Hawk's Landing CC, Southington CT (back 9 reviewed 5/08, front 9 reviewed 7/08)
This course got a couple of mentions as a potential Goat Track, or at least a "course of interest", so we decided to find out for ourselves. Fortunately, the Tracker known as "Rabbit Ears" was alongside to help put things into perspective.
Brief History: According to Rabbit Ears, Hawk's Landing Country Club was known as Pattonwood GC until at least the late 1990's, when it was a quasi-executive par 61 18-hole course with quintessential Tracking conditions and was a great place for a quick weekend round. Kind of an odd location, in that you wind your way uphill and away from the main drag in Southington (Route 10) to what seems like another planet, sort of.
Despite efforts to "upgrade" this course from its previous Goat Track status, when it was Pattonwood GC, Hawk's Landing CC earned the honor of being named "2008 Goat Track of the Year."
The layout was stretched out from its original format and a couple of new holes (13 & 14) were added at the outer edge to make it a regulation course. If one pays close enough attention to the layout, he can catch glimpses of its Goat Track origins. (Note/Tracking advisory re. 13 & 14, if the weather looks like it's turning and T-Storms will roll in, this part of the course probably won't make your short list of places you want to be)
Compared to other courses we've played (Stanley, Westwoods, Okemo) there was minimal navigational difficulty in finding the next tee and no need to ask the group in front of us to leave a trail of bread crumbs or empty beer cans. Two thumbs up.
How can you not have fun on a course where, over the first two holes on the back 9, you can hit your ball into yards with a pool and a trampoline, respectively? This was a good sign, although our reluctance to get arrested for trespassing limited our willingness to take full advantage of HLCC's surroundings.
While this former Goat Track may have been "upgraded", they didn't go overboard, which made for an enjoyable golfing/Tracking experience.
A unique par 36 layout on the back, with 3 par3's and 3 par 5's. Bonus points awarded for mixing it up a bit. (front 9 has 3 par 3's and 1 par 5, truer to the course's original layout).