Bretwood is a very nicely maintained course with an interesting mix of holes. It features two courses, North and South, both of which snake back and forth along the Ashuelot river.
In the spring or during heavy rainfall periods,such as June of this year, the river overflows its banks and affects play along the course, more so on the North than South layout. When the water recedes, the dead swaths of grass remain for a few weeks to a month before new grass regrows in place. The staff seems committed to rehabbing these areas, as evidenced last week by the presence of grass seed on many of the brown spots.
Tee boxes are always in great shape and the fairways are typically very nice too. The greens are fairly large, cut daily, and roll very nicely. Many holes feature traps to the left and right of the greens and a solid chipping game is a must if you are not hitting greens. It is a very "fair" course off the tee with lots of holes on both courses where driver is the play off the tee, but also quite a few that require precision too.
The blue tees club out at about 6400 yards and present a bit more challenge for average golfers who can hit it in the 80s or 90s.
North Course Highlights:
6th hole -- an elevated tee shot to a narrow fairway framed on the left by a long skinny pond and on the right by a line of trees. Accurate tee shot a must.
13th hole -- Bretwood's signature hole, which is more or less an island green, with water along the front and left of the green. Plays about 125 to 130 from the blues.
17th hole -- par 5. Plays frequently with the prevailing breeze. A good tee shot to the right of the barn leaves 250 or so in to the green. If you really tag your drive you can attempt to reach the green in two, but beware the bunkers.
South Course Highlights:
1st hole -- very reachable par 5.
10th hole -- reachable par 5. Play a driver and cut it over the sand traps and you have somewhere between 175 and 150 into the green. If the pin is up, this may be the eagle hole you have been waiting for.
16th hole -- dramatic down hill par 3 with water front right.
17th hole -- jurassic park hole with water all down the left side. Driver over the bunker flirts with water if you pull it but rewards with a manageable shot into the green if you pull it off.
A medical school colleague showed me this course 5-10 years ago, and it instantly became one of my favorites. All 36 holes are unique and challenging, and the river comes into play on at least half of them. It's the type of course where, after you finish your round, you can recall every single hole. I prefer the South course, it's a little more interesting. It's a bit of an unknown gem. Alot of golfers I talk with have never heard of it.
We've got a tradition where about 16-20 of us meet up there one day every summer and play 36-54 holes. One of the highlights of the summer. Maybe the only day of the year where i don't mind waking up at 4am.
And at $70 for 54 holes with a cart... it's a great value too.