Most golf courses start you off with a relatively benign opening hole to allow you to find your swing before tackling the rest of the layout. Not so at Ould Newbury.
The first hole requires a long and accurate drive from an elevated tee, avoiding the out of bounds and Route 1, which runs down the entire right hand side of the fairway. You also need to stay away from the large willow trees that guard the left hand side of this hole. A good tee shot leaves you with a mid to long iron approach to a green guarded by traps to the right and a severe drop off to the left and rear. A par is an excellent start but don’t be disappointed with a bogey.
If there is a birdie hole at Ould Newbury, this is it.
A good drive followed by a reasonable fairway second shot should leave you with a wedge for your third shot to the elevated green of this short par 5. The longer hitters usually have a go at the green on their second shot. This green is relatively flat and free of bunkers but slopes from back to front and at times can be “sneaky quick” to putt so try and keep the ball below the hole.
Around the Bend
Ould Newbury is well known for its small greens and this sharp dog leg left par 4 presents you with the first one.
You can cut as much off the dog leg as you dare from the elevated tee but don’t get too far left or you will be blocked by a group of large pines that protect the left side of this hole. A drive down the center will leave you with an approach shot of 150 to 160 yards to a small green protected by a bunker on the left. Be careful not to over club yourself coming in to this green – better to be ½ a club short than long.
You have now arrived at the number 1 handicap or most difficult hole at Ould Newbury.
A long, straight, and slightly uphill drive will leave you with a second shot somewhere in the neighborhood of 200 yards unless, of course, you can hit a tee shot between 275 – 300 yards. Be careful with your second shot as it is a difficult up and down from behind this green, which slopes from back to front. Once again, par is a very good score here.
Don’t be fooled by the yardage of this uphill dog leg left par 4.
While the driver can (and should) stay in the bag off this tee, a well paced shot of about 200 yards is a must to prepare for your second to this devilish green. If your approach misses left, right, or long, you might be looking a quick double bogey or worse. Once you find your way to the green you will be very happy with a 2 putt par and a trip down the hill to the 6th tee. Be well aware of the pin location on this hole as there can be multiple breaks between your ball and the cup. Good luck!
Please note that the location of the women’s tees on this hole takes the dogleg out of this hole but the rest is played just the same.
The trend towards small greens continues at this, the first of two par 3’s at Ould Newbury.
A solid iron shot will carry the tidal marsh in front of you and should place you safely on the green. Be sure you avoid the three small but deep bunkers which guard the front of this hole. If the pin is in the middle of the green you should find yourself with a birdie putt of less than 20 feet.
Players will find plenty of fairway to aim at on this slight dogleg left par 4.
The challenge comes on the second shot to this elevated green which is surrounded by pine and cedar trees. After a drive of 225 – 250 yards the average golfer will be hitting a mid iron for their second while the longer hitters will be looking a 9 iron or wedge. This green is one of the largest and flattest at Ould Newbury.
The 8th at Ould Newbury is one of the club’s most picturesque holes.
This short par 4 requires a straight tee shot to set up a short approach to the Club’s “Cup Cake” green. Be careful to avoid the small cluster of cedar trees on the right hand side of the fairway. Do not miss this green either left, right, or long as the drop off is severe and par very difficult. Try to keep the ball below the hole as this green slopes severely from back to front.
If there is a hole at Ould Newbury that people talk about more than any other, it is the 9th.
This par 3 plays all uphill and much longer than shown on the scorecard. In fact there are only 10 documented “Holes in One” on this hole since the club opened in 1915. Unless your name is Tiger, Phil, Vijay, or Ernie, you are looking at a 3 wood or driver to reach the green in regulation. Many pars are made with a nice chip and a good putt. After you walk off the 9th green, grab a beverage from the Pub at Ould Newbury and head back to the first tee to do it all over again.
Note: Up until 2022, a majestic Hickory tree was in the ball flight path. But due to severe weather and disease, the tree sadly needed to be removed.