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out of 4 GT logos

This family-owned, crap shoot of a golf course offers many attributes that Goat Trackers revere.  As low key and unassuming as a $4 box of wine, Airways is more of a wrong turn than a golf destination, which is pretty high praise in these circles.  Try finding another family-run golfing amusement center that is nearly as welcoming and you'll just be wasting your time.  Airways represents everything that we fell in love with at Copper Hill twenty years ago.  I vote Airways as quintessential Goat Track for the 21st century and award this worthy Track a coveted rating of...

  • Course Layout:  Haphazard is the only way one can describe this cow pasture gone wrong.  Check the scorecard for the architect who put this mess together and you won't find one.  It's a pretty safe bet that you're at a true Goat Track when the guy who decided where to place the tees and greens wants to remain anonymous.  Driving range?  Golf lessons?  Golf pro?  Nah, Airways has none of that fluff.  I'm sure Airways management figured, "If you offer this crap, what's next, a junior golf program?"  Screw that, the last thing Airways needs is a bunch of spoiled brats running loose, wearing LaCoste shirts, and waiting be picked up by the Guatemalan nanny driving the family BMW.
  • Course Conditions:  I did not play golf on this visit to Airways; therefore, I can only describe conditions from previous outings.  The course is kept in "rustic shape."  This means that the grass is mowed, most debris is picked up and the greens, tees and bunkers are kept in unremarkable condition.  Anything more would take away from Airways GT rating.
  • Website:  Looks and functions like an 11-year old set it up on GoDaddy.  Check the pictures from the link and you'll see the management team.  That said, check the fees.  Now you know why it's impossible not to love this place.
  • Clientèle:  This is one of the best aspects of the "Airways Experience."  As noted in the GT Seminar, rule #54, "If all of the golfers are over 70 years old, it's more than likely that you've found a top-notch Goat Track."  Guys who are old enough to have stormed the beaches at Normandy are likely to frequent places that remind them of their youth.  At Airways they can see the same lawn equipment their dad used on the family farm in the 1930's.​

  • First Impressions:  OK, you've found the driveway and pulled in, only to be confronted by a red barn leaning at a 20-degree angle in the middle of the parking lot.  After you navigate around the barn into a parking space, take another look at this decrepit eyesore and you'll discover that this barn is in active use as the cart storage facility.  Remarkable.  Any "responsible" person would've condemned and torn down this building decades ago, but not the resourceful management at Airways.  This structure has a stone foundation, gigantic holes in the roof and enough wood rot to make it look like a termite training camp.  The barn is in such a dilapidated state that you may wonder whether it will still be standing upon your departure.  I recommend parking far away from the barn, unless your vehicle is worth more through an insurance claim.  If this is the case, then by all means, pull in nice and tight.
  • Clubhouse:  Now that you are past the barn, turn around and you'll see what is the second most modest clubhouse in the area (first prize goes to the child's playhouse impersonating a starter's shack at Del Boca Vista, a.k.a. Buena Vista, in West Hartford).  The Airways personality really starts to come through when you step into this FEMA trailer transformed into a clubhouse.  You can pay your greens fee and order a beer just by swiveling your head around.  Golf shop?  Not needed here.  Sure, they can sell you a sleeve of balls and some tees, but a retail giant, this is not.  If you're like me and enjoy luxurious accoutrements like cold draft beer served in a plastic cup, Airways will bring a smile to your face.

Airways GC, West Suffield (Review submitted by Sherpa JB, January, 2009)

As a trained sales professional, I used my keen powers of observation to provide a thorough and methodical Goat Track review of Airways Golf Course and Country Club in West Suffield, CT.  I objectively reviewed several key GT criteria, compiling copious notes and comments based on the nearly exhaustive review performed during my November, 2008 visit, focusing on the following:

  • Signage: It's always a positive, from a Tracking perspective, when finding the golf course is an adventure.  There is a postage stamp size sign on Route 20 informing motorists that there is a public golf course in the vicinity, but the bread crumb trail stops there.  One can easily drive past Airways ten times, probably crossing the Massachusetts border at least once, still not knowing that there is a golf course hidden behind the red barn.  I like that.