134. Newport Country Club
William F. Davis (1899) / A.W. Tillinghast (1924) / Ron Forse (2005)
History was made here in 1894 when the nine-hole Newport Country Club, one of five founding members of the USGA,, became America’s first championship venue, hosting both the inaugural U.S. Amateur and, in the fall of 1895, the inaugural stroke-play U.S. Open Championship. Twenty years later, Donald Ross extended Newport to 18 holes, stretching it out to the Atlantic shoreline, and almost 10 years after that, A.W. Tillinghast remodeled the entire thing, resulting in the most authentic links experience Tilly ever created. Over the past 20 years, consulting architect Ron Forse has faithfully restored many Tillinghast greens and bunkers lost over time. Newport is the rare nationally-ranked course that’s never had a fairway irrigation system. Weather dictates how firm and fast it plays.
100 Greatest History: Ranked on America's 100 Greatest, 1966 through 1968. Ranked on America's Second 100 Greatest: 2015 through current. Highest ranking: No. 116 (previous).
Panelist comments, Newport Country Club:
"Newport Country Club is such a special place in the game. Easy to see why when early, affluent golfers choose a plot of land to build a course, they selected the location they did. The way the clubhouse is perched up and serves as a beacon throughout the round reminded me much of Shinnecock."
"The course has strong bones, and I understand that an upcoming restoration will shine the light on the brilliance of this layout. Of the original holes, only hole #10 still exists, which is a brilliant par 5 that runs away from the main entrance. A great combination of short and long holes and some terrific green complexes."
"I found the most compelling section of the course holes 10 through 14. The ark the holes took on the property reminded me of a similar wide counterclockwise ark on the back nine of Merion. Of particular interest was the short, well-bunkered par-4 11th and the back to back par 3s at 13 and 14."
"A few of the shots are so memorable such as the opening tee shot near the clubhouse and the approach shot coming in on 18 are sensational. Tremendous cross bunkering on every hole as well."
"One of the greatest, classic clubhouses in golf. The vistas looking back at the clubhouse, along with the ocean views, maintain a fabulous ambiance and character as if you're going back in time."