Cleaved into the rolling bluffs of the Carolina countryside, The Country Club of Johnston County's 18-hole, Ellis Maples–designed course encompasses 6,573 yards of well-groomed fairways and greens. Dense tree lines guide clubbers across the picturesque par 72, obstructing shots as players attempt to keep orbs on fairways that dog-leg and kitty-purr their way toward distant greens. Ponds dot the emerald landscape on four different holes, threatening ill-struck orbs and foreshadowing eventual retreats to the Club's outdoor pool. The stately complex keeps guests energized with a menu of savory grill fare, while outdoor tennis courts sate appetites for loose yellow fuzz. A dazzling banquet hall stands at the Club's epicenter, where reunited friends and wedding parties can enjoy a warmly lit ballroom, dance floor, and bar.
Course at a Glance: * Designed by Ellis Maples * 18-hole, par-72 course * Length of 6,573 yards from the farthest tees * Course rating of 71.9 from the farthest tees * Slope rating of 132 from the farthest tees * Four tee options
From 1998?2007, Reedy Creek Golf Course was voted the top golf course by the readers of The Smithfield Herald 10 consecutive times. The readers' choice poll ended in 2008, but Reedy Creek's excellence continues. The course features fairways lined with mature carolina pines, bermuda grass greens, and multiple ponds incorporated into the layout.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Length of 6,426 yards from the tips * Course rating of 70.2 from the tips * Slope rating of 129 from the tips * Four tee options
Nine holes fill the par 35 course at Peachtree Hills Country Club, their undulating fairways and bunkers surrounded by natural pine. From the back tees, the holes total 2,718 yards in length, challenging golfers to master the timeless art of racing a cart to the end in under two minutes.
Course architect David Postlethwait designed the dramatic fairways of the course at Riverwood Golf Club to reward both distance and accuracy. Nestled alongside the Neuse River, the course’s Bermuda grass fairways lead to newly renovated bentgrass greens, and golfers aim away from two ponds, a smattering of water hazards, and the ball-hungry salamanders that lurk in sand bunkers. The 27-hole complex has served as the host course for a handful of tournaments, including the 1999 National Junior Golf Championship and the Annual Riverwood Amateur. Before hitting the fairways, players can warm up at one of the driving range’s 36 hitting stations.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Length of 7,012 yards * Course rating of 73.2 * Slope rating of 129
Pine Hollow Golf Club's 18-hole, par 71 course winds through 6,503 yards of Bermuda fairways hemmed by proximate waters and tucked in the shadows of mature arbors. Though players may be intimidated by the course's tight, tree-lined fairways, the round's real test awaits at each green, where Crenshaw bentgrass surfaces coalesce with subtle undulations to form breaks more difficult to negotiate than a peace treaty between long-competing golf carts and caddies. Water comes into play on six different holes, including the signature 17th hole, a 473-yard par 5 that doglegs gently to the left, setting up a treacherous forced-carry into a green guarded by water on the right and front and flanked by a left-side bunker. Four tee options temper the difficulty of this moderately challenging course, providing an enjoyable outing for players of all abilities and those attempting to complete a round with modified mannequin legs instead of clubs.
From the very first tee shot over a lake to the pond protecting the left side of the 18th green, the course at River Ridge Golf Club pits players against the physical and psychological challenges brought by omnipresent water hazards, including the Neuse River that intersects the course on several holes.
Architect Chuck Smith’s 1997 design weaves course play through a 6,740-yard gauntlet furnished with a plush carpet of bermuda-grass fairways and rough that gives way to fast-moving G-6 bent-grass greens. The course's signature 5th hole rewards golfers who keep their tee shots on the fairway with a short-iron approach that must clear a large pond and any caddies sunbathing in the large greenside bunker.
As a semiprivate club, membership at River Ridge unlocks a slew of benefits not available to the general public. Though the practice area—composed of a driving range and putting and chipping greens—is open to everyone, only members may make use of the locker rooms, club storage, and handicap program provided at the clubhouse. Additionally, members are granted access to special events, tournaments, and PGA pro Tim Cockrell’s lessons, which help players calibrate putting strokes and find their swing after a long time away from the game to search for their favorite golf ball that got lost in the Neuse River.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par-72 course * Total length of 6,740 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 72.2 from the back tees * Course slope of 138 from the back tees * Four sets of tees per hole * Scorecard