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Quarry View GC (East Canaan), reviewed July, 2008
A nugget from the hinterlands of the northwest corner of Connecticut.  Quarry View gained favor with those that review Goat Tracks for goat-track.com mainly based on a great name, a nearly unapproachable location, and a pretty good par-30 layout.  This Track vies with Miner Hills for "Best GT Executive Course Reviewed in 2008."

Note:  if you look for this Track on Google Earth, you should be able to see the surrounding quarry that made this Track easy to name.


The Preview:  From what we could glean from ctgolfer.com, this is a fairly new Track (built circa 2002).  The best landmark to help you find the course is the East Canaan Package Store (stop for "refreshments" if you're so inclined and then take the right across from it and a left at the end of the next road). 

The Quarry View GC Review:
Based on the trend with recent GT reviews, the GT site reviewers start taking notes the second we hit the parking lot...and when we hit gravel we know that all is good.

Pro Shop:  Although any pro shop that's in the form of a pre-fab tool shed (like those at Buena Vista and the old Bel Compo) score high marks on GT reviews, the building at Quarry View is even better.  It's built on sonitube footings so, if you're lucky, you can catch a few chipmunks scurrying underneath the pro shop as you pay your greens fee (if anyone's there).  We're fairly confident that the "GT Natural Historian," Sherpa Matt, would approve.  This was awesome.  Probably doesn't hurt that there's an old can of bug spray sitting on the window sill of the pro shop for Trackers to use.

There's also a wooden swing set (golf day care center) between the pro shop and the driving range (6 mats) on the way to the first tee.  The "golf day care center" has been derided by some Trackers after seeing it at places like Blue Fox Run, but in this case, it seems somewhat less obnoxious.

Tee Boxes:  Could've been a repeat of the Villa Hills experience (reviewed 7/08), but as
Lee Corso
says, "not so fast, my friend!"

Quarry View does set up a bit like Villa Hills, in that the first two tee boxes are driving range mats...that are laid over another layer of indoor/outdoor carpet...but as any Goat Tracking Sherpa knows, it's all about not setting too many expectations.  The only other "mat tee box" is on the 5th.

Quarry View gets high marks for making those who play the course appreciate a grass tee box when they get to one.  On the other hand, since the actual grass tees get so much attention, more attention may need to be paid to some aspects that otherwise would be ignored.  For example, the plastic green receptacles on the (6 grass) tee boxes... "Please fill divots with sand mix," the sign says.  An inquisitive Tracker wonders what's in the "sand mix."  After scooping enough out to fill a mammoth divot, one finds that there is truth in advertising...it's a mix of sand...with no grass seed whatsoever.  Both surprising and impressive.

Greens:  Wow!  So short, so uniform, so quick.  Barely blemished by ball marks.  Then it all unfolds...they're springloaded!  After a couple of holes, one realizes that the reason there are no ball marks on the greens at Quarry View is that they're as hard as a brick or possibly as hard as something from the quarry nearby.  This makes bump & run shots mostly run shots after a pretty good bump.  Other than that, they're not too complicated; fairly small and sloping in one direction or another, no goofy undulations and break-free as is expected of a good Goat Track.

Bunkers:  Conventional wisdom dictates that if a course borders a gravel pit, sand for the traps should be plentiful.  Bravo, Quarry View!  The sand is truly something to marvel; so white, so clean, so fine...

Despite the high quality of the sand in them, the bunkers at Quarry View were pretty average by Goat Track standards.  Probably an 8 out of 10 on the compaction scale.  The most remarkable aspect among them may have been that the bunker on the front left of the 7th green was full of goose footprints, top to bottom, side to side, yet there was no goose crap whatsoever.  Also, as any Tracker knows, the depth of the bunker sand can always be determined by the footprints of the animals that cross through it and the depth of their prints (geese, foxes, deer, squirrels?  bears?).  Based on this criteria, the sand is pretty well packed down.

Course Design:  Two thumbs up for the last 3 holes.  If they were put on another course, non-Trackers from far and wide would clamor to play them.  Alas, they're "just on a Goat Track"

7th:  Dogleg?  More like a horseshoe.  The 7th was most intriguing.  How does a 360 yard hole become a par 5?  Apparently the key is to lay the hole out in the shape of a candy cane.  Actually, this is a pretty challenging hole as a par 4, requiring a decent drive into the dogleg and a good approach shot into a narrow green.

8th:  165 on the fly, 204 if you play the dog leg.  This hole has the best hazard ever!  Two berms in front of the green (center and right, which is why there's the dogleg option), both are covered in six foot high weeds which makes them most imposing.

9th:  Uphill 225 yard "par 4" with another dogleg option.  Great finishing hole.

Other Trackworthy Features

The walk between the 7th green and 8th tee, with a great, yet small, sign (with a bird graphic) posted, "Environmentally Sensitive Area. Entry Prohibited."  How about, "You've got about 15 feet to walk until you drop 100 feet into a gravel pit"?  One's more polite, one's probably more effective.

The View:  Really no point in playing a place called Quarry View unless you get...a quarry view.  Best view of the quarry and northwest hills from the course is from the 7th tee.  Pretty cool to look into the pit, which seems to be mostly limestone, and have the foothills in the background.

Amenities:  Most holes have ball washers and/or benches, most impressive.

Breakdown lane?  An abandoned cart in the rough between the 6th and 7th holes.  One couldn't help but think that if this cart were at Van Cortlandt, it would've been up on blocks.

In summary, Quarry View is a pretty good executive Track to play, with some great Goat Track features that are best experienced first hand.  Unfortunately, the only way this Track is logistically feasible for most is to include it as a pit stop on a trip to/from Saratoga or a similar destination in upstate New York.