Newport Country Club is private, exclusive and also one of the original five founding member clubs of the United States Golf Association. The first president of the USGA, Theodore Havemeyer, along with a number of American businessmen including three members of the Vanderbilt family, helped to inaugurate Newport way back in 1894.
William Davis, the club’s first professional originally laid out a rudimentary 9-hole course at Newport Country Club, which was extended to 18 holes in 1915 by Donald Ross and then in 1924 it was redesigned by A.W. Tillinghast. Even the clubhouse mansion oozes style, originally designed for the Vanderbilts by pre-eminent New York architect Whitney Warren.
Host to the first U.S. Amateur Championship and the inaugural U.S. Open, this Rhode Island club is a tribute to golf’s beginnings in America and one of the country’s most important and historic venues. Wedged on a thin sliver of land between Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island Sound, Newport Country Club has the look and feel of a seaside links and when the Atlantic winds funnel their way across the course you will need to hold on to your smoothest swing. Even on a calm day, accuracy is essential to find the often elevated and sloping putting surfaces.
Tiger Woods collected the 1995 U.S. Amateur here at Newport Country Club and his friend Annika Sorenstam followed his lead by eventually claiming the 2006 U.S. Women’s Open after a gruelling 18-hole playoff against Pat Hurst.
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Historically, the course has never had a water system which takes “firm and fast” to a whole new level. Hazards which would otherwise be out of reach suddenly add to the list of nooks and crannies to avoid. For those of you who have enjoyed true links golf, you’ll know the value of playing a bump and run approach shot. Newport forces the golfer to exercise careful judgement with where to land the ball and hope that the bounce is in your favour. Some players consider this layout an examination. It’s not a terribly long course, but the challenge of hitting irons from such tight untreated lies is enough to save your blushes amongst a serious bunch of golfers. Newport offers a collection of short par 4s, reachable par 5s, back to back par 3s and a prevailing wind off the ocean that is always a factor with club selection. Sometimes it’s a catalyst for mistakes and uncertain swings. As with all of the top rated courses in this country, the green surfaces are flawless and worthy of USGA events. Click the link to read Fergal’s full report on Newport Country Club.
Played in September of 2007. One of about 20 that played the course that day. The service was impeccable once you stepped out of your car. The wind was opposite of the prevailing wind making the course quite interesting. Driver-wedges to the short holes that were playing downwind and driver-3 woods to the long holes that were playing into the wind. The course was interesting from the opening hole till the end, it amazes me this is not in everyone's Top 10 (or at least Top 20).