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.
Few clubs in all of America can rival the history and traditions of Newport Country Club. Along with four other clubs was a founding member of the USGA and hosted the 1st US Open and US Amateur in 1895. The 100th anniversary of the club was rightly celebrated with a hosting of the US Amateur -- won in gritty fashion by Tiger Woods over George "Buddy" Marucci.
What that matched showed was how a quality course could provide for someone as strong as Woods while still providing avenues for a player like Marucci to be no less a factor -- even though he was routinely outdriven by 30-40 yards at times.
Newport is blessed with a fine location -- although no holes actually are immediately near the ocean. Overall, the holes are generally good - but none really merits any special attention to be called noteworthy.
The most special dimension of Newport is how the course is prepared. There's no irrigation for the fairways so after a warm and relatively rain free season the layout can be especially firm with plenty of bounces in all sorts of directions. Personally, I only wish more courses were done with that in mind.
Thankfully, Newport has not been "redone" to make it something far different than what it does so well now. It's nearly dead certain no other US Open will be played there because the talent of the world's best professionals would simply overpower the layout. But, for others who get the opportunity to play the course there will be a sense of joy in playing a course that celebrates its history and, at the same time, provides a layout that is still challenging and fun to play.
by M. James Ward
Newport Country Club was founded in 1893 and is one of the founding 5 members of the United States Golf Association and is one of the most historical courses in the United States. The course sits on the southernmost part of Newport, Rhode Island. As you turn off onto the property, the first thing you see is the grand old clubhouse built by Whitney Warren in 1895. It over looks Brenton Point to the south and the ocean breeze often plays a roll in shot making here and you will often get the morning fog delay during the early spring season. The inside of the clubhouse is just as grand as the outside, it has amazing architecture that has stood the test of time.
I played the course with the Donald Ross Society, it was a incredible experience to play a course that has had a part to play in the evolution of golf in the United States and one that has so much historical significance. I can remember watching Tiger Woods win the US Am on TV here but would never thought I would get a chance to play such an exclusive course, that the US Presidents play in their free time.
A couple of the big names have their hand in building the course Donald Ross first expanded the course to 18 holes and in 1923 A.W. Tillinghast completely remodeled the course. Newport has hosted the first US Open as well as the first US Amateur in 1895. The US amateur trophy is name after Newport Country Club's co-founder and first USGA president Theodore Havemeyer.
Unfortunately we played the course under foggy conditions on the front 9 so the pictures aren't all that clear or non existent because of too much fog. The golf season is just getting under way at the time we play mid May so the rough was still growing in. Overall the course was great, the bunkering is definitely in style with what we have seen in a US Open over the last 10 years and this course could most likely host a US Open, there's lots of open space for grandstands and walking areas here. Who knows maybe we'll see the US Open return here one day.