PGA Championship

Valhalla Golf Club



Best in State

The best golf courses in Connecticut

Golfwise, Greenwich, Conn., is an extension of Westchester County, N.Y., one of the country's richest concentrations of golf, physically and economically. Three of the state's top six courses are located there, including the perennial No. 1, The Stanwich Club.

The state is top-heavy in private golf (only one public-access course makes our ranking), including the No. 3 course, the Country Club of Fairfield, a Seth Raynor design several communities east and one of the few designs in the state with holes touching Long Island Sound.

The sleeping giant here is Yale, another Raynor design already ranked number two even though it has a long history struggling with its conditioning. The course has been only a shell of its former self for decades, but that's going to change following the 2023 season when Gil Hanse and Jim Wagner begin a major remodel of the massive property that will give rebirth to some of the most profound versions of holes like the Alps, Biarritz, Road, Leven and Double Plateau.

What they do with the bizarre and fascinating par-5 18th remains to be seen, but it's a good bet that Yale will see a significant boost in future rankings across the board.

Below you'll find our 2023-'24 ranking of the Best Golf Courses in Connecticut.

We urge you to click through to each individual course page for bonus photography, drone footage and reviews from our course panelists. Plus, you can now leave your own ratings on the courses you’ve played … to make your case why your favorite should be ranked higher. 

(Parentheses indicate the course's previous ranking.)

1. (1) The Stanwich Club
Private
1. (1) The Stanwich Club
Greenwich, CT
A mainstay of Connecticut golf since the 1960s, Stanwich has undergone modifications over several years by Tom Fazio and his team, all based on the club's masterplan that addresses the course’s tees, bunkers, greens and mowing lines. The latest project was the rebuilding of five green complexes and the creation of a completely new first hole. “The first hole saw a complete re-imagining,” explained Fazio design associate Tom Marzolf. “The old hole was a quick dogleg-left that had many trees blocking the path around the corner. We looked to improve the options off the tee and allow alternate ways to play the hole. Earthwork to cut the inside corner and open up views to the green have completely changed the feel of the tee shot.” More changes to Stanwich, both big and small, are still to come.
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2. (2) Yale Golf Course
Private
2. (2) Yale Golf Course
New Haven, CT
Yale has always been something of a sleeping giant. For a variety of reasons the course has rarely lived up to its full potential, either due to inconsistent conditioning or some ill-considered changes through the decades that moved the architecture off its brilliant 1926 C.B. Macdonald and Seth Raynor design. Given the handicaps, it's remarkable Yale has continued to be so breathtakingly profound. The Leviathan-sized golf course bulges with magisterial holes like the Road, Cape, Knoll and the world’s best Biarritz chiseled onto the rocky, tumbling site. Recently made public, it's one of the few places in the U.S. (notably alongside the Old White course at The Greenbrier) where the general public can experience true Macdonald/Raynor architecture. The sleeping giant is about to awaken as Gil Hanse and Jim Wagner will go to work on reestablishing the original hole concepts and upgrade turf and drainage following the 2023 season.
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3. (3) Country Club of Fairfield
Private
3. (3) Country Club of Fairfield
Fairfield, CT
4.3
106 Panelists
Country Club of Fairfield has a topsy-turvy design history. Seth Raynor did the original design, but the clubhouse was never built where Raynor intended it, nor was an island par 4 shown on his original plan. In the mid-1920s, A.W. Tillinghast visited the course and sketched out a new fourth through sixth holes around a lagoon, which were subsequently built. Robert Trent Jones was hired in 1960 to install a practice range. To accommodate it, Trent sacrificed the old par-4 18th. He also rearranged several other holes, all of which were built under the supervision of Trent’s friend, architect Geoffrey Cornish. Cornish made further alterations in the 1980s. In the early 2000s, Tom Doak was hired to re-establish Raynor greens and bunkering style, turning most of the work over to his restoration expert, Bruce Hepner. Now on his own, Hepner is the club’s current consulting architect, and he has done a noble job instilling the Raynor look and feel to a routing that’s hardly Raynor anymore.
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4. (5) Wee Burn Country Club
Private
4. (5) Wee Burn Country Club
Darien, CT
4
58 Panelists
Wee Burn Country Club got its name from Andrew Carnegie, of all people, who suggested that the stony brook that weaves throughout the course should merit the name Wee Burn, as it would've been called in Scotland. The name stuck, and Devereux Emmet routed the course artfully around that burn. Wee Burn has removed a significant amount of trees in recenet years, amplifying its already pristine conditioning and allowing the course to play closer to its original intent. Wee Burn presents the golfer with plenty of scoring opportunities if they execute their shots correctly, providing for a difficult, yet enjoyable challenge.
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5. (4) Tamarack Country Club
Private
5. (4) Tamarack Country Club
Greenwich, CT
4.3
78 Panelists
Situated within a mecca of great golf courses, Tamarack Country Club stands out as one of the finest. Built by Charles Banks in 1929, the course includes many template holes that were the trademark of Banks’ mentors, Seth Raynor and C.B Macdonald, and a few great original holes on the back nine. The course is memorable for its massive scale throughout the property, often allowing players to recover from wayward misses. Though Tamarack delivers options in where you can hit it, the brawny course makes it difficult to score if you’re not in the correct spots.
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6. (NR) Round Hill Club
Private
6. (NR) Round Hill Club
Greenwich, CT
4.2
26 Panelists
Round Hill is a challenging test of golf despite being just 6,525 yards. Routed in 1922 by Walter Travis and worked on by Robert Trent Jones in the mid 60s, the course’s main defenses are its sweeping green complexes and thick rough. Round Hill’s signature hole is its par-3 11th. The hole is 178 yards long with the brunt of it being a carry over a pond. As picturesque as it is difficult, the hole is the highlight of Trent Jones’ work at the club. The club’s topography is quite varied as well, leading to each hole providing intrigue to all who play it.
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7. (6) Bull's Bridge Golf Club
Private
7. (6) Bull's Bridge Golf Club
South Kent, CT
4.3
34 Panelists
Situated in the hills of scenic Litchfield County in northwestern Connecticut, Bull’s Bridge is a Tom Fazio design named after a nearby historic wooden covered bridge. With terrific views of the surrounding Berkshire foothills, it’s no wonder this private club is a popular escape for New York City residents. The first two holes are an indication of what’s to come: significantly downhill tee shots that showcase the tumbling terrain and expansive backdrop. Given the setting, Bull’s Bridge is best enjoyed in the fall, when the leaves are changing colors. The clubhouse sits on a high point of the property, with each nine playing down the sides of hills before meandering back up. There’s quite a bit of elevation change throughout, making it a strenuous walk and often leaving the player with uneven lies.
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9. (NR) TPC River Highlands
Private
9. (NR) TPC River Highlands
Cromwell, CT
4.3
34 Panelists
TPC River Highlands has a long history hosting the annual Travelers Championship on the PGA Tour, dating back to 1984, when Pete Dye redesigned nine of the existing holes (formerly Edgewood Country Club). Then one of Dye's former associates, Bobby Weed, returned in 1989 to not only renovate the existing course but add holes as part of a newly built home-development project, one of the first of its kind. Weed has continued to return to renovate the course over the years, including most recently a substantial bunker project in 2016.
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10. (7) Lake of Isles: South Course
Public
10. (7) Lake of Isles: South Course
North Stonington, CT
4
25 Panelists
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11. (NR) Woodway Country Club
Private
11. (NR) Woodway Country Club
Darien, CT
Woodway is a 1916 Willie Park, Jr., design, who was an elite British player and architect who designed dozens of courses in the U.S., notably Maidstone on Long Island and the North Course at Olympia Fields outside Chicago, host of several major championships. His design at Woodway is highlighted by a seamless routing that fits the site's rolling wooded hills like a glove. Interestingly, each nine plays out the same way through the first eight holes with pars of 4-4-3-4-5-4-4-4, breaking only where the first nine culminates with par 3 over water and the second with a finishing par 4 playing back up toward the clubhouse. Bruce Hepner's recent renovation work thinning trees and reestablishing playing corridors and green sizes has helped accentuate the original ideas Park first laid out.
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12. (NR) Brooklawn Country Club
Private
12. (NR) Brooklawn Country Club
Fairfield, CT
4.1
64 Panelists
Brooklawn Country Club was built in 1895 with just $100 set aside for a nine-hole golf course. Just a year later the course was one of 26 to join the newly formed USGA. In addition Tom Morris, grandson of Old Tom Morris, was the first professional at Brooklawn and the course has a history of hosting some of the USGA’s finest events. The course was one of the last of A.W. Tillinghast’s career, and it has been renovated more recently by Ron Forse. The greens are full of undulation, a stalwart of Tillinghast's designs, and the putting surface at the long par-4 fourth is one of his best in an area filled with his brilliance. Holes like the third and sixth are uphill without feeling like a hike, showcasing Tillinghast’s ability to work with a challenging site.
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15. (NR) Lake of Isles: North Course
Public
15. (NR) Lake of Isles: North Course
North Stonington, CT
3.4
40 Panelists
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