...GT logos out of 4
Goddard Memorial State Park Golf Course, East Greenwich, Rhode Island (reviewed July, 2009)
After playing 9 at Coventry Pines, the second half of our Land O'Chowdah double dip, Goddard Park, provided a good change of scenery. The split doubleheader concept is pure genius from a Goat Tracking perspective; fifteen minutes or so to get in the car, listen to some tunes or a ball game, regroup, and prepare for the next course. We can't say enough good things about it. Of course, this feat is much easier to pull off at 9-hole Goat Tracks that don't accept tee times. Both Coventry Pines and Goddard Park fit the bill on that front.
Based on prevailing weather conditions in the Northeast this "summer" (i.e., "maybe I'll build an ark, just in case") prior to playing Goddard Park, it was fair to assume that the "normal" midsummer conditions, based on "normal" rainfall and no fairway irrigation weren't to be expected.
The Goddard Park Review
Pro Shop: How can you beat having a pro shop that looks like (maybe actually is) a log cabin? The overhang and wraparound porch is apparently a place where Cliff Claven impersonators share their thoughts with golfers waiting to hit the first tee. Indescribably enjoyable.
Fairways: Similar to other Goat Tracks we've played this summer, Goddard Park was "greener than the historical norm," i.e., not brown. Upon closer inspection, both GT Duke and Golfer Number Two noticed that, if you're not rolling the ball over in the fairways, you'll probably end up hitting through enough carefully camouflaged crabgrass to either throw your back out or at a minimum, cuss out your shot as your club gets caught in it. In general, the fairways are wide enough to land passenger jets, which is fine by us.
Rough: As advertised just prior to our round, by our tour guide, Dan. Heavy enough to make shots seemingly disappear; sparse enough to allow a Tracker walking through it to stumble across more golf balls than he lost. And under those circumstances, a found ball is your ball. There is no moral high ground here.
Bunkers: Not much to note here, average for the most part, aside from the bunker in front of the green on #6. Front lip raised a few feet above the green, kind of like staring into a crashing wave, blind shot to the pin, has airmail/re-approach from behind the cart path written all over it. Fair enough; if you can't hit the green on a 295-yard dogleg par-4, you get what you deserve. Respectable.
The Muni-Track Thing, it's all about flava...
We've never been to Bethpage, but if we had to guess, on the spectrum of state/municipal parks with golf courses (with...say Keney at one end of the spectrum and Bethpage at the other), Goddard Park is probably closer to Keney than Bethpage.
The entrance to Goddard Park starts off with some stone walls along the roadside and stone pillars at the entrance gate. The first impression is impressive, as you wind through the park on the way to the course. A major difference between Goddard Park and Keney Park is that there's a picnic area at Goddard bordering the course behind the 7th green and 8th tee, whereas the picnic area at Keney is well sequestered. GT Duke did raise an interesting and timely question on the 8th tee, "Kind of a long day out here and I'm thirsty. Do you think that if we walked over and asked, we could get a good mojito?"
In summary: Although we may have missed the opportunity to play Goddard Park under the conditions previously advertised, it can't be denied status as a true Goat Track and the Keney flava was just great. We'll give it...