Golf Advisor Icon
Rating Index Rating
Tooltip Information Icon
4.6
7 Reviews (7)
5 Stars
3
4 Stars
1
3 Stars
2
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
1
Conditions
4.6
Value
4.6
Layout
4.5
Friendliness
4.6
Pace
3.9
Amenities
3.2
97.1%
Recommend this course
6 out of 7 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
4.0
Amenities
3.0
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
4.0
Amenities
3.0
StaffFriendliness
5.0
100.0%
Recommend this course
1 out of 1 reviews
Read Reviews

About

Holes 9
Type Public
Par 35
Length 2671 yards
Slope 103
Rating 32.7

Course Details

Year Built 1924
Fairways Rye Grass
Greens Blue Grass
Architect Ralph Barton

Rentals/Services

Carts Yes
Clubs Yes

Practice/Instruction

Driving Range Yes
Putting Green Yes

Policies

Metal Spikes Allowed No
Walking Allowed Yes
Dress code Shirts and shoes are required.

Food & Beverage

Restaurant

Reviews

4.6
7 Reviews (7)
Advanced Filters
Overall Rating
Recommended
Handicap
Age
Type of Golfer
Gender
Played On
Reviews 185
Handicap 0-4
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Top 25 Contributor
Connecticut Advisor
Hot weather
Walked

A Classic from Barton and Zikorus

Sleeping Giant starts with a short but clever par-3 that gives you a warm-up, but only an inkling of what is to come: a course that seldom emphasizes distance but rather precision and, as a general rule, options on how to play any of its holes. The terrain here furnishes the foundation for good golf, and notably Ralph Barton, the course’s original architect and later Albert Zikrous, its remodeler, made the most of it. Gentle hills and pronounced knobs, ledges, vales, mounds, depressions, small plateaus, some big slopes over the fairways: these are the stuff that breathe life into the layout and that dictate how the holes can be played strategically.

The name “Sleeping Giant” is derived from the 739 foot tall mountain that is part of the course’s backdrop. The layout itself is hardly gigantic but instead rather short. This shouldn’t be a liability for most golfers, who will likely find it both playable and engaging. While the course can’t be called difficult, it would seem a poor cliche to call it a track only for short hitters, seniors, and beginners.

The most compelling holes at Sleeping Giant come in a stretch over the second through sixth:

Second hole: Terrific long par-4, playing straight away, that provides a generous fairway with a rolling landing zone, lined by woods to the left (OOB), which protects the backyards of those living on Garvin Road, and a row of mature trees on the right. Green two features flanking bunkers left and right, the latter hugging the putting surface.

Third: A gorgeous and classic par-three, dropping from a high tee to a tricky, punchbowl green guarded by two large, frontal mounds and further, hemispherical mounding around the back. Chipping and pitching here challenges the short game, while putting is no less difficult.

Fourth: Short yet trouble-laden par four. Miss right and you’ll find a lateral hazard--the woods; miss left and a hill with scattered trees will likely make your approach a difficult one.
Fifth: Impressive short Zikorus par five. Start with a blind drive to a landing zone that includes a downslope, which, if you hit it, adds an extra fifteen or more yards. But the subsequent approach becomes the key shot. I mistakenly hit a 7-iron to lay up 50 yards short of the green, before the wetland/cross hazard, when I could have gone for it. The green, however, sits on a plateau some fifteen feet above the fairway, and the steep frontal slope renders the finesse wedge (as a third shot) a difficult chore.

Sixth: A clever little four-par that doglegs right around a small hill. This is similar to one of the Raynor/MacDonald template holes, the Leven, though it’s a tad long at 345 yards. From the shorter fairway position on the right, the hill obscures any view of the green: to see it directly requires a longer shot leftward or, for the more daring player, a tee shot launched over the hill; thus the Leven’s added risk/reward element.

Conditioning: Little or nothing to complain about; quibbling about imperfect tees would seem petty. It’s amazing for a heavily-played public track.

Playing/Service Experience:
On my fist play here late last month, I partnered with two like-minded players (initials P. and S.) who play here often. We had an excellent time and they clued me in to the intricacies of playing SGGC. When their cart, by the way, incurred a flat tire by the seventh tee, the SG pro delivered a replacement within five minutes. On my second play today, I enjoyed the company of and competition with a young man (initial R.) who also likes Sleeping Giant; he is already an excellent golfer who I think has the potential to lead his high school golf team. Today I also met one of the club pros, Frank, a very friendly gentleman who enthusiastically caught me up on some of the course’s long history.

Some Conclusions:
Before playing this course, I hadn’t heard much about it, either positive or negative. In truth, the only way to experience a golf course is to play it. On both occasions, I found this course to be a nice short track. The scorecard par could be beefed up by making seven (and possibly eight) a par 3--as these holes can’t be lengthened to genuine par-4’s because of land restrictions. The late Mr. Zikorus (an inscribed stone commemorates him near the clubhouse) gave the three new holes the same kind of spunk and quality he did at Portland West or Topstone. And although the course isn’t brim full of trouble, there’s enough challenge here for most.

In the end, the layout offers variety, interest, balance, good terrain, solid bunkering, fine conditioning, excellent value, and a pleasing setting. Calling it a “hidden” gem seems a bit of a misnomer because it had so many customers both times I’ve played it. But Sleeping Giant seems underrated.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Average
Played On
Reviews 10
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Previously Played
Conditions Good
Value Good
Layout Good
Friendliness Good
Pace Good
Amenities Good
Played On
Reviews 3
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a month
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Previously Played
Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Played On
Reviews 10
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Previously Played
Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Layout Good
Friendliness Good
Pace Good
Amenities Average
Played On
Reviews 1
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
1.0
Previously Played
Wet weather
Used cart

Worse Experience Ever

Overall I just had a really bad experience at Sleeping Giant GC. This is a great course to go play with your buddies and have a fun, non serious round, but the staff does not allow for this. The greens are awful, so slow. Basically the same speed putting out of the fairway. 28 dollars on a rainy weekday is extremely over priced for this golf course. Only people who go to play this course seriously are just bad at golf because it is the shortest course I have ever played. Two holes are 200 yard PAR FOURS. The one par 5 is basically a good drive and a 8 iron into the green. On the 9th hole the staff came out and rushed us off the course because they wanted to go home (use bad language with us). Management and course are just terrible. Never going back.

Conditions Poor
Value Poor
Layout Poor
Friendliness Poor
Pace Average
Amenities Poor
Difficulty Extremely Easy
Played On
Reviews 17
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
3.0
First Time Playing
Poor weather
Walked

A Nice Short Course for Locals

Despite the heavy stuff that started coming down while we were on the 7th hole, I really enjoyed my first round here. It's short and easily walkable, with a great backdrop of the mountain.

The first and third are par 3's and a few more holes later on are marked as par 4's, but could easily be reached in one shot. You still can break out the driver on a few holes, but many can reach the green in two without it. Mostly I was impressed with the quality of the course. It seemed like it was pretty well maintained in most parts.

Had it been a nicer day, I'd imagine that the course could get backed up a bit with the lack of length. Still, $20 for nine holes on a Saturday is a great deal anywhere.

Conditions Average
Value Good
Layout Fair
Friendliness Average
Pace Average
Difficulty Moderate
Played On
Reviews 6
Handicap 15-19
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
3.0
Previously Played
Good weather
Walked

short but not simple

I live near the course and gotta say it's a far cry from the old pitch and putt, fairways drier than a desert of a dozen years ago. While not long, it does give you a chance to use quite a few clubs. Odd layout - a par three to start- and two holes fairly identical back-to-back (7 and 8#- the two newer holes 4 and 5 are longer but unimaginative. The good news is that there is a large driving range- quick access for food and drink #Aunt Chiladas) and the price is fair. The course presently is plush- and the greens smooth and well mainured. Maybe best of all is the walker freindly aspect -very level and not at all rugged.

Conditions Good
Value Average
Friendliness Good
Pace Poor
Amenities Average
Difficulty Fairly Easy
Nearby Courses
Hamden, Connecticut
Public
3.5036
381
Wallingford, Connecticut
Private
4.0
1
Prospect, Connecticut
Public
0.0
0
Wallingford, Connecticut
Semi-Private
4.1509058824
351
Wallingford, Connecticut
Private
0.0
0
Hamden, Connecticut
Private
5.0
2
Bethany, Connecticut
Public
4.4454941176
355
Waterbury, Connecticut
Public/Municipal
3.375
8
New Haven, Connecticut
Public/Municipal
4.0952285714
7
New Haven, Connecticut
Private
4.7142857143
5
Naugatuck, Connecticut
Public/Municipal
4.0925
72
Southington, Connecticut
Semi-Private
4.3343176471
293
Golf Packages
FROM $147 (USD)
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ | Enjoy 4 nights' accommodations at Seaview Dolce Hotel & Courtyard Allentown Behtlehem/Lehigh Valley and 4 rounds of golf at Seaview Pines Course, Seaview Bay Course and Architects Golf Club.
FROM $217 (USD)
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ | Enjoy 2 nights' accommodations at Seaview, A Dolce Hotel and 2 rounds of golf at Seaview Bay & Pines Courses.
FROM $277 (USD)
LEESBURG, VA | Enjoy 2 nights' accommodations at Lansdowne Resort and 2 rounds of golf at The Golf Club at Lansdowne - Greg Norman & Robert Trent Jones Jr. courses.
Now Reading