When renowned course architect Ellis Maples first laid eyes on the rolling expanse of land in the Sandhills, he knew he had found the venue for his next course. Whispering Woods Golf Club encompasses both gentle slopes and steeper hills, offering a dynamic canvas atop which Maples designed holes with stark elevation changes. Today, golfers encounter a diverse layout that showcases anything from treacherously undulating bentgrass greens to a small roller coaster for bored caddies to enjoy. Carolina pines line the edges of the fairways and greens throughout the round, stretching out their thin trunks to snag any errant shots. The end product of Ellis’s vision is an 18-hole, 6,324-yard layout described by course architect Dan Maples, Ellis’s son, as “a golf course designed with the average player in mind, but good players won’t find a pushover.”
Featuring two cypress lakes and scenic panoramas, this 18-hole championship course provides golfers with 6,307 yards of challenging tee-to-green terrain. The design demands consistently well-placed drives to avoid strategically placed sand bunkers, which hug friendly fairways and butterfly-kiss undulating bent-grass greens. Depending on which of the course’s five sets of tees you opt to play from, some tee shots may require you to traverse obstructing water and hypnotize territorial mermen. Complimentary carts expedite the wayward orb-fetching process provided you stay on land, and the course’s frequent elevation changes will make you grateful for your four-wheel gopher and your two-eye face, with which you can enjoy the course’s sweeping vistas.
The course at Gates Four Golf and Country Club was opened in 1967, but you wouldn't know it from the youthful conditions of the grounds. Players traverse a course that boasts USGA-approved bent grass greens and completely overhauled bunkers thanks to a 2011 renovation. The surrounding pine trees, meanwhile, cast their elongated shadows across each fairway in the twilight hours, giving them a railroad-tie effect as players finish off their rounds.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Total length of 6,895 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 73.3 from the back tees * Course slope of from the back tees * Five sets of tees per hole * Scorecard