Review: Green Valley Country Club

Course Name: Green Valley Country Club

Designer: Manuel Raposa (1957)(1980, Redesign)

Location: Portsmouth, Rhode Island

History: Opened in 1957 as a short 9 hole course, Green Valley expanded to 18 holes in 1966. By 1980, Green Valley expanded to its current day 6800 yard layout. A true test, Green Valley was the first public course to host the Rhode Island Amateur in 1995. In 1997, it hosted the Rhode Island Open.

Conditions: 8/10, Built on lush farmland, Green Valley is always in fantastic shape. The only issue I have is with the greens that never seem to roll true. They’re fast but break in strange ways, possibly due to grain.

Value: 6/10, Although semi-private, public golfers can play Green Valley at pretty fair prices. It will cost you about $50 with a cart but only $30 to walk after 3 P.M.

Scorecard:

Tee                                   Par         Yardage         Rating          Slope

Championship             71           6830               72.3              128

Mens                                71          6641                70.8              125

Seniors                            71          6091                69.1              123

Ladies                              71          5447                70.8             118

Best Score: 87 (Championship Tees), 6/20/2016 with Dylan

Front 9 Best: 44 (Championship Tees), 6/20/2016 with Dylan

Back 9 Best: 43 (Championship Tees), 6/20/2016 with Dylan

Hole Decsriptions: Green Valley is a very challenging golf course for several reasons. On the first hole, a 370 straightforward par 4, it is the narrowness that is difficult, as trees line the left side of the hole and houses line the right side. For many holes, distance makes them difficult. The second hole displays this as an uphill 460 yard par 4, being a 3-shot hole for many players. The third hole is one of my favorites at Green Valley as a long dogleg right. Trees jut out on the right side of the hole, obscuring the view of the green. Drives too long or left or will be in danger of being blocked out by trees and a rock wall. The approach shot here is one of the prettiest on the course with large trees straight out of Northern California behind this well-bunkered green. The long par 5 fourth hole that follows plays at 545 yards and is often very windy.

Hole 5 is the first of several par 3’s on the course and plays uphill at 190 yards. Chunked or topped drives will find a pond, but the main defense here is a well-bunkered highly sloped green. At 400 yards, the 6th is another long dogleg right that is fairly wide open except for a bunker on the left side of the fairway at 255 yards. From this green, you get a nice view of the bay. I would venture to say that the 7th hole is the easiest on the brutal front 9. At just 350 yards and downhill, this hole plays short but players looking to drive the green will have to contend with a narrow fairway and water on the left side of the hole 280 yards out. At 220 yards, the uphill par 3 8th usually plays into the wind. Although wide open, this hole usually requires a well-struck driver or 3-wood. Rounding out the front 9 is an uphill into the wind 430 yard par 4 with a blind teeshot.

The 10th is their signature hole at 600 yards. Despite it’s brutal length, this hole plays downhill and downwind so it usually plays much shorter. Try to notice the plaque in the fairway where somebody holed out for double eagle! At 230 yards, the 11th hole puts another wood in the player’s hand. The 12th hole is another par 3, and the easiest at only 145 yards. Picturesque, this hole plays over a small pond and features a giant sloping green. The 13th is one of the easiest on the course as an uphill 340 yarder. The right side is wide open, but the left side contains OB down the entire hole. At 450 yards, the par 4 14th is another very difficult long par 4. OB runs down the entire lefthand side and the pond from the 12th hole guards the right side of this green.

As a straightaway 340 yard par 4, the 15th is the most mundane hole on the course. The 16th is a narrow 410 yard par 4 with a tiny pond protruding about 320 yards out on the left side of the fairway. Another very long par 5, the 17th plays uphill and into the wind at 530 yards. This hole slides slightly to the right but is fairly open. I was not a huge fan of the sharp dogleg right finishing hole. The driving range’s net is an eyesore on the right side of the hole and straight drives can only go about 220 yards before running through the fairway.

Best Par 3:

Best Par 4:

Best Par 5:

General Comments: While nearby Montaup and Newport National don’t have ranges, Green Valley has a pretty busy range with mats. The putting green at Green Valley is huge and gives you a good indication of the greens on the course. Pace of play has always been decent here, probably because the players that play are generally better players than most public courses in the state.

Verdict: The most affordable of the courses on Aquidneck Island, Green Valley is always a fun but extremely challenging round. I recommend skilled players try their luck from the Championships Tees.

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