Golf Advisor Icon
Rating Index Rating
Tooltip Information Icon
2.8
145 Reviews (145)
5 Stars
8
4 Stars
56
3 Stars
42
2 Stars
26
1 Stars
13
Conditions
1.9
Value
3.4
Layout
3.7
Friendliness
4.6
Pace
4.0
Amenities
3.1
57.4%
Recommend this course
107 out of 145 reviews
Read Reviews
Average Rating
Avg Rating
2.3
23 Reviews (23)
5 Stars
0
4 Stars
6
3 Stars
3
2 Stars
7
1 Stars
7
Conditions
1.3
Value
2.8
Layout
3.6
Pace
3.8
Amenities
3.4
StaffFriendliness
4.7
43.5%
Recommend this course
10 out of 23 reviews
Read Reviews
Average Rating
Avg Rating
2.3
23 Reviews (23)
5 Stars
0
4 Stars
6
3 Stars
3
2 Stars
7
1 Stars
7
Conditions
1.3
Value
2.8
Layout
3.6
Pace
3.8
Amenities
3.4
StaffFriendliness
4.7
43.5%
Recommend this course
10 out of 23 reviews
Read Reviews

About

Holes 18
Type Public/Resort
Par 72
Length 6158 yards
Slope 118
Rating 68.9
Book a Tee Time at
Black Birch Golf Club
Powered by GolfNow.com

Course Details

Year Built 1945
Architect Donald Ross

Rentals/Services

Carts Yes
Clubs Yes
Pull-carts Yes

Practice/Instruction

Driving Range Yes
Golf School Academy Yes
Teaching Pro Yes
Putting Green Yes

Policies

Metal Spikes Allowed No
Walking Allowed Yes
Dress code Proper attire is required.

Food & Beverage

Snacks, Restaurant

Available Sports

Tennis

Reviews

2.8
145 Reviews (145)

What Golfers Are Saying

The 19th Hole is Great For:
Drinks 8
Course Challenges Include:
Bunkers 9
Elevation Changes 9
Forced Carries 8
This course/club is great for:
Locals 9
Wildlife/ Scenic Views 8
9-Hole Rounds 6
This Course's Location is:
In the 'Burbs 14

Numbers based on reviews tagged with attribute.

Reviewer Photos

Advanced Filters
Overall Rating
Recommended
Handicap
Age
Type of Golfer
Gender
Played On
Reviews 1
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a month
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played
Conditions Fair
Value Excellent
Layout Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Average
Played On
Reviews 139
Handicap 0-4
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
2.0
Connecticut Advisor
Top 50 Contributor
Previously Played

Beginning a Comeback

Black Birch was a fun place to hit shots today. It’s an old favorite of mine, the front nine rolling and open, the back tightening among the summer-green, dense woodlands. They virtually surround each hole, putting a premium on accuracy. Perhaps Donald Ross created the course’s front side, though attribution to any designer is murky. On the other hand, the back nine was clearly added, according to Cornish’s “The Golf Course,” in 1965: Banner Lodge Golf Course (the course’s name was changed to “Black Birch” a few years ago).

The inward half is the tougher of the two nines, and while I played Mr. Zikorus’ handiwork today again, its routing still impressed, as did the look and feel of each hole, the smart green siting, and the appropriate use of ground contouring. The greens, unfortunately, have this year been diminished by some downsizing: this likely contradicts the architect’s original intentions regarding how modern holes should play. The twelfth, for example, a shorter par-4 that doglegs hard right, has huge trees at its corner which make cutting across it impossible. The play for me, then, is to hit a 3-hybrid to the bend, safely away from the trees, and then a six-iron uphill to the hole. Now, given the change in this downsized green, far smaller than Zikorus’ original, it has become unfit to receive anything other than a wedge on the approach. If you’re hitting a six-iron, on the other hand, you’d better have the skill of Colin Morikawa, who could probably flight the ball with this club through my bedroom window from two hundred yards with one hand tied behind his back. Fortunately, most of the greens remain playable though they diminish the design’s quality.

The course still suffers from the aftereffects of its closure in 2020. Fairways 11, 13, 14, and 18 have large, staked-off areas, from which you’ll need to take a drop and play the shot into the green from a place, not always good, other than where you hit it. On fourteen there is no good place, so I picked up and proceeded to the fifteenth tee. The greens here have been aerated and are, as a result, bumpy. Some of the fairways were respectable, although they’re cut on the long side and are still patchy here and there. In general, I could see this layout becoming more playable by late summer or early fall, but now it seems that playing a match here would have strings attached. Still, before I was left an afternoon league was heading out in force, and the parking lot had filled. For casual golf, you can give it a go here; it’s fine for a practice round, a quick round for local players, or for honing your long game. Pitching around the greens worked, essentially. My expectation remains that Black Birch will regain its former stature, and there were several signs today that this well may happen.

Service and friendliness here was, as always, excellent. An elegant restaurant, The Corvo Bar and Grill, serves fine Italian food, and is situated in the clubhouse building to the right of the pro shop.

Aesthetically, the course is a charmer (see photos). A sense of total seclusion, the separation of holes, the fine natural backdrops as you make your way around--all contribute to a feeling of serenity during the round. The course winds its way through red maples, firs and spruces, red oaks, and, of course, black birch trees, which, I was surprised to learn, is the second most common native tree in Connecticut (10% of all trees). Particularly impressive is the marshy hollow--a spot to be appreciated by naturalists--at the northwest corner of the course where the twelfth green is situated.

Conditions Fair
Value Fair
Layout Average
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Good
Played On
Reviews 1
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a month
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing
Conditions Average
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Good
Played On
Reviews 19
Skill Beginner
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played

Improving each week

Course conditions are rough this year due to being closed for covid last year. Luckily the course is beginning to come back a little and far better than it was just a month ago. Excited to play this course when it’s back in “full swing”! For now it’s great to improve my game for an inexpensive price.

Conditions Fair
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Average
Played On
Reviews 2
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played
Conditions Average
Value Good
Layout Good
Friendliness Good
Pace Excellent
Amenities Average
Played On
Reviews 1
Skill Beginner
Plays Once a week
1.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing

AVOID THIS PLACE

Supper friendly guy in the club house. But that still doesn’t make up for the back nine being closed and the front nine being truly UNPLAYABLE. The course is 75% dirt, they left the sprinklers on so we had to wait 10 min for them to notice and turn them off. On top of being the worst maintenance golf course I’ve ever been to there “course manager” was insanely rude. He actually walked up and got right in my buddys face for teeing off on the wrong spot because THEIR T BOX WAS UNDER CONSTRUCTION. Me and my group did not know where to tee off, so when we saw that flags in the middle of the fair way we guessed that’s where we are suppose to go. (This is our first time playing this country we mind you). This is where he started babbling about how if we are a holes he can be one too. WOW WHAT AN AWFUL GOLF COURSE

Conditions Poor
Value Fair
Layout Average
Friendliness Poor
Pace Poor
Amenities Poor
Played On
Reviews 1
1.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played

Closed for a year and almost lost

Black Birch was completely closed in 2020 and didn’t do this course any favors. The tee boxes are in really rough shape. The fairways have a ton of dirt. No grass at all. The traps have no sand and are full of weeds. The greens had a weird spongy consistency and no true roll. I’m afraid if they don’t dump some real money into it soon, it will be lost for good.
And to be fair, the pro shop was honest up front and said it was in pretty bad shape. He also said that they had work scheduled for the Greens and Tee boxes next week. Good luck to them, the potential is there to be a really nice course.

Conditions Poor
Value Fair
Layout Average
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Default User Avatar
Commented on 05/27/2021

Thank you for reviewing the course. Let us first start by apologizing for the poor experience you had during your visit. Your feedback about the course is important to us. We are working to get everything up to par. The current condition is by no means the standard we strive to achieve. We are going to escalate your feedback to our team so we can make improvements before your next game, and we will continue to work towards an excellent experience by using your comment for guidance. Thank you for playing Black Birch Golf Club. We hope to see you again soon.

Played On
Reviews 4
Handicap 15-19
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played

Update

Was told next week course receiving much needed repairs. Played here many times. Worse conditions with TLC needed. This course has struggled over passed years. Will play again under better conditions when they get it together again.

Conditions Poor
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 3
Skill Beginner
Plays Once a week
2.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing
Conditions Poor
Value Fair
Layout Fair
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Poor
Default User Avatar
Commented on 05/20/2021

Hello, thank you for leaving us a review. We are sorry to hear your experience was anything short of 5 stars, but we hope you will give us another try in the future. Thank you for choosing Black Birch Golf Club.

Played On
Reviews 1
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
1.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played
Perfect weather
Walked
Conditions Poor
Value Fair
Layout Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Average
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Default User Avatar
Commented on 05/27/2021

Thank you for taking the time to review the course. We take single star feedback very seriously at our course. You are welcome to comment further or reach out to our team in the golf shop. We always appreciate the feedback. Thank you for playing Black Birch Golf Club.

Played On
Reviews 19
Skill Beginner
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played

Poor course condition

Course is in rough shape from not being taken care of last year( Closed due to covid) pro shop has little to no merchandise.

Conditions Poor
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Average
Played On
Reviews 19
Skill Beginner
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
3.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing

Just ok

Unfortunately the course right now is in rough condition. Attendant said being closed last season due to covid really took a toll on the course. Layout is great, staff is awesome and hopefully will play here again once it is fixed.

Conditions Poor
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Default User Avatar
Commented on 05/10/2021

Thank you for reviewing the course. Let us first start by apologizing for the poor experience you had during your visit. Your feedback about the course is important to us. We are working to get everything up to par. The current condition is by no means the standard we strive to achieve. We are going to escalate your feedback to our team so we can make improvements before your next game, and we will continue to work towards an excellent experience by using your comment for guidance. Thank you for playing Black Birch Golf Club. We hope to see you again soon.

Played On
Reviews 1
I Recommend This Course
3.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing

Rough shape

I'm sure by summer it will be in much better condition. Will I play here again? Yeah probably. But much work needs to be done to the course

Conditions Poor
Value Good
Layout Average
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Average
Default User Avatar
Commented on 05/05/2021

Thank you for taking the time to review us, and for the 3 stars. We're sorry to hear the course may not have been in the best shape on the day of your round, and we appreciate your feedback. Thank you for choosing to golf with us, and we look forward to seeing you again soon.

Played On
Reviews 1
2.0
Previously Played
Perfect weather
Used cart

Staff is awesome, course...not so much

I/we have played at BB over a dozen times over the past few years. We have come to realize that later in the summer is a challenge for them to keep the fairways watered.
We have always had good luck in the spring and early summer.
Not the case this time. I understand they didn't open the course last year and did very little maintenance to keep it up.
I think that even $20 w/cart might be to much for the current conditions.
We'll hold off coming back this year and try our luck again next season!
They seem to be committed to get the course back into shape.
Staff as always was awesome, very nice group of people.
We stayed and had lunch, that was very good!!
Best of luck to BB, I hope they bounce back strong

Conditions Poor
Value Poor
Layout Fair
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Fair
Amenities Good
Difficulty Fairly Easy
Default User Avatar
Commented on 05/04/2021

We appreciate you taking the time to review the course and rate us. We are going to pass on your feedback to the teams in charge so they can work to make changes. Thanks for visiting Black Birch Golf Club. We hope you'll give us another try in the future.

Played On
Reviews 1
Handicap 15-19
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
2.0
Previously Played
Windy weather
Used cart

Hope the course conditions come back

I have played here quite a few times over the past several years. In 2019, the course was looking quite good. Not sure what happened in 2020, but they lost a lot of their grass. Repairs are in progress but the course is in rough shape. The gentleman in the pro shop, who I remember from other visits is always polite and friendly. He was very honest and up front about the course conditions. It was $25.00 for 18 holes and a cart. The bar/restaurant which is under new ownership since 2020, was very good, and the staff very accommodating and friendly. I hope they can get the course in better shape, it seems they are trying. I would come back, especially at that price.

Conditions Poor
Value Excellent
Layout Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Default User Avatar
Commented on 05/04/2021

We appreciate you taking the time to review the course and rate us. We understand your frustration. Please bear with us as we work diligently to make improvements. We hope you'll give us another try in the future. Thanks for choosing Black Birch Golf Club.

Played On
Reviews 139
Handicap 0-4
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
1.0
Connecticut Advisor
Top 50 Contributor
Previously Played
Perfect weather
Walked

In Need of a Comeback

Today the same black birches lined the sides of this course, but most of its fairways have become brown. The course suffered the same fate of about four or five venues I played last year in Connecticut after a long dry spell in July/August. But in the case of Black Birch, this occurred not just because the golf operations stayed closed during the pandemic, but more importantly because no one was tending to it (apparently).

The fairways especially are unplayable now, and they will recover only after quite some time. Greens didn’t roll smoothly, as they were pockmarked in too many places. Traps, rough, greenside fringes, and tees were all in substandard condition. It’s a major falloff from the very good condition this course enjoyed in the early summer of 2019. The good news is that work seems to be underway to restore the blighted conditions.

For now, I won’t ‘rate’ the layout itself, simply because that is so dependent on the foundation of a conditioned course. Black Birch remains a relaxing place to play golf, set in a handsome countryside parcel.

I’m glad to hear that other reviewers hope Black Birch will return to form, as I do. When open in 2019, Black Birch delivered enjoyable golf. The staff is invariably pleasant and friendly here and the clubhouse good for a drink or after-round meal. At present, the standard greens fees have been cut in half. There were still quite a few foursomes out on the course today.

Conditions Poor
Value Fair
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Average
Amenities Good
Default User Avatar
Commented on 04/30/2021

Thank you for reviewing the course. Let us first start by apologizing for your experience during your round. This is by no means the standard we strive to achieve. Please reach out to our management team. We hope to hear from you soon.

Played On
Reviews 1
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
1.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing

Black birch Golf course

Was very optimistic too have Black birch opening again because it’s close by and for less then 40 bucks to play 18 I thought I was getting a great deal. I will say the staff was super friendly as well as the few groups we saw on the course. As far as the golf course goes it looks and plays absolutely horrible. Long unmowed fringes, bumpy patchy greens, dirt for Sand bunkers, and fairways that look like they haven’t seen water or a mower in 3 years. I will say I hope too see changes get made because the layout of the course and how it was made years ago it could be such a nice course if it just shuts down for 2 months and gets a complete course maintenance done. Overall in all seriousness if they keep the course in this condition it should cost no more than 20 dollars to play 18. I

Conditions Poor
Value Poor
Layout Good
Friendliness Good
Pace Fair
Amenities Good
Default User Avatar
Commented on 04/27/2021

Thank you for reviewing the course. Let us first start by apologizing for the poor experience you had during your visit. The current condition is by no means the standard we strive to achieve, and we are working towards getting things up to par. Thank you for playing Black Birch Golf Club. We hope to see you again soon.

Played On
Reviews 1
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
2.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing

The condition of the course was plain awful. The staff was very friendly and the course seemed nice in a great area. However upon reaching the second hole I was in complete disbelief of the condition of the course, what I believe was design to be the fairway was a complete mud pit. It Looked like a construction site the greens need some work as well. Was very disappointed with the playing experience especially since a buddy recommended the course to me. Ultimately walked of the course after two holes and went else where to play. Not a good experience

Conditions Poor
Value Poor
Layout Fair
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Poor
Amenities Average
Default User Avatar
Commented on 04/23/2021

Thank you for reviewing the course. Let us first start by apologizing for the poor experience you had during your visit. The current condition is by no means the standard we strive to achieve, and we are working towards getting things up to par. Thank you for playing Black Birch Golf Club. We hope to see you again soon.

Played On
Reviews 1
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a month
1.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing

Needs lots of work

It is hard for me to be this negative but there are many holes that have no fairways. The tee boxes are not cut at all. Greens are a mess. Really hope they turn it around.

Conditions Poor
Value Poor
Layout Poor
Friendliness Good
Pace Poor
Amenities Fair
Default User Avatar
Commented on 04/21/2021

Thanks for the review. We take single-star feedback very seriously at our course. Please reach out to our management team at (860) 891-8066. Thank you for playing Black Birch Golf Club.

Played On
Reviews 1
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
2.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing
Conditions Poor
Value Average
Layout Average
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Good
Default User Avatar
Commented on 04/21/2021

Thanks for taking the time to leave us a review. We see you rated the course 2-stars and are interested in learning what we can do to improve for your next visit. We take customer feedback very seriously at our course. Please reach out to our team in the golf shop and tell us what's on your mind. Thank you for playing Black Birch Golf Club.

Nearby Courses
Colchester, Connecticut
Public
3.6666470588
26
East Haddam, Connecticut
Private
3.6115470588
261
Portland, Connecticut
Public
4.2340352941
210
Portland, Connecticut
Public
4.2576
246
Portland, Connecticut
Public
4.7476
76
Deep River Center, Connecticut
Public
0.0
0
South Glastonbury, Connecticut
Private
0.0
0
Hebron, Connecticut
Public
4.0691
176
Hebron, Connecticut
Public
4.3890470588
237
Cromwell, Connecticut
Private
4.6428571429
3
Hebron, Connecticut
Public
4.5565882353
39
Middlefield, Connecticut
Public
4.2013823529
274

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.
Golf Packages
FROM $217 (USD)
Now Reading
New Cookie Policy
WE AND OUR PARTNERS USE COOKIES ON THIS SITE TO IMPROVE OUR SERVICE, PERFORM ANALYTICS, PERSONALIZE ADVERTISING, MEASURE ADVERTISING PERFORMANCE, AND REMEMBER WEBSITE PREFERENCES. BY USING THE SITE, YOU CONSENT TO THESE COOKIES. FOR MORE INFORMATION ON COOKIES INCLUDING HOW TO MANAGE YOUR CONSENT VISIT OUR COOKIE POLICY.
CONTINUE