From the moment you drive onto the grounds of the Golf Club at Turner Turner in Ipswich, Ma. and catch a glimpse of the stately Elizabethan mansion (it’s been used as the backdrop for several movies) that sits grandly behind the 17th green, you know this is a special place. It is destined to take a place among the area’s venerable Boston area facilities such as The Country Club, Salem Country Club and Myopia Hunt Club, but with a decided New Age, family feel to it.
The club’s owners are busy renovating the mansion and plan to undertake similar restoration projects on several other historic buildings on the property, which will further enhance the aristocratic air that floats about the club.
Spanning 7,021 yards, Turner Hill Golf Club’s course was designed by Hurzdan/Fry. The challenging, yet fair track features lush, ample fairways, some water and strategic bunkering. The club also offers estate living, and the residences at Turner Hill are located on the former Rice Estate.
The fourth hole, a monstrous 241-yard par-three that plays uphill, is one of the most demanding short holes in the region. The 10th, a 164-yard par-three that plays downhill 35 feet from the tee box, is another great, albeit very different short hole. The tee shot must carry a pond and find a green protected by bunkers.
The dramatic par-four 12th plays 135 yards downhill from the tee box, and the 17th hole, another super par-four, has an approach shot that plays to a large green that sits below the mansion.
BULLS BRIDGE GOLF CLUB
Bulls Bridge Golf Club in Kent, Ct. is visually one of the most stunning golf courses in the state
Tucked in the verdant hills of northwest corner of Connecticut the Tom Fazio masterpiece features a charming clubhouse, with the Adirondack-style building housing a pro shop, a lounge and bar, and dining area.
For its members, Bull’s Bridge is a place where they can escape work and immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the area, as well as feast on the Fazio layout. It’s the well-known golf course architect’s only work in Connecticut. There are no tee times at Bull’s Bridge and peak play on the weekends sees only 60 to 100 rounds, making playing 18 holes a pleasure.
Eventually, plans are for the construction of a new clubhouse that will sit on a bluff overlooking the rolling hills of western Litchfield County. The current clubhouse will be turned into the first of several cottages where members will be able to bring family and guests for overnight stays. There are also plans for a short game practice area.
- The course is a challenging routing that has severe elevation changes. There are a number of magnificent holes. Right from the first tee, Fazio used the terrain to create majestic, sweeping vistas from the tee boxes. The first hole is a long par-five that plays downhill to a green guarded by bunkers and a pond to the right.
Number two is equally as stunning. It’s only 322 yards from the back markers and drops dramatically from tee to green, with big hitters having a shot at reaching the putting surface from the tee box.
The course then winds among some 390 acres of mature woodlands, fields filled with wildflowers and past rock outcroppings before it climbs up a steep hill to finish the front nine with a 400-yard par-four that calls for a tee shot across a natural area and finally to an elevated green.
Perhaps the most photographed hole on the course is the 204-yard, par-three 12th. The tee shot must be struck precisely to avoid a natural area in front of the green and woods to the left and right.
The Golf Club at Turner Hill
Bull’s Bridge Golf Club