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3.9
8 Reviews (8)
5 Stars
2
4 Stars
4
3 Stars
1
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
1
Conditions
4.2
Value
4.3
Layout
4.6
Friendliness
4.3
Pace
4.3
Amenities
1.9
96.7%
Recommend this course
7 out of 8 reviews
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Average Rating
Avg Rating
4.0
1 Reviews (1)
5 Stars
0
4 Stars
1
3 Stars
0
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
0
Conditions
5.0
Value
5.0
Layout
4.0
Pace
4.0
Amenities
2.0
StaffFriendliness
4.0
100.0%
Recommend this course
1 out of 1 reviews
Read Reviews
Average Rating
Avg Rating
4.0
2 Reviews (2)
5 Stars
0
4 Stars
2
3 Stars
0
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
0
Conditions
4.5
Value
4.5
Layout
4.5
Pace
4.5
Amenities
1.5
StaffFriendliness
4.5
100.0%
Recommend this course
2 out of 2 reviews
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About

Holes 9
Type Public/Municipal
Style Links
Par 35
Length 2607 yards
Slope 125
Rating 33.6

Course Details

Year Built 1896
Fairways Fescue Grass
Greens Bent Grass
Golf Season Year round

Rentals/Services

Carts No
GPS No
Pull-carts Yes

Practice/Instruction

Driving Range Yes
Caddies No

Policies

Credit Cards Accepted Mastercard, Visa, Discover
Metal Spikes Allowed No
Fivesomes Allowed No
Single Allowed No
Walking Allowed Yes

Reviews

3.9
8 Reviews (8)
Advanced Filters
Overall Rating
Recommended
Handicap
Age
Type of Golfer
Gender
Played On
Reviews 126
Handicap 0-4
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Connecticut Advisor
Top 50 Contributor
First Time Playing
Windy weather
Walked

Seaside Treat with Sparkling Vistas

Having played Fenwick for the first time today, I realized that surely I would be returning. The course is not particularly hard, being an open and reasonable layout, but its difficult aspects snuck up on me quietly, and sooner—rather than later—several bogeys were populating my nine-hole card. Things improved after that, and in the end I had enjoyed the challenge. Then again, there were the beautiful views of the cove and even the ocean here to relish, not to mention the many impressive-looking, multi-million dollar summer ‘cottages’ in the neighborhood.

This is a short course, with only one par-four—the opener—exceeding 400 yards, and only when played a second time, from the blues. One of the two par-fives, the ninth, is 545 from the blues, and the par-3 second maxes out at 200 yards. Other than that, shorter holes are the order of the day, as the rest of the four-pars range between 280 and 365 yards. If you play just the blues, however, its par-35 is a bit in excess of 2900 yards—not bad. More impressive is the slope rating, which tops out, perhaps surprisingly, at a pretty formidable 127. What, then, accounts for this level of challenge? Since the fairways are generously wide, it turns out to be the very small and quite well-protected greens. You’ll need a sharp iron game if you expect to hit even half of these in regulation. And if you’re missing them, depend on getting a steady diet of tricky pitch and chip shots into these well contoured putting surfaces. So you can’t leave you’re finesse game at home. The rough here penalizes somewhat, but not greatly in most cases. The overall look is American parkland, but one can’t help but feel a links-y aura, given the generally flat (but still gradually rolling) fairways and the general style of some of the holes. But also, and just as importantly, there is South Cove well in view and Long Island Sound a hundred yards or so away. The wind today, which was quite strong at times, only enhanced the seaside ambience.

Several holes stood out as interesting. I liked the appearance of three’s tee shot: this short par-3 features the waters of South Cove not far behind its narrow green, which is framed by a bunker left and small mounds right. Likewise, the sixth is another shorter 3-par with a unique green complex. A long berm fronts the putting surface, but when viewed from the tee, there is an unseen gap between it and the green that may throw off your distance perception. Finally, the closing ninth is a big five-par with a broad fairway stretching from tee to green; it just begs you to grip and rip and driver, followed by whatever else is in your bag that might give you a crack at the green. From the blues, however, hitting this in two will be long odds for most, especially because its small green is so hard to hit from long range.

But these aforementioned three are not the best holes at Fenwick, in my estimation. These two are:

Toughest: “Brainard” is a 200 yard three par from the back tees; it demands a precise tee shot if one hopes to hit the small putting surface, a surface guarded both left and right by big traps. It’s also one of the most aesthetic looking holes in all of Connecticut.

Most Interesting: The ultra-short 290-yard 8th is aptly named here: it’s called “Riversea,” presumably because of Fenwick’s proximity to both the Connecticut River and the Atlantic. Fortunately, you won’t be in for a sea of troubles at the eighth, but it is tricky. The driving area is fair enough, though a fairway bunker encroaches left and a smattering of trees looms on both sides, but this is all about angles on the tee shot and pin placements. With the pin on the left, hit it down the left side, short of the fairway trap, for an ideal angle into the green, which means you’ll avoid having to fly the imposing lip of a centrally placed frontal bunker. With the pin rightward, you’ll need to thread your drive down the fairway’s right side for the clearest approach. On the other hand, you may want to attempt to drive this green. Best of luck!

Other notes, comments and opinions on Fenwick (and animal sightings):
1) Greatly enjoyed the company of three amiable playing partners here today. One of these gentlemen is a regular who plays here almost daily (quite a tribute to Fenwick) and the other two have enjoyed it frequently. These two younger players were brothers and big-hitters both. They mentioned that Fenwick has seen much better conditions in recent years than, say, seven or eight years ago.
2) Conditions now are excellent in all respects: smooth greens with well-groomed surrounds including fringes and rough; beautifully conditioned bunkers, tees, and fairways. You can’t ask for more at a public golf course. Impressive may be an understatement.
3) Also, our foursome encountered a large stag (a white-tailed (?) deer with heavy antlers) on hole six that ran directly in our direction for some 80 yards. As four grown men, we of course did not flinch, but maybe this was because the stag made a sharp right hand turn when some 40 yards away, charging through someone’s yard—and was gone.
4) Well enough, but that was not the end of my ‘odd-animal-sightings’ day. If you’re interested in purely golf-related content, please read no further (and my apologies).
Anyway, on the way home, I stopped to hit a few balls at a school field that I’ve used a bit this year because of the pandemic. As usual, the expansive grounds were deserted, except for a lone dog walker. When I reached my accustomed spot, some 25 yards from the brushy edge of a wooded area, there at the woods’ edge was a large bobcat. He was staring at me.

I paused, realizing that I had my Callaway driver in hand, and, after about five seconds, won the intimidation contest. The bobcat retreated, slowly, into the underbrush, stopping again to watch me. Then the big cat lit out.

I hit twenty tee shots, collected my shag balls, and drove home.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Good
Friendliness Good
Pace Good
Amenities Fair
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 11
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Previously Played
Walked

Enjoyable walk...

It's a very good 9 hole course. Tees and Fairways in great shape. Small green is excellent shape, better hit the middle because they are sloped around the edges for the ball to roll off, nice touch. It is a great walk, flat, and not long. Just a great little get away for a quick round. No clubhouse or amenities.

Conditions Good
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Poor
Difficulty Fairly Easy
Played On
Reviews 6
Handicap 25+
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a month
I Recommend This Course
4.0
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Walked

Great Nine

It's inconceivable that this course is getting <3 stars (as of April 2020) but maybe that's good - then it'll stay quiet for those of us who enjoy 9 hole walks by the water around those incredible houses for a fun and easygoing round. Much like Sweeten's Cove (in Tennessee), there's no clubhouse, bathrooms or refreshments but the experience is fun for all handicaps. Fairways are pretty wide/open and from what I recall there's only one forced carry from the tee box. A bit remote? Sure, maybe, but enjoy it when you get there.

Conditions Good
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Good
Pace Good
Amenities Fair
Difficulty Moderate
Played On
Reviews 2
Handicap 15-19
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
1.0
Previously Played
Perfect weather
Walked

Cut the grass!!

The rough areas, and they are plentiful including side of the greens, are 4" to 6" inches high. you have to stand directly over the ball to find it... The new greens keepers are trying to cut costs on an already expensive course. You will lose balls and spend ridicules time searching.

Conditions Poor
Value Poor
Layout Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Average
Amenities Poor
Difficulty Moderate
Played On
Reviews 71
Handicap 0-4
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
3.0
Top 250 Contributor
First Time Playing
Windy weather
Walked

Solid Nine Holes

Played the course in a heavy wind and the course remained playable. Fairways were not impossible to reach, the design allows the player to keep the ball on the ground and run it up, and so forth. A few cool features: the church that's in play on hole 1, Catharine Hepburn's old house on #2, the berm in front of the 6th green, and a cool pimple bunker on #8. The course isn't a world beater by any stretch, but it's really fun to play.

Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Layout Average
Friendliness Good
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Moderate
Played On
Reviews 20
Handicap 10-14
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Previously Played
Cold weather
Walked

It Is What It Is

This is what golf was like in the 1920s. Hit the ball hit it again to a postage stamp green. Putt and move on. Some of the holes are fun some are ok. The course should be played to appreciate the history of golf. Just check out the wall of sod on #6 as a hazard and think why nobody has the guts to do that today. Make sure to walk this course and enjoy the views and sounds.

Conditions Good
Value Good
Layout Good
Friendliness Good
Pace Good
Amenities Poor
Difficulty Fairly Easy
Played On
Reviews 55
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Top 500 Contributor
Connecticut Advisor
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Walked

A Bucket List Course

Recently I played at Fenwick GC, a 9-hole public golf course that has been on my bucket list for some time. The course is located in the Borough of Fenwick, which is part of Old Saybrook. I was impressed with the courtesy of the employees, the condition of the course, the fantastic water views and the classic, old beach style houses surrounding the course. I would call this course a mix of links and New England style course design. That is, near salt water, flat with few trees and mostly small greens but there are no sand dunes, pot bunkers or tall grass mounds.

Getting there is easy. By car just come through the center of Old Saybrook and follow RT 154 over the South Cove causeway. The course is on your left and the parking lot on your right. There is no clubhouse, just a starter’s shack and they do not rent golf carts but do provide free pull carts or you may bring your own. Many residents of the Borough of Fenwick have their own carts, for golf or just getting around, so don’t be surprised to see carts and pedestrians on or near the course. The course winds through the majestic homes and streets of the borough and the cart paths and streets are open to the public. As mentioned in the previous review, the course is open year-round…weather permitting. The rates are very reasonable.

Fenwick’s flat layout and length is perfect for all skill levels and ages. There are three sets of tees; blue (2904), white (2607) and red (2378). If playing 18 you just use a different set of tees for the “back nine.” The holes are not very long, the 9th is the longest at 545 (blue). The 1st is 433 (blue) the 8th is 443 (blue) and the remaining six holes are all less than 350 yards. There are three par 3 holes, two are back-to-back. To the right of the 2nd hole is the former home of actress Kathrine Hepburn. For those who remember “Kate” here’s your Kodak Moment. Most of the holes are pretty flat with wide fairways, a few bunkers and small greens. Several holes are interesting such as the par 5 (blue) fourth, a beautiful but challenging hole. Your tee shot from the water’s edge must carry water, a marsh and a street. Another curious hole is the par 3 sixth where a narrow berm bisects the entire fairway just in front of the green. No bump and run here. The finishing hole is a par five 545 yard hole from the blues, 505 (white) or 453 (red).

For an outstanding 19th hole do stop at the outdoor, marina bar at the “Fresh Salt” restaurant located in the Saybrook Point Inn, Spa and Marina. You go right past it after you cross the causeway on your way home.

Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Fair
Difficulty Fairly Easy
Played On
Reviews 2
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Previously Played

A Hidden Gem

A great winter escape when the ground is frozen and snow covered up North. The oldest public golf course in Ct, started in 1895. Great visas with the L.I Sound, CT. River mouth, Lighthouses and stately mansions, including Katherine Hepburn's restored home. The course is well kept, not long and the staff is very friendly. Plan to walk or use a pull cart. The golf is fair,rewarding and played in the style of the day of gutta percha golfballs, sand tees and hickory shafted clubs. Truly a must for all golf nuts.

Value Excellent
Friendliness Good
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
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