Carnegie Abbey - Rhode Island - USA

Carnegie Abbey Club,
125 Cory's Lane,
Portsmouth,
Rhode Island (RI) 02871,
USA


  • +1 401 682 6000

  • Denise Birt

  • Donald Steel and Tom Mackenzie

  • Jimmy DiMarino

The Carnegie Abbey Club was formed at the start of the new millennium and the club’s golf course is laid out on property leased from Portsmouth Abbey School, a Benedictine Boarding Prep School established back in 1926.

A number of fairways are said to lie on land where the Battle of Rhode Island took place in 1778 and this skirmish between opposing American and British forces is commemorated on the course with hole names such as “Bloody Run,” “Patriot’s Stand” and “Hessians' Hole”.

The course actually came to prominence the year after it opened when it featured in a “Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf” televised match, played between Sam Torrance and Curtis Strange, the non-playing Ryder Cup Captains in 2002. The American won the match by three strokes.

Toughest ranked hole on the Carnegie Abbey Club scorecard is the 412-yard 16th (”Coal Miner’s Way”), where the fairway doglegs slightly to a tiered green that’s protected by sand to the front right hand side of the putting surface.
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Description: A Donald Steel and Tom Mackenzie design, the Carnegie Abbey Club is routed across wetlands where the Battle of Rhode Island was fought. Constructed with a light touch, it contains few sand traps and four holes are bunkerless. Rating: 4 out of 6 Reviews: 1

Donald Steel has created as interesting a set of green complexes as there is in the state. The humps and bumps make for challenging and always different putting. And the approaches provide variety as well, with only a couple holes not allowing the option of a running approach. Steele’s bunkers are lovely, with a couple (on #2 and #16) appearing to be right next to the green when the player has, in fact, 20 yards between the bunker and the green. Prior to reaching the green, the course is not as interesting. While some shots (notably # 10 with its split fairway, # 15 with its fairway bunkering and #18, a driveable par 4 with Narragansett Bay providing a hazard all the way down the right side) require decisions, most do not. Reaching the tee on many holes is, however, another of the challenges. The last four holes, for example require over a half mile of walking on cart paths. And there are lengthy walks to four other tees, all the result of much of the property being wetlands. While members do walk (there’s a good caddie program), the course does not fare well as a walk in the park. The most unusual aspect of the routing (for guests anyway) is parking at the pro shop by the 4th green and then taking a cart down a half mile long path to the first tee. The cart path, like all of them on the course, is made of crushed white shells—much more attractive than the usual blacktop………..and more functional, too. The first time I played here, I had dinner in the clubhouse after the round. It was late in the season and quite dark when we finished dining. There are no lights on the cart path we took back to our cars, but the white shells made the navigation easy. I enjoy playing the Abbey, but it’s not among my Rhode Island favorites.
4 / 6
Carnegie Abbey
December 10, 2015


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