EXCLUSIVE: The Rebirth of Metacomet – Met Links

A nine hole golf course will open “sometime in 2024” on the property formerly known as Metacomet Golf Club in East Providence. 

The course will not be called Metacomet, but Met Links. 

“We certainly wanted to pay homage to Metacomet, the Tribal history, the name of the course. So Met Links seemed to be a contemporary spin on Metacomet,” said Robert McNeil, President and Principal Architect at the Northeast Golf Company, in an exclusive interview with GolfNewsRI. 

Metacomet PHOTO: Paul Work

Northeast Golf Company will begin work in June and that will take three to four months, so be done by August or September. 

Everything will grow in and the course will be set to play in 2024. There is no exact opening date at this point. 

Met Links Hole-by-Hole

NGC Involvement 

After being purchased by Marshall Properties, Metacomet closed its doors for good in September of 2020 and since then there has been plenty of talk about what is going to happen to the property.  

McNeil unveiled that a golf course, in some form, was always going to be part of the plan. 

“We (Northeast Golf Company) came on board about eight months ago. We were contacted to explore what this could be, what are the possibilities. We kept going back to the history of the property and looked at what can we keep, what can we restore, reimagine and recapture in the historical Ross concept of the golf course. We put a lot of holes on paper, a lot of different variations. What we have now is a nine hole regulation golf course on essentially the front nine of Metacomet,” said McNeil. 

Northeast Golf Company is rerouting the course, fixing up some bunkers and more.

Once the course opens, NGC will also help put a staff in place to manage it.

Back 9, Front 9, Clubhouse 

As GolfNewsRI reported, Metacomet’s back nine greens were ripped up and sold to Brae Burn Country Club in November of 2021. 

McNeil says that Northeast Golf Company was able to save five additional greens, as well as, the practice putting green. However, Metacomet’s original back nine is gone. 

Metacomet’s greens were torn up PHOTO: Joe Calabro/GolfNewsRI

As for the new nine holes, Northeast Golf Company was given space for seven holes. 

So essentially, they had to fit nine holes in a seven hole frame, meaning some rerouting had to be done. 

“We had old members in mind when we were developing the final routing. How can we make what’s there as good as it could be,” said McNeil.  

In March of 2021, GolfNewsRI got exclusive drone video of the Metacomet clubhouse being destroyed. 

PHOTO: GolfNewsRI Drone

McNeil says that a new clubhouse being built is probably a year or two away. 

“In all likelihood, at the beginning of the program here, there is going to be some type of temporary structure that can place hold as a clubhouse, pro shop, check in point, cart storage area etc… All that is going to be handled mobily from day one and then once the build out of the broader development happens, the clubhouse will be built into that development. Probably a year or two away.” 

There is still some permitting and things going on, but the final plans for the course are set and work will begin in about a month. 

McNeil concludes, “Stay positive about Metacomet because it is going to be special. It’s not a negative story anymore. It’s a positive story now, an exciting opportunity for everyone to walk away from the past and look forward to the future of what this property is going to be.”  

Other Notes & Tidbits 

McNeil on working with Marshall Properties: 

“They have been awesome, it’s been great. I can tell you that they have been committed to this golf course and this property from day one. We are dealing with Paul Pisano who is their VP of Development and he has been the biggest cheerleader for this golf course. They hired Paul Jamrog, who was the Superintendent there years ago, they brought him back. We have a great team that’s very excited about what we are going to do out there.“

Met Links & Junior Golf 

“Course will be available for juniors. We want to integrate into the East Providence/Providence market and the school systems there. It will be good enough to handle any of those kind of events.” 


  • Great article, Joe. Keep Metacomet Green is still battling after three long years to preserve the entire property as a park and/or hybrid park and municipal golf course. That said, we appreciate Mr. McNeil’s respect for the history of this iconic course. I must take exception with one of his comments, though, on working with Marshall Properties: “They have been awesome, it’s been great. I can tell you that they have been committed to this golf course and this property from day one.” He obviously hasn’t been involved in this matter as long as we have, but Marshall definitely has not been committed from day one. It was only due to KMG’s intense public advocacy campaign that Marshall “sweetened the pot” for rezoning by pledging to retain the 9 holes perpetually as a public golf course or public open space. No one should be misled that this was always their intention.

  • To say that Marshall Developers have been committed to
    this project from day one is a joke. They are developers and were basically “forced” to keep at least nine holes and did so begrudgingly!

  • Michael Hughes

    I also enjoyed the article and respect NGC and Mr. McNeil’s stellar reputation. I’m not representing any political group, activist organization, nor have I ever been a member at Metacomet but I believe I can offer a unique perspective for those who have been fortunate enough to walk those hollowed fairways.
    I am 100% certain that I have traversed those aforementioned fairways more times than any individual on the planet and can recall distances, putt breaks, prevailing wind and advantageous landing spots. How is this possible since I have never been a member? Let me present my credentials for such bombastic reasoning. At 9 years old my father, Bob took the short jaunt (with today’s modern equipment – driver, 6 iron to the second green) to Metacomet where I was introduced to Benny Layman; Head PGA Professional. Such began a love affair with the Donald Ross masterpiece. All through middle school, junior high, East Providence high school and St. Anselm College I would caddy any day that members were out playing. After jogging home for dinner, I would walk down Veterans Parkway and for the remainder of my night play those holes myself; hopping the fence and sneaking on, trying to avoid members who might catch me and realize I didn’t belong here.
    The next Professional who took the job, Joe Benevento saw that I had an aptitude for the game and Presto – I became an assistant Golf Pro on the very property that spawned my love of the game. I also celebrated landmark life moments at the storied venue. My first alcoholic beverage, my first night sneaking out and spending the evening in the gully on number 8, my first make out session on the 13th tee across from the Paddy Wagon. My first eagle on number 9 and my first hole-in-one on number 7,
    After stints at Agawam Hunt, Longboat Key Club, PGA National, Ken Venturi Golf Center and finally the Illinois Golf Academy. I returned home to Rhode Island and was named the men’s golf coach at Brown University. After spending a year each at RICC and Ledgemont as our home course (Both fantastic hosts), I was able to negotiate a move to the golf course closest (by a smidge) to Brown’s campus…Metacomet!
    I had come full circle and here I remained until the sale of the property.
    So, as you can see, I think I possess the bona fides to comment intelligently on this entire ordeal. I do not blame the members, the economy, lack of space to combat 380 yard drives, the initial buyers, Marshall construction, Keep Metacomet Green Organization or the fact that there may be too many golf courses in the Ocean State. Perhaps it is a combination of all of the above.
    I only know three things 1) I respectfully disagree with Mr. McNeil; paying homage to Metacomet by keeping the moniker “Met” in the title of the new course while ripping up the back 9 borders on sacrilege. 2) I actually cried when I heard of the sale. Luckily, as I have written, I have tons of great memories to carry with me.
    3) The entire saga, is a damn shame.

    Michael Hughes
    Head Coach Men’s Golf Retired
    Brown University

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