Pequabuck GC, Pequabuck Connecticut (somewhere between Bristol and Terryville, along route 6), reviewed August, 2012,
Thanks go out to 2Steps, a/k/a Due Passe, for putting Pequabuck on the GT review radar. I’ve been intrigued by this course for a long time; inaccessibly private, but great to view while driving by it hundreds of times. Now that it’s accessible to the public on occasion, there’s a need to review it.
Pequabuck GC has a great history. It originally started out as a 5-hole course in 1902, possibly the ultimate executive course (3 par 3’s; 2 par 4’s), then was expanded after the great depression to what it is today.
Pequabuck GC has always been touted as a “working man’s country club” in a working man’s town. Unfortunately for PGC, not enough people in that town work to allow the club to maintain its membership dues, which provided us an opportunity to step in and enjoy it.
Onto the review of Pequabuck GC:
There are a lot of the predictable “If you haven’t played here, you’ll lose a stroke or two to the member paying your freight” shots to be had on the front nine.
We were warned about the back 9, during our beverage/snack/"timeshare recruitment" pit stop on the turn, by a longstanding member.
“(10 and 11 are) two of the most difficult holes in the state…and that’s not just me saying that”
#10. We’ve played far more intimidating 200+ yard par 3’s. Hitting over the road, not a problem; hitting over the pine trees in front of/ below the tee box, not much of a problem either (good use for a chainsaw, though); missing the green, chalk that up to lack of talent.
#11 is the signature hole; the one I drove past for a long time along Route 6. It’s the #1 handicap hole for a reason. Woods to the right, sloping fairway, water, greenside bunkers. Pretty much every pain in the ass one could ask for, minus a blind shot, which is made up for elsewhere. I’m just surprised that my windshield never got hit by a club slung by someone dropping a few f-bombs on this hole as I drove by it..
#17 a/k/a the Wrong Side of the Tracks: On the course navigation front, PGC is pretty well-marked on its sprinkler heads, etc., but for us, #17 was the Bermuda Triangle of golf. The cart path leads you back across the railroad tracks and across the left tree line from the tee box. Even the less than navigationally-challenged were perplexed by this layout navigation feature.
Course Conditions: No complaints here. Overall, we thought they were pretty good and it was great to hit out of “country club quality rough” for a change, i.e. nothing to chop out of, after slashing drives into the “less than short grass.”
Tee boxes, fairways, bunkers, greens; all good. Yada.
More Green Minutiae: We’re not Stimpmeter experts, but the greens were a bit slower than expected at such a fine course. After giving it some thought, it made sense that they didn’t want non-members trashing their greens, so they left them at a “damage control” height and speed. Bravo.
Short Game Minutiae: If you’re a Goat Tracker, you know that the short game is where you make your money. Press, double the Nassau, press on the press, set yourself up to sink some putts, get the job done and grab the cash. Our main insight (if you can call it that), if you’re in a match at PGC, is that hitting a decent putt or bump and run shot from the wide aprons or fringes, no matter your level of Tracking Expertise, may not turn out as well as you expect. If you don’t have a Mickelson-esque flop shot in your arsenal, the crabgrass may just f**k you over. Sure it may just be a seasonal thing, but it can impact how you play PGC.
Amenities: A trip to the 19th at Pequabuck may be the closest you ever come to time travel, if you want to revisit an unspoiled social club from the 60’s or 70’s. Decks of cards are provided on the tables, if you want to hustle a game of gin or cribbage after your round, in true country club fashion. It’s something I haven’t seen in a while and is outstanding in an old school way (I should’ve cleaned house; there were suckers to be had, yet chose not to). Moving on. This is not pink redsox hat-friendly territory. We respect that. On the other hand, it does have the all too familiar and unpleasant “scent” of a convalescent home, which we all agreed that we could do without.
In summary: When we conferred at Bristol Pizza after our round to discuss the PGC rating on this site, the consensus seemed to be, “Sure I’d play it again. Am I in a rush to do it? Probably not. I’ll probably take the opportunity to play some other course I haven’t played before returning here.” Even though Pequabuck GC has a rich history and is a course that should be played by any self-respecting Tracker, we’re giving it the most marginal out of 4 GT rating possible.