Birchwood - Connecticut - USA

Birchwood Country Club,
25 Kings Highway South,
Connecticut (CT) 06880,

  • +1 203 221 3280

  • Curtis Angell

  • Orrin Smith

  • Kammy Maxfeldt

The 83-acre property into which Westport Country Club’s eighteen holes were once squeezed was acquired by Birchwood Country Club in 1946. Orrin Smith was then tasked with creating a challenging 9-hole layout to replace the old, restricted course.

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Description: Westport Country Club was acquired by Birchwood Country Club in 1946. Orrin Smith was then tasked with creating a challenging 9-hole layout to replace the old, restricted 18-hole course. Rating: 5 out of 10 Reviews: 1
M. James Ward

Birchwood is amazingly effective in squeezing so much into the 83-acre site it occupies.

The immediate Westport area is packed with plenty of development surrounding the property so getting a meaningful golf connection in such a congested area is a real plus.

The opening hole is a fine start. You head downhill on the dog-leg left starter but the key is securing the correct position because one's approach is well-protected by flanking trees. The opening provided to the green is not especially wide so placement is crucial off the tee.

The par-5 2nd reverses direction and is fairly rudimentary. The key is keeping one's ball on the low side of the green -- those on the left side of the green will face a challenging putt when the pin is cut far right.

The short par-4 3rd is acceptable but hardly memorable. The key would be to update the hole with some sort of fairway bunkering that would place more of a premium when playing from the tee.

The par-3 4th is entertaining. The green sets the adventure because of the way it is angled. Given the likely short club one will use -- there is a real premium on accuracy. When the pin is cut in the deep far right corner it takes real execution to secure the highest reward. The different tee placements can clearly make a major difference because of the varying angles involved and the carry distance one must account for.

The 5th is a fine mid-length par-4. The drive zone moves left and being in the far left corner provides the best angle to the slightly elevated target. The longer the tee shot the greater the need for accuracy to the tapered fairway. The key is keeping your ball below the hole because missing left ensures hard work to secure par given the pitch of the green.

The 6th is the most demanding of the two-shot holes. Going uphill mandates a healthy connection between power and placement. There is a fairway but its quite finicky on shots accepted. The green is a bit raised so you have to take enough club to get to the back pin locations.

The par-3 7th and the par-4 8th are located in the far corner of the property. The 7th is a quality hole with flanking bunkers but it's hardly in the memorable category. The 8th, on the other hand, is the most visually compelling hole. The terrain slides slightly left and a bit downhill before climbing to the green. Just be sure not to get one's ball beyond the cup.

The finale is a par-5 that again features an elevated target. Strong hitters may get there in two shots but for the bulk off players the key is having the proper yardage for the 3rd shot wedge approach.

Birchwood has its moments and, as stated at the outset, doing it on a very small amount of acreage is laudable. The bar for compelling golf in Connecticut is rightfully high and while Birchwood does not merit recognition at the highest of levels it still demonstrates how a fun golf experience can be accomplished.

March 09, 2022
5 / 10
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