The Takeaway: One of the few courses in the country where the ocean is visible from every hole on the course, the biggest highlight by far are holes 8, 9, and 18 while the other 15 do little to set the course apart from other tree lined tracks. Grade B-
Designer: Donald Ross 1924 (second nine added in 1954; Ron Pritchard restoration 1997)
Phone Number: 401-739-0550
Course Website: Official Website - Visit Warwick Country Club's official website by clicking on the link provided.
Directions: Get here! - 394 Narragansett Bay Ave, Warwick, Rhode Island 02889 – UNITED STATES
What to Expect: Warwick is the tale of three holes; numbers 8, 9, and 18 which are easily the highlight of the course and bring emphasis to the ocean that wraps the southwest tip of the property. Conversely, the other 15 holes are mostly tree lined offerings with little to get excited about and where you’ll find yourself longing for the routing to take you to the nearby ocean. This feeling is magnified by the fact that the ocean is visible from every hole on the course yet the amount of time you play near it is extremely limited. The visuals of the ocean were made possible through a tree removal program that highlighted the course’s best feature; its setting. Playing to a par 69, the routing has just one par five and it is under 500 yards so as you can imagine the overall length of the course is mild. The throwback style features 13 two-shotters with the ones on the front delivering the best designs to enjoy as a group. The course offers an easy walk although carts are available for those electing to take a ride between shots. Ultimately, Warwick is one of those courses you long to give you a little more. It is a pleasant enough track, but it would almost be better off away from the ocean with it out of your mind rather than sitting there teasing you but never delivering a substantial encounter with it.
By the Numbers
Individual Hole Analysis
Signature Hole: 18th Hole – 440 Yard Par 4 – The closing holes of each nine at Warwick offer the most visually impressive and memorable closers in the Ocean State. This downhill two-shotter plays straight towards the ocean with Warwick’s impressive white clubhouse sitting in the foreground. Two bunkers line each side of the green but the front is wide open and encourages a ground game shot that tumbles down the slope in front of the putting surface. This hole is a beauty and pairs with the 9th as the most talked about holes on the property.
Best Par 3: 9th Hole – 184 Yards – A par three that some would consider the signature hole of Rhode Island, the closer on the front nine is a stunning offering that plays along the coast over a pair of ponds before reaching the green. With direct exposure to the ocean, this hole is susceptible to the effects of the wind more than any other so care has to be given to drive through the ball to help prevent it from ballooning and being denied its target.
Best Par 4: 8th Hole – 387 Yards – The first introduction to the ocean comes on this downhill two-shotter that plays straight towards the water. A pair of bunkers are on the right side of the fairway but the green is devoid of any sand which should deliver confidence to players as they hit their approach shots. The downhill slope in the fairway is receptive to balls that want to come skipping in on the ground but balls that go long will find themselves going over the infinity edge and into the water.
Best Par 5: 15th Hole – 474 Yards – With only one par five on the course, it was an easy decision on which hole to feature here. This also represents an excellent opportunity to throw a birdie on your card with less than 500 yards to cover. The hole plays dead straight and features a bunker on the left side of the driving area and a line of trees on each side. The approach shot is where things get interesting with a slightly pushed up green with three diagonal cross bunkers fronting the putting surface and a boomerang bunker on the right side. If you aren't confident in reaching the green in two, layup to your favorite yardage short of the cross bunkers and knock your third shot stiff.
Birdie Time: 6th Hole – 337 Yard Par 4 – Donald Ross feels generous on the 6th hole by offering this short two-shotter to players to take advantage of. The fairway slowly, but steadily, ascends uphill as it bends to the right towards the greensite but most players won't have the juice to reach it with their drive. A tee shot that travels 250 yards will stay short of the fairway bunkers and put a scoring club in your hand to attack the flag with.
Bogey Beware: 1st Hole – 456 Yard Par 4 – Donald Ross' design at Warwick doesn't believe in the gentle handshake approach for an opening hole, in fact, it is more like a punch in the mouth. The uphill two-shotter stretches over 450 yards and almost assures that players will have a mid to long iron in their hand on their second shot if they didn't take sufficient time to warm up before the round. In addition, the front edge of the green slopes back towards the fairway and will reject shots that are approaching with insufficient muster. It has been said that every good round starts with a bogey, and at Warwick, Donald Ross tries to guarantee it.