Review: Country View Golf Club

Course Name: Country View Golf Club

Designer: Carl Dexter (1965)

Location: Harrisville, Rhode Island

History: Built in 1965, the front and back 9 were switched in 2008.

Conditions: 6/10, Country View was not in pristine condition, but it was certainly playable. Greens were decent and most of the fairway and teeboxes were in good shape.

Value: 5/10, Billed as the “Best Value in Northern Rhode Island,” I found Country View’s rates to be pretty standard. For $30, you can play 18 walking on the weekdays, although there are discounts.

Scorecard:

Tee                     Par         Yardage         Rating          Slope

Blue                   70           6067              68.2              117

White                70           5721               66.5              113

Red                    70           5060              67.4             108

Best Score: 78 (Blue Tees), 8/19/2013 with Mike S. and Evan S.

Front 9 Best: 36 (Blue Tees), 8/19/2013 with Mike S. and Evan S.

Back 9 Best: 42 (Blue Tees), 8/19/2013 with Mike S. and Evan S.

Hole Descriptions: The front side is essentially a glorified open field, and many of these holes are quite easy. The opener features a blind teeshot, but is wide open and straightforward at only 362 yards. The 2nd hole plays downhill at 141 yards and is well-bunkered with two right in front of this tiny green. The hardest hole on the front side, the 3rd hole plays only 356 yards on the scorecard but features an incredibly sharp dogleg right. Drives over 240 yards will run through this fairway. The fourth hole is another straightaway medium length par 4 playing 365 yards. Thick woods line the right side of this hole and the approach is fairly downhill to a small green. After another short, straight par 4, the 6th hole is a short 475 yard downhill par 5 that offers a pretty fun risk/reward opportunity. A large fairway bunker about 70 yards short of this green makes going for the green in two almost the preferred play if you can avoid the trees on the right. A short uphill 150 yard par 3 follows while 8 is the number 1 handicap hole. At 381 yards, the straightaway hole is by far the narrowest par 4 on the front. The 9th hole was my favorite hole on the front 9 as a 386 yard dogleg left par 4. This hole favors a draw off the tee and fade into this narrow green to avoid a left greenside bunker.

The back 9 is much more difficult and scenic than the front and it was a good thing they switched sides. You discover this immediately with the 406 yard tight 10th hole. Trees line the right side, while OB lines the left side making this tee shot rather claustrophobic. Hole 11 is similar to the 10th but plays much shorter at 291 yards. Iron off the tee is probably the play here, as a small creek runs through this fairway at 230 yards. The 12th hole is their signature hole for good reason. A 514 yard par 5, the strong hole features a wasteland nicknamed “the Gorge” that you must carry on your second or third shot to an elevated green. A long straightaway 189 yard par 3 follows followed by a short dogleg left par 4 with an unsightly fence behind the green. Hole 15 is one of the better holes on the course in my opinion. At 398 yards, this challenging par 4 features a large pond 260 yards off the tee referred to as “Gorilla’s Alley.” A large fairway bunker guards the right side of the fairway while OB guards the left. After the pond, this hole runs straight uphill to an elevated green you must carry to get on. I got up-and-down from the sand on 15, and was +1 on my round, but disaster lurked for me on the finishing three holes. I triple-bogeyed the 391 yard dogleg left 16th after pulling my drive OB left. After another long straightforward par 3, the finishing hole is tight and uphill at 374 yard. A fade is preferred off the tee and this green is quite undulating.

Best Par 3: 13th hole, 189 yards, 16th handicap. None of the par 3’s blew me away here, but the 13th was decent. A good long iron is needed to find this small green guarded by three bunkers.

Best Par 4: 18th hole, 374 yards, 6th handicap. Slightly better than 9, 15, and 16, this challenging hole requires both a good drive and good approach shot to reach this green in two. You must drive it through a chute of trees here, making the tee shot intimidating. The approach shot here is uphill towards the clubhouse to an undulating green. While no bunkers protect it, its elevation and slope will cause plenty of issues getting up-and-down.

Best Par 5: 12th hole, 514 yards, 8th handicap. One of my favorite holes at Country View, this risk/reward par 5 is notable for its giant valley you must carry to reach this elevated green.

General Comments: The driving range consists of hitting your own balls into the woods. The course is always rather busy but pace of play was not really an issue when we played. I will also note that the people in the pro shop were incredibly friendly.

Verdict: Country View is way out in the country and pretty average in terms of conditioning and pricing. This is not a must-play course, but it did have some fun holes, especially on the back 9.

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