Luxury, Seclusion, and Golf
Carnegie Abbey in Portsmouth, RI
The uber-wealthy industrialists who summered in Newport during the Guilded Age may have passed on their fortunes to less ostentacious heirs and donated their their mansions to historical societies, but Narrangasett Bay’s magestic views and the seculsion of Adquidneck Island that attracted them to Newport remains. For the last 10 years, Carnegie Abbey Club has taken advantage of that beauty and seculsion to provide an exclusive retreat for golf, tennis, horseback riding, and yachting.
In Portsmouth, with an unassuming gated entrance next to the Portsmouth Abbey private school, the club could go unnoticed if you didn’t know where to look for it. This quiet, well-hidden entrance off the beaten track is a Scottish golf club tradition, one that helps maintain that seclusion and exclusivity.
The 300-acres sporting club is dominated by the championship Scottish links golf course designed by the renowned Donald Steel. Among Steel’s courses are four courses at St. Andrews and the course designed for Carnegie’s own Skibo Castle. The par 71 course swings through woodland and overlooks Narragansett bay, ending at the signature 18th hole after more than 6600 moderately-difficult yards. It’s maintained in PGA condition at all times. The $200,000 initiation fee and a monthly dues of $10,000 provides full golf access, with greens fees of $225 for guests. Lesser memberships provide social-only access and for members who live overseas and therefore will visit only infrequently.
The 70,000 square foot clubhouse features a towering fireplace and Adirondack-style wooden plank walls. In addition to the pro shop, it has the Narragansett Dining Room — an excellent restaurant with a chef the match of any of Newport’s best, a small bar that boasts a broad selection of whisky (and whiskey), the European spa with Elmis products, sweeping verandas, and of course the dressing rooms for the golfers. The dressing rooms are as much a retreat as a place to change clothes. With a card room that feels like a Victorian-era gentelman’s club and a sitting room with Vargas pinups adorning the walls, it’s easy to forget its primary purpose is to provide a place to shower and change. The assigned lockers with their owner’s name on the fronts make it clear that the club’s members include celebrities, football stars and world leaders.
The clubhouse also features a set of condos, some of which are sold, others available by the night, so people who come to the club for a special event or a memorable round of golf can spend the night in luxury.
But man does not live by golf alone. Sports include equestrian activities, tennis, and swimming pools. For the yachtsmen, there are 41 slips for yachts up to 75 feet.
A small gated community of luxury homes have been built on the property, along with the 22-story Tower at Carnegie Abbey and the condos in the clubhouse and nearby buildings. The tower features 79 condominiums, a 8435-square-foot penthouse residence, and a Mediterranian-styled pool with cabanas.
To learn more about the Carnegie Abbey Club, go to their website at www.carnegienewport.com.