The Country Club of Waterbury can trace its origins back to 1899, when a local man named Arthur Fenn laid out a 9-hole course for the Waterbury Golf Association. Within a decade of its formation, the club was transformed into The Country Club of Waterbury.
After acquiring additional land in 1927, the club invited Donald Ross to design an 18-hole layout for the membership, using a combination of ground already in use along with the newly purchased acreage. By the end of the following year, this layout was brought into play.
Feature holes include the 453-yard, left doglegged 2nd (described by 5-time state amateur champion Dick Siderowft as “the best par four in the state”) and the 427-yard 13th, where water threatens the tee shot and a false front to the green repels imprecise approach shots.
Sandwiched between the golf-rich behemoths of Massachusetts and New York, Connecticut’s spectrum of architecturally significant courses pales in comparison to its neighbors. Despite this lack of famous layouts, plenty of Nutmeg State golf clubs showcase captivating, rolling properties that are perfect for the game. When notable designers did route courses, they took advantage of this compelling natural terrain.
Donald Ross’s work at the Country Club of Waterbury is a fine example of this architectural style. Building the course over a quirky landscape, Ross managed to fit 18 thoughtful holes into a unique V-shaped property. Ross maximized strategic interest not by bulldozing, but by highlighting the distinctive features of the topography. One standout hole is the 7th, with a green that appears to fall into a small rock-outcropped pit. Another is the par four 10th which includes a massive, grass-covered mound that completely cuts off the fairway.
The Country Club of Waterbury favors no one type of player, and it is impossible to get comfortable at any point in the round. A hole may require aerial target shots over creeks and ponds, and also force the player to consider the steeply sloping topography of the ground. This variety is essential for sustained playability, and it is a key reason why the course continues to stand the test of time.
CT has a number of very nice Country Clubs. I had the chance to play Waterbury and didn't have high expectations. I was wrong. It's a solid course from every angle. Great shape. Green complexes are challenging. Great mix of holes. It blends in perfectly with the rolling terrain. The first hole is maybe my favorite, It's perched on a high plateau with the clubhouse immediately behind and your first shot shoots off into the deep valley beneath you. One of the most welcoming staffs. Get there if you can, you'll enjoy it. I might push it up a click or two in CT. But top 10 for sure close to top 5.