Apr 21, 2014

Carolina National Golf Course Review

The sweetest winds they blow across the south

Carolina National Golf Course Review

What makes me return to the North Carolina each March over the last few years? Yes it’s the beautiful and quiet coastal islands and beaches our family stays near but it’s also the hidden gem of golf courses tucked away on and near the coast of North Carolina. One such gem is Carolina National Golf Course.

We were fortunate enough to play on a beautiful sunny day, tee times were delayed by some early morning frost but the staff did a great job keeping everyone happy and quickly out on the course.

Carolina National is a beautiful Fred Couples signature golf facility comprised of 27 holes. Set along the Lockwood Folly River it winds its way through some scenic low country terrain offering a variety of holes for golfers of all skill levels.

We got a chance to play the Egret 9 and Heron 9. Both these 9s have been converted to Champion UltraDwarf Bermuda Grass (The same type that Pinehurst #2 will be converting to in 2014). Champion Bermuda will provide the highest quality putting surface year round. It thrives in the summer heat and uses less water.

I must admit the greens were the best we putted on during our North Carolina golf trip. Great job by the staff at Carolina National in what seems like a very short time, below check out a video of the green conversion at Carolina National.

Carolina National has 5 sets of tee blocks so check out the length of each for what best suits your game.

Carolina National has a great feel once you arrive at the golf course and for me it starts with the clubhouse and the staff. The day we were playing an afternoon bridge game was going on in the clubhouse giving Carolina National a warm southern appeal.

Egret 9

Number 1 on Egret is a great starting hole. Take your driver out and let it rip, the fairway does narrow just keep it right and you'll just have a wedge into this smallish green. A real fun starting hole.

 The number 2 handicap hole on the Egret nine. Number 2 requires a good drive just left of the bunkers on the right. Water down the left side is intimidating for those that overcompensate their draw. Lots of bunkers on this hole so make sure your sand game is good.

 #3 A tough par 5 get your first shot in the fairway which is tough as it's pretty narrow. A large waste bunker down the right side can be daunting if you're unlucky to land there. The green is guarded in the front both left and right. Par is a good score here.

#4 Depending on how you play this hole and how accurate your driver can be, this is definitely a birdie hole. With water on the right side favor a drive between the two bunkers situated before the green. Good luck!

First par 3 on Egret #5 can play pretty easy but it all depends on the wind.

The second par 3 #7 a straightforward par 3 with only 4 bunkers guarding this green.

 #6 A straightaway par 4 with a narrow fairway for your drive. Should be an easy par with not a lot of hazards.

 #9 A fun par 5 that has many ways to play the hole. With a split diagonal fairway a few different plays can be made off the tee. Love the slightly uphill shot from the left side. Beware of the trees for your second shot and the sloping green. One of my favorites.

Heron 9

#1 A nice par 4 to start the Heron 9. A generous landing area, water shouldn't come into play. Your second into a deep green should net you a good score just don't go long.

 #2 Tough par 5 the tee shot didn't fit my eye (might of been the narrow fairway and water on right side) but depending on the wind, par is a great score here. I loved the bunkers and the trees that framed the green on this hole.

 #3 An elevated tee shot, watch you don't take to much on your drive on this hole as it narrows closer to the green. A fun hole with lots of options. Green is narrow and guarded by two bunkers.

  #4 Bunkers galore on this short par 4 many options from the tee but the driver is the most fun. Tough green and depending on the winds can generate a high score.

#5 One of the best par 3s around can challenge you from any tee box. Beautiful, scenic and tough. The day we played there was a strong wind into our faces which made club selection fun. Definitely worth the price of admission.

#6 A short par 4 with a narrow fairway that can cause problems for even the most accurate driver of the ball. Green is small with run off areas both front and back left. Fun hole!

#8 A short par 3 I managed a birdie on even though I was just slightly off the green. If you miss the green you want to be on the left side as there's a lot of bunkers on the right side.

 #9 Didn't really like the tee shot (not being able to see the entire hole) but once you got around the dogleg this par 5 was a fun hole to end the last of Heron 9. Beware of the large bunker in front of the green.

If your in the area, Carolina National is a must play. The course for early March was in great shape. The staff was friendly and helpful and there's a great welcoming feel around the clubhouse. With five sets of tees golfers of every skill level will be challenged by this course. Make sure you stop in the restaurant at Carolina National. The Plantation Grille will serve you up a lovely beverage and a po' boy sandwich.

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