Course Name: Short Beach Golf Course
Designer: Geoffrey Cornish/Brian Silva (1988)
Location: Stratford, Connecticut
History: Designed by Geoffrey Cornish and Brian Silva, Short Beach opened in 1988 and is owned by the town of Stratford.
Conditions: 6/10, While the fairways and teeboxes are a bit scruffy, the greens and bunkers are pretty decent at Short Beach, and these are the most important things for an executive course.
Value: 6/10, For $18 and even cheaper for residents, Short Beach offers a relatively inexpensive round for the area.
Tee Par Yardage Rating Slope
Blue 27 1354 N/A N/A
White 27 1289 N/A N/A
Red 27 1153 N/A N/A
Hole Descriptions: At just over 1354 yards, Short Beach is a decent executive course located directly on the Connecticut coastline. With sea winds always in play, these holes range between 98 and 230 yards from the Blue Tees, necessitating golfers use multiple different clubs during their round. Credit to Silva and Cornish as well for some interesting greens, which ensure the challenge is not over when you reach the putting surface. This is definitely a course I’d return to for some iron practice if I were in the area.
The 1st hole is a straightaway 135 yard par 3 with a large green and no real danger besides a bunker short right. An easy opener, the most difficult thing about this hole is the green, which overall slopes back-to-front with numerous internal contours.
The 2nd hole is another fairly bland par 3 running straightforward again with no danger besides a right bunker. At 172 yards, this hole is longer and features numerous humps on a large green.
Short Beach grows much more interesting with the 3rd hole, a tricky 98 yard one-shotter. Perhaps unintentionally, this hole is blind from the teebox due to tall reeds you must carry the entire way to reach this shallow green also defended by two bunkers short and one long. Keep an eye on where this pin is as you walk the 2nd fairway, as this green is very wide and slopes right-to-left with three tiers.
The 4th hole plays very similarly to the first two as another straightforward par 3 at 175 yards in the same direction. With a parking lot to the far left and bunker right, this green slopes back-to-front with numerous plateaus as well.
The 5th is the most memorable and best hole on the course as an 102 yard par 3 facing the Long Island Sound. Although short, this beautiful hole features a back-to-front sloped green surrounded by four bunkers left, long, and right.
The 6th hole runs back inland as an 145 yard one-shotter over water. This hole requires a carry the entire way, as bunkers also line short on either side of a green that slopes left-to-right with numerous humps. You can’t miss long left, or a slope will carom you into the marshes.
At 230 yards, the 7th hole is the longest par 3 at Short Beach and is a pleasant surprise for those expecting a course for short irons only. With a forced carry of 120 yards over marshland, this hole requires a strong wood or long iron to a relatively flat green defended by a bunker short right.
The 8th hole is a relatively bland 162 yard par 3 with no danger besides a bunker just left of a large, undulating green.
At 135 yards, the closing hole is a nice par 3 playing over marshland and two bunkers short. This tricky green features two tiers and slopes steadily back-to-front.
General Comments: A short course on a small property, Short Beach offers limited practice facilities with a practice green and small pitching range by the 1st hole. Pace of play was strong when I played and I imagine this is a course you could play a quick round.
Verdict: With good variety and interesting greens in a pretty setting, Short Beach is one of the better executive courses I’ve played and is a good place for practice or novices learning the game.