Review: Coventry Pines Golf Course

Course Name: Coventry Pines Golf Course

Designer: Gustaf Anderson/Arthur Anderson (1959)

Location: Coventry, Rhode Island

History: Coventry Pines has been family owned and operated by the Andersons since 1959. Between 1946 and 1959, the Anderson brothers owned Anderson Brothers Poultry Farm on the land.

Conditions: 3/10, Slow greens and hardpan line this course. The fairways are often indistinguishable from the rough and chipping off tight lies is borderline impossible.

Value: 5/10, for $16, walking this course is not a great deal but $10 after 5 PM isn’t too bad.

Scorecard:

Tee                     Par         Yardage         Rating          Slope

White                36            3170               34.0               113

Red                    36            3170               35.0               113

Best Score: 40 (White Tees), 5/27/2012 with Ryan S. and Tyler P.

Hole Descriptions: Quirky and short, Coventry Pines actually offers quite a bit of variation in hole design. The opening hole is a standard straightaway 375 yard par 4 with a busy road on the left. The 2nd hole also features the road on the left but this hole plays shorter at only 305 yards. Your drive must carry about 75 yards off the tee to avoid a pond that only really comes into play on topped drives. The 3rd hole is a 169 yard par 3 I found to be one of the best holes on the course, at least as far as conditioning goes. The 4th hole is a reachable dogleg left par 5 where the drive is the most difficult shot. A small creek runs through the fairway at about 280 yards, and the entire hole is sloped left to right. The 5th hole is a pretty solid par 4 as an uphill 410 yarder that is blind off the tee.

The 6th hole is the number 1 handicap hole and has generally been the most frustrating for me. At 520 yards, this tight downhill par 5 has lots of things going on. Thick trees line both sides of the fairway and any drive left will be lost forever. On your approach shot, you must contend with trees that overhang the left side of the fairway as well as a creek running through the fairway. Even more confusing, this hole contains two greens depending on how long of a hitter you are. Another tight uphill blind teeshot greets you on the 357 yard 7th, a straightforward par 4 that turns gently left. The 8th hole is my least favorite on the course – an extreme downhill par 3 with an obnoxious metal sign saying “Hit Here” or some variation behind the green to help orient you. It’s tacky and rusted, and shouldn’t have to be there. Your teeshot on the 362 yard 9th is the most open on the course, but the teebox is elevated and deep in the woods. The finishing green is elevated and pretty well-guarded by bunkers.

Best Par 3: 3rd Hole, 169 yards, 15th Handicap. Often the best conditioned hole on the course, this strong par 3 features a big green you must carry it onto due to a large front bunker and two side bunkers.

Best Par 4: 5th Hole, 408 yards, 5th Handicap. In better condition, this strong uphill blind par 4 would be a welcome addition to almost any course. This narrow hole snakes through the woods a requires a strong, accurate drive to get a good shot into this narrow green.

Best Par 5: 4th Hole, 484 yards, 3rd Handicap. This reachable par 5 places a premium on an accurate drive, which is difficult because of trees on the right and a tall slope on the left. Those looking to hit this tiny green in two will have to worry about bunkers that flank the green.

General Comments: While there is a putting green, the “range” is essentially just hitting balls into/over a pond on the side of the course. Pace of play has generally been good here when I’ve played.

Verdict: There is a surprising scarcity of courses in this area and I therefore would play here, especially as a beginner. However, the conditioning of Coventry Pines puts it behind most public Rhode Island courses.

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