Hunter Golf Club
|Red (W)||72||5570 yards||72.7||131|
|Blue M: 71.6/131||368||196||408||354||525||162||431||416||359||3219||587||182||373||367||386||390||376||185||513||3359||6578|
|White M: 69.5/127||352||183||389||326||497||147||415||400||330||3039||507||165||357||336||364||374||359||172||487||3121||6160|
|Gold M: 67.9/123||347||177||360||320||487||139||400||384||296||2910||486||128||324||323||354||364||347||160||408||2894||5804|
|Red W: 72.3/127||337||170||320||312||450||132||393||370||290||2774||465||123||315||312||343||359||340||150||395||2802||5576|
Fair, but challenging....
Love this track...
Many people complain about the opening tee shot (a tough carry over a brook), but if you haven't brought your "A"-game, then admit it and lay up. Besides, there are plenty of holes to make up from your mistake (two short-ish par 4 on the front and a wide-open "boom it" par 4, as well.
You need to not lose your concentation here, because the backside -- especially 14-16 -- are challenging. Course management is a must here.
Finally, can't say enough about the staff here. Pro shop is always friendly (there's a lot of history in the that room!), the starters are welcoming, and the rangers are awesome.
If you haven't played here, you should. If you have played here, you know what I'm talking about.
Hunter's website says the rating and slope for the red tees is 72.7/131. Their scorecard says 72.3/127. GHIN.com has a 3rd set of numbers. I used my G P S and the few holes I actually checked were a lot shorter than the scorecard. They've moved some red tee boxes up but have not been re-rated. The CSGA needs to get on it. Other than that messing with my handicap, the course was fun to play and challenging at the same time. I will play it again when the rating/slope is corrected.
A Wide Open Course
Before you read this review, bear in mind that I go into detail about each course I review, not just a cursory word or two or a short, complimentary phrase. I play 30-40 different courses annually and will review any I’ve not played or if something significant changed about the course. Since there is only one other review for this course, you might be interested in my recent experience at Hunter.
(I am not a paid reviewer)
BONUS TIME: With the weather in the low 60’s how can you not want to play golf in Connecticut in December? Yesterday our foursome picked Hunter Golf Club in Meriden. Having never played Hunter, I found it a wonderful course and will now add it to my must-play courses during the golfing season. It has wide fairways, very little deep rough with thick trees and bushes to contend with, (except along the border of a few holes), the large greens are relatively flat and true, and the course was in great shape for this time of year. The leaves were all down, blown aside or picked up. Everything was in place (tee markers, ball washers, water jugs and sand rakes) unlike a course I played last week which only had the pins on the greens.
LOCATION: Hunter is located about 10 minutes off I-91 from either exit 19 or 20, so it’s easy to get to from the Hartford, Middletown, Waterbury or New Haven areas. The views from the course show low hills to the west and stunning high ridges and cliffs to the north and east. Hunter is a municipal course and like many municipal courses in central Connecticut it is well taken care of – with a few exceptions that are currently being addressed. I found the course in excellent shape in spite of the drought Connecticut experienced this season. Everything: tee boxes, cart paths, fairways, greens, sand traps, rough, trees, etc was well-maintained and without complaint.
Upon arrival you’ll notice a very large restaurant/banquet facility that overlooks the 18th green on the right side of the parking lot. The view from the semi-circular patio is majestic with the open course in front of you and the hills and ridges in the background. The pro shop, located at the left end of the parking lot, is widely separated from the restaurant. There is a large putting green next to the clubhouse and a driving range to the left of hole #1.
RATES: In-season rates are $35/18 regular, $25/18 senior. Carts are $15pp/18. We paid $35/18 with a cart. These are competitive with courses in the area and reasonable for the quality of this course in November or December.
THE COURSE: Hunter GC is laid out essentially north-to-south with generally straight and wide fairways with very few doglegs. The front nine is rather flat while the back nine has some minor elevation changes. The course has six holes with water (ponds on 10 & 11 and a brook on 1,15,16, &18) to contend with. It is not a difficult course to walk although the front nine is easiest.
Ladies par is 72 and men’s par is 70 or 71 depending on the tee box location for #10. From the back tees it can be a 587 yd par 5 or a 380 yd par 4 from a closer tee box. From the tips (blues) the course is 6573 yards. Other yardages are 6156 (white) 5666 (gold) and 5485 (red). From the tips, there are three par 5’s (525-587), 11 par 4’s (354-431), and four par 3’s (162-196).
HOLE HINTS: Most of the holes have sand traps but they are placed fairly, off to the sides of the greens, leaving a large alley to approach the green. Only three holes (10, 12, 18) have sand traps directly in front of the green making your approach shot more difficult.
#1… There is a stream on the first hole that is drivable so a 3-wood off the tee is a strong consideration.
#5…The most challenging hole for us was the #1 handicap 5th, a par five 497 yard hole from the whites. A large tree boarders the left fairway edge just beyond driver range. The narrow fairway slopes off to the right so you have to hit the fairway off the tee to avoid being blocked by that tree. Your second shot is uphill and again you need to keep it in the fairway as it drops off on the left, though to playable rough. Your third shot is routine depending how far back you are from the green.
#14…The first of three tough holes. Keep your drive center or left center to steer clear of the woods and severe down slope on the right side.
#15…Another dangerous hole is the par four 15th, a 359 downhill hole with a small stream at the base of the hill within driveable distance. The stream bisects the fairway then runs alongside the right side of the green. Consider a 3 wood off the tee.
#16….One of the few doglegs, this hole bends left but two, large trees line the that side of the fairway so cutting the corner is risky. Better to drive it straight down the fairway but don’t overrun the fairway. Then pick a club to clear that same stream from the previous hole. The green is elevated and a small target. There is a false front in front of this green.
PACE OF PLAY: Being December and a weekday we were not worried about a five hour round. If fact it only took us 3 hours which was helped by the courtesy of three twosomes that were walking. They let us go thru.
RESTAURANT: The on-course Violi’s Restaurant specializes in Italian cuisine with golf course views from a semi-circular glassed-in facility or outside patio. It is a destination restaurant - not your typical 19th watering hole. The restaurant has an extensive menu that is view-able on-line. Hours are 11am-10 pm seven days a week except in the winter when they are closed Sundays and Mondays. They feature banquet facilities, catering, outdoor dining, receptions and other special occasion parties. The day we played there was a very large party eating lunch in the main dining room and there were many business customers coming/going for lunch.
BOTTOM LINE: Hunter is located in the suburbs and is convenient to the larger cities via I-91 and
I-84. Wesleyan University is a short drive. It is a perfect place for seniors, juniors and ladies or a round with friends where you can bomb away frequently without worrying about losing your ball. The course feels “comfortable” and not intimidating as you walk up to the first tee. It’s also a great place to take a business client ….reasonable greens fees, wide course, very little rough or water and an impressive restaurant. If you can do only nine holes go for the front nine, its flatter.
For more information please see their website ”huntergolfclub.com”. Particularly useful is the hole-by-hole overhead graphic although a larger view of each hole and a summary of how to play it would be a great improvement to this website feature.
Give it a try
Course is in great shape. Greens roll true thru 18 holes. Traps are raked, rough is manageable. Good pace of play.