Review: Beaver River Golf Club

Course Name: Beaver River Golf Club

Designer: Michael Weremay (2001)

Location: West Kingstown, Rhode Island

History: N/A

Conditions: 7/10, For the most part, Beaver River is in exceptional conditioning. The teeboxes, fairways, and bunkers are all top tier and a pleasure to hit off of. The greens were a bit on the slower side, but rolled true. The only reason the grade isn’t higher than a 7 is because of some dead spots in the fairway and rough.

Value: 5/10, I always found Beaver River to be a bit overpriced. It is almost impossible to walk given the distance between holes and a cart and 18 will cost you about $50 on the weekends. 9 hole and weekday rates are cheaper.

Scorecard:

Tee                     Par         Yardage         Rating          Slope

Black                 70           6006               67.8               120

White                70           5676               66.2               118

Red                    70           4894               68.1               116

Best Score: 80 (Black Tees), 5/7/2017 with Mike S.

Front 9 Best: 40 (Black Tees), 5/7/2017 with Mike S.

Back 9 Best: 40 (Black Tees), 5/7/2017 with Mike S.

Hole Descriptions: One of the shortest regulation courses in Rhode Island, Beaver River places an emphasis on accuracy with it’s tree-lined fairways. This is evident on the opening hole, a short 481 yard par 5. This hole is certainly reachable in two, but driver might not be the prudent play as fescue lines both sides of this narrow fairway. In fact, it’s commonly advised that people leave their drivers at home, as they will do more harm than good. The 1st fairway runs out about 100 yards short of this back-to-front sloped green. At 334 yards, the short dogleg left 2nd hole features a tight, blind teeshot that pretty much requires a right-to-left ballflight. Two bunkers guard the sides of this narrow green.

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The dogleg left 2nd hole

The 3rd is a short, unremarkable 150 yard uphill par 3 followed by another short dogleg hole that plays eerily similar to the 2nd. At 335 yards, the 4th plays slightly uphill and to the left, with a large bunker short of this green. The 5th hole is a 325 yard tight dogleg right that features a heavily sloped green, while the 6th is another short narrow par 5 that turns left sharply about 285 yards from the tee. The 7th and 8th holes are by far the two most difficult on the side with the 7th being a long uphill 203 yard par 3 and the 8th being a sharp dogleg right long par 4. Playing 439 yards, the number 1 handicap 8th is a veritable challenge with an extremely tight fairway and OB long and left. I distinctly remember a tall tree blocking drives that try to cut the right corner.

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The long, 203 yard par 3 7th

The approach on 8 is downhill, but not nearly as severe as the next hole. The 9th hole is probably the most memorable hole on the course as a severely downhill 343 yard par 4. This is probably the most downhill hole in the state, and it is certainly drivable for those who can hit it right-to-left.

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The extreme downhill approach on 9

With no par fives, the back 9 is shorter than the front by almost 200 yards. The 10th hole is a beautiful short par 4 at 342 yards. Water and reeds line the entire right side and two trees block the left side of the fairway. Most players will probably hit driver here, but I strongly recommend long iron, as the fairway narrows near the green.

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Walking the 10th hole

The 11th hole is similar to the 3rd as a short uphill par 3 playing 166 yards. A large, deep bunker right in front of this green is meant to catch players who fail to account for the severe uphill. As difficult as the 8th hole is, the number 2 handicap 12 is my choice for hardest hole on the course. With a prodigious length of 453 yards, this monstrous par 4 is extremely tight off the tee and requires a carry over a creek to a well-protected green. This strong par 4 is followed by another difficult, narrow par 4 playing 393 yards. A huge bunker guards the right side of the 13rd green.

IMG_3271
The uphill par 3 11th

At 305 yards, the tight par 4 14th marks a return to the script for Beaver River. This hole features an uphill approach to a green guarded by two deep short bunkers. The best par 3 on the course, the 15th plays downhill at 190 yards. This diagonally shaped green is guarded on the right side by a deep bunker making these back pins are extremely hard to access. The short 270 yard 16th is one of the weaker holes on the course and only requires a mid-iron-wedge to reach this green. Although reachable, this teeshot is completely blind and the hole is almost too short to go for with driver. The finishing holes at Beaver River are two strong par fours. The penultimate 17th plays 383 yards as a tight, uphill dogleg right, while the 18th is clearly the best par 4 on the course. Playing 410 yards, this strong finishing hole requires a drive of at least 200 yards over water to a tight, sloping fairway. The blind approach to this green is also a challenge, as water guards the left hand side.

IMG_3277
The water hazard you must carry on the finishing hole

Best Par 3: 15th hole, 190 yards, 10th handicap. The second longest par 3 and only downhill one, I especially liked this green design. Running from front left to back right, this oblique green is guarded on the right side by a deep bunker that punishes players who aggressively go for back right pins.

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The downhill par 3 15th

Best Par 4: 18th hole, 410 yards, 4th handicap. Although not as tight as most of the holes at Beaver River, this challenging hole is one of the few that requires a forced carry, as water is found directly in front of the teebox. A narrow green with water on the left and a bunker to the right adds another wrinkle of difficulty.

Best Par 5: 1st hole, 481 yards, 5th handicap. One of only two par fives on this short par 70, I enjoyed this hole because it gives you options. Players looking to start out their round with an easy hybrid or long iron will be able to reach this green safely in regulation, but confident players can rip driver and have the possibility of reaching this green in two. A narrow fairway and multiple hazards near the green add some risk to the second option.

General Comments: Although the putting green was well-maintained and large, there is no driving range at Beaver River. I’ve had mixed experiences with pace of play here – the first time took over 5 hours but the second time we breezed through in under 3. It might be a good idea to call ahead and ask about how busy the course is.

Verdict: Quirky and short, Beaver River is a decent course very similar to Richmond Country Club, but not quite on the same level of Meadow Brook down the street. The best part about Beaver River is the conditioning, which is above average for public courses in the state. I highly recommend Beaver River for shorter, accurate golfers who will enjoy these short, tight holes. For longer and more advanced players, Beaver River’s cramped design might leave you underwhelmed.

 

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