Give me WOW…Give me FLAVOR

I don’t play golf there often enough, but when I do, if I only had one course to play in North Carolina it would be Tobacco Road.  Mimicking, sort of, the famous lines of the Dos Equis ‘Most Interesting Man in the World’, also a favorite beer. Welcome to the first of a number of articles which will provide you with a list of golf courses and resorts that you may want to check out for yourself.  It is easy to pick the biggest and the best resort in any part of the world. We see many as part of the PGA Tour. Pinehurst Resort would certainly fit the bill here. Since I have yet to play either of the new look #2 and #4, we will instead take you elsewhere through the Tar Heel State. We will revisit with Pinehurst Resort, in the meantime so much great golf to be had, some off the beaten path in many instances giving you some great golf that you do not have to take out a mortgage for. Others on a well worn path.

Hole #16 – Tobacco Road

Ready??? In my mind there will likely never be another course that will provide the visual WOW and intimidation factor that a course like Tobacco Road provides about an hour up the road, from the Pinehurst area. Golf is obviously a key factor in making up the list of Traveling Golfer favorites or unique but certainly not the only motivation. Value, quality and overall experience are key influencers to the list. We need some great visuals on and off the course, we need foodie experiences, some wine and good times! My good times may vary from your good times, nonetheless we move on! Tobacco Road, (Sanford NC) for me is home to the most intimidating first tee ball in golf, with two, 100 ft. plus moguls to navigate a 200-yard drive…and that’s just the beginning. Not for the faint at heart. You will either love it or hate it. If you can’t break 100 at home…hmmmm bring lots of balls and have a sense of humor. Love this place! Michael Strantz, who was taken from us at far too young of an age, was the mastermind behind a very unique design. You can book directly with Tobacco Road Golf & Travel and they can help you out with other golf in the Pinehurst area.  In fact, click the link below and you will find a rather attractive Stay & Play – “The Player’s Exclusive” – package that includes Tobacco Road and Mid South Club (another of my Pinehurst area favorites).

#5 – Mid South Club

https://go.tobaccoroadtravel.com/?screen=scnspecials_all The Arnold Palmer Signature Design Mid South Club, has hosted a U.S Open and Senior U.S Open Qualifier. Accommodation’s are second to none and the course boasts a spectacular collection of golf holes, including two of my favorites No. 9 and No. 18 which are framed beautifully against a stately clubhouse and greens heavily guarded by a large lake. Mid South is part of the Talamore Group. I personally love Mr. Palmer’s designs and this is as good as it gets.  https://www.talamoregolfresort.com With over 600 courses in the Tar Heel State, where do we go next? Keeping you inland for one more stop before we take you to the coast for the rest.

Grandover Resort, East Course 18th

If you travel I-85 near Greensboro you can’t help but be captivated by the sun glistening off of a massive structure – The Grandover Resort. Two great courses, toughies to boot. I guess that is why they have hosted Pre-Qualifying rounds of the Wyndham Championships and have hosted four Division III Men’s Golf National Championships and a Division I Regional in 2012. The Resort is a touch of class, which has recently undergone a $10 million-dollar restoration, but it’s the staff here that sets them apart.  It might just be where the standard for southern hospitality is set. You need to spend some time at the 1808 Bar and have a meal or two in the award winning DiValletta Restaurant. Make sure you stay a few days because a must do is a visit to the small town of Jamestown, about 10 minutes away – so many fun dining options. The Full Moon Oyster Bar and Seafood Kitchen was highly recommended and lived up to all expectations. Oysters to start and Sea bass to finish off with a nice La Crema Chardonnay!  http://grandover.com

Wild Horses on the beach in Outer Banks

  A place that will forever have a place in my heart.  For some it is where you find some of the best beaches in the world.  For me The Outer Banks brought out the animal lover in me; Corrola the upper most tip of the Outer Banks is where you will find herds of wild mustangs still roaming Oceanside. Descendants from the days of pirates and colonial-settlers.  A storied piece of the State with many a lighthouse, Cape Hatteras National Seashore, the Wright brothers took flight here, Wright Brothers Memorial and scores of watering holes overflowing with fresh seafood and spirits. It’s one stop shopping for all you golf packaging needs at https://playobxgolf.com My top three courses here are: Kilmarlic Golf Club, Currituck Golf Club and Nag’s Head.

#9 at Bald head Island Golf Club

Here is a place that everyone one should visit at least once in a lifetime!  It is a 20 minute ferry ride to Bald Head Island.  You leave your car behind, and it’s just as easy to leave your stress behind.  There are no cars on this little island, just golf carts, but there is a pretty damn good golf course. The Island: https://www.baldheadisland.com The Bald Head Island Golf Club: https://www.bhiclub.net Keeping you oceanside… Known as the area’s top local favorite, in Leland, just outside of Willmington, Magnolia Greens Golf Plantation is 27 holes of outstanding golf, and has hosted PGA and USGA qualifying events. In my mind, some 20 years later, it is remembered as having the slickest greens that I have ever putted!  https://www.magnoliagreensgolf.com A couple of other favorites and must plays for me, are in NC but often played by traveling golfers on Stay & Play to Myrtle Beach and the Grand Strand area. Carolina National Golf Club, Boliva, NC is a 27-hole Fred Couples signature golf course. Winding through rich low country terrain, the course features several dramatic views of the Lockwood Folly River and has been recognized by Golf Digest as one of the finest courses on the eastern seaboard. https://carolinanationalgolfclub.com

Rivers Edge Golf Club & Plantation

  Rivers Edge Golf Club & Plantation, Shallotte, NC another Palmer stunner along the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway.  What to expect…. sweeping marsh and river views as you wind tour way along riverbanks, with greens that appear to rise directly out of the tidal marshes. Seven of the holes sit high upon bluffs that overlook two miles of grassy marshlands bisected by the bends and turns of the Shallotte River. http://www.riversedge-nc.com/ Finally, the closer, as all great golf courses should have a great finishing hole, I would be remiss if I did not bring your attention to another breathtaking Mike Strantz masterpiece in the Asseboro area, Tot Hill Farm.  Winding through a maze of magnificent rock formations and creeks, you may feel anxious and your heart may pound a bit harder as you are distracted by breathtaking and some intimidating views.  https://www.tothillfarm.com/# North Carolina – The Home of American golf and sooooooo much more. For more information on the State https://www.visitnc.com
By: Claudio DeMarchi – www.travelinggolfer.net