Newport Country Club

Newport Country Club
Newport Country Club Clubhouse, ca. 1897
Newport Country Club, ca. 2010

Newport Country Club, founded in 1893, is a historic private golf club in Newport, Rhode Island in the United States that hosted both the first U.S. Amateur Championship and the first U.S. Open in 1895.



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Theodore Havemeyer, a wealthy sportsman whose family owned the American Sugar Company, played the game of golf on a trip to the South of France in 1889 and returned to his summer home in Newport, RI excited about its future. He convinced a few pals from the summer colony's social elite, men such as Hermann Oelrichs, John Jacob Astor IV, Perry Belmont and three Vanderbilts - Cornelius, Frederick, and William - to purchase the 140-acre Rocky Farm property for $80,000 and establish the golf club in 1893.[1] At the time of the club's founding, Newport was at the peak of its prestige as the favorite summer colony of America's wealthy elite. The city had thus established one of America's earliest golf clubs since the sport was played almost exclusively by the rich when it was first introduced to the United States.[2]


Anxious to host national competitions, Havemeyer invited the country's best amateurs to his new course for a championship in 1894. That December, Havemeyer held a meeting at New York City's Calumet Club with representatives from four other clubs: St. Andrew's Golf Club in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY; Shinnecock Hills Golf Club; The Country Club in Brookline, MA; and the Chicago Golf Club. These clubs agreed to form the Amateur Golf Association, the forefather of the United States Golf Association. In October 1895, Newport Country Club hosted both the first U.S. Amateur Championship and the first U.S. Open. In 1995, in celebration of the U.S. Amateur Championship centennial, the club hosted the 1995 U.S. Amateur Championship, which was won by Tiger Woods. To this day, the U.S. Amateur champion is awarded the Havemeyer Trophy.[3] It was also the venue of the 2006 U.S. Women's Open, which was won by Annika Sörenstam.[4]


A nine-hole course was designed in 1894 by William Davis, the club's first professional, and later expanded to 18 holes in 1915 by renowned architect Donald Ross. In 1923, A.W. Tillinghast, famous for such designs as Winged Foot Golf Club, Baltusrol Golf Club, and the San Francisco Golf Club, was hired to remodel the course layout. Since 1995, restoration on some of the course has been completed by Ron Forse.


Whitney Warren designed the classic, Beaux Arts style clubhouse on a largely barren farm overlooking Brenton Point in 1895. Warren's only other major Newport project at the time was a home for his sister, Edith. This mansion, which overlooks Bailey's Beach and completed in 1900, was called High Tide. Michelle Wie stayed here for the week of the 2006 U.S. Women's Open. The clubhouse went under extensive renovation in 2005.


1 The First 459 1 480 442 15 4/5 11 427
2 The Cop 390 15 366 352 11 4 9 341
3 Ocean 345 17 328 312 17 4 15 228
4 Graves Point 242 7 220 209 5 3 7 181
5 Polo Shed 451 5 422 411 1 4 1 347
6 Lookout 418 11 383 359 9 4 13 287
7 Long Meadow 596 9 553 512 7 5 5 454
8 Willows 194 13 177 164 13 3 17 155
9 Orchard 464 3 422 406 3 4 3 381
OUT 3559 3351 3167 35/36 2801
10 Quarry 572 16 528 517 14 5 14 477
11 Harbour 298 18 298 289 18 4 18 245
12 Valley 463 2 477 436 16 4/5 10 396
13 Club 166 14 151 137 12 3 16 123
14 Plateau 209 10 189 172 6 3 12 159
15 Brenton Reef 444 4 411 403 2 4 2 391
16 Island 359 12 359 321 8 4 6 311
17 Pond 455 6 441 387 4 4 4 380
18 Home 420 8 379 365 10 4 8 318
IN 3386 3233 3027 35/36 2800
TOT 6945 6584 6194 70/72 5601
BLACK 129 73.8
RED 127 72.4
WHITE 121 70.6
BLUE 126 73.0
WHITE 134 76.7

U.S.G.A. rules govern all play.

Local Rules

A ball is out of bounds when it lies outside the Club property where defined by fences, the road behind No. 11 green and stonewalls, with the exception of the wall to the right of No. 17 green. Stones in bunkers are moveable obstructions.


If a match fails to keep its place on the course and loses more than one clear hole on the players in front, it should allow the match following to pass. Observe all cart signs and use paths where available. Keep all golf carts in fairway. Newport Country Club prides itself in fast play.


  • Newport is an 18 Hole Golf Course, which plays just over 6,950 yards from the championship tees (blacks, par 70). In general the short holes play into the prevailing south west wind and the long holes play down wind.
  • There are also the mens tees, (red, par 72) - the senior tees (white, par 72) and the women's tees (blue, par 72).
  • Hole 1

The first hole is a par five from every tee box except for the blacks, from which it is a par four. It is a hole with bunkers left and right closest to the tees, fescue lining the fairway left and right, then arriving at an elevated green surrounded by bunkers.

  • Hole 2

A short par four, it has one fairway bunker on each side about 150 yards from the green, then a cross bunker that cuts the fairway 80 yards in front of the green.

  • Hole 3

An even shorter par four, teeing off slightly downhill to a cross bunker 150 yards from the green. Easily clearable, with short rough on your left and a bunker and fescue on your right. The hole goes to a slightly elevated green, which is almost on the Atlantic Ocean. One could easily hit a pitching wedge from one of the 5 greenside bunkers over Ocean Drive and into the water.

  • Hole 4

A long par three, playing 242 from the championship tees. This hole lines the water, and hooks to the left will find the road or even the water, while pulls to the right find one of the 7 bunkers on the hole, or unforgiving fescue.

  • Hole 5

One of the harder par fours, it plays uphill to a fairway riddled with bunkers. A long bunker on the beginning of the fairway runs up the left side and catches short tee shots. It is usually safer to aim right middle, but not so far right that you catch the small pot bunker on the right. A decent drive leaves about 180 in, easily enough to clear the two bunkers on your left in the middle of the fairway, 110 yards out from the green. The hole plays to a green guarded by four bunkers, and with a spine in the middle (tough to put over). A challenging hole.

  • Hole 6

The sixth hole is a bit easier but does play into the prevailing wind. Drives usually find the fairway, but the punishment for left or right is stubborn rough or bunker with a low lip. The only real challenge on this hole is a cross bunker that crosses the whole fairway, 35 yards out from the green. Going right gives a short path into the green beside the cross bunker, but be careful as your ball may find the deep double bunker on the right.

  • Hole 7

A long par five, playing over 500 yards from the championship tees. A massive bunker nicknamed the Sahara prevents short tee shots from heading towards the green. A small patch of fairway lies to the right of this bunker, but fescue resides to the right of that. Long hitters can go for the green in two, but accuracy is a must as there are four bunkers surrounding the green. To the left of the left greenside bunkers is OB, and to the right of the right bunkers is fescue.

  • Hole 8

A short par four, playing 194 from the championship tees. A small fairway but large green are both concealed by six bunkers. Three to the left of the green, two to the right, and a cross bunker that catches very short shots.

  • Hole 9

A daunting uphill par four, the key is to aim right over the "tongue" (or the grassy section in the middle of the cross bunker 230 yards out from the championship tees). Over this bunker puts a player in good position for a shot at the green, while leaving it safe either left or short gets you a 220+ yard uphill approach shot to a fast green. Lining the right and left of this hole is fescue, so fairway is a must. Other bunkers are ones in the left fairway 100 yards out, then 3 greenside bunkers.

Hole 10

Hole number 10 , although 572 from the tips, it plays down hill and predominately downwind. JFK’s in-laws former home “Hammersmith Farm” is a good target for the drive. Avoid the left and right fairway bunkers and you’ll have a long iron down to the 150 - 100 yard markers which are bunkered on both sides. In the heat of summer when the un-watered fairways harden, it is not unusual for better players to hit drives of 350 yards or more ! The well bunkered 10th green is double tired and is very accepting of short irons, just be careful not spin it off the green.

Hole 11

Hole 11 - Harbor. This short enticing par 4 can come up and sting you, if you look past it too casually. A well struck 4 iron or utility wood over the cross bunker will put you inside of 100 yards for a gentle flip onto the small heavily bunkered green. For those who have greed in their hearts however, the 11th is willing to rip it out. A long bunker stretching out from the right side of the green and meandering up the fairway a bit provides the venom with the “hardest shot in golf ”. The wayward tee ball hit with a driver in search of "driving the green" can easily end up being a 30 yard sand shot. What should have been an easy 4 , can now ballon to an ugly gut wrenching 5 or 6.


Hole 10

See also

  • Brenton Point

Coordinates: 41°27′43″N 71°20′49″W / 41.46194°N 71.34694°W / 41.46194; -71.34694

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