Review: Melody Hill Country Club

Course Name: Melody Hill Country Club

Designer: Sam Mitchell/Charlie Mandeville (1967 – Back 9, 1976 – Front 9)

Location: Harmony, Rhode Island

History: The owners here originally owned Stillwater Golf Course in Smithfield, R.I., but were forced to move to their current location in 1965 when the state had to use their land to build I-295. By 1976, Melody Hill had become a regulation 18-hole course.

Conditions: 5/10, Melody Hill’s greens rolled nicely, but their fairways and teeboxes were pretty barren in some spots. The bunkers were also rock hard.

Value: 4/10, for $21 to walk 9, I didn’t think this was a great deal.

Scorecard:

Tee                      Par         Yardage         Rating          Slope

Blue                     70          6004                68.2             112

White                  70          5801                67.4             108

Gold                     70          5484               65.9             105

Red                       72         5363                69.8             112

Best Score: N/A, only played the front 9

Front 9 Best: 46 (White Tees), 8/20/2013 by myself

Back 9 Best: N/A, only played the front 9

Hole Descriptions: I found that Melody Hill played harder than it’s slope despite the fact that it is a short course. The 1st hole played uphill and straightaway with a blind tee shot. At 360 yards, there is not a single bunker on this hole. The 2nd hole was a pretty poorly designed dogleg left par 4. Unless you play a big hook, the fairway runs out at about 140 yards leaving you with a long iron in. For the most part, I’m not a fan of any hole that requires a longer club for your approach shot than your tee shot. Another dogleg, the 3rd hole turns sharply right at about 270 yards, requiring a driver. There are two large trees on the side of the left and right fairway that definitely come into play and shouldn’t be there. After a short yet sweet 100 yard par 3, the 5th hole is the best on the front 9. At 459 yards, this par 4 plays extremely downhill and turns slightly left. Heavy woods line the right side of this hole, and this fairway might be problematic if you aren’t comfortable with downhill lies. The 6th hole was another short par 3, but this one has a pretty backdrop with a pond and garden behind this green. While the par 4 5th is longer, the 7th hole is the number 1 handicap for a reason. At 412 yards, this dogleg left requires a well-placed drive in a tight fairway. The 8th hole is the only par 5 on the front side, and plays extremely tight, with a fairway snaking through the woods. At only 492 yards, I would definitely take out less than driver in the future. Unfortunately, the finishing 9th hole is one of the weakest on the side as a straightaway 240 yard drivable par 4. This hole plays more like a long par 3, and lacks the risk that a good short par 4 usually has.

General Comments: Pace of play was horrendous when I played, as it took over 3 hours to walk 9 holes. There is no driving range, but there is a field as you drive in where you can hit your own balls. I only played the front 9, but that is probably the side that most people play because apparently the owner doesn’t let players go off the back 9 after 3:30.

Verdict: With below average conditioning and a strange overall vibe, I’d much rather play Country View or Crystal Lake down the street.

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