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Chippanee Country Club (Bristol, Connecticut) Reviewed on a Day of Exploration, Columbus Day, 2014

When the Goat Tracker known as 2Steps said,
"I can swing a free round of golf at a private club, do you want in?"  the answer wasn't just "Hell yes!" it was, "How much broken glass do I have to walk through barefoot to get there?"

2Steps (a/k/a Due Passe) stumbled onto a great nugget and/or time capsule in Chippanee.  We're not accustomed to the usual accoutrement of private clubs, but why not enjoy, even if it only amounts to having a gopher meet you in the parking lot to bring your clubs to your golf cart.  Good Country Club form.  Eventually we teed off knowing that we, or any other Goat Trackers, would not have been welcome 20 years ago.  Such are the benefits of declining club membership.

Signature Hole:  There's something about the 14th that just works and captures the Tracker Imagination.  A 456-yard (from white tees) par-5; downhill; kinda blind from the tee, fairway tightens up on the downslope.  If you hammer it without "shot shaping expertise," it can be a real adventure.  It may not be the #1 hdcp. hole on the card, but it's our favorite.

Other stuff:  The greens are quick, but with none of that annoying "everything breaks six inches from the hole" nonsense, or at least not as much as we've experienced elsewhere.  Chippanee plays to a par of 70 at 6,094 yards from the white tees; without any long par-3's to pad the yardage total, it's no cupcake.  Overall, you get what you'd expect at such a course as far as manicured conditions from tee to green, manageable rough, and general playability (which should not be confused with scoreability; the 126 slope rating is there for a reason).  What you don't get is quirky, overly cute, new-school layout foolishness in terms of hole design, bunker shape and/or placement, and trips from the green to the next tee that give you jet lag.

We're not going to speculate on whether this course will be private, semi-private, or wiped off the map going forward.  What we can do is say that Chippanee provides an enjoyable, high level golf experience, which earns it a stout rating of: