In summary: If you’re looking for a layout where you can roll out of bed and score well, Whitney Farms may not be it. We agree with most of the positive comments that we’ve read elsewhere; the negative stuff we read was just griping. Although there are a lot of doglegs, quirky shots, etc., we think it plays pretty fair and can be enjoyable. The Whitney Farms GC website is one of the most useful sites for a public course that we've seen. Based on our GT grading criteria, Whitney Farms didn’t really distinguish itself either positively or negatively and earns a middle of the road…
Whitney Farms GC, Monroe. Reviewed by GoatTrackGolf.com, July, 2016.
When Whitney Farms popped up on GolfNow.com, we were intrigued. On the first and only other visit here about twenty years ago for the GHO (Greater Hick Open), we saw the pro wrestler known as Sgt. Slaughter on the practice green, which was close to a mind-blowing experience; a pro wrestler with a “home course” and a standing Saturday tee time. Who’d have thunk it? Glad that the opportunity to revisit the course presented itself.
Easy Navigation…plus time travel… Whitney Farms is located in Fairfield County, a/k/a the “Gold Coast” of Connecticut, but to get there, you’re probably going to spend some time on Route 8, unless you’re starting from within 5 or 10 miles of the course. Travelling up or down the Route 8 corridor, which was once the industrial engine of Connecticut, through downtown Shelton, then through rural Shelton, to the course in Monroe can be an educational experience, if you’re into that sort of thing.
On-course navigation: We didn’t give much thought to how walking-friendly it would be, but Whitney Farms places restrictions on walking groups, mainly on weekends. Housing Devlopments + Golf Course = Hoofing between holes. We thought that Whitney Farms kept this to a reasonable level.
Layout Features We Like
The practice green and driving range at Whitney Farms are in close proximity to the first tee. It facilitates practice for those of us who generally can’t be bothered or take the Allen Iverson approach to practice. On the other hand, if you haven’t properly conditioned yourself beforehand, you may feel guilty about not taking the opportunity to tune up before teeing off, since it’s too accessible to ignore.
An Ego Boost Right out of the Chute: If your “preferred shot shape” from the tee is left to right (maybe you fade sometimes and slice others), Whitney Farms welcomes you to its 6,256 yard, 131 slope (from the white tees) with open arms. Just pick one of the blue spruces or a similar visual target near the driving range fence and have at it. The fairway on this 391-yard par-4 is perfectly-sloped for your shot shape and you can start your round on a positive note (sledge, wedge, and a makeable birdie putt can really improve your attitude).
... out of 4 GT logo rating
Attempts to be helpful: Every tee box sign at Whitney Farms has some “pro’s tip” advice on it. The one on the 6th, where we grabbed a pic, read, “Tough par-5; Keep Left in the Fairway; Third Shot Favor.” Some may find it similar to reading a fortune cookie or even more useless, but that’s precisely what makes it useful, grasshoppahhh….…Channel your Inner Tracker and figure out how to play the hole on your own. Brilliant!
Greens: We read some negative comments about the greens prior to playing. Pump the brakes on that. June was a challenging month for course maintenance. They were a bit spotty, but it wasn’t a deal breaker. We noticed a large fan behind one of the greens to provide Rockledge-quality drying, so it’s not like the maintenance folks at Whitney Farms are ignoring the greens.
19th: We don’t want to sound like we’re being negative when we say “underwhelming,” but that’s the best way to describe it. The Sand Trap Bar and Grille is kind of a fishbowl. A patio option would’ve been great, but it wasn’t going to happen here.