Course Review: Wannamoisett – October 9, 2023
How can you not be romantic about golf at a place like this.
Earlier this week, GolfNewsRI played historic Wannamoisett Country Club in a tournament to benefit the Burke Scholarship Fund, which helps students working in the golf industry get to college.
Wannamoisett hosted the 1931 PGA Championship and is home to the Northeast Amateur on a yearly basis, so anytime you get to play there it is a treat.
It’s probably my favorite course to play in the state, what a cool place.
On a personal note, Wannamoisett is extra special to me because I always think of my uncle Jim Reilly, when playing there.
He was a member at Wannamoisett for a long time, and would take me up there to play at least a few times a month, then eat lunch/dinner with he and his friends.
My uncle is currently battling dementia, and while he has some good days, it’s not really going to get better. He can’t drive, no longer works and, for all intents and purposes, can’t really play golf anymore.
He still loves Wannamoisett and asks about it all the time, in fact he called me this week (Tuesday) to ask how it was and how I played.
He has been back on occasion, I have taken him up there to see the Northeast Amateur each of the last few years, which has been our tradition going back to when I was a kid.
Anyway, let’s tee off.
Given how much rain we have had this summer and now into the fall, you would never know it at Wannamoisett.
The place was in amazing shape, not a piece of grass out of place.
The rough was brutal and we actually had trouble finding balls at times, and the greens were fast – really fast.
We started the tournament on the 11th hole and it took me several holes to adjust to the speed of the greens.
My favorite hole when I was a kid was always the par-3 12th hole because I used to be fascinated by the huge bunker on the right.
I put my tee shot left of the green (avoiding the bunker) and then hit a great chip, but like everything at Wannamoisett, it rolled out to five or six feet and I missed the putt.
Our group had opportunities the rest of that side, including on 17 and 18, but no-one could make putts.
Makes you appreciate the kids at the Northeast Am who seemingly make putts from everywhere.
Turning to the front side, I started playing better.
I got a lucky break on the second hole where I put my second shot in the trees but it somehow kicked out onto the fringe.
I made par from there.
The famed third hole, Justin Thomas’ favorite hole, we played at 90 yards.
I put my tee shot on the back of the green and then cozied one down for a tap in par.
Amazingly, I made another par on the fourth hole, made a mess of the fifth hole, and then parred the sixth hole.
That was a pretty good stretch for me, to say the least.
There were not too many highlights the rest of the way in.
I hit my driver really really well, had a handful of good iron shots, chips and putts.
I bombed a drive on the ninth hole and then tried to go for it in two, but came up short in the water.
My uncle always told me the story of when Tiger played at Wannamoisett in the Northeast Amateur and on the ninth hole he hit a two-iron off the tee.
His second shot he put it in the left rough near the green, which was fescue at the time.
Tiger went up there, looked at the lie, shook his head and then opened up a wedge and popped the ball straight up and it landed a foot from the hole.
So I enjoy the ninth hole for that story.
In fact, for years and years, my uncle and I would finish playing and go up to the locker room and they always had Tiger’s locker there, with the metal label “Tiger Woods.”
There was nothing in it, it was just a locker, but the one he used.
Years later I went back and it was gone.
As a team, we finished four-under net, and we grinded to get to that number.
We came nowhere near the winners (17-under net), but it was an awesome day nonetheless.
Could be my last golf round of the year. Going to be tough to top playing at Wannamoisett.