Goodwin Park Golf Course Named 2023 Walter Lowell Public Golf Course Distinguished Service Award Recipient

SOUTH GLASTONBURY, Conn. (May 4, 2023) – Goodwin Park Golf Course located in Hartford, Conn., has been selected by the Connecticut Section PGA to receive the 2023 Walter Lowell Public Golf Course Distinguished Service Award.

The award is presented annually by the Section to a public golf course for their dedication, promotion, advancement, and accessibility to the game of golf. Goodwin Park will be honored at the annual Walter Lowell PGA Tournament on Tuesday, May 30, at Pequabuck Golf Course in Terryville, Conn.

“The City of Hartford’s Goodwin Park is one of the oldest municipal golf courses in Connecticut,” said Bob Sparks, President of the Connecticut Section PGA. “The recent improvements in the past several years have restored the golf course and reinvigorated the surrounding community. Goodwin’s programming for golfers of all abilities and backgrounds is exactly what this award is all about.”

In 1906 a nine-hole golf course was laid out upon a meadow in the newly founded Goodwin Park, followed by another nine holes in 1911. Before an additional 9-holes were built in 1927, the land served as an emergency landing field for airplanes during World War II. In its current state the golf course features an 18-hole, 6015-yard South Course, and the 9-hole North Course, also known as the “flat nine,” for the enjoyment of golfers of all skill levels.

During the Spring of 2014, the City of Hartford contracted the Connecticut Section PGA to serve as the consultants to help restore the course operations to its heyday. Under guidance and restoration of its original design, the course returned to excellent conditions and customer service. Goodwin Park offers excellent opportunity to play golf at a quick pace and learn the game.

“The City of Hartford is ecstatic with being the recipient of this prestigious honor,” said City of Hartford Golf Operations Manager Bill Rosenblum. “Our golf contractors over the last several years all hold a piece in the success of Goodwin Golf Course. “Now, with First Tee – Connecticut at the helm it really brings to fruition the vision of making Goodwin Park a hub of inclusion, community involvement and growing the game within the youth of Hartford. And we would be remiss if we didn’t recognize the outstanding job the team at Guilmette Golf have done in restoring the excellent conditions that have made the course a joy to play.”

First Tee – Connecticut Executive Director Mark Moriarty stated, “This award is a tremendous honor for our entire team at Goodwin Park Golf Course, and at First Tee – Connecticut, because it recognizes our ongoing efforts to provide broad and diverse opportunities for entry into the game of golf. We are proud to continue serving the Hartford community by providing opportunities for all who wish to explore the game.”

“Goody”, as it is affectionately known as, hosts nearly 40,000 rounds a year in addition to outside events such as the Hartford Women’s Open and the Greater Hartford Amateur Championship, which has been played at Goodwin since 1963.

Growing the game and providing access to a multitude of backgrounds and programs has been a highlight of the facility. Programs such as, Golfers in Motion (an organization for individuals with amputations), US Kids Golf, PGA HOPE (introduces golf to veterans and active-duty military to enhance their physical, mental, social, and emotional well-being), High School and Collegiate golf teams and the Connecticut Latinas Women’s Golf Team which is open to all women looking to learn the game of golf.

In February 2022, First Tee – Connecticut became Golf Operators of Goodwin Park Golf Course. This relationship with the Hartford has allowed First Tee – Connecticut to build on its already strong relationships with the Boys and Girls Club of Hartford, Covenant Prep, Community Partners in Action, Grace Academy, Hartford’s Camp Courant, Hartford Police Activity League, and Hartford Public Schools to grow programming and introduce more people to golf.

Since 2001, the Walter Lowell Public Golf Course Distinguished Service Award has honored a public golf course in the Section, in recognition of their dedication to the promotion of the game of golf. The award was inaugurated in honor of the Canton Golf Course for the standards it set serving the community and providing playing opportunities for all those who want to play and learn the game.