Acushet River Valley—parkland and links in one

It’s not often that you can play a course that has tall pines and elevation changes for eleven holes and then venture down a long wooden bridge with a canopy of overhanging limbs into a wide open area that looks like you might be on the links in Scotland.

Noted local golf architect Brian Silva designed this municipal course for the town of Acushnet, Mass. and he gave them a course with a wide variety of holes. Opened in 1998, this muni just received a four-star rating from Golf Digest and is only forty minutes from Providence. It is a busy course. Last year they did 37,000 rounds of golf.

The course has L-93 bentgrass on all greens and tees and in much of the fairway. It is well kept and the greens are rather large and undulating, averaging about 7,000 square feet. Many of the greens are elevated and Silva has built chipping areas around most of the greens. Course Superintendent Steve Tibbels of Rehoboth, who used to be the superintendent at Segragansett and is a member of the Rhode Island Golf Course Supts. Assn. does a fine job keeping the course in top shape.

There are four sets of tees on each hole. The course measures 6,807 yards from the tips down to 5,099 from the ladies tees, but there are times when you will want to keep your driver in the bag. Camille Johnson of New Bedford said that the course is fun and fair for ladies.

The thing that you will remember most the first time you play Acushet is the change you will see as you approach the 12th tee. Tall fescue grasses, two ponds and a lack of trees will make you think you have gone to another course. Twelve through 17 are played in this lowland area with marshes. Twelve and 14 are par 5’s and 13 is the hardest hole. Fifteen was my favorite hole. Measuring only 292 from the back tees, it is all carry across a pond. The green is narrow and there is wooded area back right. Better to lay up off the tee and leave yourself a short wedge into the receptive green. Number 17 is a long par 3 over a marsh area and par is a good number there.

You take that same bridge back to number 18, leaving the links behind. The course is an excellent municipal track. The rates are fair and there is a driving range and a good practice putting area. There are many leagues at the course, so the best time to play is when you can make the turn before 3 p.m.

To get to the course take Route 195 to Route 140 North. Get off at exit 4. Take a left and follow Kings Highway straight for five miles to the course. Call 508-998-7777 for tee times.

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