Review: Rhode Island Children’s Golf Course at Washington Village

Course Name: Rhode Island Children’s Golf Course at Washington Village* (I played it when it was Washington Village and will review it as it was then)

Designer: Dick Hopkins (1966)

Location: Coventry, Rhode Island

History: Originally designed as the 9-hole Washington Village by Dick Hopkins in 1966, this course was also affectionately known as “Tin Cup.” Eventually this course was cut to 6 holes, but 5 of the original 9 are still in play. Recently, this course changed its name to Rhode Island Children’s Golf Course and became non-profit, with all proceeds going to children’s golf. In 2017, poor conditions and encroaching condo development forced this course to shut down.

Conditions: 6/10, Washington Village is always in pretty decent shape. The greens are fast and there are always workers out there ensuring the course is in good shape. Apparently the conditions have deteriorated in recent years.

Value: 8/10, At just $10 for adults, and $6 for kids, RICGC at Washington Village is a great deal, especially for children learning how to play the game.

Scorecard:

Tee                     Par         Yardage         Rating          Slope

Blue                   21           1352                N/A                N/A

White                21           1290                N/A                N/A

Red                    21           1240                N/A                N/A

Best Score: 23 (Blue Tees), 8/14/2013 with Ryan S. and two others

Hole Descriptions: Washington Village is a short course, with three pars and three par fours. The 1st hole is the longest par 3 at 175 yards. This hole plays uphill to a back-to-front sloping green. The 2nd hole is the number 1 handicap hole and by far the most difficult on the course. At 360 yards, this hole features a blind teeshot with OB left. After a plateau in the fairway, the approach shot runs downhill to a green protected by a front-right bunker and large pond to the right. The 3rd hole is arguably their most memorable as an 150 yard uphill par 3. This hole features a giant pond right in front of the teebox, and a path splits the pond for you to walk over. This green is severely sloped from back to front. At 310 yards, the straightaway par 4 4th plays a bit downhill and is guarded by trees on the right and the range on the left. The short 121 yard par 3 5th is the only new hole (not included in the original 9) and somewhat seems like an add on. A nice wedge to this green should do the trick. The scorecard says the last hole is only 226 yards, but I distinctly remember this hole playing about 300 yards. Either way, this is a drivable par 4 that gets narrower as you get close to this green. The hardest part of this hole is the wacky upside down bowl shaped green that slopes off on all edges.

Best Par 3: 3rd hole, 150 yards. The best of the 3 par threes, this is also the most challenging, requiring an uphill carry over water to a heavily sloped green. This is also undeniably the most picturesque hole on the course.

Best Par 4: 2nd hole, 360 yards. Easily the longest and most difficult hole on the course, this par 4 has several hazards including OB left on the drive and a pond to right on the approach shot. Par is a good score on this hole.

General Comments: You would expect a 6 hole course to have no room for practice facilities but this is not the case at Washington Village. There is a full range and very well-kept chipping and putting green. This is in line with the course’s mission to allow children to practice and learn the game. Because there are often many newcomers playing, pace of play is often on the slower side here.

Verdict: Well-kept and short, RICGC at Washington Village went through many changes throughout the years to adapt, but in the end fell short, and was forced to close.

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