Review: Kirkbrae Country Club

Course Name: Kirkbrae Country Club

Designer: Geoffrey Cornish/Bill Robinson (1961)

Location: Lincoln, Rhode Island

History: Established in 1961, Kirkbrae is the premier private club north of Providence. Serving the Blackstone River Valley, this club is also a very popular spot for weddings and other events.

Conditions: 8/10, A very well kept course, Kirkbrae is notable for its thick rough and speedy, smooth greens.

Value: N/A, this is a private course.

Scorecard:

Tee                           Par         Yardage         Rating          Slope

Gold                        71            6549               73.2              128

Blue                        71            6264               71.6              124

White                     71            5964               68.9              120

Red                         72            5761               71.4              116

Best Score: 85 (Gold Tees), 5/16/2017 with Dylan

Front 9 Best: 41 (Gold Tees), 5/16/2017 with Dylan

Back 9 Best: 44 (Gold Tees), 5/16/2017 with Dylan, and 5/24/2017 with Dylan, Adam A., and Paul L.

Hole Descriptions: 

Best Par 3: 15th hole, 184 yards, 18th handicap. Easily my favorite hole at Kirkbrae, this severe downhill par three is tree-lined on the left and features two bunkers and a pond short right. This green slopes hard back-to-front, as most do on this course.

Best Par 4: 18th hole, 456 yards, 6th handicap. One of several brutally long par fours at Kirkbrae, this strong finishing hole is quite generous off the tee but bunkers 210 yards and 280 yards on the right jut out into the fairway and will necessitate a layup. The large back-to-front green is framed beautifully by the clubhouse in back, multiple bunkers on the left, and a pond to the right.

Best Par 5: 12th hole, 479 yards, 4th handicap. The best of a relatively weak set of par fives, this reachable hole is probably the easiest hole on the entire course in my opinion. After a drive through a chute of trees, you have a blind, downhill second shot to a narrow back-to-front sloped green. There are bunkers short on both sides but runners can reach this green through the gap. A cart bridge behind this green is a nice touch.

General Comments: The amenities at Kirkbrae are strong with an Olympic-sized pool and beautiful banquet room overlooking the course. The chipping and putting practice facilities are extensive, while the driving range features mats and a limit of about 200 yards. While I’ve only played once besides a tournament, I was disappointed in pace of play – we had to jump around because there a high school match, league play, and multiple five-somes.

Verdict: Kirkbrae offers some of the best conditioning and amenities in the state, but a subpar design from Geoffrey Cornish prevents it from being one of Rhode Island’s elite private courses.

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