out of 4 GT logos, mainly because it was overhyped/oversold
Yardage Markers: For some inexplicable reason, Golfer Number Two was walking up the middle of the 4th fairway (as Wink once said, "you're in the middle of the fairway, do you have a club for that?") just past the marshy/reedy junk that he dumped his first ball into. On that rare walk in the short grass, he found what he thought was the best yardage marker of all time. Not one marked as 250, 240 , etc.; on this par 5, just one so far away that it simply said, "JUST HIT IT." We thought we couldn't appreciate that any more than we did, until a new GoatTrackGolf.com reader emailed to say, "Thanks, I'm using it as a screen saver." Awesome.
Onto the Review of Alling Memorial GC...
After you pull into the fenced-in parking lot at Alling (not in a gated community kind of way) and, as most patrons do, take the shortest path to the pro shop by cutting through the locker room (glad no one uses it), you see some impressive views of the valley/hills from the beer garden/patio. The "split building" setup is great.
Layout: No doubt one has to appreciate the pond to the left of the tree at the edge of the fairway that's invisible from the 1st tee. Thanks to the guy in the pro shop, who radioed ahead to the starter to get us on our way, saying, "you'll like the layout"; yet neglected to mention to Alling newbies, "blind shot from the tee into the pond on left of #1." On some level we respect that; on another, not so much.
Alling Memorial GC, New Haven (front 9 reviewed July, 2010)
As Goat Trackers, we'd like to think we're not suckers, but anytime we run across a site where some jackass spouts out, "In my opinion, this is the most underrated course in the state. That goes for condition, value, and layout," we have to say "Whoa there, cowboy," and check it out for ourselves, from a Goat Tracker point of view.
Trying to put it into perspective, the "underrated" comment came from someone in Stamford, so Alling was unquestionably a bargain based on that Gold Coast metric. We'll borrow a line from Repo Man (for anyone with a mid 80's pop culture frame of reference) and "call bullshit on that." We don't see Alling Memorial overtaking "Ferris Bueller" (Fairchild-Wheeler) as the "best weekday golf value in southern Connecticut" anytime soon. With that being said...
A Lot of Sand: Not thrilled with this aspect of Alling's layout. Not so much because of the sand, we can handle that; hell, we're just glad to actually find sand when we hit into a trap, it minimizes the brush fire danger from sparking a wedge on a rock, but the bunkers just seemed wrong. We've seen enough "bunker footage" from the British Open over the years to be familiar with the "eyebrows" on the bunkers on British courses, but Alling may have taken it a step too far. The eyebrows on these bunkers would make Andy Rooney look like Charlie Villanueva...and that just didn't sit well with us.
While on the course, we were unsure as to how to rate Alling Memorial on the GT site, but when we were just a block or two away from the course on the way out and heard the dulcet tones of the Mr. Softee truck, we were reminded of The Urban Goat Track South (Goody), which puts the whole experience into perspective.
Pending another trip to this muni, we're reluctant to give Alling Memorial more than...