Wentworth By The Sea Country Club has Scottish flavor
Original course, laid out for nine holes, opened in 1897
Story and photos by Bob Dunn
GOLF CLUBS IN THE SEACOAST AREA OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
WHILE SOME ARE PRIVATE (MEMBERS ONLY) OTHERS ARE SEMI-PRIVATE AND PUBLIC. WE ARE FEATURING SIX THIS SUMMER, GIVING PARTICULARS OF EACH AND PHOTOS OF THE TOUGHEST, EASIEST AND MOST PICTURESQUE HOLES.
FOURTH UP IS:
WENTWORTH BY THE SEA
Wentworth By The Sea Club House.
Frank Jones, very successful local beer maker, and owner of the Wentworth By The Sea Hotel decided to open a nine-hole "links" type golf course. The idea was to have a genuine Scottish type course in New England, and it remains today as the only "links" type course in the Northeast. George Wright, known as the father of New England golf was hired along with golf pro George Finlay to lay out the course, and it opened for play in 1897. It was redone in 1921 by Donald Ross, regarded as one of the great golf-course architects at the time. It was expanded to 18 holes in 1964 by Geoffrey Cornish, another famous golf-course architect and further changed when the course was purchased by Rye resident Bill Binnie in 1996. The changes made at that time, designed by architect Brian Silva, are the present course in which some of the previous holes were eliminated for housing and new holes replaced the old. The course was slightly changed to accommodate other very large estates. It is a private, members only club, but visitors at the Marriott Wentworth By The Sea Hotel can play the course by making reservations through the front desk of the hotel.
It is truly a Country Club, in that memberships are available for:
The swimming pool at a quite moment.
The outside tennis courts in action.
- 1. Golf membership: which includes not only use of the golf course and practice range but also fitness center, recreation room, outdoor swimming pool, outdoor tennis courts, paddle tennis, Camp Wentworth, dining room, social programs and member events. Food and beverage minimums do apply. Present wait is about 3 to 3 1/2 years. While on the waiting list, limited golf privileges are available.
- 2. Sports membership: includes use of the outdoor swimming pool, indoor and outdoor tennis courts, recreation room, fitness center, dining room, Camp Wentworth, social programs and member events.
- 3. Social membership: which includes use of the dining room, member programs and special events. Food and beverage minimums apply. Optional use of the fitness center for an annual fee.
Dan Franzoso was the PGA Pro for 27 years, until 2001 when he died. His assistant for five years, Gordon Swennes, took over and has been the popular Pro ever since. He runs golf clinics for juniors of all ages and all members. Information on various clinics is available to members. He and his two assistants, Christopher Carlsen and Mark Robinson, also give many private lessons to members and Wentworth Hotel visitors.
Pro Gordon Swennes giving a tip to member Charlie Riley.
The easiest hole is the 2nd, a par 3, 151 yards from the white tee. It is 156 from the blue and 137 from the red tee. There is a small pond in front of the green that can intimidate the player.
Member Kathy Masi of New Castle teeing off on the second hole. Her drive ended up about 15 feet to the left of the pin, probably had a "birdie".
MOST SCENIC HOLE:
The most scenic hole is the 16th; par 5 over 508 yards. The tee shot is over the water of Little Harbor, and the links aspect of the course shows up with an additional carry over a sand area that abuts the beach. In the old days this was the 8th hole, and the summer caddies had a bunkhouse that sat right on the edge of the beach. Must have been fun spending the summer right on the beach, however, the heavy leather bags were another story.
Member Charlie Riley teeing off on the 16th "most scenic hole". His drive must carry over a section of Little Harbor and beach then a parallel sand bunker to the fairway.
Charlie about to hit his second shot on the par 5 "most scenic" hole.
The toughest hole is the 18th, a par 4 over 376 yards from the white tees. It is 395 from the blue and 321 from the red tee. A good drive is most important as the second shot to the green is over a scenic pond. Many players have to hit the second shot down the fairway and have a third shot to the green.
Charlie Riley teeing off on the 18th "toughest hole".
Charlie waiting to hit his approach shot, over the pond, to the 18th green.
Charlie chipping his third shot, to the 18th green.
(Historical information gathered from Wentworth Membership packet.)
NEXT MONTH: PEASE GOLF COURSE
|Robert Diodati||Vice President and General Manager|
|Carol Mc Eleney||Membership Director|
|Gordon Swennes||Head Golf Professional|
|Jason Bastille||Golf Course Superintendent|
|Brooke Simpson||Recreation Director|
|Chris Stevens||Director of Tennis|
|Sydney Mullen|| Maitre d'|
Copyright © Rye Reflections 2007. All rights reserved.