Course Review: Montaup Country Club – January 13, 2022
I played Montaup Country Club in Portsmouth RI on Thursday (January 13). If you haven’t yet played Montaup, you probably have driven by it. The course is right off Route 138 as you enter Portsmouth and very visible from the highway.
Montaup is semi-private and in my estimation it is the place to play in the colder months to reduce the Southern New England off season. The course management prides themselves as being open year round and my group was able to take advantage of a sunny, dry and reasonably warm Thursday morning.
The tee times are given to members and it is first come / first serve for the public. However, we checked in with a friendly starter at 8:30 AM and were assigned a 9:05 AM tee time right then. We were on the tee at 9:04 AM.
The course seemed busy without being crowded. The pace of play was brisk without being too fast. We completed our round in less than four hours, but were never rushed and never really waited. There are a lot of good things about this course, but place of play is somewhere near the top.
On the first tee, you are very aware of left being an issue as the course borders Anthony Road with very little between you and oncoming vehicles. Fortunately for me, I hit the middle of the fairway and had a regulation par ~ probably my first one on that hole.
The course denotes that the first three holes are some of the most difficult starting holes in Rhode Island. I don’t see it, but I see number one as particularly difficult – unless you hit a long, straight tee shot, you are looking at a layup before the penalty area protecting the front of the green with the road again lurking just left.
The overall layout is interesting and well thought out with the second nine beginning with a par three. As you play the beginning of the second nine and towards the end, you are treated to terrific views of the Mount Hope Bridge, Narragansett Bay and Roger Williams University.
These landmarks can also be seen from the first nine but not as clear. Occasionally those great views come with a strong, cold wind off the water ~ however Thursday was exceptionally calm and sunny. The 18th finishing hole is a little weak and you can be tempted with a driver, but the play is a middle to long iron or hybrid down the middle and a flip wedge to an elevated green.
The green fees are $65 with a cart. The course management certainly seems to be putting money back into the course as the cart paths were new, the conditions were nice and the greens were true – particularly considering we played the course in mid January.
I highly recommend the course and I believe it plays an important role in Rhode Island golf as so many courses are closed this time of year and it certainly does a golfer’s soul good to get out and play when the majority of the other days are not conducive to playing.
Playing at Montaup Country Club in the offseason is a strong reminder that spring is just around the corner.