Wannamoisett is only 104 acres but has tons of character. At par 69, the par 4s still play long. The routing is great, but the highlights are the bunkering and greens. This is a fun course I'd enjoy playing every day.
At first blush, one might wonder how challenging a golf course can be that doesn’t exceed 6700 yards from the farthest tees. But ask the players in the most 2014 Northeast Amateur and you’ll get your answer. The tournament regularly attracts the world’s finest amateurs (Its past participants have won three dozen major titles.) and only one of them managed to break par in the 72 hole event.
What challenge did these players—indeed all players—find at Wannamoisett? While the rough is always thick, much of the answer lies in the approaches and green contours. The course was one of Donald Ross’s earliest and he managed to pack a lot of punch into the 104 acres he was given.Fairway bunkers abound, as do their greenside cousins and the green contours are among Ross’s most ingenious.
The other aspect of the apparently short yardage is that the course plays to a par of 69. Three more strokes of par would probably also add another 500 yards, increasing the members’ layout to 6900 yards.The first 5 holes are emblematic here: Numbers 1, 2 and 4 are sturdy par 4s (averaging 458 yards from the tournament tees). Sandwiched among them is a tiny par 3 (138 from the tournament tees). Number 5 is a short par 4 with a severely sloped green. Many a putt (including one of mine) has rolled right off the green.
Unlike many of Ross’s courses (but like many of his most arduous, e.g. Seminole), there’s not much ground game here…barely half a dozen holes where a running shot can find the green.That, however, is the only shortcoming I can cite on this, my second favorite Rhode Island golf course.