Course Review: Quinnatisset – October 11th, 2023
I played at Quinnatisset Country Club in Thompson, CT in early October.
If you have not yet played the course, you may have driven by it on the way to the Raceway Golf course, which is also in Thompson.
I have played “Quinny” maybe 25-30 times, but not in the past 3 years. Quinny dates back to 1901.
If you go to the club’s website, you will find a full 17 wordy paragraphs dedicated to the history of the course. I only go back about 15 years ~ about eight since the front nine was funky and disjointed and it was completely redesigned and greatly improved.
There is a large pond directly in the middle of the course and the redesign focuses on it to a beautiful result.
I may not be a good golfer but I am better than when I use to played Quinny regularly so I was anxious to see if I have improved in my play here. I would generally shoot in the low 90’s here and occasionally blow up to 100 plus in years past.
I made sure I was not rushed to the first tee and left plenty of time to hit balls at the range.
The range ~ where they use yellow balls ~ is adjacent to the 18th green and fairway. When I checked in, I was warmly greeted and reminded that the range balls are complementary and be careful hitting driver as the range runs out at about 225 yards uphill.
I was flattered that the pro shop staff member thought I could hit distance limited range balls uphill over 225 yards ~ but I could not and went through the entire bag.
After a decent warm-up, it was our turn on the tee. Quinny does not have tees times so you work your way in. it is a system that has served them well.
The first hole is a dogleg left par 4 in which the distant tree beyond the fairway is an excellent target. Afraid to go out of bounds on the right, I smothered my driver to the left. After a pretty long wait, I then smothered my approach shot, nearly hitting a grounds crew member who surely thought he was safe. I then hit a beautiful chip onto the green and barely missed a par.
The 2nd hole is a another dogleg left par 4 ~ and is the number one handicap hole on the course. After settling in, I hit ~ by far ~ the best drive I have ever hit on this hole.
I only had 85 yards in and didn’t chilly dip the wedge and left myself with a 6 foot birdie putt which I sunk.
The next hole is a beautiful, spectacular par 3 over the aforementioned pond. If I have played the course 30 times, I have been in the pond 25 times. It just freaks me out. The drop area is on the other side of the pond and is at such a poor angle, I almost never save bogey.
Today, however was totally different. I was 176 yards away and was between a 4 hybrid and 3 hybrid. Probably still golf drunk on the birdie on number 2, I choose the 4 hybrid. For no real reason other than an incredibly short memory, I had a feeling of completely unjustified confidence over this shot.
I hit a beautiful, majestic, stunning, pleasingly -appearing 4 hybrid right at the pin. For my limited ability, it was a near perfect strike. As it was getting close to the green, I was thinking “I think I should have hit the 3 hybrid”. Miraculously the ball carried the penalty area and landed 6 feet shot of the pin. Two birdies in a row!
I parred the next hole – an uphill par 5 – but then kind of fell apart and ended the nine with a 42.
I hit the ball well but faded to a 86. My playing partner – who knows a lot more about golf than me – said the greens were sanded and made them much faster than usual. I believed a better explanation is I putted terrible this day.
The worst hole on the course is the par 4 16th hole. It requires a blind shot with a hard draw. A straight shot of more than 175 yards heads into the penalty area.
On this hole I hit a solid hybrid that did not draw enough and we could not find it on dry land. A drop and a nice short iron left me with a two- putt bogey.
Other than the weak 16th, the back ~ the much older 9 ~ is a fair but stern test of golf.
The finishing 18th is a dogleg right par 5 which is a generally easy par that I like to screw up by cutting off too much and trying to get to the green in two.
At the end of the round, I felt that a little bit of decent putting would have put me in the low 80’s and I realize I’ve gotten better. However, I also felt thirsty as the club does not have a liquor license and we had to go elsewhere for a drink.
All in all, Quinny is a very nice course and I would like to play it at least once a year.