Review: Jamestown Golf Course

Course Name: Jamestown Golf Course

Designer: Unknown (1895)(1901, Redesign)

Location: Jamestown, Rhode Island

History: One of the oldest public courses in the country, Conanicut Golf Club was established in 1895. The course was moved and redesigned in 1901 and became known as Jamestown Golf Club.

Conditions: 7/10, Jamestown is always kept lush and green. The greens here roll fast and true while the bunkers and rough are both well-kept.

Value: 7/10, easy to walk, Jamestown costs about $20 (less if a Jamestown resident).

Scorecard:

Tee                     Par         Yardage         Rating          Slope

Blue                   36           3058               34.4               108

White                36          2761                33.5              105

Red                    38           2431                33.3              107

Best Score: 37 (White Tees), 5/14/2014 with Sam P., Evan S., and Zach R.

Hole Highlights: Most of the holes at Jamestown are short and sweet, and that’s not a bad thing. There’s something refreshing about having holes where what you see is what you get. A prime example is the first hole, a short downhill straightaway 300 yard par 4. Despite a well-guarded green, this hole is drivable and gives players options on the first hole of the day. OB looms left and right, making driver a risky play. The longest hole on the course, the par 5 541 yard second is a true 3-shotter. This hole is quite narrow and an infamous pond lines the right fairway between 210 and 320 yards from the tee. This green is also one of the most sloped on the course, making par a great score. The third hole is another short uphill par 4 at 292 yards. OB lines the entire righthand side and the green is well-protected here. Hole 4 is one of my favorites on the course. Wide open and long, this par 4 contains no bunkers and relies on the crosswind and length for its defense. There is also a giant slope behind this narrow green, making deep balls very hard to get up and down.

The par 3 fifth hole plays only 130 yards but has 4 bunkers strategically placed around this hard to hit green. The sixth hole offers a very good scoring opportunity as a 450 yard par 5. With a wide driving area, the danger on this hole comes near the green as two large cross bunkers just short of this green catch any balls trying to roll up. The 7th hole plays 161 yards and is just a longer version of the fifth hole. The 405 yard par 4 8th is the number 1 handicap and my favorite on the course. Although the driving area is fairly generous, you will want to cut the corner on this dogleg left to avoid a very long shot into this protected green. A bunker 230 yards out on the left side of the fairway makes cutting the corner pretty difficult and many players bail out to the right. The finishing hole plays uphill at 375 yards. Fairly straightforward, this hole offers the best view of the beautiful Claiborne Pell Bridge that connects Jamestown to Newport.

General Comments: Like many old courses, there are limited practice facilities at Jamestown. There is no range and only a tiny putting green near the first teebox. Pace of play has always been a problem at Jamestown, especially on summer weekends.

Verdict: Historic and beautiful, Jamestown is always a fun round and one I would definitely recommend if you are in Newport on vacation. Just be aware that pace of play here is notoriously slow so you might need to set aside 3 hours.

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