One of Connecticut's best and most scenic courses, Shorehaven Golf Club in Norwalk hosts the 2020 Connecticut Amateur. A wonderful site for championship golf, Shorehaven hosted the CSGA's Senior Amateur in 2018 (won by Ray Underwood) and will host the Connecticut Open in 2024 when the club celebrates its centennial.
Shorehaven has a history of both hosting and nurturing great golf. Though not long, at 6550, par 71, it has been home to some of the state’s best players, including the late Hall of Fame member Jerry Courville, Sr., who won each of the three majors, the Senior, the Amateur, and the Open, and Tommy McDonagh, who won the Amateur in 2006 and 2011. The two previous Amateurs Shorehaven hosted, in 1960 and 1980, were both won by Hall of Famers: Dick Siderowf and Fred Kask, respectively. Siderowf also won the 1959 Open here.
Designed by the Scottish architect Robert White, also responsible for Silver Spring Country Club in Ridgefield, Shorehaven is beautiful, but beguiling, especially when the winds blow off of the adjacent Long Island Sound and its lush rough is up. The course’s par 3s are its pillars. Three are long. All are difficult. The shortest of the threes at 170 yards, No. 2 plays to a severely elevated, plateau green, often with wind blowing tee shots sideways. There is no room for error. The fifth plays down from an elevated tee and is the longest at 232 yards. The 13th crosses level ground, but is a hefty 224 yards, and the 17th, a gorgeous hole that looks out onto the Sound, often plays into those winds. Shorehaven’s par 5s are gettable, especially for the Amateur’s young long hitters, but its par 4s, long and short, are made challenging by deceptively difficult greens. It is a great match play course, finishing with a reachable par 5, a tough par 3 and an uphill par 4.
Matches can, and often do, turn on those holes. In short, Defending Champion Rick Dowling and his fellow competitors will have their hands full.