Westwoods Golf Course (Farmington)
Brief History: Prior to being purchased/managed by the town of Farmington in the early 1980's, Westwoods was set up for night golf, light poles & all, a sort of "noctournal Track." The course was "upgraded" after the change in ownership, but still retains its Goat Track identity.
(back 9 reviewed May, 2008, after about a 15-year hiatus from what used to be a home course)
General Track Conditions: Most noteworthy about Westwoods is, that because it's on a lot of swampland, if it's not cold out or there's not a 2-club wind adjustment, you may want to postpone your blood donation at the Red Cross that week because you'll most likely be down a pint after 9 holes due to the mosquitoes.
Bunkers: The fairway bunker on #10, which may actually be a fairway bunker on #1 come to think of it, was the quintessential Goat Track Bunker; so many rocks in it that it was like looking at a "normal" bunker under a microscope, magnifying the grains of sand to huge proportion. Unfortunately, this was an anomaly; although there were plenty of stones in the other traps, they just didn't measure up to #10 (#1). Otherwise, the bunkers had the consistency that we expect at a Track and were satisfactory.
Tee Boxes: Just chock full o'grass, which we hope will subside by midseason or at least upgrade to crabgrass.
Greens: At this point in the Tracking season, they're definitely in the mix for slowest played this year, which is commendable. Putting from the fringe was an adventure, possibly because we hadn't adjusted to take full swings from the fringe, possibly worried about taking divots for some odd reason.
Layout: Stashu-esque; we unknowingly went from the back 9 to the front 9. A navigational cluster****, worthy of the best Tracks.
Rules posted in the clubhouse: "Shirts must be worn at all times." This rule was probably originally posted when the Town took over the course some 25+ years ago. Glad to see that it's still on the list.
Pace of Play: We were able to shoehorn in 9 here (actually 12, based on losing our way during the round), but because of its strategic location, Westwoods gets a lot of league play. If one plays this course a lot, he can probably figure out whether he can get 9 in on any given day after work, based on when the leagues will wrap up, etc. That said, there are few things more mentally taxing than being backed up on a course that is primarily par 3's.
Summary: Although it was good to revisit Westwoods and provide the Tracking public some info, we have some reservations about recommending this Track to anyone looking to get in a quick 9 after work, unless they're willing to muddle through and hope to finish in the dark, as is true Tracker form.