Subject to the whims of the Tar River, The River Golf and Country Club's 18-hole course guides players down a winding path with few straightaway holes within its 6,391-yard length. Ten of the holes feature a dogleg turn of some degree, from the slight bend to the left in the fairway of the 1st hole to the violent rightward turn at the 15th hole. These, coupled with the four par 3s, challenge players to swing powerfully without overshooting their targets or accidentally landing their balls in a stork's nest. Additionally, the river itself comes prominently into play on several holes, calling for fairway hops on the 1st and 10th holes and a dramatic tee shot over water on the par 3 11th.
Course at a Glance:
Nestled in 200 acres of lush farmland, Bull Creek Golf and Country Club's 18-hole public course welcomes golfers with a circuit of greens thoughtfully woven into the area's existing topography. The course's open layout and generous tifton-grass fairways provide ample landing room for gargantuan drives and displaced spacecraft, provided they steer clear of the sparse streams that burble throughout the course. Bent-grass greens supply the bulk of the round’s challenge, combining slick surfaces with subtle slopes to create breaks harder to read than a dissertation written in macaroni noodles. Aside from its kempt grassy monolith, the club boasts a driving range, putting green, and pro shop for further golfletic pursuits, and its snack bar and 100-person capacity banquet facilities provide cozy venues for postround repose and replenishment.
Capital Golf Center beckons visitors to its 20 verdant acres sprawling with hands-on, family-friendly activities. A small river populated by poker-playing otters surges through the 18-hole miniature golf course and curves around daunting sand traps, where swingers can practice their short game, launching sandy balls onto smooth greens. For more serious swinging, head to the 25 sheltered and heated hitting bays at the practice facility, which is open year-round. Those in need of back-swing advice can bone up in lessons from PGA–certified instructor Jeff Robinson, who boasts two decades of experience to assist golf scholars.
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:
Named among Golfweek magazine's Best New Courses and Best Campus Courses in 2010, Lonnie Poole Golf Course tests players of all skill levels with 18 challenging holes spread over 250 acres of Raleigh woodlands. Designed by the Arnold Palmer Design Group—including two North Carolina State grads as architects—the landscape features several shifts in elevation as the greens meander around large buffer areas. In its abundant turf grass and stormwater runoffs, the course also facilitates research from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences while taking extra care to preserve the streams and wild golf balls native to the Neuse River watershed.
As both the NC State men's and women's golf teams can attest, Lonnie Poole challengers golfers from the very first tee, which taunts drivers with bunkers on both sides and a sharp fall-off past the green. From there, the fifth hole ups the ante with a dogleg to the right and tall trees, whereas the 12th hole sends shots hurtling down a downhill fairway that narrows as the green nears and primes its anti-air missiles.
Course at a Glance:
Prolific course architect David Postlethwait sculpted Hedingham Golf Club's 18-hole course, artfully integrating the area's naturally undulating terrain, dense tree-lines, and rippling waterways into a seamless and scenic layout. Wooded areas loom at the edges of multiple fairways, forming natural boundaries that reach out twiggy arms to snag golf balls and plant them in the ground to one day bloom into argyle socks. Newly installed bermuda grass greens await at the end of every fairway; their smooth, slick surfaces ready to complicate putts with tricky breaks. Sequestered in the middle of the Hedingham Community near the scenic shores of the Neuse River, the club also encompasses an expansive practice facility, where players can warm up or enlist the expertise of one of the Club's resident instructors or immortal three-irons.
Course at a Glance