I have often thought that if I had a career in insurance (Aetna, Cigna, The Hartford) or aerospace (Pratt & Whitney, Hamilton Sundstrand, Kaman) and had to fly often to Hartford, CT, for meetings, I would have brought my golf clubs. Within just 10 miles of Bradley International Airport are three outstanding public golf courses, two of which I have reviewed here – Keney Park in Hartford and Gillette Ridge in Bloomfield. (I consider myself lucky to live within 20 minutes of each course.) ...

        I think of a “typical” Florida golf course as flat with lots of sand and water, most of those hazards ornamental rather than in play. Given the flat and sandy landscape of much of Florida, course designers have pretty much a blank canvas on which to route their holes. But, of course, they are artists for hire and, therefore, give their patrons what they want. Member-run golf courses in the Sunshine State are typically more challenging than the municipal layouts, ...

        My return to Simsbury Farms after a couple of years away brought back long-buried memories, mostly pleasant. The only unpleasant memory was lining up in the Simsbury, CT, course’s pro shop at 6:30 a.m. on Thursday mornings in 1984 to secure a tee time for the weekend. My wife and I had just moved to town from New York City and, on my way to work that first year, I would stop at the pro shop and wait in line for a Saturday tee-time as the pro alternated between ...

If you have played enough golf, especially in New England, every hole at Crestview Country Club in Agawam, MA, will look familiar: doglegs left and right, even a double dog leg par 5, and medium length par 3s with slightly elevated greens, all fairways lined with trees — pretty much dense forests on one side, formerly planted and now mature hard wood trees on the other side with a bit of space in between.  The golf course straddles the Massachusetts and Connecticut borders, which puts ...

A golf course you play for the first time that features blind tee shots is rarely fun.  Mountain courses especially – I am thinking about you, Mount Snow in Vermont – will do some crazy things with your golf ball once it flies over a hill and out of sight.    When I was looking for a golf course to play on my way home to Connecticut from South Carolina about a decade ago, I found that the Neuse Golf Club in Clayton, NC, was not far off my route.  I checked out the Neuse ...

Play at Champlain Country Club in Swanton, VT, is an all-day event, but not because play is slow; after a half dozen rounds there over the years, I have never played in more than four hours.  You can spend the better part of a day at Champlain enjoying 18 holes of golf, which always tends to lead to a post-round libation or two which more than likely then leads into lunch or dinner.  The food is very good, and at dinner time you will share the dining room with locals in non-golfing ...

Bloomfield, CT's Gillette Ridge Golf Club opened in 2004 to major criticism.  The Arnold Palmer layout was just too difficult for the average public golfer.  It was so tough that after a few years, the Palmer group was called back to soften it up.  Course managers had decided that Gillette Ridge's survival was a matter largely of removing some of the treachery around the greens, specifically the parade of bunkers that made greens in regulation nearly ...
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Now on Sale

glorious back nine bookcover

  • The only book about golf communities in the last 10 years.
  • 156-page step-by-step guide to finding your dream golf home.
  • Info on nearly 100 golf communities the author has visited.
  • Paperback version costs less than a sleeve of Pro VIs.

Here is what the experts are saying:

“The book is chocked full of information…applicable to anyone looking for a move to the Southeast regardless of whether they are looking for a golf community or not.” — John LaFoy, golf architect (Linville Ridge CC, CC of Charleston, The Neuse GC)

“Larry has done a tremendous amount of work and anyone — like me — who is looking to search for a golf home now or in a few years needs this book.” — Brad Chambers, golf blogger, ShootingYourAge.com

“Wow!  What a thorough piece of work…a must for anyone moving South. This book will help many people.” — Brett Miller, owner and founder of MMA, Inc, a golf industry consultancy

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Our Mission

The cart paths to golf courses we all know well, even if we have never set foot on the first tee there, are well worn. They are Pebble Beach, the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island, some of the Pinehurst Resort courses and other heralded and well-trafficked layouts (where green fees can be as much as 10 times the price of a lesser known but highly playable muni). Think of Off The Beaten Cart Path courses as those that will surprise and delight you, no matter where they are. You just may have never heard of them. 

Please help us add to the list of terrific yet largely unheralded golf courses.

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     Dreaming of a vacation home on a golf course?  How about a forever home a short walk to the first tee?  For 15 years, I have helped golfers find their perfect home on the course.  If you would like some recommendations that match your preferences for a golf home, please click here, fill out our Golf Home Questionnaire, and I will get back to you in a few days with some ideas.  By the way, it’s free.
Larry Gavrich,