Review: Kings Crossing Golf Club

Course Name: Kings Crossing Golf Club

Designer: Geoffrey Cornish (1964)

Location: North Kingstown, Rhode Island

History: Formerly known as “Woodland Greens,” this course was purchased in 2014 by new owners who changed its name and made the course semi-private.

Conditions: 4/10, Conditions are slightly improved under new ownership, with decent fairways and teeboxes (except for the 4th, which is essentially a dirt patch). The greens are slow but true and the bunkers are overall pretty poor quality.

Value: 5/10, At around $20 for 9 holes, Kings Crossing offers fair but not amazing value. Juniors, military, and seniors receive additional discounts and memberships here are extremely competitive at $200 for two years of unlimited golf!

Scorecard:

Tee                     Par         Yardage         Rating          Slope

Blue                   35           3023               34.6               122

White                35           2872               34.1               114

Red                    36           2417               34.5               114

Hole Descriptions: Kings Crossing (formerly Woodland Greens) is a 9-hole Geoffrey Cornish course that feels incredibly cramped and plays more difficult than you’d expect. This design is awkwardly routed, with holes 1-4 playing in a loop back towards the clubhouse and hole 5 accessible only by walking in front of the 1st teebox. Naturally, this creates some confusion on the 1st hole when you’re unsure if somebody’s cutting in front of you or walking to 5. Thick forests with overhanging trees, housing projects, and many doglegs make this course feel too cramped but this is still a difficult test. There are two par threes over 200 yards and a beastly 438 yard closer intermixed with a series of shorter holes made unnecessarily difficult by being too tight or doglegging so severely they take driver out of the golfer’s hand. I would’ve liked to see Cornish (or the new owners) design some shorter holes to lessen the feeling of being squished and improving playability.

The opening hole is a tight, tree-lined, straightaway 370 yard par 4 with a tee shot made blind due to a huge plateau in the fairway. This elevated green runs back-to-front with a steep false front and two deep bunkers guarding short either side. This is a legitimate par 4 and one of the better holes at Kings Crossing.

IMG_5192
The tight par 4 opener from the teebox
IMG_5194
The 1st approach

At just 439 yards, the 2nd hole is a very short par 5 that curves left for its entire length. New owners are in the process of putting in a pond right and long of this fairway, forcing the golfer to hit drives shorter than 250 yards. Even with a drive of that length, this green is still very much reachable in two but doing so requires a herculean shot due to OB left and trees overhanging so much on the left that they block out half the green. This hole would be much improved with some tree-trimming and by moving up the tees and making a difficult par 4.

IMG_5196
The approach on 2 is overgrown with trees

On the old Woodland Greens, a sign stating “Amen Corner” directed you to the 3rd hole. While laughably corny, the 3rd hole is a very tough par 3 at 212 yards. Your teeshot here must carry a valley to reach this back-to-front sloped green guarded by bunkers short on both sides. Most golfers will be forced to hit woods here and par is a fantastic score.

IMG_5197
The long par 3 3rd

The 4th hole is a very tight 525 yard par 5 that requires three straight shots to make par. Fairway bunkers come into play 230 yards on the left and the hole narrows further as you near this green.

IMG_5198
The 4th hole is very tight beginning on the teebox

The 5th is the easiest and best par 3 at 158 yards. This is one of the more unique greens on the course, with a hard back-to-front slope and the entire left side sloping off. I particularly enjoy a large short left bunker with some impressive contours and an island of rough.

IMG_5199
Unfortunately, sun wasn’t ideal for pictures on the 5th

The 349 yard 6th hole is a funky dogleg left that requires a drive longer than 180 yards to carry a new pond. As soon you hit this fairway, the hole turns sharply left to a well-protected narrow green. While it’s possible to cut the corner, I wouldn’t recommend anything over 240 yards or you could run through the following hole’s fairway into fescue. I appreciate the new pond and think it enhances this hole’s beauty and strategym but I can’t help but feel this cramped dogleg left was the result of lack of space.

IMG_5201
The tree on the left side of the 6th tree prohibits cutting the corner

The 7th hole snakes around the 6th in the opposite direction as a 301 yard dogleg right par 4. Similarly to the preceding hole, trees block cutting the corner and this hole feels way too compressed. Bunkers are found at 160 yards on the right corner of the dogleg and short of this relatively flat green.

IMG_5202
The 7th is a birdie hole with a good drive

The 225 yard 8th longest par 3 at Kings Crossing and one of the hardest holes due purely to its length. This hole plays slightly uphill and blind, but the green is rather receptive to runners and you can absolutely spray it off the tee here. The most difficult hole on the course, the 9th, is a 438 yard narrow par 4 with an extremely sloping fairway and uphill approach shot. Longer players or those who need to lay up will have to contend with swampland that almost completely occludes the fairway about 130 yards short of this green. This is one of the toughest par fours in the state.

IMG_5203
The par 4 9th from the teebox
IMG_5204
The uphill approach just short of the 9th swamp

General Comments: There’s no range at Kings Crossing, but there is a small practice green near the 1st tee. Pace of play was average when I played. The new owners have designed a new system of 4 holes, 9 holes, or 18 hole options, which is commendable.

Verdict: I had high hopes the new owners would have ushered in some real changes, but a recent visit to Kings Crossing for the first time revealed the only major difference is the name. At the moment, I can’t recommend this awkward 9-hole track.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s