Routed on 200 acres of a former orchard and designed by Arthur Hills and his associate Drew Rogers, Newport National Golf Club in Middleton, R.I. has a decidedly Irish or Scottish links flavor to it, with wide open fairways, tall fescue that grows off the short grass, lots of bunkers, and greens that allow for run up shots.
One of the more beautiful tracks in New England, it offers sweeping vistas of The Sakonnet Passage, the Atlantic Ocean and Narragansett Bay.
Newport National features greens, tees and fairways consisting of 100 percent seaside bent grass. The wind often blows off the water, making Newport National play like a true seaside links course. The track plays 7,244 yards from the back markers and has a slope of 138, which tells you something about the challenge you will face here.
There are four other sets of tees that make the course playable for golfers of all abilities.
Every hole here is unique and memorable. It starts right away with a 550-yard par-five that sweeps to the left around a large natural area. The third hole, a 198-yard par-three, is reminiscent of early 20th century designs, with a raised green surrounded by bunkers.
The fourth hole is the best short par-four on the layout. It plays just 327 yards from the tips and big hitters can cut off distance by taking the tee shot straight over bunkers and high grass that guard the left side of the fairway.
The eighth hole is a dogleg right, 567-yard par-five that finishes at a rectangular green that makes one think of the classic old Scottish courses and their quirky-shaped putting surfaces.
Number 17 is a beefy par-four, measuring 489 yards from the back markers. A long and deep snake bunker guards the left side of the fairway, and if the wind is in your face it’s almost impossible to get home in two.