Anchored by the Village of Pinehurst, the Sandhills region of North Carolina is made up of a collection of small towns and blessed with a sampling of public-access golf courses that many golf aficionados consider to be among the best in the world. The "Village" is home to the venerable Pinehurst Resort and Donald Ross' vaunted No. 2 course. The entire area oozes with layouts from Ross, Dan and Ellis Maples, Rees Jones, and Robert Trent Jones.
Resort Course at Talamore Golf Resort is a Rees Jones masterpiece that was nominated as "Best New Public Course of the Year" when opened and has become a regular stop for annual returnees to Pinehurst.
Dan Maples, architect of the nationally acclaimed Pit Golf Links, has created another masterpiece only minutes from the Village of Pinehurst. Longleaf Golf & Family Club was formerly the site of Starland Farms, for years the training ground of some of the country's top thoroughbreds.
Southern Pines Golf Club boasts a Donald Ross design that is considered one of the best courses in North Carolina. The diverse layout will please traditionalists while also rewarding creative shot-makers. The course requires everything from bump-and-runs to tricky tee shots that favor accuracy over distance. There are a variety of ways to play each hole, making strategy a key element to doing well.
Tucked away in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville sits at the meeting point of the Swannanoa and French Broad Rivers. Donald Ross chose the beautiful mountains of western North Carolina as the setting for many of the golf courses in his prolific career.
The 18-hole Broadmoor Golf Links in Fletcher, North Carolina is a semi-private golf course that opened in 1993. Designed by Karl Litten, Broadmoor Golf Links measures 7140 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 133 and a 72.9 USGA rating. The course features 4 sets of tees for different skill levels.
Etowah Valley Golf Club & Lodge is a championship 27-hole layout that has become one of western North Carolina's premier golf destinations. It is even ranked in Golf Digest's top 50 golf destinations in the world. Etowah Valley's North/West combination starts with the shortest of the three nines and ends with the longest.
The 18-hole Sapphire Mountain Golf Club in Sapphire, North Carolina is a resort golf course that opened in 1982. Designed by Ron Garl, Sapphire Mountain Golf Club measures 6503 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 119 and a 69.
Wilmington, North Carolina exudes a sense of time and place. Anchored by its 200-block historic district, this bustling river city of over 100,000 residents has one of the most vibrant downtowns in the state, and one of the strongest tourist industries in the Southeast.
The 18-hole Cape Fear National at Brunswick Forest in Leland, North Carolina is a private golf course that opened in 2009. Cape Fear National at Brunswick Forest was designed by Tim Cate.
The 18-hole Magnolia Greens Golf Plantation - Magnolia/Camellia Course in Leland, North Carolina is a public golf course that opened in 1998. Designed by Tom Jackson, Magnolia Greens Golf Plantation - Magnolia/Camellia Course measures 7031 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 138 and a 74.
The Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill area -- also known as the "Triangle" -- bleeds college hoops. Duke University, the University of North Carolina, and North Carolina State are all within a half hour's drive of each other, and have cultivated some of the most intense rivalries in all of sports over the past 40 years.
River Ridge Golf Club is one of the finest public golf courses in Raleigh. The course sprawls across 100 acres in the heart of the Triangle, it's an easy 15-minute drive from downtown Raleigh. The lush green of the course contrasts beautifully with the Carolina blue skies. Mature trees frame most of the holes and there are a few lakes that come into play.
The 18-hole Creek at Carolina Trace Country Club in Sanford, North Carolina is a private golf course that opened in 1979. Designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr. , Creek at Carolina Trace Country Club measures 6845 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 132 and a 73.
The 18-hole Reedy Creek Golf Course in Four Oaks, North Carolina is a public golf course that opened in 1988. Designed by Gene Hamm, Reedy Creek Golf Course measures 6426 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 117 and a 70.
Piedmont Triad area -- anchored by the three central cities of Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and High Point -- deserves to take its rightful place as a great destination for residents and visitors alike. Historically known for textiles, tobacco, and furniture, the Triad has become a growing metro area that offers enough in the way of culture, outdoor activities, museums, and shopping to satisfy the most discerning traveler.
The 18-hole Salem Glen Country Club in Clemmons, North Carolina is a semi-private golf course that opened in 1997. Designed by Glen Day and Jack Nicklaus, Salem Glen Country Club measures 6714 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 138 and a 73.
The 18-hole East at Grandover Resort in Greensboro, North Carolina is a resort golf course that opened in 1996. Designed by David Graham and Gary Panks, East at Grandover Resort measures 7100 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 137 and a 74.
Winding Creek Golf Club in Thomasville is an 18-hole municipal course that is one of the most affordable rounds in the area. The design is a true target-golf test that is player friendly enough for beginners but will also challenge more advanced players. The golf course is perched atop one of the highest points in Davidson County.
The Outer Banks (OBX), skinny, sandy islands that thread their way along North Carolina's coast from Virginia Beach to Cape Lookout, wake up from their winter snooze as the weather warms and vacation-minded travelers head to places like Nag's Head, Corolla, Duck and Kitty Hawk to unwind, sink their toes into deep sand and pursue their favorite activities.
Nags Head Golf Club has a traditional Scottish-links layout that is right at home on the windswept terrain of the Outer Banks. Situated along the Roanoke Sound, the rugged coastline and rolling sand dunes perfectly mimic a classic links landscape. The golf course is a shot maker's layout that will test your skills but it is still player friendly enough to appeal to all skill levels.
Sea Scape Golf Links in Kitty Hawk, N.C. is one of the premier courses on the Outer Banks. The course has the feel of a traditional Scottish links layout thanks to the seaside location and landscape of windswept dunes.
As you drive north on U.S. Highway 17 from North Myrtle Beach and over the state line, t-shirt shops and mini golf courses give way to Mom-and-Pop seafood restaurants, quaint beach cottages, and rustic roadside gift shops. Anchoring the coast of this pristine region are the Brunswick Islands - a group of barrier islands that run from the world famous "seafood capital" of Calabash, North Carolina, all the way north to the Cape Fear River south of Wilmington. The scenery is unrivaled, as Carolina Oaks and Pines blend together to give the area a true mid-Atlantic feel.
The 9-hole Ibis at Carolina National Golf Club in Bolivia, North Carolina is a public golf course that opened in 2000. Ibis at Carolina National Golf Club was designed by Fred Couples and Gene Bates. The greens are bent and the fairways are bermuda.
Brunswick Plantation & Golf Resort is a 27-hole layout located in the fishing village of Calabash, North Carolina, abut 20 minutes north of Myrtle Beach. It has three distinct nines: the Magnolia, Azalea and Dogwood.
The 18-hole Pearl West Course in Sunset Beach, North Carolina is a public golf course that opened in 1987. Designed by Dan Maples, Pearl West Course measures 7006 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 132 and a 73.2 USGA rating.
With destinations like Hilton Head, Myrtle Beach, and Pinehurst, the Carolinas seldom look at their metropolitan centers for as golf meccas. Once upon a time, this was justifiable. Even as recently as the late 1980s, the Charlotte and Raleigh/Durham metro areas were severely lacking in daily-fee golf facilities.
Eagle Chase Golf Club is tucked away in the rolling hills of northern Union County, surrounded by nothing but acres of countryside and farmland. The secluded locale is ideal for golf, especially since it is conveniently situated less than an hour from Charlotte.
The 18-hole Olde Sycamore Golf Plantation in Charlotte, North Carolina is a semi-private golf course that opened in 1997. Designed by Tom Jackson, Olde Sycamore Golf Plantation measures 6965 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 135 and a 73.
Rocky River Golf Club was carefully carved from lush, rolling hills and natural wetlands with the intent of preserving the beautiful terrain as much as possible. The course flows across the dramatic natural contours of the land, providing holes with plenty of elevation changes. Running alongside the rolling fairways are winding ribbons of native wetland grasses that weave through rocky outcroppings.
The Inner Banks of North Carolina, situated on Albemarle Sound about 75 miles west of the Outer Banks, is blessed by more than 3,000 miles of inland coastline and charming small villages like Edenton, Windsor and Plymouth. It was one of the first areas in North America to be settled by Europeans, who grew large crops of cotton, tobacco and peanuts.
Occano, formerly known as Innsbrook Golf Course and Scotch Hall Preserve boasts a championship course designed by Arnold Palmer. The layout features 11 holes that border either the Albemarle Sound or Salmon Creek, offering stunning views. The golf course is defined by strategically placed, challenging bunker complexes that border subtly undulating greens that are trickier than they seem.
The 18-hole Emerald Golf Club in New Bern, North Carolina is a semi-private golf course that opened in 1988. Designed by Rees Jones and Greg Muirhead, Emerald Golf Club measures 6924 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 125 and a 74 USGA rating.
The 18-hole Harbour Point at Fairfield Harbour Country Club in New Bern, North Carolina is a semi-private golf course that opened in 1985. Designed by D. J. DeVictor and Tom Johnson, Harbour Point at Fairfield Harbour Country Club measures 6577 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 117 and a 71.