156. The Stanwich Club
William Gordon & David Gordon (1962) / Tom Fazio (2017)
A mainstay of Connecticut golf since the 1960s, Stanwich has undergone modifications over several years by Tom Fazio and his team, all based on their 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.
100 Greatest/Second 100 Greatest history: Ranked on 100 Greatest: 1969 through 1980; 1987 through 2004. Ranked on America's Second 100 Greatest: 2013 through current. Highest ranking: No. 69 (1991-1992). Previous: No. 150.
Panelist comments, The Stanwich Club:
"Shot values were really good. The course had a refreshing blend of distance, accuracy, and finesse demands. Amazing run-offs on some of the new green surrounds on No. `1 and 5, demanding creativity but making it highly playable at the same time. Recovery shots were particularly enjoyable since there were many options and required greatness."
"You absolutely cannot be short sided or have the hole run away from you as short game shots are virtually impossible to get close in those circumstances."
" Hazard design and green complexes really set Stanwich apart. Very enjoyable, albeit a difficult test of golf. The course does a nice job of testing both distance and precision with well-bunkered green complexes. I’d be remiss not to mention the green speeds -- quite quick -- and the complexity/undulations, some very severe putts. The newly remodeled clubhouse is pretty, with great views out over Long Island Sound."
"Stanwich Club is a great course for many reasons. First, it is unique in that most of the fairways are sloped to one side of the rough or the other. Combined with the firm and fast conditions, this requires shaped and placed drives both directions."
"This course had the fastest greens of any that I played on my trip to the greater NYC area. It is in immaculate shape. The fairways are somewhat firm and they will roll, especially downhill slopes that provide a little bit of a speed slot."
"Definitely a championship caliber course. From the back tees this course could take on the best players in the world. One of the most beautiful and dramatic finishing holes I've played. Classic climb back up to the clubhouse."