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3.0
2 Reviews (2)
5 Stars
0
4 Stars
0
3 Stars
2
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
0
Conditions
2.0
Value
4.0
Layout
4.0
Friendliness
4.2
Pace
3.2
Amenities
2.8
100.0%
Recommend this course
2 out of 2 reviews
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Average Rating
Avg Rating
3.0
1 Reviews (1)
5 Stars
0
4 Stars
0
3 Stars
1
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
0
Conditions
2.0
Value
4.0
Layout
4.0
Pace
3.0
Amenities
3.0
StaffFriendliness
4.0
100.0%
Recommend this course
1 out of 1 reviews
Read Reviews
Average Rating
Avg Rating
3.0
1 Reviews (1)
5 Stars
0
4 Stars
0
3 Stars
1
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
0
Conditions
2.0
Value
4.0
Layout
4.0
Pace
3.0
Amenities
3.0
StaffFriendliness
4.0
100.0%
Recommend this course
1 out of 1 reviews
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About

Holes 18
Type Public
Par 71
Length 5845 yards
Slope 106
Rating 66.0

Course Details

Year Built 1977
Fairways Blue Grass
Greens Bent Grass
Golf Season Year round. High season: April 1st - November 30th
Architect Geoffrey Cornish

Rentals/Services

Carts Yes
Clubs Yes
Pull-carts Yes

Practice/Instruction

Driving Range No
Putting Green Yes

Policies

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

Food & Beverage

Snacks

Reviews

3.0
2 Reviews (2)
Advanced Filters
Overall Rating
Recommended
Handicap
Age
Type of Golfer
Gender
Played On
Reviews 104
Handicap 0-4
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
3.0
Top 100 Contributor
Connecticut Advisor
Previously Played
Hot weather
Used cart

Out in the Open Air

Airways Golf Course, situated under the skies of nearby Bradley Airport, is a sleeper of a golf course that should be played for its solid layout. Only one GA review has been posted on this track, an accurate one from five years ago by “Irex482,” who seems fond of it, but we are far from the only two to have recommended Airways. Google shows scores of positive comments about the course. The one genuine flaw here is the state of most fairways, which are dried out, scarred in places, and quite bumpy. Now, that may describe some links courses, in actuality, but these fairways will also produce some bad lies where, within reason, we will need to roll the ball over. There is also some minor patchiness around—but not on—the greens. Yet they did putt pretty smoothly, and most green complexes were generally well-kept. One thing was certain, though: today the course was well attended by golfers, despite the heat, and this seems pretty much the norm.

The real bottom line is that Airways represents a nice value opportunity, well worth trying. My son and I enjoyed our play so much so on these entertaining—but still frequently challenging—holes that we agreed to return for some replays. What we both loved about the course was the number of instances we could use our drivers with a sense of abandon. True, at times we were taking significant risks on some of the short par-4’s (those densely populated by trees). But that was all part of the fun, and, as a bonus, we both shot below our handicaps.

The course is aptly named (it’s only a few miles from the Bradley Airport runways yet feels secluded), its holes frequently open and inviting as on a links, its routing effective by virtue of some tighter holes thrown into the mix, and its challenges plentiful enough—mostly from eight or nine very smartly designed holes requiring careful play.

FOURTH: This 497-yard 5-par is straight, yet lined by mature trees; difficult to reach in two, yet doable with a laser-straight approach.
SIXTH: The kinds of necessary qualities to toughen a short hole—a bending fairway, a small stream in the landing zone, a green guarded by bunkers, are all at this tricky hole. Fade it off the tee (ideally).
NINTH: At this 4-par, your first decision concerns two bunkers placed centrally in the fairway: should you fly them or lay up? If you choose to fly, then a shot at the green may be considered, but can you hit it 283? Whether driving or pitching into this green, you’ll still need to avoid a large wraparound bunker on its right/front quadrant, and another back and left.
ELEVENTH: Reachable in two shots, this par-5 features a nearly wide-open fairway (there are scattered trees) that invites you to slam your driver. The green is well guarded by huge, mature trees and a sizeable left-side bunker.
SEVENTEEN: Over this entire layout there is no prettier hole than the 404-yard 17th. Its dogleg bending around a large copse, the hole runs downhill to a broad, undulating green. Behind the green complex is an aging (but well-kept) rosewood colored tobacco shed, reflective of Hartford’s past. The green is open and inviting from the fairway, but it’s no simple two-putt.
EIGHTEEN: Pleasant finisher. Cornish’s artistry, evident almost everywhere on this course, impresses here with a raised putting surface, double greenside traps, and an angular tree-line behind the green, lending more room for a miss only in the back-right area.

PAR THREES: Here the three-pars are all respectable but unexceptional. Each has a green with movement, but the best is thirteen, a 160-yarder protected on its left flank by a marsh.

MOST INTERESTING HOLE: Sixteen ups the ante from the other two five-pars by virtue of a hidden stream crossing the landing zone and a pond relatively close to and preceding the green, which is pitched and tucked into a corner near the woods. It’s 481 yards of both adventure and challenge.

BEST HOLE: The 385-yard, four par twelfth. Its fairway rolling and nearly bisected by a large tree, this is a handsome par four with an aggressively bunkered green.

What inspired me to give Airways a whirl was its designer Geoffrey Cornish, who was a master of creating courses for budget-conscious clients. This is one of many of those I’ve played, and frankly I’ve appreciated every one of them. But how, exactly, does Cornish get adequate ‘mileage’ out of these spartan layouts? Airways is really another case in point. As far as typical hazards go, fourteen well-placed bunkers, along with a few ponds streams, are to be found here. While these contribute significantly to the decent slope rating (114 from the blues), the rest of it comes from enough tilt to the greens, enough slope and ground movement on several fairways, and perhaps just enough tree-lined fairways to cause trouble when your long game misfires.

Unless you’re a stickler for fancier country-club conditions (and I do understand why some golfers are—that’s their privilege and choice), “average” should seldom mean “unworthy” when choosing a course. But maybe what I enjoyed most about Airways was its fine country setting and scenery. I never did hear a jet fly over, so apparently the course is not on Bradley’s flight path.

Other notes, comments, and opinions:
(A) Another big plus here is a family-run operation in which you’re definitely treated with respect inside and around the clubhouse. I liked the snack/bar & restaurant.
(B) The afternoon rates, including cart, are an exceptional bargain here, perhaps the best state-wide.
(C) Excellent awareness of and precautions against Covid-19.
(D) The par-4 uphill third is among the oddest Cornish holes I’ve played, but it seems nearly impossible to describe. It just manages to achieve a playable level of ‘fairness.’
(E) Ideal course for seniors, juniors, beginners, but a lot of good players (as was the pairing behind us) should like it as well.

Conditions Fair
Value Good
Layout Good
Friendliness Good
Pace Average
Amenities Average
Difficulty Moderate
Played On
Reviews 55
Handicap 15-19
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
3.0
Top 500 Contributor
Connecticut Advisor
Previously Played
Good weather
Used cart

Good course at bargain prices

Airways Golf, located northwest of Bradley Airport off Route 20, is a small, family owned course. It’s probably the least expensive 18 hole, standard size golf course in CT. Their regular specials are: weekdays $23 am, $20 pm. Weekends are $30 am and $25 pm respectively. These rates include a cart. No wonder players travel 40 or more miles to play here regularly. Other reasons are their friendly staff, moderate difficulty, easy to walk and flexible tee times. They are also open year round, weather permitting.

Airways is a short course at 5914 yards from the blues, 5528 white, 5175 gold and 5038 red. About 20 leagues play here regularly, small tournaments find the costs within budget, seniors and women love the place and you can even play frequently as a single on certain days and times. Their flexibility in getting you on the course is what brings many players back time and again. And a ranger regularly monitors play, particularly on busy days.

As for the course, it is generally flat ex-farmland with tree-lined fairways, a medium-sized brook effecting five holes and several small ponds. Holes 1 and 2 are short, straight par 4’s. Then you play the dogleg right par 4, 361 yd third locally known as the “Hole from H....” About a 160 tee shot from the blue and white tees gets you to the top of the dogleg on a small hill. Your side-hill approach shot is to a sloped back-to-front mounded green. Surrounding the entire, narrow fairway are deep woods on the left and tall trees on the right. Par on this hole should be 5 due to the difficulty of keeping the ball in the sloping fairway or on the small green. The 6th hole is short at 327 yds but a tall tree on the right blocks a straight drive to the green and a brook on the left gobbles up many drives that roll left and long. A fade is the perfect shot off this tee.

The rest of the course is pretty average with a mix of short par 3, 4 and 5’s. At 283 yds, the flat 9th hole is drivable for long hitters. Finally, the three finishing holes can be difficult. A long tee shot is needed to clear a brook on the 481 yd par 5 sixteenth. Your approach shot is over a pond to a small, mounded and heavily slopped green. A par 3 is available as an option on this hole and is frequently used during the spring thaw when the 16th fairway floods. The par 4 seventeenth is a dogleg left that requires a 200 yard tee shot (from the blue or whites) to clear the dogleg. The 318 yd par 4 eighteenth is a slight right dogleg that is drivable to long hitters with a fade.

Once off the course you’ll find a small, no frills clubhouse with a friendly feeling about it. There is also a small outside patio and gazebo overlooking the 9th green.

One of the big knocks about Airways is the condition of the course. Drainage is a big problem on some holes and fairway grass is thin on holes 3, 4, 5, 14, & 16, and some tee boxes. I think there are too many tall trees surrounding those fairways. They block out the sun thus no grass grows nearby. Quite a bit of tree thinning is needed there.

Each year I’ve seen improvements so I know the owners are putting some bucks back into the course. It still think it needs added $$$$ though to make it more playable. I’d gladly pay an extra $5 bucks per round if that money was put into course conditioning.

I really like this course and play here often, however I’d like to see those 5 holes, mentioned above, in better shape.

I recommend Airways to golfers on a tight golf budget, for a quick practice round or for a chance at a lower than normal scoring round. Just don’t expect a pristine conditions throughout….for now anyway.

Conditions Fair
Value Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Fair
Difficulty Fairly Easy
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