Newport Country Club

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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.

History[edit]

Theodore Havemeyer, a wealthy sportsman whose family owned the American Sugar Company, played the game of golf on a trip to Pau in the south of France in 1889 and returned to his summer home in Newport, RI excited about its future. In 1890 he and his friends rented some property on the old Castle Hill Farm and played golf on a primitive course. He convinced a few pals from the summer colony's social elite, men such as John Jacob Astor IV, Perry Belmont and Cornelius Vanderbilt II , - 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. The primitive course that they played upon in 1890 was bought roughly 30 years later and is where the 2nd through 8th holes are currently are on. [2]

Tournaments[edit]

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]

Course[edit]

A nine-hole course was designed in 1894 by William Davis, the club's first professional, and later expanded to 18 holes in 1899, again by Davis. This 2nd nine was long thought to be designed by Donald Ross, but a recent discovery (2013) of an original scorecard (1899) rebuked Ross work. This information is in the recently written club history. In 1923, A.W. Tillinghast, famous for such designs as Winged Foot Golf Club, Baltusrol Golf Club, Bethpage Black 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.

Clubhouse[edit]

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.

Scorecard[edit]

HOLE BLACK BLACK HCP RED WHITE RED/WHITE HCP PAR BLUE HCP BLUE
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 447 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 8 297
IN 3389 3233 3027 35/36 2778
TOT 6948 6584 6194 70/72 5579
SLOPE INDEX
BLACK 132 74.1
RED 127 72.2
WHITE 121 70.6
WOMEN
BLUE 126 73.0
WHITE 134 76.7

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

References[edit]

See also[edit]

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