Course Review: Newport Country Club – June 27, 2022
I got the amazing opportunity to play Newport Country Club earlier this week as part of the Bryant University Presidents Cup tournament.
I didn’t go to Bryant, but a late night text the night before the tournament saying they “needed a fourth” got me in.
Probably, should have checked the weather first, but thankfully, as you will read, it ended up working out.
Newport CC is one of the most historic clubs in all of the world and is one of the five founding clubs of the USGA.
It hosted the first ever U.S. Open, the 1995 U.S. Amateur that Tiger Woods won and the 2006 U.S. Women’s Open that was won by Annika Sorenstam.
In 2024, it will host the U.S. Senior Open, which is exciting.
Needless to say, getting a chance to play it was a thrill.
So when we first arrived, a little after 9 a.m. (10 a.m. shotgun start), it was raining, windy and overall not great.
The carts at Newport don’t have club covers on the back of them, and some of the carts don’t even have roofs so keeping the clubs dry is quite a task. None of them have windshields.
Thankfully, our carts had roofs, so we lucked out there.
We headed into the historic clubhouse to check in, get our gifts and bagged lunch and we were on our way shortly after that.
By the way, the food doesn’t actually come from Newport CC, because the clubhouse does not have kitchen. They have bar and cool bar area, but no kitchen.
Anyway, we started on the 18th hole.
We played from the red tees, but about 60 yards back from where we were and way up on a hill were the “Tiger Tees.”
When Tiger plays, or used to play Newport, those are the tees he used and the tees they used for the U.S. Amateur.
By the way, by this time, the rain had stopped and it was still windy, but not unbearable by any stretch.
It would remain rainless the rest of the day until the very very end when I wanted to run up to the top of the hill and take a picture from the “Tiger Tees.” It started downpouring and it was a race to get inside.
As you would expect, the course was in pristine condition with the greens looking like they had recently been punched, but it had no impact on the putts whatsoever.
If you were in the rough, you were screwed.
It is like a links course in that there is so much fescue and high grass, if you put your ball in the rough, it was really hard to find. You really had to pay attention, even if you were just a few feet off the fairway.
So it was a long day of looking for balls, but we found them most of the time.
And if you were in the rough, it was really hard to get out. So the lesson, don’t go in the rough.
The par-3 fourth hole (I believe) might be the toughest par-3 in the entire state.
For us, it played 242, I don’t remember the wind situation, but 242, and it looks like they could stretch it to 300 yards (or pretty damn close) if they played it all the way back.
“What are you hitting on the par-3?”
On the tenth hole, the par-5, we had kids from the Bryant Golf team hit our drives for us.
Sam Hood hit my ball and I had about 200 yards into the green from the middle of the fairway.
It was great to chat with the Bryant Golf team and looking forward to covering them again next season.
The only “knock” on Newport CC is that you can only see the water on like 2-3 holes.
But, other than that small visual issue, the place lived up to the hype.
After the reception, we took a narrow staircase lined with pictures of Tiger Woods and Annika Sorenstam down to the pro shop I spent my gift certificate on a shirt and hat.
Overall, it was a great day at Newport Country Club.
It concludes a crazy stretch in which I played Wannamoisett, went to The Country Club at Brookline, went to Wannamoisett and played Newport.
I’m lucky to get the opportunity to play and or be at these places.