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4.8
33 Reviews (33)
5 Stars
15
4 Stars
10
3 Stars
5
2 Stars
3
1 Stars
0
Conditions
4.7
Value
4.8
Layout
4.8
Friendliness
4.7
Pace
4.2
Amenities
4.6
99.1%
Recommend this course
31 out of 33 reviews
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Average Rating
Avg Rating
5.0
1 Reviews (1)
5 Stars
1
4 Stars
0
3 Stars
0
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
0
Conditions
5.0
Value
5.0
Layout
5.0
Pace
5.0
Amenities
5.0
StaffFriendliness
5.0
100.0%
Recommend this course
1 out of 1 reviews
Read Reviews
Average Rating
Avg Rating
5.0
1 Reviews (1)
5 Stars
1
4 Stars
0
3 Stars
0
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
0
Conditions
5.0
Value
5.0
Layout
5.0
Pace
5.0
Amenities
5.0
StaffFriendliness
5.0
100.0%
Recommend this course
1 out of 1 reviews
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About

Holes 18
Type Public/Municipal
Par 71
Length 6562 yards
Slope 124
Rating 71.7

Course Details

Year Built 1898
Fairways Blue Grass
Greens Bent Grass
Golf Season Year round
Architect Donald Ross (1916) Donald Ross (1919) Timothy Gerrish

Rentals/Services

Carts Yes - $18
Clubs Yes
Pull-carts Yes

Practice/Instruction

Driving Range No
Teaching Pro Yes
Putting Green Yes

Policies

Metal Spikes Allowed No
Single Allowed Yes
Walking Allowed Yes

Accolades

  • Golf Advisor: Top Courses in Connecticut (2020 #2)

Reviews

4.8
33 Reviews (33)

What Golfers Are Saying

The 19th Hole is Great For:
Dinner 6
Drinks 6
Course Challenges Include:
Bunkers 12
This course/club is great for:
Wildlife/ Scenic Views 9
Locals 7
This Course's Location is:
Worth the Drive 8

Numbers based on reviews tagged with attribute.

Advanced Filters
Overall Rating
Recommended
Handicap
Age
Type of Golfer
Gender
Played On
Reviews 139
Handicap 0-4
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Connecticut Advisor
Top 50 Contributor
Previously Played
Perfect weather
Walked

A Powerhouse in Groton

Stacked with strong holes, Shennecosset plays tough, but it’s equally exhilarating, never feeling like a torture test.

Completed 102 years ago, this Donald Ross design is one of contrasts: elevated greens versus those at grade; uphill and downhill tee shots; short and long par-threes; putting surfaces of nearly every variety; fairways without and with bunkers (sometimes a slew of them). One constant is that every par-four has some form of higher-level challenge, often something unusual. The imaginative layout, carpeted with fast, rolling, and firm fairways, is routed along a meandering path. Despite a few dramatic holes, it shows that Ross generally valued the subtle and cunning over the eye-catching.

Ross can be given to trickery, especially through his use of hidden bunkers, of greens that sometimes slope away from the fairway (however imperceptibly) and of false-fronts on some of these putting surfaces. Yes, you can attack Shennecosset; it’s openness means it’s not an exercise in perfect shot placement. But it’s necessary to do so with a clear plan in mind and some good shotmaking skills at hand. And the course will fight back. Relentlessly.

Shennecosset is graced with rolling terrain, unobstructed and unblighted by excessive trees. The vintage clubhouse presides over holes one and eighteen, where a hill rising up from the harbor (actually, the mouth of the Thames River) reaches its apex and the land flattens somewhat. The front nine continues over this flatter, expansive piece of countryside. The inward half begins near the clubhouse and is even more atmospheric, as it edges along a road by the 12th and eventually drops down to the harbor’s edge. And here you’ll find a spectacular, seaside backdrop for holes sixteen and seventeen, the panorama fantastic. Unlike the vast majority of courses in New England, Shenncossett is quite a bit links-like, its fairways heaving and tumbling in this serene setting. Ross had a flawless eye for identifying superb terrain for golf holes, and so exploited their potential fully. Although there are a few tree-lined holes, their lines occupy only one side of any given fairway. The routing also passes by some handsome houses, even million-dollar mansions at seventeen.

PLAYING THE COURSE: As tricky as the opening duo is, each hole offers a strong par opportunity. Take them while you can, because the complexion rapidly changes with a stretch from holes three through seven that ranks with almost anything I’ve played in terms of resistance to scoring. Four, a typical version of a Ross “Volcano Hole,” is the most troublesome, while six and seven are long, but, more importantly, daunting par-4’s that require accuracy, power, and strategy.

The eighth and ninth both present a lighter challenge, but they’re followed by a tougher string of holes that doesn’t let up until the 17th. The uphill 13th may be the most interesting hole on this stretch because of its unforgiving green complex (huge and deep flanking bunkers defending a green of only moderate width). Then again, there’s fourteen, an even stronger driving hole, concluding at a green that defies easy categorization. A simple two-putt it is not.

The best hole on the closing stretch, the sixteenth, is a doozie. On the tee shot, you’ll try to find a fairway landing zone that is cleverly angled away from the tee, making the ideal drive a decidedly leftward shot. To do that, though, is to take a bold line-of-play and so carry some big traps.

Eighteen may be a manageable par, but it’s also a hole most single digit-players can attempt as a two-shotter. The green is defended by bunkers and falloffs all around, yet you’ll likely feel that you can pitch, chip, or make a sandy (either to save par or to make birdie). It’s a great closer in match-play situations.

HARDEST HOLE: The 4th, par-3 208 yards:
Is it enough to say that Arnold Palmer, who once played Shennecossett, was quoted as describing the par-3 fourth as “the easiest five-par I’ve ever played”(?) Mr. Palmer, not usually one for sarcasm, had it exactly right: this hole is a snarling beast. This “Volcano” is set upon a huge knoll, falling off strongly left, right, and behind, from whence few recovery shots end up near the cup. Conventional clubhouse wisdom has it that the smart tee shot is played short of green--that is, to this green’s only safe side--leaving you a reasonable up-and-down chance. I fully agree.

BEST TWO HOLES: The 7th (par 4, 431) and the 12th (par 3, 125).
Two holes which display well Ross’ genius at inventing peerless green complexes. I won’t ruin the surprise by describing them, partly because written accounts don’t do them justice. The approach shot needs to be precise at seven, while the tee ball at twelve must travel uphill and land on a small, elusive target.

In my estimation, Shenny is not only the finest municipal course in Connecticut, but it may also be placed a notch above virtually all other Golden Age designs across the state. Fresh off playing this gem today, I confirmed what I’ve long known about its quality. Its layout, further still, will appeal to Ross aficionados and everyday golfers alike.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 19
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Previously Played
Perfect weather
Walked

This is how it’s done

Kudos to the Shenny staff for making sure everyone is 100% safe during these times. This was my first time out to a course since late March. Shenny’s setup and staff were amazing, And, the “reverse plunger” device on every flag is perfect..

GREAT JOB!

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 9
Handicap 20-24
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Previously Played
Windy weather
Walked

The course was damp from a significant amount of rain from the night before. Greens were very recently aerated.

Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Good
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 2
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Previously Played
Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Good
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 9
Handicap 20-24
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Previously Played
Perfect weather
Walked
Conditions Good
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Poor
Amenities Good
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 9
Handicap 20-24
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Previously Played
Perfect weather
Walked

Pace of play in the league in which I play at this course is notoriously bad, though I don't think it's a reflection on the course or staff.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Average
Amenities Good
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 9
Handicap 20-24
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0

August at Shenny

Very enjoyable round. The high grass areas had been cut back a bit and it was much easier to find a wandering golf ball there.

Conditions Good
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Fair
Amenities Good
Played On
Reviews 2
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Previously Played
Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Fair
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 1
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
2.0
Previously Played
Perfect weather
Used cart

Chaos, poor management

Can’t give this course a good review based on the chaos and overcrowding slow play.

While the greens are in good shape and the 16-17 holes command wonder views of the Long Island sound, the lack of a starter and any organization makes this course a nightmare to play.
Management allows cutting in on the tenth tee as everyone wants to play the 2 signature holes along the water. This creates a back log of foursomes that pushes you to your mental limits.
Renting a cart is futile as the cart paths and fairways are like the surface of the moon. Dips and pot holes require you drive at a snail’s pace, though you’re not going anywhere fast anyway because of the constant influx of foursomes in front of you.
Rates are reasonable. Course is constantly wet. Tee boxes are dangerously close to greens, putting you in Hackers sights.

Conditions Average
Value Good
Layout Average
Friendliness Poor
Pace Poor
Amenities Average
Difficulty Moderate
Played On
Reviews 2
Handicap 10-14
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a month
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Previously Played
Windy weather
Walked

Wake up and smell the coffee

For those of you looking for a perfectly manicured golf course you won't find it here. Stick with your stuffy CC and leave Shenny for the rest of us! I love this course, It's natural beauty, amazing views along the ocean ocean on the fishing holes and challenging par 3 and long par 4 on the front nine. Overall its a great layout with tons of charm and very receptive greens. The restaurant and bar is not fancy eithe,r but its a great place to cap off your day, excellent food, good selection of beers and friendly atmosphere!

Conditions Average
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Fair
Difficulty Moderate
Played On
Reviews 11
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Previously Played
Excellent weather
Walked

Distinctive links-like course

Shenny is an old, quirky, unique, lovely course--not perfectly manicured, not long, not all the tee boxes in great shape. But it makes for a delightful day of golf. You start off hitting over a road, then you hit over a railroad line. Then there's the elevated mound with the green on top on number four. Meanwhile, there are very few trees and the place is wide open, with two holes near the end on the water--just a lovely finishing view. The front nine is a bit more interesting than the back, but there's challenge around the back nine greens. The conditions are not always perfect--hey, it's a public course. But in the winter, when I can only dream about golf, Shenny is the course I dream about playing.

Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Difficulty Moderate
Played On
Reviews 5
Handicap Don't know
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing
Excellent weather
Walked

An Absolute Gem

First time playing the course after hearing about it from my father, and despite it being about an hour and fifteen minutes from home, well well worth the trip. $35 for 18 holes walking was a total bargain for the course. It could be a lot better with a little TLC like some of the other reviews, although it hasn't rained here in a few months so that's somewhat understandable. Nice course for the most part, but the views from 16 fairway all the way to 17 green are worth the price in themselves. Somewhat slow play which was a bummer, but I completely recommend it and can't wait to go back and play over and over again! Worth the trip

Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Good
Pace Average
Amenities Good
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 5
Handicap 0-4
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
3.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played
Good weather
Used cart

Needs some TLC

The green were receptive and true. The fairways were just that....fair. The tee boxes and areas between were a complete mess. It's obvious that they aren't concerned with anything else except the greens. There's more to a course than that.....the devil is in the details.....make the course complete.

Conditions Average
Value Average
Friendliness Average
Pace Good
Amenities Average
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 10
Handicap 20-24
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
First Time Playing
Excellent weather
Used cart

Fun course, great setting and very reasonable rates

We really enjoyed this course. The rough was a bit rough to ride on but fairways were ok and greens were good and challenging. We think it's a great value and the staff was very courteous and helpful

Conditions Average
Value Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Good
Difficulty Moderate
Played On
Reviews 8
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
2.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing

A little down on its heels

A fun layout but the course is really down on it's heels. The bunkers are awful and once you get off the fairways , There is no consistency in the grass. The greens were good and the views were excellent.
I would recommend it for a friend only because of the history of the course and the fact it's a Donald Ross.
The course needs a lot of work. It's open all year round which is a big plus.

Conditions Fair
Value Average
Friendliness Good
Pace Average
Amenities Fair
Played On
Reviews 1
Handicap 10-14
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
3.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing
Good weather
Used cart

nice course bad staff

from the first minute i arrived i was asked for my golf now confirmation number that i forgot to bring with me. with rudeness and a snicker we arent playing without that number.I said no problem lets just call golf now and get the number.you can call them not me im told.good thing i didnt forget my cell phone.he wont even help us find the phone number,i call solve the problem. then the ranger was so rude i will never come back but it is a funny story,he wanted to get off work so early,he allmost started a fist fight with my partner because he said he let us play two extra holes.I said what are you talking about we only played eighteen oh no he wanted to kick us off the course after sixteen holes because it was getting dark.i didnt drive 85 miles with three buddies to not finish our round and the course was wide open without our hundred dollar green fee the ranger would be out of a paycheck,he rushed us grabed my friends golf bag off our cart because we were unloading too slow my friend told him to get his hands off of his golf bag and that is when the swearing and insults started flying all most turning into a fistfight.the ranger was a big muscle weight lifter and has no business working in the customer service industry.Now i shut up!

Conditions Good
Value Good
Friendliness Poor
Pace Excellent
Amenities Average
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 4
I Recommend This Course
2.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played
Excellent weather
Used cart

punched greens

I think golf now/shenny should get together and let people know before buying a prepaid round that the greens had just been punched. I KNOW there is a golf now icon but seriously, nothin' worse than showing up for a competitive round with your boys and getting slapped in the face with poor conditions. Bad job on both ends. Good thing the weather was perfect and we had a couple stoogies.

Conditions Fair
Value Fair
Friendliness Average
Pace Good
Amenities Average
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 6
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played
Good weather
Used cart

Good course for the money.

Slow play but was told there was a tournament earlier. Fairly wide open course but still have to make some shots. Got to enjoy the sunset on holes 16 and 17 near the water which was very nice. Tees and rough could use some work

Conditions Average
Value Good
Friendliness Good
Pace Fair
Amenities Good
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 3
Handicap 20-24
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a month
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played
Excellent weather
Used cart

Friday 9/12/2014

Course was in good condition , Obviously the
lack of rain in the Northeast affected the course but not dramatically ..
I have played the course B4 and look to come back
next year ..

gary colello / oxford ct

Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Friendliness Good
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 24
Handicap 10-14
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing
Excellent weather
Used cart

Links type course w/3 holes on the water

Thought this would be a fast round (opening day NFL) but the abundance of walkers made for a long afternoon.
Course was in very good shape but some tee boxes were rock hard. nice layout with generous landing areas...scenery on water holes was worth the trip across the state. Will surely play again this fall.

Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Fair
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
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