Course Review: Warwick Country Club – September 8, 2023

I had the opportunity to play Warwick Country Club (WCC) on Warwick Neck the week after Labor Day. 

WCC, a Donald Ross design from 1924, was one of those courses that I’ve heard a lot of good things about, but never actually played. 

I have friends who live on Warwick Neck and have driven by the course several times but never a chance to play 18.

It has been said that everything in Boston is and hour from Boston and that may also be said about Warwick. 

One side of the Warwick / East Greenwich area seems lightyears away from Warwick Neck.  We had a nine-ish tee time and I did want to warm up first so I left my house around 7:45 AM and actually hit no traffic at all and was at the course before 8:15 AM. 

After a false start of going into the bag drop from the wrong way, I gingerly and sheepishly backed out and went around.  I dropped my bag, parked my car in the large and fairly open parking area and walked back to the bag area.  

I then took my cart to the nearby driving range.  As was previously explained to me, the course is land limited and the driving range is very small.  You can only hit irons that carry less than 175 yards – and it was matts only. 

PHOTO: Course Review

I told my obligatory dad joke that I shouldn’t even be on this range because its ”matts only” and my name isn’t Matt.

Nevertheless, I had a good warm up and my host suggested we head to the practice green and hit a few putts.  We had a 9:00 AM tee time and we teed off at 9:00 AM.

Practice green PHOTO: Course Reviewer

Much to my aggravation, I pulled my first tee shot left.  I hit a great punch out, next shot on the green and three putted for a six.  Despite having beautiful weather, a fantastic course and great company, I truly sucked.  I pushed and pulled tee shots, I missed my irons and three putted a couple of greens.  I was shocked that I shot a 42 on the front (par 34).

Another cool thing about WCC is that they make the rough difficult without making it so deep that you can’t find your ball.  One thing that really hurt my front score is that I chipped from the greenside rough with my 58 degree wedge  and wasn’t getting my ball to the hole. 

About the 5th hole, I switched to the 54 degree wedge and had much more success.

I understand that the course superintendent for WCC is from recently closed Metacomet.  The course was in fabulous shape, but two things I will take from the course is:  every green was the same speed.  There were really no variations that I noticed in green speed that created a too long or too short putt. 

Secondly, all the bunkers I was in (there were many) were the same consistency.  As bad as I played, my bunker play was good because there were no variations in their condition – all excellent.

When I told Mr. Joseph Calabro that I was playing WCC, he said “make sure you get some good shots of number 9”. 

Number 9 is a beautiful par 3 that heads back to the clubhouse.

#9 from the deck PHOTO: Course reviewer

I really wanted to play it well but being right on the water, I never truly felt comfortable over the ball with the changing wind conditions and pulled my tee shot left of the green. 

I played a decent high chip onto the green and barely missed a 12 foot par putt.  My host chose number 9 for his shot of the day and barely missed an ace ~ two foot kick-in that he decided to putt. 

The only bad thing about that shot was it was only 10:50 AM in the morning and not many people on the deck (i.e. none) saw that majestic shot.

We went on to the back and I continued to suck.  I did break 90 (87) but the Ross design is par 69 so not as hard as it would seem.

The 18th for me was like most of the round: a decent tee shot, an approach into the greenside bunker, a fairly decent bunker shot and a barely missed par putt.

The 18th hole at Warwick CC PHOTO: Course Reviewer

After the round, we had some appetizers and chardonnay on the deck.  It was superb.

As I write this review, I feel like my expectations of Warwick Country Club were high and they were exceeded.

Additionally,  I normally would have feelings of gratitude for having played this wonderful course and a degree of frustration and angst over having played so poorly.   

However, before I left the facilities,  I received an invite to come back to WCC next week!!!!

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