When I look back at my round, it's hard for me to believe Richter Park is a municipal golf course. This daily fee course is located just minutes over the New York border off I-84 in Danbury, Connecticut. Richter Park is a challenging course set on West Lake Reservoir and Boggs Pond.
The Richter Park website describes the layout as "rolling terrain" but I'll be more direct, this course is "hilly". Set on 180 acres of land, only a handful of holes on the golf course offer no elevation change. Club selection is key with the elevation changes and if you are someone who walks golf courses, this isn't a bad place to take a cart.
Richter Park Golf Course: The Course
When I look back at my round the first thing that comes to mind is the layout. I played the White Tees which make the course 6,304 yards and have a rating/slope of 71.6/136. The use of elevation changes forced me to be extra diligent in my club selection and with water coming into play on 14 of 18 holes, the opportunity to lose a golf ball is evident.
If it's your first time playing here, like it was mine, you will run into problems with blind shots. Like most course with elevation changes, you're treated to some incredible views from the elevated tee boxes and fairways but will also be required to hit shots based on faith. Even the purchase of the yardage book for $3 couldn't save my tee shot on the 8th hole, a short par 4 with hazard along the left.
My Three Favorite Holes at Richter Park Golf Course
#3. The 5th Hole, 170 Yard, Par 3: When you're playing the first hole, glance to your right and you'll see the 5th but there isn't much to it. A tee box, a cart path, and the green. This 170 yard par 3 is all carry over water to a two-tier green. A pin placement in the back right will be guarded by a deep bunker. A tee shot landing on the green may offer a momentary sigh of relief but if you're not on the same level as the pin, you'll have a tough putt.
#2. The 11th Hole, 367 Yard, Par 4: For some reason this hole stuck in my mind. An elevated tee shot to a narrow fairway makes you think about club selection. I went with iron and was rewarded with a short iron approach shot. Hitting the fairway is only part of the challenge the green is guarded by a pond in front. Don't let the beauty of this hole distract you, pick the right clubs!
#1. The 8th Hole, 308 Yard, Par 4: I had two penalty strokes during my round. One was on the 7th hole and one was on the 8th. Still, the 8th hole was my favorite. While the blind tee shot is frustrating, an iron into the fairway (stay to the right!) leaves a wedge to a small green guarded by the lake. Elevation change from fairway to green requires precise club selection since being long offers no reward (although it's better than short). As you reach the end of the fairway, enjoy the view. In my opinion, it's the best on the golf course.
To say I was impressed by Richter Park Golf Course may be an understatement. I enjoyed the challenge, the scenery and the layout of this hidden gem in Connecticut . Now that I'm aware of the blind shots I'm looking forward to going back here and seeing if I can improve my score. I also think it would be a great course to play in the fall as the leaves are changing for the season.
Location: Danbury, Connecticut
Rating/Slope: 71.6/136 (3 other sets of tees available)
Practice Facility: A small driving range and places to putt
My Score: 84 (43-41)
Play Again: Yes, this public course is worth playing.
Website: Richter Park Golf Course
*Note: There was clearly some damage on a few greens due to the harsh winter. They had letters posted from the superintendent to make you aware of it prior to teeing off. Hopefully this is fixed soon.