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Del Boca Vista (a/k/a Buena Vista GC, West Hartford, last reviewed May, 2009)

If you're looking for a par 3/executive course, you might want to try
"Del Boca Vista," just across from the reservoir on Route 4/Farmington Ave.).  Not a bad place to get in a quick 9 (hour and a half or so on a good day) and/or work on your short game. If you've ever played there and have checked out the course's web site, you'll note that someone took some serious creative license with the "country club atmosphere" comment.  No pro shop, just a starter's shack with the same footprint as a medium sized tool shed; kind of reminiscent of the original pro shop at the old Bel Compo in Avon (now Blue Fox Run) and the converted FEMA trailer/clubhouse at Airways, which works just fine, no complaints from the GT crowd whatsoever.

Archived comments on DBV:  course conditions, 2008

Del Boca Vista is part of the Town rec. complex, sort of a scaled down version of Simsbury Farms, featuring both "a pool......and a pond" and three notable "vistas buenas" described in this hole-by-hole overview.

#1:  After seeing, or not seeing, the signage to get to the course (pictured above), the Executive Goat Tracking Experience at Del Boca Vista starts with "the most unassuming clubhouse in the greater Hartford area...the child's playhouse impersonating a starter's shack, " per Sherpa JB.  It gets better after that, when one sees the reed-filled marshy area that juts out on the corner of the dogleg on the first hole (preferred way to play this hole is 4-iron over the corner and wedge into, or more likely over, the green).  Truly a "Buena Vista."

#2:  Another dogleg left; the fairway banks into stuff on the left that, if you go astray off the tee, requires either a weedwacker (best case) or machete (worst case) to get out of; elevated, sloping green with traps on either side.  A challenging or potentially frustrating hole.

#3  Over the past couple of years, the middle tee markers have been shifted around (mostly forward, closer to the red tees) and having them in front of the ravine on this hole is the main reason that we recommend stopping the self-emasculation process and playing this course (in its entirety, not just this hole) from the back, gold, or "championship" tees.  This hole isn't nearly as fun to play from in front of the ravine; choose the white tees and you probably won't respect yourself in the morning.

If you've managed to score well on the first two holes, #3 is a wake up call, with a fairly narrow, sorta blind, but not quite ridiculous tee shot required, looking straight into a fairway bunker from the tee.  The best part of this hole is the large cedar tree located in the middle of the fairway, 50 or so yards in front of the green, guarding against the low aproach shot, but offering a chance at greatness for the well-placed worm burner.  Brilliant.

#4  Another of the holes which brings the "Buena Vista" into play.  Downhill par-3, 160 to 170 yards, with a green surrounded my muck...yawn.  The "Buena Vista" on this hole is the view of the lake-front houses across the street.
#5:  Non-descript and short par-3, seems to yield consistently good divots on the tee box though, based on being near "brook level."

#6:  Par-3, playing anywhere from 85 to 110 yards on any given day and home to the most feared shot in golf, the full-on "tweener wedge."

#7:  The first of two pain in the ass...make that "long and challenging," par-3's.  The 7th and 8th play similarly, so we'll only write them up once.  Long iron off the tee; look forward to spending some quality beach time if you're close, but narrowly miss the green.

One interesting quirk on the 7th is that if you miss right, there are three trees lined up, extending from a few feet off the right fringe to test your Track Acumen.  Both the 7th and 8th offer chip shot opportunities in front of and behind the green that allow Goat Trackers to utilize the more colorful aspects of their vocabulary on occasion.

#9:  The last of the three scenic "vistas buenas" in this review; the view of the tennis courts and community garden across the street from the 9th tee box.  Interesting pairing.

If you need to pull a shot out of your ass to win or save match play, this is the hole to do it.  Occasionally, there's an eagle opportunity to be had; sometimes a birdie oportunity.  Either way, if you have the honors on this tee box, an impressive long iron or fairway wood that drifts over the corner and lands where no one can see it will no doubt make your oppontent(s) squeeze a little tighter and/or go "vulcan death grip" on their tee shots (as long as no one heard you clank off a tree).  Just a brilliant opportunity for gamesmanship.

Based on our cumulative body of work hacking away at this Track, we're rating Del Boca Vista a respectable  GT logos out of 4.