Review: Louisquissett Golf Club

Course Name: Louisquissett Golf Club

Designer: Ken Venturi (1986)

Location: North Providence, Rhode Island

History: Designed by former U.S. Open winner Ken Venturi in 1986, Louisquissett is a private, 9-hole course situated in a residential community in urban North Providence.

Conditions: 7/10, The best part about Louisquissett is the conditioning. While there are some bare spots on teeboxes and fairways, the majority of the course is in solid condition. I have especially high praise for the bentgrass greens, which are speedy and firm.

Value: N/A, this is a private course. I got on through GolfNow on a “Hot Deal.”

Scorecard:

Tee                                 Par         Yardage         Rating          Slope

Blue                               34           2743               33.7               125

White                            34 .         2606 .             33.2               123

Gold                               34           2302               31.2               111

Red                                 34          2166               32.7                116

Best Score: 39 (Blue Tees), 8/11/2017 with Dylan and George W.

Hole Descriptions: I’d been meaning to play Louisquissett for several years in my quest to play all the courses in Rhode Island, but something always came up. Heading into the round, I was excited. I wasn’t expecting Augusta National, but various reviews online, including nearly all of the 51 reviews on GolfAdvisor, praised the course. After playing the 9-hole course twice, I sincerely wondered if I’d played the same course as the one people raved about online.

If I’m being honest, Louisquissett was an incredibly disappointing experience. At only 2743 yards from the tips, this par 34 layout is among the worst I’ve ever played. Houses line almost every one of these holes, and make the course feel cramped in a way I’d never experienced before. I don’t know if the course or houses came first, but they simply do not jive well together at all.

The 1st hole at Louisquissett is actually an truly challenging opener playing 385 yards uphill with houses (and OB) lining both sides. This hole is so tight that anything slightly off the fairway will find someone’s backyard. I’d venture to say that about half the drives hit on this hole end up out of bounds which is a staggeringly unacceptable number. I was fortunate enough to hit this green in regulation the second time around only to three putt on what might be one of the most difficult greens in the state. Running straight back-to-front, putts from above the pin are impossible to keep on the green.

IMG_3935
The opening shot at Louisquissett is the hardest on the course

At only 305 yards, the 2nd hole is a confusing, weak par 4 that is certainly drivable for some golfers. You can’t see the green from the teebox on this dogleg left, but anything with a slight draw will leave you with nothing in. Like the 1st, this narrow green runs back-to-front.

The 3rd hole is the only par 5 at Louisquissett, but calling this 450 yard hole a par 5 is a stretch. This teeshot is incredible narrow, with OB lining both sides of this dogleg right fairway. From the fairway this hole runs uphill and to the right to a relatively flat green conducive to birdies. My playing parter went 3-wood-gap wedge to reach this green in two, but I see nothing wrong with hitting mid-iron off the tee on this weak, poorly designed short par 5.

The 4th hole is the first of 3 par threes at Louisquissett. Playing 165 yards to a circular green, this hole is rather boring and straightforward.

IMG_3937
The par 3 4th hole

After crossing the street, you reach the 5th hole, a difficult, long par 3 playing 187 yards uphill. With mounds just short on both sides of this small green, this hole appears a lot longer than it actually plays. Although long, there’s no real danger surrounding this green. Bogey is easy here, but pars are hard to come by.

A lot of bad designs I’ve played share a common feature – a tree dead in the middle of the fairway. Unfortunately, the 383 yard par 4 6th at Louisquissett continues this trend with a giant tree about 150 yard off the tee. This hole is a sharp dogleg right with houses long left and the 7th fairway on the right playing as OB. Unless you want a long distance into the green, you’ll need to thread your drive through a tiny gap right of the tree but just left of the OB rock wall on the right. Just a poor, poor design…

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Your view on the par 4 6th teebox – aim just right of the tree

At 328 yards, the par 4 7th is another weak, short dogleg left. Your drive must traverse a chute of trees to find a narrow fairway guarded by a creek on the left and the 6th fairway long right that plays as out of bounds. From anywhere in the fairway, you have almost nothing into a giant green.

IMG_3940
The narrow chute on the par 4 7th

At 125 yards, the short par 3 8th requires a carry the entire way over a creek to a wide yet shallow green. A bunker and rough long make club selection the most important part of this hole.

The closing hole at Louisquissett is a challenging 415 yard dogleg right. Requiring a drive of at least 200 yards to reach the dogleg, this hole is open on the left but trees block out golfers who try to cut the corner. This is perhaps the most challenging approach shot on the course, with bunkers short and long of this heavily undulating green. Par is a good score here.

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Your view on the 9th teebox
IMG_3945
The finishing approach to the well-guarded 9th green

Best Par 3: 5th Hole, 187 yards, 11th handicap. The longest of 3 par threes, the 5th is also the most challenging, playing uphill to a tiny green. A tree just to the right of this green makes it difficult to get up-and-down from that side. Bogeys here will not hurt.

IMG_3938
The long, uphill par 3 5th

Best Par 4: 1st Hole, 385 yards, 1st handicap. In the running for hardest opening hole in the state, this long, uphill par 4 is the tightest hole on the course, with condos encroaching on this fairway the entire way. An extremely challenging back-to-front green makes par unlikely even for those who reach in regulation.

Best Par 5: 3rd Hole, 450 yards, 9th handicap. The only par 5 at Louisquissett, this hole wins by default but is a very weak three-shotter. Essentially only requiring three straight shots, golfers of all lengths will be able to easily reach this short dogleg right in regulation.

IMG_3936
The extremely tight teeshot on the par 5 3rd

General Comments: Considering the course itself feels suffocated by the surrounding condos, there simply isn’t any room for practice facilities. Mats with nets near the 1st tee and a poorly maintained putting green near the 9th are all you get to warm up on. Pace of play was pretty strong the day we played.

Verdict: Louisquissett is quite frankly a course that never should have been built. While the conditioning is solid, the course layout is incredibly ill-conceived. I can’t say I’d recommend this course to a friend.

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