BURRILLVILLE - Rick Finlayson, for 13 years the golf professional and general manager of the Country View Golf Club in Burrillville, offers a simple reason why throngs of players gravitate to his course.
“It’s affordable, we have a friendly staff and it’s a challenge for all types of players - beginners, intermediate and advanced players,” he said.
Country View G.C., located on 49 Club Lane off Route 7, about a 25-minute drive from Providence, is a moderately-challenging Par 70 course that measures 6,067 yards from the back tees and 5,060 yards from the ladies’ tees.
Built in the 1960s, the course has had few changes over the years. About the only significant alteration occurred four years ago when the front and back nines were reversed. The reason behind that move was strictly for the players.
With more wide-open fairways and less trouble, the new front nine is less challenging than the back nine. For those players that just want to play nine holes, the headaches are far less when they finish.
“People definitely like to play the front nine more than the back nine,” Finlayson said. “That's one of the reasons we switched the nines. It's a lot easier. For tournaments, the harder holes are 15, 16, 17 and 18. It's a good test coming in. Plus all the tournaments finish at the clubhouse now, which is a nice thing.”
The signature hole at Country View is No. 12, a par 5, 514-yard hole from the back tees. The hole is separated by a creek at the bottom of a valley, about 400 yards from the tee. The distance from the crest of the approaching hill to the other side is about 50 yards and just over 100 yards to the middle of the green.
If you're a heavy hitter, it's possible to make the green in two shots.
“It's kind of a risk-reward shot,” said Finlayson.
For most players, just laying the ball up with two shots is the best option before aiming for the green.
“I think people enjoy all the holes, but that's the hole they remember,” Finlayson said. “That's what gives them the most trouble.”
After finishing the 12th, players are given another test at No. 13, a short par 3, 180-yard hole with a small green that's surrounded by bunkers.
“There's not a lot of room for error,” Finlayson said. “There's a bunker to the right and a bunker to the left. It's only 180 yards, but there is a not a lot of room for error.”
The first hole, which runs parallel to the street coming into the course and is across from the clubhouse, is a preview of most of the holes on the front side. The 362-yard, par 4, is wide open and certainly one of the less challenging of the 18 holes.
The green fees (18 holes) for Country View are $30 during the week, including $20 for seniors. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. the general fee does drop to $26. The weekend rate is $37. After 2 p.m., it drops to $25. Golf carts and push carts are also available for a fee.
Country View has a full bar and restaurant in the clubhouse and is available for tournament and functions during the season.
“We do a lot of outings, tournaments and special events,” Finlayson said. “We probably have 30 to 40 outings during the summer.”