Western Hills Golf Course
- Holes: 18
- Par: 72
- Length: 6356 yards
- Slope: 129
- Rating: 70.5
"Better Than Expected"
"Better Than Expected"
Reviewed on 04/21/2016
When the discount golf program I subscribe to had Western Hills Golf Course in that program I thought I’d give it a try, having never played there. None of my buddies had either so I looked for reviews but couldn’t find anything helpful or recent. The ones I did find were several years’ old and mostly bad. I was skeptical but curious, so a buddy and I booked a tee time, prepared for the worse and hoped for better.
Bottom line, Western Hills is a better than those old reviews state. It’s not fantastic but for the price (see below) it’s fine and I’d definitely play there again. This 18-hole municipal course is located five minutes off I-84 (exit 18) in Waterbury, CT at 600 Park Rd. After getting off the exit there are 3 ways to go at the traffic light – left, center or right. We turned left and got lost. Go straight (center) across West Main St to Park Rd. The course is about a mile further on the right up a hill. There are signs stating “Public Golf Course” with an arrow.
It was still early in the growing season so we were not expecting pristine conditions for this mid-April round. The grass was just starting to develop, and the temps were about 60 on a cloudless, windy day. We also learned that their in-season maintenance staff was still arriving so I expect conditions to get better as the season runs on. When we arrived we found a small pro shop and a nearby practice putting/pitching green area. Their greens fees are average (see their website) and on-line and other discounts are also available. We used our discount program and were very satisfied with the price - $15 each for 18 holes with a cart. I recommend using a cart unless you are fit as the course is hilly with undulating fairways, both up & down and side-to-side. The 366 yd (blue tees) first hole is a good example. You’ll be hitting from an elevated tee into a left-to-right sloping valley. The green is uphill. I also suggest packing extra balls. And, before you leave the pro shop ask what the pin placement is for the day (1, 2 or 3) then refer to your scorecard for the location: front, center or back.
From the blues tees the course is 6376 yards, white 6136 and red 5237. I would suggest a fourth set of tees around 5900 yds as the reds are too short for some people and the whites too long. The layout is standard with four par 3’s ranging from 138-162 yards, four par 5’s from 458-527 and ten par 4’s from 305-391. The course is tucked into a hilly, heavily wooded area with most holes separated by mature trees. There is only one water hole, the dogleg left par 4 twelfth. There is a pond at the far end on this dogleg so don’t overdrive the fairway. A layup is necessary. Many fairways are quite wide with a minimal number of small sand traps protecting the greens. All traps had deep, soft sand. Most greens were tricky to reach and keeping the ball on the putting surface, on longer approach shots, was challenging on some holes. Almost all the greens are undulating and difficult to read (some optical illusions), but all were in good condition for this early in the season.
As stated earlier, the fairways are undulating so you’ll need to play the roll off the hills to stay in the fairway. You’ll also be hitting many up/down and side hill lies. I'm certain the regulars know where to hit the ball. The holes are clearly marked and for the most part the asphalt cart path was in good condition. There are 200 and 150 yard stakes in the fairway and 100 yard red saucers in the ground. The pace of play was great. We got off right on our tee time and never were pushed or held up on any hole. We played in four hours but could have made it in 3.5 if we didn’t hit a couple extra balls on most holes. This was a practice round for us and the foursome behind us was two holes back. After the round we hit the 19th hole “Verdie’s” a full-service restaurant, bar and banquet facility. The sandwiches looked delicious and the guys next to us said the food is really good and reasonable.
I trust this updated and detailed review will be helpful. I would have given a 3.5 rating but I would like to see how the course looks at different times during the season.
I recommend this course