Newport Country Club Course Review
Newport Country Club was founded in 1893 and is one of the founding 5 members of the United States Golf Association and is one of the most historical courses in the United States. The course sits on the southernmost part of Newport, Rhode Island. As you turn off onto the property, the first thing you see is the grand old clubhouse built by Whitney Warren in 1895. It over looks Brenton Point to the south and the ocean breeze often plays a roll in shot making here and you will often get the morning fog delay during the early spring season. The inside of the clubhouse is just as grand as the outside, it has amazing architecture that has stood the test of time.
I played the course with the Donald Ross Society, it was a incredible experience to play a course that has had a part to play in the evolution of golf in the United States and one that has so much historical significance. I can remember watching Tiger Woods win the US Am on TV here but would never thought I would get a chance to play such an exclusive course, that the US Presidents play in their free time.
A couple of the big names have their hand in building the course Donald Ross first expanded the course to 18 holes and in 1923 A.W. Tillinghast completely remodeled the course. Newport has hosted the first US Open as well as the first US Amateur in 1895. The US amateur trophy is name after Newport Country Club’s co-founder and first USGA president Theodore Havemeyer.
Unfortunately we played the course under foggy conditions on the front 9 so the pictures aren’t all that clear or non existent because of too much fog. The golf season is just getting under way at the time we play mid May so the rough was still growing in. Overall the course was great, the bunkering is definitely in style with what we have seen in a US Open over the last 10 years and this course could most likely host a US Open, there’s lots of open space for grandstands and walking areas here. Who knows maybe we’ll see the US Open return here one day.
1st Hole – Par 5 – 480 yds – a nice downhill hole at 480 yds bunkers guard the left and right side of the fairway to catch any stray drives. The green is set up atop a hill 15 ft above the fairway there are bunkers left and right at the green.
2nd Hole – Par 4 – At 390 yds it is a birdie hole, bunkers guard both side of this wide fairway, a good example of Tillinghast at work here is the deep bunker located 50 yds from the green.
3rd Hole – Par 4 345yds another birdie hole here a drive down the left will leave with the best angle into the hole, deep bunkers surround this green on all sides five in total.
4th Hole – Par 3 242 yds this hole plays difficult no matter what conditions you play it in. This hole is set parallel to the ocean so you can almost always expect a cross wind off the ocean. Bunkers are located at the green and back 75 yrds towards the tee to catch any shot not offline. There is a generous run up area to this green if your ball doesn’t have the distant just avoid those deep bunkers.
5th Hole – par 4 451yds – The best tee shot here is carry the bunker on the left setting up a straight shot into the green. The fairway has a set fairway bunkers that jut out into the fairway at two locations one 50 yds short of the green and the other two about 100-125 yds out. These bunkers are well placed for any tee shots that might find the rough or fairway bunkers.
6th Hole – par 4 418 yds – A good tee shot here is left short of both fairway bunkers leaving you with a mid iron to the green. Any tee shots catching the bunkers or rough have to contend with a bunker crossing the fairway 40 yds short of the green. Shots hit to the back of the green will roll back towards the middle of the green as a result of a backboard slope.
7th Hole – par 5 596 yds The longest hole on the golf course a good tee shot here is short of the fairway bunkers left and right setting up a second shot over the giant bunker reminiscent of a Cardinal Hole or Alps bunker at Prestwick. The green is guarded on all sides by deep bunkering the best play here is to leave your ball below the hole.
8th Hole – par 3 194 yds This hole is guarded by 5 bunkers around the green, the easiest recovery from an errant shot is right as the left side of the green slope to the right making the green side bunker next to impossible to get close to a pin on the left.
9th Hole – par 4 464 yds This a great strategic hole the longer hitters can carry the fairway bunker on the right leaving them with a straight look into the green, for everyone else the aiming point is at the left bunker. The second shot is up to a green set on a plateau, take an extra club for the slope. This a great finishing hole for a major championship as there is ample room on the left for grandstands and you finish in view of the grand clubhouse.
10th Hole par 5 572 yds This par 5 is played from the top of the hill into a low area both the tee shot and second shot have strategic bunkers placed on either side. The green itself is fairly small but is a perfect size for a par 5 green.
11th Hole par 4 298 yds This hole is a great example of a risk reward hole. The safest shot is to leave your ball near the left fairway bunker. The more aggressive golfer will take on the bunker on the right leaving a huge fairway. The player going for the green will have to contend with huge bunker right of the green and anything to the left of green slope away to the right. The best aiming point is at the left green side bunker.
12th Hole Par 4 463 yds This is one of the longer Par 4’s at Newport, no real trouble off the tee here, your second shot will be played with a long iron to a smallish green guarded by bunkers left and right of the green.
13th Hole Par 3 166 yds This uphill par 3 has a total of 6 bunkers around the green. This hole as a golden era golf feel to it. The green itself is large and excepts most shots. Watch out for the deep bunkers that surround the green if you happen to get into these getting up and down will be a good score.
14th Hole Par 3 209 yds This hole is a downhill scenic long par 3. Players must avoid the front left bunker and the steep hill on the left just past the bunker. The green is large and shots played to the right will filter towards the middle of the green.
15th Hole Par 4 444 yds The tee shot is played 30ft above the fairway and the hole doglegs right, longer players can cut the corner by aiming over the 2 bunkers located on the right side of the fairway. This green is guarded by two bunkers left and a fairway bunker the juts out into the fairway 25 yds from the green.
16th Hole Par 4 359 yds This shortish hole is a definite birdie hole, there is ample fairway between the two bunkers located on the left of the fairway, players will be faced with a short iron second shot over a small water inlet that cuts the fairway away near the green.
17th Hole Par 4 455 yds The best shot on this hole will hug the right side of the fairway for the best angle into the green. Your second shot is played over 3 fairway bunkers that impede your view of the green. Its better to lay up short of these bunkers if you get into trouble with your tee shot that risk trying to play over or through them.
18th Hole Par 4 420 yds. This hole is a shorter dogleg left, players will want to stay down the left for the best angle and shortest shot. The green is perched up on a hill 20ft above the fairway and the green itself is tiered, players must get their ball onto the right tier for the best chance at birdie. This hole finishes right behind the scenic clubhouse giving it a amphitheater atmosphere.