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4.3
29 Reviews (29)
5 Stars
12
4 Stars
15
3 Stars
1
2 Stars
1
1 Stars
0
Conditions
4.1
Value
4.7
Layout
4.2
Friendliness
4.3
Pace
4.4
Amenities
4.0
90.2%
Recommend this course
26 out of 29 reviews
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Average Rating
Avg Rating
4.5
15 Reviews (15)
5 Stars
8
4 Stars
6
3 Stars
1
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
0
Conditions
4.1
Value
4.8
Layout
4.2
Pace
4.5
Amenities
4.1
StaffFriendliness
4.6
86.7%
Recommend this course
13 out of 15 reviews
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Average Rating
Avg Rating
4.4
21 Reviews (21)
5 Stars
9
4 Stars
11
3 Stars
1
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
0
Conditions
4.0
Value
4.9
Layout
4.2
Pace
4.4
Amenities
4.1
StaffFriendliness
4.5
90.5%
Recommend this course
19 out of 21 reviews
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About

Holes 9
Type Public/Municipal
Par 35
Length 2966 yards
Slope 117
Rating 34.4
Book a Tee Time at
Farmingbury Hills Golf Course
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Course Details

Year Built 1930

Rentals/Services

Carts Yes
Clubs Yes
Pull-carts Yes

Practice/Instruction

Driving Range No
Bunker Yes
Teaching Pro Yes
Pitching/Chipping Area Yes
Putting Green Yes

Policies

Metal Spikes Allowed No
Walking Allowed Yes

Reviews

4.3
29 Reviews (29)
Advanced Filters
Overall Rating
Recommended
Handicap
Age
Type of Golfer
Gender
Played On
Handicap 0-4
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Top 250 Contributor
Connecticut Advisor
First Time Playing
Cold weather
Used cart

Friendly Golf Club, Formidable Course

In the golf world, ratings can be a funny thing—and sometimes they may even seem downright laughable. Prior to my round here, I noticed, in a certain widely-circulated golf directory, that Farmingbury Hills Country Club carried no rating. Other area nine-hole tracks were also omitted (very good ones, in my judgment) while, for whatever reason(s), a pair of other nearby nine-holers was included in the ratings—they shall also be nameless, as I don’t want to offend anyone—and merited two stars (equating to “good”). Now, these tracks were both UNDER 2,000 yards and had slope ratings hovering around 100, but they carried, in this guide, the same rating as Pequabuck, a course I recently reviewed and currently running at 4.6/5 stars on this website. At minimum, then, Golf Advisor puts us back into the realm of sanity!

Here, let me editorialize: Uh, there’s simply no way that a course with a slope rating of 124, as is Pequabuck’s, is in the same universe as this (alluded-to) pair of Connecticut courses, courses which I’m sure have their charms, though I’m not planning a pilgrimage to either in the near, or even distant, future.

The idea of Farmingbury Hills not being rated, and therefore not deemed worthy of a rating, no matter the golf guide, is something of a joke. I’ve never played Farmingbury—it’s a 50-minute drive from my house—until today. And it was a revelation, pure and simple. I will certainly be returning, despite the drive, along with my son, who appreciated it just as much.

This course carries a stroke rating of 68.5 against a par of 70 and a slope of 123 from the blue tees. It plays not one iota short of such ratings, and—I’m fully confident—exceeds them. The question that remained for me after finishing up this round became this: Is there a better nine-hole course in Connecticut? Nothing was called to mind. I remember very much enjoying Pomperaug in Southbury, where I played home high-school matches, and, while it was indeed an interesting course, it comparatively falls somewhat short of FHCC, primarily because it is less three-dimensional, both literally and figuratively: it is too flat and relies on simple, target golf on a few too many holes.

This course has neither of these flaws. Built in the early-mid 1920’s (designer unknown), it is classically styled with mainly small greens; it is relatively open (though not field-like) driving areas; it has an emphasis on ground movement. The latter aspect is critical, because there is a good chance the architect—like most architects from that era—was Scottish, and this course has a distinctly Scottish feel to it. However, we’re talking inland, not links, style, and more specifically a course you might find in the Highlands. Farmingbury takes full advantage of elevation changes, ranging from large to massive, typical of the western Connecticut hills, and the slopes here are often exhilarating.

Speaking of Scotland, the first hole’s green complex, sporting a small and sloping putting surface, looks like a Donald Ross creation. It’s designed artfully, fortified by large, well-formed bunkers and boasting subtle but flowing contours around the green’s periphery. Tee-to-green, this opener is less exciting, but who’s going to object to a low-key starter? The second is a more high-powered hole: long and downhill, but with a leftward slope that may toss your Titleist into the woods (OB). The long approach here sets up best for a straight or faded iron shot, because a large tree guards the right edge of the fairway. Pars are fully earned at two. The third hole, a short, downhill par-4, should be receptive to birdies with a solid and relatively straight drive, followed by a precise wedge—but you’ll still have to putt the sloping green well to make a par.

So far, the course is not heavily resistant to scoring, but things change dramatically over the next stretch: holes 4 through 7 are all dynamos. The fourth, a 373 yard downhill four-par, has the double distinction of scenic beauty and high difficulty. Perched on a high tee, one may find some beguiling distractions below: the view of the road; the long, scenic vista; the verdant hole that unfolds leftward. The hole’s challenge is formidable: it features an angled fairway with OB looming left and the road right. But this tee shot is eminently fair, by virtue of a just-broad-enough landing zone, yet, should any curve be applied to a driven golf ball flying downward with substantial hang-time, results shall be imperiled. After a solid drive, most players will have a mid-iron to wedge into the green at four.

The fifth follows up with more dramatics. After an uphill drive to a semi-blind but wide fairway, the approach shot will be to a green situated atop a towering and very steep hill. The upward rise seems to be between forty and fifty feet (see accompanying photo), and I found it to be a ‘three-club’ difference to reach the green. Another stern uphill carry comes on the heels of this one at six, a short par-3 of 125 yards. To add to the festivities, the green cants downward from back to front. Seven completes this quintet of outstanding golf holes. The drive must find its way to a suitable destination on this dogleg-right par-4 of 419 yards. The next shot, however, will require all your talent with an approach ranging from 150 to 180 yards: it must land on a smallish green with a steep falloff on the right, further protected by a bunker at the base of this mini-bluff.

Fortunately, Farmingbury Hills closes with a pair of good but somewhat less demanding holes. The eighth, an uphill—but much shorter—two-shotter that doglegs right, features another well-protected green (yawing, deep bunker on the right). Yet this putting surface is far friendlier than the previous one. Nine plays long from the deep tees (531 yards), and will be just out of reach in two for all but long hitters, but it’s open on the drive and the lay-up, while a good wedge on the third will still yield a birdie opportunity.

Today I also enjoyed speaking with the very genial pro at Farmingbury, Mr. Craig Kealey, who will tell you, with refreshing and agreeable understatement, that “we have a nice course here.” The experience was also bettered when we met up with a terrific playing partner, a retired teacher who frequently plays here and thoroughly enjoys it (he’s pictured in the photo of the fifth green, behind my son, who had just chipped in for a birdie). Incidentally, this gentleman also mentioned that the food in the on-site restaurant is excellent, which features impressive, stylish décor inside. It’s notable, too, that the course itself is in equally appealing playing condition.

I have seldom played at courses where, almost spontaneously in the parking lot, golfers chat about their rounds and how much they enjoyed their day or the course. But I noticed that phenomenon here on three separate occasions, and loved the wholly unpretentious feel to this club.
Although Farmingbury Hills is playable by just about any golfer, serious players should definitely give it a go. This outstanding layout, decidedly ‘old-school’ though it may be, offers up charms that greatly outnumber its minor deficiencies. It is the antithesis of designs of the Trent Jones and Dye varieties, but, even though I respect the work of those modern-day trend-setters, I can’t help admiring any course with features that demand the widest range of skills, most importantly imaginative and creative shot-making.

Although FHCC has its own, individual design stamp, there's also a good deal of Donald Ross (or Scottish) classicism impressed into this course, and it is the better for it. Farmingbury is also reasonably priced and thus a very agreeable value.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Good
Played On
Skill Beginner
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played
Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Layout Good
Friendliness Good
Pace Average
Amenities Average
Played On
Skill Beginner
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played
Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Layout Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Played On
Skill Beginner
Plays Once every three months
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing

Great Value

Beginner golfer. Enjoyed the course. Will definitely go back

Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Good
Played On
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
3.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing
Conditions Average
Value Good
Layout Fair
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Average
Played On
Skill Beginner
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing
Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Good
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played

Great Greens!!

This was the second time in a week that I played 9 holes here. Shot my 9 hole best here last Monday. Some holes are challenging, some are easy. The greens are fast and very well maintained. Some have tricky slopes and breaks. All the better to challenge you with. Parts of the fairways are terribly rough for driving a cart over. Will shake you to your bones. But that is only on 4 or 5 holes. The course has some beautiful views as it is on the top of a mountain. Extremely reasonably priced I thought. I will be back a few more times while in Connecticut.

Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Played On
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played
Conditions Average
Value Excellent
Layout Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Handicap 25+
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played
Perfect weather
Used cart

player opinion

I love the course especially hole 4 very beautiful view from a tee box it is a panoramic scenic and the course is well maintenance

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

The Rookie

I’m new to game, I have played here before and will definitely play here again. It’s a great value

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Played On
Handicap 20-24
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played
Perfect weather
Used cart
Conditions Average
Value Good
Layout Good
Friendliness Good
Pace Good
Amenities Good
Difficulty Moderate
Played On
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
4.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played
Perfect weather
Used cart

Fun time

Course was in good shape and very reasonably priced. Layout was interesting but the man working the pro shop was not at all friendly and will probably keep us away. We take a lot of road trips to play golf and like to go back to places we feel wanted

Conditions Good
Value Good
Layout Good
Friendliness Fair
Pace Good
Amenities Good
Difficulty Moderate
Played On
Handicap Don't know
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played
Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Good
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Handicap 20-24
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Used cart

Hilly open course.

The weather was perfect and the course was great fun!

Conditions Average
Value Excellent
Layout Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Good
Difficulty Moderate
Played On
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played
Conditions Average
Value Excellent
Layout Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Average
Played On
Handicap 15-19
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Used cart

Fun Day on Pretty course

We played Farmingbury for the first time because of the great value offered on Golf now. We were really happy we did, beautiful day, fun course.

Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Layout Average
Friendliness Average
Pace Excellent
Amenities Average
Difficulty Moderate
Played On
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played
Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played
Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Layout Good
Friendliness Good
Pace Good
Amenities Good
Played On
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Previously Played
Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a month
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing
Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
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