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4.6
19 Reviews (19)
5 Stars
15
4 Stars
2
3 Stars
1
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
1
Conditions
4.4
Value
4.8
Layout
4.6
Friendliness
4.9
Pace
4.3
Amenities
4.5
100.0%
Recommend this course
19 out of 19 reviews
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Average Rating
Avg Rating
5.0
3 Reviews (3)
5 Stars
3
4 Stars
0
3 Stars
0
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
0
Conditions
5.0
Value
5.0
Layout
4.7
Pace
4.3
Amenities
4.7
StaffFriendliness
5.0
100.0%
Recommend this course
3 out of 3 reviews
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Average Rating
Avg Rating
4.6
18 Reviews (18)
5 Stars
14
4 Stars
2
3 Stars
1
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
1
Conditions
4.3
Value
4.8
Layout
4.5
Pace
4.3
Amenities
4.4
StaffFriendliness
4.8
100.0%
Recommend this course
18 out of 18 reviews
Read Reviews

About

Holes 9
Type Public
Par 35
Length 2996 yards
Slope 125
Rating 35.1
Book a Tee Time at
Stonybrook Golf
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Course Details

Year Built 1955
Golf Season Year round
Architect Al Zikorus

Rentals/Services

Carts Yes
Clubs Yes

Practice/Instruction

Driving Range No
Teaching Pro Yes

Policies

Credit Cards Accepted VISA, MasterCard, Discover Accepted
Metal Spikes Allowed No

Food & Beverage

Bar, Grill, Restaurant

Reviews

4.6
19 Reviews (19)

Reviewer Photos

Advanced Filters
Overall Rating
Recommended
Handicap
Age
Type of Golfer
Gender
Played On
Reviews 5
Skill Beginner
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing

Very impressed

Extremely friendly staff, course conditions were great and overall had a positive experience.. By far the nicest 9-hole course I’ve played in NY & CT. It’s slightly more money than other ones and the pace of play can be a bit slow, but it’s worth it. After all, golf is not a cheap nor a fast game. Will definitely be back here multiple times this fall, highly recommend.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Average
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 313
Handicap 0-4
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Top 25 Contributor
Connecticut Advisor
Previously Played
Perfect weather
Walked

Gem-like Setting in Litchfield’s Hills

Much of Stonybrook Golf Course is set on two large and scenic hillsides, one of them where the clubhouse rests, situated alongside holes one and two, and the other traversed by the grouping of holes five, six, and seven. Yet one look at the rugged terrain, just from the parking lot, and you should realize quickly that the pretty setting hardly masks the difficulty of the upcoming test. As I wrote in review three years ago, Stonybrook is the toughest nine hole track of all twenty or so in Connecticut. Its strongest rival for this distinction is probably Woodhaven GC in Bethany, CT, which is longer but not as severely hilly as Stonybrook. Woodhaven, like this course, was the work of the late architect Albert Zikorus, one of the state’s most prolific designers.

Tee-to-green rigor:
Hole after hole, Stonybrook’s main defenses against par are its numerous slopes. Every hole has some form of greeside elevation or slope (especially deep falloffs), or ground movement in its fairways, or hills to climb or descend. The fairways themselves tilt, sometimes distinctly. The greens often have significant back-to-front or side-to-side movement. Embedded into the greenside slopes are large bunkers, the second main line of defense; these bunkers are often wide and frequently deep, a deepness preferred, in general, by Architect Zikorus. The third key defense is dense trees, although Zikorus was preferential to holes that had woods on only one side of the fairway, not both. Accordingly, this is true of the fourth, fifth, six, seventh, and eighth fairways. The final line of defense, but the least prevalent, is the water in play on holes five, seven, eight and nine. A pair of ponds and a rushing brook, then, may well swallow up your errant shot(s), especially on the closing holes. It’s easy to conclude that such a course–with a slope rating topping out at 125 and course ratings very close to actual par–will have some serious rigor. And Stonybrook does. In case these problems aren’t enough, three holes have out-of-bounds stakes on one side.

Putting:
The greens themselves are quite fast, and their slopes put pressure on you to two-putt as often as possible. They are also quite smooth and about as pure as it comes for public tracks. But beware of getting above the hole and of putts that hit the top of the ridge with a bit too much speed or momentum. Chipping or pitching to a downslope often takes a very fine touch here.

Three tough holes:
The fourth, fifth, and seventh holes are indexed on the card as Stonybrook’s toughest, and rightly so. Four demands a laser straight drive (or one that is drawn from the leftward, white tee) to a narrow fairway that slopes left-to-right. The difficulty is compounded by the fact that the safer side to land a drive is on the right. What follows is a tricky approach to a green set upon a knoll. The drive is a bit less demanding on the fifth (favor the right side), but the approach is the hardest on the course. Even with a nine or wedge in your hand, the challenge is to hold a perched, hilltop green with a shallow front-to-back dimension. Virtual perfection is necessary. The seventh tee shot demands almost the same level of precision to the most well-guarded fairway here: the brook is left, woods right. Then you have to smack a mid to short iron straight uphill to a relatively small, bunkered green. Hole seven, of course, is the number 1 index. Need I mention that it also measures 384 yards from the deep tee?

Beyond all of this, it’s worth mentioning that even some of the lower-rated holes are still challenging. These include the two openers, a long, uphill par-5 first, and the long, well-bunkered par-4 second. And the par-3 ninth is stingy on pars, most notably by a green that is quite small for the hole’s length.

Conditioning:
Outstanding conditions. In fact, you’ll be hard pressed to find even a few public tracks in Connecticut that are demonstrably superior to Stonybrook in this regard. Courses such as Wintonbury Hills may have roughs that are more finely groomed, for example, yet they are rarities. It’s nice to see a somewhat more mainstream facility and setting taking pride in its appearance and in the higher level of conditioning it achieves. Does this make Stonybrook a “hidden gem?” This, along with everything else.

Service:
Ideal. All three of the people I met here, when checking in and before leaving, represented the course in a friendly, helpful, and professional manner. What more can you expect?

Some Conclusions:
This is a rugged course on which most golfers ride carts, and for walkers the slog up the fifth and sixth holes is certainly brutal. There are a couple of minor flaws, I think, such as the combination of very fast greens with some of their severe slopes, or the way the trees intrude on the right side of the eighth tee, where it would be ideal to hit a draw. Yet despite the rigors of this layout, I still did not find playing it frustrating, as par on most holes is far from impossible. It’s also a must to hit accurate approaches and drives, pitches and putts all the way around the nine if you hope to make your score. The layout demands strategy, mainly in the form of careful play–whereby you must plot your way around, shot by shot and putt by putt.

The views around the course itself, as well as hills beyond, are often astonishing, especially when you reach both the fifth, sixth and seventh greens.

I’m hesitant to use the term “hidden gem” for any course because it’s so frequently slapped onto venues that are far too marginal to deserve the implied praise. But in Stonybrook’s case, the term is a fitting one. And this case, in short, is open-and-shut.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Played On
Reviews 12
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Walked

Excellent course

Everything about the course was in excellent condition. The only difficulty was walking the terrain. I am 76 years old and some of the hills were quite challenging especially hole 6 played as a par 4. If you are not in good shape, don’t walk! I don’t think I will do that again.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 13
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Previously Played

A Gem of a Course

Always enjoy playing here and this last round was just as enjoyable. Played with a couple from New Jersey who were visiting family in the area. They were surprisingly amused to see how challenging this course can be.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 2
Skill Beginner
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played

Wet from a morning downpour

Other than the course being wet from a morning downpour, the course was in awesome shape.

Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 13
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played

A Pleasure Even in the Rain

This is a great course for anyone. I enjoy it more every time I play here.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 13
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played

I love this course

Even on a dull and drizzly day one can have a great time on this course. The scenery is beautiful and the course is in very good condition.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 1
Skill Beginner
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played
Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Layout Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 6
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing

Nice little course nestled in the country

This is a nice course and it’s great condition. It’s not overly long but the layout makes it fun and challenging. The greens are on the smaller side and are lightning fast. If you are struggling with your putting this might not be the course for you. Like much of Litchfield County this course is hilly so walking may be a challenge for some. Overall it’s a fun course to play!

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Good
Played On
Reviews 11
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played

Golf exp

Always love playing here, even though it’s challenging with all the huge hills everywhere but always golf well here.

Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Layout Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Played On
Reviews 13
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played

Best Rainy Day Course

I played on a perfectly rained out day. The rain only served to make me enjoy this course even more. Challenging and ever changing lies makes this a great course to challenge yourself.

Conditions Good
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Good
Pace Good
Amenities Good
Played On
Reviews 1
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played

Give it a try

Can definitely see some great upgrades on the course. However, if that’s gonna be done, it’s time to keep people with T-shirts cut off and work boots off of the course especially if you’re going to charge a higher price.. other than that the course, it is a great course to go to enjoy playing there on a regular. The biggest downfall/disappointment is the time it takes to be served and the restaurant definitely a great upgrade and remodel love it but it took us over 40 minutes to get served our food and we were the only ones in the restaurant and there was one other table but they were already on their desserts and I’m sorry that’s a bit much after a round of golf. I don’t want to wait 40 minutes to eat, even the appetizers took over 20 minutes to come out. Drinks were slow and coming out and they were made totally incorrect. . However, we will give it another shot. If the restaurant is still the same we will just go elsewhere to eat. I will continue to golf there. Hopefully they get a little more stringent on proper golf attire. I just find it frustrating when you go to a golf course that is nice and you see people in work boots or work shoes T-shirts with pockets might as well call at work clothes they look like landscapers I just came off the job and we’re playing a round of golf, not appealing to myself or the people I was playing with .

Conditions Average
Value Good
Layout Good
Friendliness Good
Pace Good
Amenities Average
Played On
Reviews 1
Skill Beginner
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played
Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 2
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
1.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played

A generally nice course, left in shambles

I’ve generally had good experiences playing this course in the past, but i can’t lie, this round was atrocious.

Id like to believe that the course has a regular ground crew maintaining it daily, but unfortunately that doesn't seem to be the case. The fairways were very dry and while its been hot, its indicative to being mowed once, maybe twice a week super short and being left to burn in spite of daily mowings. The results are intense dirt patches scattered throughout the fairway. Yes there are a few other courses having some trouble, but many are able to manage with regular grounds crews at the same price per round. Another thing thats frustrating is the fact that they offer camps/ kids training (i think) so the first tee box is more like a driving range in that there are literally countless boxes of balls scattered throughout making tracking YOUR SHOT insanely difficult and frustrating. While it looks like theyve made a designated “pitching green” cutout behind the second hole for this, the fact remains that its somewhat of an inconvenience to the players.

While rough is rough and we play for the fairways, if your ball went into the thick stuff, you were better off dropping a ball in the fairway rather than spending 45 minutes looking for your shot…. Perhaps thats why the pace of play took nearly 3-4 hours for a 9 HOLE ROUND! Not to mention that the dandelion/weed to grass blade ratio was entirely out of proportion. It was unsightly to say the least…. A fantastic investment for the course would be a few rounds of scotts weed control at the least. Other areas were marshy and waterlogged due to improper sprinkler location/ leaking units.

The greens are generally always sanded heavily so they tend to run fast and with plenty of breaks to play, but due to them being Sahara dry, burnt, and riddled with disease, if you did hit the green on an approach shot, you weren't staying on it. I should also mention that over half the greens looked like dogs were tearing around on them, leaving craters similar to that of the moons surface. There were ripped up patches of raw dirt that would halt your ball instantly.

While it seems the course makes a majority of its money inside the nice restaurant they recently renovated, and the well stocked pro shop, it would be awesome to see some additional funds allocated to the actually course condition to cater to the players initial interest in playing. Perhaps thats why theyre offering coolers of beer for purchase….. with the intent of dulling the players pain of a miserable round.

I cant complain about the staff, theyre always very cordial and outgoing, but i must say i felt unnecessarily rushed out onto the course by the starter after a LONG drive to visit, only to spend most of my time sitting in the cart waiting to be able to hit my ball.

Visit at your discretion and play at your own risk.

Conditions Poor
Value Average
Layout Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Poor
Amenities Good
Played On
Reviews 11
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing

Golf

This is a great course to improve your skills. Very hilly course, some very steep . Some blind holes and greens on top of huge hills. Great course to improve anyone’s skills. It tests you but it’s a great 9 hole course. I will definitely be back again. Recommend people to try it out.

Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Layout Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Played On
Reviews 25
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
3.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played

Good Value and a challenging workout

Course was wide open and a good value for walking nine. Be warned that course has significant changes in elevation throughout, especially holes5-7. A fun adventure of a course.

Conditions Good
Value Excellent
Layout Average
Friendliness Good
Pace Excellent
Amenities Average
Played On
Reviews 1
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
Played On
Reviews 1
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Previously Played

Beautiful course

Great course, lots of hills and challenges around every corner.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 313
Handicap 0-4
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Top 25 Contributor
Connecticut Advisor
First Time Playing
Hot weather
Walked

Cornerstones of Excellence

Stonybrook is not only a fine golf course but also a beautiful one, set notably in the town of Litchfield, whose downtown green looks quite similar to that of Stockbridge, Massachusetts—painted panoramically by Norman Rockwell (1967) at Christmas time. But it’s unlikely that you’d ever play a sport like golf here, high in the Litchfield Hills, at Christmas. The course is tucked a few miles out of Litchfield’s mainstream in a secluded countryside setting. Playing here for the first time, I enjoyed it immensely. Clearly, this Albert Zikorus designed layout is one of his most inspired among the many I’ve encountered. The routing is excellent. And that, coupled with Mr. Zikorus’ unerring judgment on green siting and the use of hilly terrain here, put this in the first rank of nine-hole tracks throughout Connecticut.

There are some key preliminaries to consider about the course, especially because it may seem on the scorecard an unassuming nine-holer. First, there is no kind and gentle beginning here over the first few holes. And along about the fifth, Stonybrook turns even stonier, as if suddenly morphing into a small-scale version of Bethpage Black: very steep fairway slopes, difficulties all about (and on) the greens, an utter lack of charity on certain greenside misses. By the time you’ve finished the ninth, you’ll be thanking heaven that you’re game has been in order—if, that is, it actually has been. This is the toughest nine-hole track I’ve played in Connecticut. Only Farmingbury Hills approaches it in hardness, but not hole-for-hole. I usually see the value of slope ratings, but the slope (118) here is as pointless as a gate with no fencing on either of its sides. I would judge the ‘real’ slope to be more like 130. A second point is that the greens are quite small on average, so you’ll need a solid short game to score here, especially in the putting and high-lofted pitching departments. Being skilled with a lob wedge is virtual necessity. The good news, though, is that hitting fairways is not the toughest aspect of the course; they’re relatively generous in most cases. Finally, strong iron players will be pleased to note that these mostly small greens with big drop-offs give them a key advantage over their fellow competitors.

Although these nine are listed at 2986 yards on the scorecard (back tees), they play longer due to frequent elevation changes—a couple of them moving steeply upward. You’re challenged immediately on the opening 545 yard five-par, travelling uphill all the way to its green. The drive demands a shot to the fairway’s left side to accommodate the slope; the second shot must favor the right to open up the green. On the approach, make every effort to avoid the green’s ultra-steep falloff rightward. But do miss the green right on those occasions when you feel like playing fiendishly hard lob shots.

The third is another green featuring some extremes: Its dimensions are tiny for a downhill 140 yard par-3, at some fourteen yards wide by twenty long (shades of Donald Ross). It’s also surrounded by dense rough and a large bunker to the right. The fourth is the one hole I found a bit ordinary on this nine, especially because the blue tee aims you at trouble (a line of trees—and beyond that a downslope) on the fairway’s right side. Only a pronounced draw will get the job done if you expect to be far down the fourth fairway.

At the fifth, things shift into high gear. This fairway, beautifully proportioned to accept a hybrid or FW wood, sports a generous bail-out right. But things toughen drastically on the approach. This must fly directly uphill to what I found to be a questionably shallow green for holding a short iron. I suppose repeated rounds here will tell more. As a hole on which you just might be able to drive the green by cutting the dogleg, the 320 yard four-par sixth tempts from the tee. The prudent drive, however, will best find the straight-ahead landing zone. From here, hit a wedge into a green which is narrow in the front and bunkered left. The back and sides of this green are lethal.

Something of a breather after the demanding seventh, the 315-yarder at eight is notable for its beauty. But it’s also perilous. The big miss off the tee will be a pull or hook that finds a large, lengthy pond. Beyond that, the difficulty even seems to increase a notch on your short iron/wedge into a somewhat elevated (huge bunker in front) green. Its heaving contours may do what they wish with your golf ball unless you’ve managed to hit a good landing spot.

Nine presents a daunting tee shot dead uphill to a green protected around its front and sides by precipitous falloffs. Its putting surface itself is none too generous in size, and into the breeze my tee shot played two clubs longer than its 174 yards. Consider a par on the ninth a good finish.

Hardest Hole: Seven, 384 yard par-4
On the scorecard, seven may seem a routine two-shotter. When I stepped on its tee, though, that view changed: the fairway, steeply downhill and 35 yards wide, is guarded by woods on the right and a brook around the rest of its perimeter. Your approach shot runs straight uphill to a perched, sloping green bunkered on its right flank.

Favorite Hole: The Second
At 393 yards and moderately downhill, you’ll see the landing zone well, along with a beautiful backdrop behind the green. This surface slopes gently downward from back to front, but you’ll have to carry two frontal bunkers to get on, while a third lurks to the left. It’s both an aesthetically pleasing and challenging golf hole.

Given the kind of character and challenge inherent in Stonybrook, it will be on my rota every summer now, most likely in conjunction with another nine-holer somewhere along the way.

Other notes, comments, and opinions:
A)..Staff was friendly, especially Chris at check-in. She was knowledgeable and especially helpful by moving up my tee time a bit when a gap in play arose (I arrived early); she keeps close tabs on goings-on here.
B) Also met a very affable couple, Debbie and Bob (I’m losing my grasp on names, so I hope I have both of these right) who told me they’ve seen a fox at Stonybrook every single time they’ve played until today’s round. Bob is a native-born Hawaiian, and Debbie a grad, like me, of Pomperaug High (a proud Panther!). No surprise—they love playing here and do so frequently.
C) The facility has a good handle on Covid-19 restrictions and precautions.
D) Clubhouse is large and spacious in its dining area; all drinks (restaurant is currently close) served on a great patio with views of course.
E) My son played in a Junior PGA event today at Stonybrook’s sister course: Fairview Farms. Having had a good look around the premises there from the clubhouse area, I’ll say that the course looks first-rate, with a TPC aura; the clubhouse, too, is upscale and first-class.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Extremely Challenging
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