GREENWICH — The Battenkill Country Club is a public, nine-hole course that was founded in 1925, making it one of the oldest golf courses in the area. The 2,973-yard, par 35 course is aptly named, as it sits right on the banks of the Battenkill River, making for nice scenery, but also a penalty stroke waiting to happen.
The Battenkill is one the rare courses that begins its layout with a par 3. Players get a glimpse of the river behind the first green of the 185-yard hole, requiring a precise swing to start their round.
“The first swing of the day is a 180-yard par 3 down to a hole where, if you hit it over, you’re in the river. If you hit it left, you’re in a bunker and if you hit it right, you’re in a bunker,” head professional Bill Wigand said. “So the best place to miss is short and then chip it on. For the first swing of the day, it’s a daunting task.”
It doesn’t get any easier on the second hole, which Wigand called “the hardest hole relative to par.” A stream dissects the fairway of the 405-yard par 4, leaving golfers with two choices. The more aggressive play is to take out a driver, but a left-to-right slicing shot is a must due to the severe dogleg right. The safer move it to take out an iron or fairway wood and hit it short of the stream. However, that leaves players with about 210 yards into the small green, which is a common feature of the course.
Following the difficult duo to start the round, No. 3 and 4 gives players an opportunity to get a couple of strokes back. The 490-yard, par 5 third hole is pretty open off the tee and reachable in two with a pair of good swings. Then the fourth is a harmless 136-yard par 3.