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GT logos out of 4, based on the current grading criteria.  If we redefine the criteria, there may be room for a marginal upgrade.

To the Golf Course...
Friendly, organized, and well-managed are the trademarks of Rockledge.  Conditions are typically excellent.  It’s situated in a low-lying area that tends to stay wet.  This translates into lush fairways, compared to other courses in the Greater Hartford Area.  Greens are mostly flat (exceptions include #4, 8 and 9).  Fairways are wide and the course offers a variety of ways to display your shot-making expertise.  If you’re going to take a crack at achieving golfing greatness, you may want to do it on the signature hole, #14.  It’s a par-5 that can be played into a double bogey with driver and 3-wood, or… if you actually want to make par, you may want to choose driver, 9 iron, 9 iron…or you can find another way to get the birdie that may have eluded you for a while.  The options are limitless and all out there for the taking. 

pictured above, but not very visible:  a club lodged in a tree at Rockledge that Sherpa JB was observant enough to notice during the Tracking off-season.  It may speak volumes about the frustration that some experience on this fine course

On the “You get what you pay for” front, Rockledge hits the mark.  Bullseye.  On weekdays, the greens fees are $31 for residents to walk 18, $39 for those living outside the West Hartford Restaurant District ($55 w/cart).  Voted “Best Public Golf Course in Greater Hartford” numerous times, I agree that the Rock is worth a visit.  Here is what you can expect:

  1. Great location – less than 1/2 mile from I-84 and a mile from the Town Center.  Incredibly convenient.  Finish your round and either enjoy the pleasant 19th hole on the premises or wash your sweaty ball sack and head to happy hour at Max’s, Grant’s, Fleming’s, Rizzuto’s, et al… and meet some attractive women who enjoy martinis.  This makes for a complete West Hartford experience.
  2. Conditions – I have to give this place high marks.  Rockledge gets a ton of play, but the greens, tees, fairways, etc. are usually in great shape.
  3. Organized – The Rock is not a cluster-screw like other courses.  If you love the experience at the first tee at Stanley, then you’re not going to be comfortable at Rockledge.  They are expert at queuing up groups at the first tee; there’s no confusion, line-jumping, arguing, or cattle calls.  Very civilized.
  4. Friendly – This shouldn’t be hard to do, but 90% of courses treat customers like a lawn snausage.  It’s either a crotchety 70-year old or a pissed off teenager taking your dough with a look of disdain on his face.  At Rockledge the pro said, “Hey, thanks for coming today.”  It’s five simple words, but the staff really does make you feel like they want you there. They smile and everything.  Refreshing.  

**Goat Tracker’s Tip– Tee off around 2:00 pm.  You’ll finish by 6:00 and then can join the MILF parade at one of the many bars nearby. You will have a great time chatting it up with Muffy and Brooke, who likely just finished up at the tennis club.  As Wink says, “It’s all about combining things.”

In Summary:
Even from a Goat Tracker’s perspective, Rockledge is a cut above.  The course is maintained to a high standard.  Although the price is a little higher than some Goat Trackers may want to pay, it gives you both more and less of a lot of important aspects of “the golf experience” at the same time.  Less rocks in the bunkers; more grass on the tee boxes.  Less beer (meaning no beer is sold once you tee off; the snack shack is dry and there are no beer cart girls, which frankly is part of the “civilized charm” of Rockledge); more of a chance to finish your round within 4, yes four, hours (if you’re riding).

Rating (not provided by Sherpa JB):  Even though it provides a great “golfing experience” and an entree to an even better “social experience;” Rockledge GC hits a glass ceiling of... 

Rockledge GC – West Hartford, Connecticut
Review submitted by Sherpa JB, July, 2012

Scene Setting
For those unfamiliar with the town of West Hartford, please allow me to describe what you’re getting involved in here.  This town is ground zero for restaurants, jewelry stores, and hot MILF’s.  There are 101 restaurants serving a town of 60,000 folks, so clearly none of the single-family homes have kitchens.