E. Gaynor Brennan Golf Course
|Red (W)||72||5042 yards||71.4||122|
|Family (W)||72||3772 yards||64.5||107|
|Blue M: 70.0/124||360||392||147||460||368||485||372||279||123||2986||454||373||312||320||345||228||398||176||301||2907||5893|
|White M: 68.6/120||348||382||132||432||355||433||350||267||108||2807||440||317||300||300||320||218||385||160||295||2735||5542|
|Green W: 71.4/122||275||322||95||400||343||417||305||258||93||2508||377||300||286||290||290||208||332||140||286||2509||5017|
|Family W: 64.5/107||152||213||93||278||252||313||304||159||45||1809||375||206||233||201||160||112||290||130||176||1883||3692|
Food & BeverageSnacks
Where is the course Marshal?
I’ve always been hesitant to play this course seeing how many cars end up in the lot. But after a while I figured I’d give it a shot for 9 holes on a Thursday. Shouldn’t be TOO busy right? Kind of. It wasn’t terribly busy, just the foursome ahead of us not caring for rate of play. 2 hours in and 5 holes in I rode up to the group ahead asking if we (twosome) could play through. They definitely didn’t like the idea and refused. Where’s the course marshal?
For many years the Brennan Commission (Board with responsibility for decisions) was repeatedly & continually criticized for its lack of responsiveness to concerns & criticisms of golfers: inadequate course maintenance, a rude & abusive greenskeeper, & poor morale of the staff. Excuses always included no money in the budget or the union. The course was becoming a joke & I would not recommend. At long last, the greenskeeper was replaced last summer...and the changes are undeniable: course conditions are excellent (for the first time ever, I consider it in better condition than Sterling). Hidalgo interacts well with golfers & is liked by everyone...including staff which many believe has resulted in an improved overall culture. My only remaining question is, why did it take so long for the Commission to take responsibility and do their job? After all, if they don’t recognize their flaws, history will repeat itself. Once the market realizes the talent & capabilities of Hidalgo, other courses will likely try to hire him away...unless the Commission understands what it takes to retain someone such as Hidalgo?
Played this course a few years ago and it seems like a completely different facility. For one, the course conditions and new layout are a big improvement. Pace of play was very good considering the place was packed. But the biggest thing that impressed me was the Head Golf Professional greeting my group on the course to see how everything was going! You rarely see that at public facilities, the attitude of the staff was phenomenal everyone was friendly and it was just a pleasure. I've already recommended the Pro to my board at my club in Jersey as they will be searching for a new Head Golf Professional in the fall. Sorry E.G.B. but we will try to steal him!, LOL You guys are doing a great job!
The People’s Course
When I first started playing golf I came to Brennan. Since then it’s undergone a pretty significant renovation and management change. I’m happy to say they’ve put a lot of care and work into the place. It’s a little tight, and the rough is a little rough, but it’s a great everyman’s golf course and a great place to learn the game and learn more about yourself. Vance has done a great job with the new layout, fixing up the pro shop and improving course conditions all together. Looking forward to playing again. Keep up the good work.
After playing this course for years the improvement over the last 2 years has been phenomenal! The Re-routing has been completed and the conditions have improved immensely. From what I've heard the Head Professional has taken over the Golf Operation and it's night and day from where it was. Staff is friendly, helpful and the vibe is 100% better. New GPS units on the carts, new holes, just everything is better! KEEP IT UP!
Brennan is on the upswing!
I have played at Brennan for the past 5 years, on a regular basis. Changes in management, coupled with a new grounds keeper, have given this sleeper course a new step. The fairways are well fertilized. The tee boxes are manicured and are grassy - no more crab grass. The sand traps have been sculpted. The greens have been aerated, and the new roller has led to greens that are smooth and fast.
If you haven't been to Brennan for a while, be sure to add it back to your list. It's well-worth another look.
At long last the Brennan Commission/Board made long overdue personnel changes. After only a few weeks, the results are noticeable to everyone: the course is in better shape; the employees appear to be happier; and golfers are being treated as Customers. It is refreshing to say the least. Hopefully, the Commission will listen more carefully to the golfers, many of whom have great ideas to improve not only the golfing experience, but ways to improve revenues.
Improving golf experience at Brennan
The golfing experience at Brennan continues to disappoint. Frequent golfers hear the same complaints every season: horrible tees, an embarrassing locker room, a clubhouse in need of paint, and NASTY TREATMENT of golfers by the greenskeeper and course rangers. One of these can be corrected AT NO COST if the Board would do its job.
The evidence is clear: the greenskeeper believes golfers are the enemy. Too many golfers have stories of unpleasant interactions with the greenskeeper or his rangers and sadly, these interactions can ruin the golfing experience. In December when the ground was rock hard, an 80 year old was using a cart. I didn't notice any "cart path only" signs, but apparently that was the case for 3-4 holes. Suddenly, the greenskeeper came running (on foot) across a fairway screaming that if this happens again, the 80 year old would be banned from using carts. I was embarrassed that a staff member would treat any golfer in such a rude, disrespectful manner. Unfortunately, this treatment is typical at Brennan by the greenskeeper and his course rangers.
It's time that the Board recognize this problem. It starts with the greenskeeper. The course rangers report to the greenskeeper and simply follow his lead. Poor treatment of golfers has become the norm at Brennan. Rather than being "Ambassadors of Goodwill" Brennan rangers are motivated to find infractions which they believe give them the right to lecture, criticize or scream at golfers. The only ranger capable of correcting an infraction in a friendly manner and who was universally loved by all golfers was Spider who quit rather than endure the greenskeeper's disrespectful treatment. (Did the Board conduct an exit interview to determine why he quit?)
Sadly, everyone has a similar story. The Board could improve the playing experience at Brennan at NO COST by ensuring that the greenskeeper and all rangers understand that they should act as Ambassadors of Goodwill. However, this requires that the Board first understand its own role.
Last August Rob Tyska, the Golf Chairman at Brennan said they had received bids to rebuild/expand the tee boxes. To date, nothing has happened and from what I'm told no contract has been signed.Broken limbs from the storm MONTHS AGO remain hanging. The tee markers are often placed on the spot having the least amount of grass or is the most uneven. Does this person even play golf? Why not spend a few hundred $ to repaint the building & porch? Between the lack of paint and mold, it's an eyesore. The showers in the Mens locker room have been "under construction" for years...now functions as storage for broken furniture & junk! Have some respect for the place! Where's the pride? This course could be so much more if the Board did its job. Why have courses like Oak Hills, Tashua & Whitney Farms been able to improve their courses & facilities and increase course volume and you can't? True, there are budgetary constraints, but it's also about PRIORITIES.
We went out to bid twice on the tee project. In the first round we did not receive a bid for the work. In the second round we received one bid but when he returned his contract he crossed out language in it and it was rejected by the city. We are trying again but unfortunately we have to go through the city's purchasing department and they are slow in putting projects out to bid. Once again I encourage you to come to our meetings and express your concerns.
I've played Brennan for 10+ years & some things never change. The tees are a disaster and the Rangers are useless...with exception of Spider. Never in my 10 years have I seen a Ranger speak to a foursome holding up the pace of play & that includes instances in which novices were teaching non golfers how to play. Never have I seen a Ranger speak to anyone about repairing ball marks on the green or replacing divots. The #1 priority (confirmed by conversations with Rangers) is to prevent anyone who has paid for an electric cart from giving someone walking a ride...even if only to bring someone up a hill to speed up play. For unknown reasons, this is Mike Sullivan's (greenskeeper) priority. Regarding the other comments here, I agree that the entire team needs to improve how it interacts with golfers (beginning with the greenskeeper) and the Board needs to step in and review priorities. Do their job! Make this a course people are proud of!
I read coogi's comments and have to agree with his assessment. I've played at Brennan for years and very little has changed. I've also had playing partners give feedback as suggested...and no response. As for the greenskeeper & rangers, I've had mixed experiences. 2-3 of the rangers (Spider in particular) are terrific--helpful to players, cordial, give guidance, even replace divots. Unfortunately, there are others who sit in the shade talking on their cells or hunting for balls. Some of these rangers can be downright hostile. As for the greenskeeper, Mike is clearly dedicated to his job, but can be surly when dealing with players. Like it or not, this is a business and players are CUSTOMERS. There's so much that could be done to make this a more appealing course. Coogi's right on one thing: where is the Board?
Falling Below its Potential
This is a course which could offer so much more. The good news: it's cheap & easy to get out. The bad news: sand traps can be full of rocks, finding grass of some tees can be tough, greens are rock-hard, & the greenskeeper & some rangers treat players like the enemy. For years, the excuse has been that Brennan has less $$ than Sterling (the other Stamford public course). But look at Tashua or Whitney Farms--both public & have made changes resulting in higher demand/revenue for those courses. Both look more like private clubs than beat-up metropolitan courses. Why doesn't the Board send the greenskeeper to Tashua or Whitney Farms to learn more about course mgmt as well as how to treat players? There's no evidence that the Board solicits feedback from players regarding the course nor of how people are treated by the greenskeeper & staff? This needs to be run more like a business with customers than a local government operation. The Board needs to understand its responsibilities & act like a Board!
The Golf Commission meets on the 3rd Tuesday of every month at 6:00 pm in the clubhouse. Each meeting starts with an opportunity for the public to make comments on the golf course. I hope you will attend to provide your feedback to us directly. We are currently in the bid process to hire a contractor to rebuild and expand the tee boxes that were not done in our last wave of improvements.
Good accessible course: user friendly
Nice course. The first hole is legendary because it is front of the Restaurant and everyone is watching lol The pro is nice as is most of the staff.
Stamford's "other" course
Whereas Sterling Farms draws people from all around Fairfield, NYC and Westchester - Brennan (aka Hubbard Heights) is the local's course. Its generally not as polished as Sterling and doesn't have the driving range nor the other amenities. The course layout is an afterthought, of sorts. This year they have cherry bunkers (like Sterling's) and the poa greens (when attended to) are quite phenomenal and fast. The rough is ... generally in rough shape (thin and rocky). Its a touch more difficult than Sterling with a lot of blind approaches and small greens throughout.
btw: the clubhouse has terrific food.