Rhode Island's Newport National Opens Its Gates for Public Play
Golfers visiting Newport, R.I. and searching for a great public golf course won’t ever have to feel unfulfilled again. Now that The Orchard Course at Newport National Golf Club has opened its fairways and greens to public play, visitors to this quaint and historic seacoast town will have a true championship venue to enjoy. Originally destined to be a high-end, exclusive private club, new ownership and management at Newport National decided to make the change to semi-private late last year. The course opened for public play in early April of this year. "The response has been incredible," said Matt Adams, a Connecticut native who serves as president and general manager of the club. "There isn't another premium public golf course that is available for play in this area. Really, there isn't anything in our region that compares to the challenge, beauty and experience of Newport National." The course, designed by Arthur Hills and Drew Rogers, is a links style layout that was fit wonderfully into the stunning natural environment of the Rhode Island oceanside landscape. Fescue lines the bent grass fairways, greens and tee boxes, and one has the feeling that the course could just as easily be sitting in Ireland than in the Ocean State. The Orchard Course at Newport National, built on a former nursery farm, offers stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and Sakonnet Passage, and stretches a brawny 7,200 yards from the back tees. True to a links course, the course plays entirely different when the winds blows hard off the ocean. "I like to say that the land Newport National was built upon was the canvas that Arthur Hills and Drew Rogers created their masterpiece," said Adams, who is also an author and has written several of the books in the "Chicken Soup for the Soul" series. Adams said there was a desperate need for a top-level public golf course in the Newport area. The club is located about three miles from the center of town. "The reports that we have seen show that in Newport County alone there were between 50,000 and 200,000 unfulfilled rounds of golf a year. There is a tremendous interest in the course. Once we made the switch to semi-private, we went from four or five hits a month on our website to 13,000 a month. And we believe there will be a real national flavor to the club." The company Adams works for entered the picture when the former developers of the site went into receivership. "Basically, the first group ran out of money," he explained. "The group that now owns the cub decided the best way to move forward was to make the change from private to semi-private and allow the public to play here." The Orchard Course at Newport National offers multiple tee areas on each hole, making it player friendly for golfers of all abilities. John Simmons is serving as director of golf for the club. For further information call 401-846-1489, or visit http://www.newportnational.com www.newportnational.com.