and I would say the level of difficulty is moderate. There is lots of practice area there for chipping and putting and a really good driving range. So its a great place to practice and play. It just doesn't get any better than that. I will spend most of my golf rounds at this course. I cannot imagine a better place to play. Both the front and back 9 are great there. The course itself is very beautiful and country like. It would be hard to find something not to like there. I rate them 12 stars. If they ever come out with a club membership for Seniors I will buy a membership there. Joe

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Average
Amenities Good
Difficulty Moderate
Played On
Reviews 4
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played

Hidden gem

I always try and play this course a couple of times a year greens were running nice fairways were in good shape also play was a little slow but that doesn’t seem to happen very often on this course.

Conditions Good
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Good
Pace Average
Amenities Good
Played On
Reviews 1
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played
Hot weather
Used cart
Conditions Average
Value Excellent
Layout Good
Friendliness Good
Pace Fair
Amenities Average
Difficulty Moderate
Played On
Reviews 9
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
3.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played

All day in the sun

All day in the sun

Usually played this 3 to 5 times per year maybe it’s Covid or whatever but it was extremely slow. Also lots of brown out, the course could use some TLC

Conditions Average
Value Average
Layout Good
Friendliness Good
Pace Fair
Amenities Good
Played On
Reviews 1
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing

1st timer will be back

Extremely interesting course. Challenging but not too much so. Plan to play again soon

Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Average
Played On
Reviews 5
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played
Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Fair
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 3
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played
Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Layout Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Average
Played On
Reviews 4
Handicap 20-24
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played
Perfect weather
Used cart
Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 9
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
3.0
Previously Played

Slow play

I have played this course many times however today pace of play was quite slow and course looks like it needs some TLC

Conditions Average
Value Average
Layout Average
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Fair
Amenities Good
Played On
Reviews 8
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Previously Played

Where was the ranger ?

Very very slow play today. We had no one behind us for a while so we could practice our putting and chipping Stuck behind a couple groups that were definitely playing very slow The course is beautiful. The staff are great. Just the pace of play was painful today

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Fair
Amenities Good
Played On
Reviews 4
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing

Great course

Excellent layout, pace was fantastic, a quiet day but you can tell they are organized. Great practice area and put put.

Conditions Good
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Average
Pace Excellent
Amenities Average
Played On
Reviews 103
Handicap 0-4
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Top 100 Contributor
Connecticut Advisor
Previously Played
Hot weather
Walked

A Connecticut Classic, Beautiful and Testing

If you count yourself a serious golfer, put Tallwood Country Club on your must-try list for central Connecticut tracks. Tallwood is a tried-and-true venue for amateur golf tournaments, has one of the most competitive men’s clubs in the greater Hartford area, and features a classic American parkland layout that on most days will test all of your fourteen clubs. I’ve played this course over fifty times, and have scored anywhere from a stroke or two over par here to numbers just south of 90. This sizeable range is attributable to many factors, but the comments that follow should shed light, in general, on how the course affects one’s golf game. But simply put, you’ll need your ‘A-game’ here to produce a number close to your handicap. As one older club member one day long ago told me passionately, “You’ve GOT to play shots well here. This is Tallwood!”

Of 1970 vintage, this layout features much of what you expect (and something even more) of the Connecticut countryside, as rolling terrain, ponds, open settings, and forestland intermingle throughout. The back nine allows for longer vistas, as holes 11 and 12 are adjacent to an older but very scenic farm. Architect Michael Ovian clearly wanted to capitalize on the impressive views, as many tee boxes are perched here to overlook the landscape—and often greens—below them. The greens themselves are all carefully sited, as well: some are slightly elevated about the fairway, some on plateaus of varying heights, a few at the base of small hills or behind the dark, serene ponds. Greenside bunkering is impressive and plentiful, with an emphasis on larger, often deeper traps that demand skill if one is to escape them. Water hazards will provide, however, the stiffest challenges, as they appear on eight holes and require forced carries on holes 3, 10, 12, and 17, while carries on 8,11, and 15 should best be described as ‘nearly forced,’ (at least, from certain prominent angles). Most of these water holes, then, put a premium on high, relatively soft-landing approach shots.

Aside from water, the most common nemesis of most golfers, what else accounts for this course’s rigor?
Essentially, it has two attributes which will undoubtedly hinder your route to ‘easy pars’ (there may only be a few out here). There are the persistent, mature trees, but even more important are the difficult-to-manage greens. Nearly all of them are tilted and contoured, and many will have you carefully calculating their breaks and struggling to get just the right pace. Downhill putts are sometimes fiendishly difficult, and three-putt avoidance is a challenge here for average players. Missing a green by any significant measure will often cost you a stroke, so those with accomplished short games have a distinct advantage at Tallwood. Chipping or pitching-and-running the ball around many of these raised putting surfaces may not always be the most attractive option unless just off them; this means that your wedges need to be behaving. When mired in one of the deep traps, you’ll need a rapidly-elevating splash shot. Down the fairways, the beautiful trees at Tallwood can be lethal; many holes are ringed on their peripheries with woods, much of it dense. A few trees intrude upon fairways, first by being positioned near their fringes; secondly, by their overhanging branches on certain holes; and, third, by their pesky presence at the corners of doglegs and even near tee boxes.

In general, individual holes are well-thought out on this layout. I particularly like the par-five first, along with two four-pars, 5 and 7, on the front; three more par fours—12, 13, and 18—plus the par-5 sixteenth stand out on the inward nine. All of these have good shot values, whereby a hard shot is followed by a less-demanding one (or vice-versa), abiding by the theory amply laid out in Geoffrey Cornish’s classic book on golf course architecture, “The Golf Course” (1988). Not all of the holes do quite so well in this regard, and some criticism I’ve heard around the 19th hole asserts that certain holes are too penal. I partially agree, but it’s a judgment call and you should play the course and decide for yourself. The course’s slope from the back tees (6,523 yards) has been adjudged 126 with a stroke rating of 71.2 against par of 72. Above the average, but not excessive.

My one genuine criticism of Tallwood concerns the par-threes. They are all solid holes, to be sure, and have a certain variety in their contouring and tee placement. Yet their formatting is uncannily similar: all four are of mid-length; all have big drop-offs behind them, with lesser downslopes, typically, from their two sides; four for four have a massive bunker positioned on the left to left-central side, with only number 14 adding a right side trap. Add to all of this the fact that each of their greens tilts upward, away from the fairway (they all putt similarly, too), and I feel as if I’m playing essentially the same four holes. Despite the redundancy, two of these 3-pars—holes three and six—are both beautiful, challenging, exceptional. The four par-fives here are likewise good, though again the standouts come on the front side: numbers 1 and 4. The first hole is a spectacular-looking and classic hole, on which you should be favoring the left side from the tee. The fourth throws down the gauntlet to low-handicappers who want to play it as a two-shotter, but will punish shorter-hitting slicers off the tee—and beyond. As on several other holes here, the fourth’s greenside bunkers, massive and deep, put up a strong defense against errant long-range approaches.

The course’s best holes should be impervious to all criticism, however, especially from the standpoint of ‘fair’ challenge. Holes 7, 12, and 18 exemplify this well. Twelve and eighteen, both par-4’s, allow tee shots to fairly generous fairways, and become similarly demanding uphill affairs on approach shots, which must be hit to perched and well-defended greens. The seventh, a beautiful and open but less robust four-par, will require your careful efforts to first thread a drive that avoids a pair of magnetic and large fairway bunkers flanking the fairway, and second to fly a solid wedge or short-iron onto the putting surface, evading trouble (including two sentinel bunkers in front) all around. It may be among the best short par-fours in all of Connecticut, not so much for pure toughness, but the subtle difficulties it poses. When teeing off from the whites or blues at #7, be sure to catch a glimpse of the left-side fairway bunker; its tall lip is barely visible, as it sits in a swale.

Tallwood’s sternest hole is the 414-yard par-four fifth, an absolute beast that runs straight uphill and dog-legs right, has a massive bunker to its right side, and concludes with a heavily contoured, two-tiered putting surface that induces frequent three-putting. It could be U.S. Open material. And if ‘tough’ is your thing, be ready for holes 2, 8, 10, 11, and 15 (in addition to some of those previously mentioned) which, though not all long, can be blood-pulsing until your ball finds the bottom of the cup.

What we have, then, is a well-planned and solid layout with many virtues. Of the fifty-plus courses I’ve played in Connecticut, Tallwood easily falls among the top 25%, and this state has more than its share of paragons. Straight hitters and precision-players who can dodge nearly all of the hazards (the woods chief among them) will most readily take to this course, but almost every golfer will find something here of interest. The course is far from a ‘monster’ on the order of a Bethpage Black, yet it’s not ideal for high-handicap players unless their patience is unfluctuating. And real patience is a virtue for anyone here—the mark of a strong golf course. The layout is closely competitive with the outstanding Anderson’s Glen course at Blackledge, also in Hebron, a couple of miles westward. The five or six best holes at AG, compared to the top ones here, are a bit more exciting and meticulously planned—the work of a master architect (Geoffrey Cornish)—and the course has more variety overall. At Tallwood, average golfers may find slight appeal in the number of forced carries over its frequent water hazards. For sheer difficulty, Tallwood’s greens are slightly more stringent than those at Anderson’s Glen; even good putters should find them demanding. And here the more pervasive woods, when encountered, tend to be harsher.

Conditioning at Tallwood Country Club is very good, though not outstanding. The greens roll smoothly overall, but some have been compromised a bit, if not greatly, by the heavy traffic the course sustains during the summer. When I played here more often in the past, they had tended to be better on morning rounds. The maintenance staff clearly gives great attention to the course as a whole. Fairways, rough, and green complexes, including greenside fringes, pitching, and chipping zones, are almost uniformly well-manicured. From what I heard and observed when playing here earlier this summer, maintenance had to deal with the loss of hundreds of mature trees after a gypsy moth blight. Now, large tree stumps appear intermittently throughout, yet these have no real effect on play; they have only taken out a few of Tallwood’s teeth.

Beyond the course itself, my favorite single thing about the set-up here is its A-one practice facility, coupling a driving range with three putting greens, one of them part of an extensive chipping/pitching zone. This third zone allows short game practitioners to hit pitch shots from all angles to its green, perched on a small hilltop and fronted by three gaping practice bunkers, all submerged into the hill’s steep upsweep. With full pitches of up to 60 yards possible, a great opportunity is afforded to Tallwood’s visitors: they can endlessly hone their short games! It’s a nice bonus from a first-rate public golf course.

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Good
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Extremely Challenging
Played On
Reviews 1
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Previously Played
Conditions Average
Value Good
Layout Good
Friendliness Good
Pace Excellent
Amenities Average
Played On
Reviews 19
Handicap 5-9
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Previously Played
Perfect weather
Used cart

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.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Average
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 18
Handicap 10-14
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Previously Played
Perfect weather
Walked

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.

Conditions Good
Value Good
Layout Good
Friendliness Good
Pace Excellent
Amenities Average
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 27
Handicap 5-9
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Connecticut Advisor
Previously Played
Excellent weather
Used cart

Blackledge's stepsister

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!)

Conditions Good
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Good
Pace Excellent
Amenities Average
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
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