Seasons Magazines

Seasons Magazines

Golf Is Never a Swing and Miss

By Dennis House


In Connecticut, we Nutmeggers love our UConn basketball, hot-buttered lobster rolls and New Haven pizza. You know what else we love? Golf.

There are more than 120 golf courses in our great state and the biggest sporting event in the land of steady habits is the Travelers Championship, attended by nearly 300,000 people every summer. According to golf writers who apparently count golf courses, Connecticut has 123 places to play golf in our great state.

Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to play at many courses across Connecticut from the small nine-hole Buena Vista in West Hartford to the TPC River Highlands in Cromwell. When my golf game falls apart, I can always find some solace in the beautiful scenery. I also try to dip into my collection of golf pants to wear something that will distract people so they won’t see my shots that end up in the trees. Our state is home to some spectacular courses that showcase the mountains of the Litchfield Hills to the idyllic shoreline. Yale University is home to what is regarded as the country’s best college golf course.

Cities and towns have been investing in their courses. My son and I recently checked out the awesome Stanley Golf Course in New Britain, featuring a state-of-the-art driving range that we absolutely love.

I’m an average golfer—terrible some days, not bad on others. Every so often, I get that stunning show that persuades me from hanging up my clubs for good and hit the links again. Last year, I nearly got a hole-in-one at the Hartford Healthcare tournament at the Hartford Golf Club as the ball dropped mere inches from the hole. I was in a foursome with attorney Brooke Goff, who can verify this. Just the year before I witnessed a hole-in-one on the same hole, sunk by my boss, WTNH General Manager Rich Graziano. He was thrilled and it was a thrill to witness.

Golf is great exercise and is one of the few sports you can play from childhood to your 90s. It’s also an opportunity to meet people; you never know who that person will be. Years ago, I was golfing with a buddy of mine. We were paired with the late ESPN legend Stuart Scott and his friend. It was the first time I’d met this sportscasting legend. I’ve been in foursomes with dozens of amazing people over the years and I’ve learned a few golf tricks from them.

Golf is so popular in our state that I think it has tremendous potential to spur new business. I have an idea for a developer. A few years ago, while on a jog through Grant Park in Chicago, I came across an amazing miniature golf course where each hole had a tiny replica of Windy City landmarks. How cool would it be to have something like this in downtown Hartford with people putting towards a diminutive Travelers Tower and petite state capitol building?

Another thought? Bring a Top Golf to our state. The family and I went to one in suburban Phoenix. It was fun…and packed.

The best thing about golf in Connecticut is the philanthropy aspect of it. Led by the Travelers Championship, which in 2023 donated $3 million dollars to 180 non-profits in our state, other charities either benefit or host tournaments to raise money. It’s a great privilege for me to emcee the Petit Family Golf tournament every June. I invite you to join me for the Denise D’Ascenzo Foundation tournament on September 17 at the newly refurbished Wethersfield Country Club, which was home of the Travelers Championship back when it was known as the Insurance City Open, another chapter in Connecticut’s rich golf history.


Dennis House has been covering the news in Connecticut for 31 years. He can be seen weeknights at 6 and 11 p.m. on WTNH and at 10 p.m. on WCTX. He also hosts “This Week in Connecticut” Sunday mornings at 10 a.m.