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Triggs Memorial GC (Providence, RI) reviewed October, 2008
Triggs was recommended to Goat-Track.com by esteemed Tracker Friar Tuck.  After hearing this, GT Duke made the observation that Triggs can't be considered a Goat Track because it's a Donald Ross course.  We headed out to decide for ourselves and put the controversy to bed.

Although it does have some Goat Track features, overall Triggs doesn't really qualify as a Goat Track, at least not in the conventional  sense.

The "Video Flyover" of Triggs; makes the mounds look much smaller.
Features that Goat Trackers will Appreciate
Stonework:  A great, old, four-foot high wall extending behind the first tee to the outer edge of the course.  Always a good sign and a reassuring thing to see at the beginning of a round for most Trackers.

Bunkers:  Scored surprisingly high on the GT grading scale, not because of the sand, or lack thereof that we would expect (yet not encounter), but because they provided a "WOW!" factor, actually more of a "WTF?!?" factor.  Most of the bunkers at Triggs are higher on the back lip than the front lip and the backslopes are covered in three-foot high grass; providing a much better chance of finding a ball in the trap than one just behind it.  Impressive.

Signage:  Pretty simple.  Plastic-coated corrugated material on wire frames stuck into the ground like croquet wickets, similar to what one might see at a charity scramble event.  We didn't inquire whether it's always been this way; whether they're in the process of getting new signs; or whether there's just a perpetual problem with sign theft, but we should have.  One might have thought that the course was far enough from the Providence College campus that sign stealing wouldn't be as much of a problem as it is near campus (we defy anyone to drive within a ten block radius of the PC campus and find signs on three consecutive cross streets), but we could be wrong.

[Not that we were looking for a "sky caddy" level of detail, but since there's no map of the holes on the scorecard and nothing to work with from the tee box signs,  some stretches of the course can be tough to read for the uninitiated.  On the other hand, the carts have GPS holders, so it is possible to get a read on course layout if you pay for GPS for your round; that just doesn't sit well with us.]

The Abandoned Tee Box:  On #17, there's an abandoned island tee box in the middle of a partially drained pond.  Curious to see what this was like when it was in use, but it was pretty cool, nonetheless.

Navigation:  If you miss the turn for Triggs off of Manton Avenue, it should take you no longer than three minutes to feel like you're on your way to Goodwin Public (frame of reference for seasoned Trackers), which can be both good and bad; but bad in the sense that at that point you're getting no closer to the course.......for starters.

History of the Track, Part I:  After asking for a different viewpoint on Triggs back in May, we got this greatly appreciated post from someone on Stracka.com, "It's been a while since I played this course in college, but what I do remember was a quarter barrel on every tee box and you could take a cart to the package store when you ran out of booze."

History of the Track, Part II:  The proverbial carrot that Friar Tuck threw out there to get Goat-Track.com to review Triggs was, "I found a set of brass knuckles near the 17th fairway."  Who could possibly ignore this?  Anyone?  Bueller?  Bueller?

Based on these features, it's easy to see why there was so much interest in finding out just where Triggs stood in the Pantheon of Goat Tracks.

Non-Goat Track Features:  Pretty much everything else as it relates to actually playing the course.  Of note:

Fairways:  Quite different from what we see on the Goat Track circuit, in that there were more divots in the fairways than in the rough, which suggests that the caliber of golfer at Triggs may be slightly better than we run into elsewhere, or within our group, for that matter.  Also, amazingly well-manicured, probably shorter than the greens on half the Goat Tracks we've played this year.

Greens:  Grass???   Speed???   Break???  It was like being on another planet!  We probably could've done without the putts that veered off a foot from the hole and most of our putts will be at least six feet short of the cup when we return to "normal" Tracking conditions, but these greens were both challenging and fun to play.

Goat Track Neutral Features

The Mound Builders:  Our resident expert on golf course design, GT Duke, concurred that the mounds, which were seemingly everywhere, probably weren't consistent with the original Donald Ross design.  They seemed somewhat out of place, but didn't seem to improve or diminish play; however, they probably lowered the grade on overall layout.

Trees:  Also, per GT Duke, Triggs differs from other courses in the area (extending out to greater Boston) that have a good Goat Track feel, in that it has a different mix of trees on the course.  The classic Goat Tracks it seems, have a lot more pine trees than Triggs does, most likely because they were easier to plant and grow quickly.  Possibly minutiae to some grip & rip, flail & wail Trackers, but certainly not something that's lost on a Sherpa who uses the pine-laden Canton Public GC as the Goat Track benchmark.

All In all, Triggs is a good course to play and we can recommend it on Goat-Track. com based on some of its course features, as opposed to its actual playing conditions, which are at least a cut above what one would expect from a true Goat Track.