Your Golf Guide for the North Carolina Coast
With almost 500 golf courses across the state, North Carolina is one of the most popular destinations for golfers on the East Coast. This coastal region is one of the state’s most dense areas, with nearly 40 courses in the Cape Fear Coast and Brunswick Islands alone and dozens more within a short drive.
In fact, the amount of top-quality courses has earned the Brunswick Islands the moniker “Golf Coast.” World-class golfers like Arnold Palmer, Fred Couples and Jon Daly have taken advantage of the diverse topography, sandy soil and seaside terrain, molding stunning, expansive fairways into the already beautiful landscape.
Courses here on Golf Coast blend seamlessly with nature, many with water views of the ocean, inlets or sounds, some looking right over the Atlantic Ocean or Intracoastal Waterway. Inland courses are set amid towering pines, pristine forests and the occasional heron or deer. From seasoned pros to first-timers, this coastal region has a course to suit you.
While the landscape of the courses is relaxing, there are definitely some challenging holes throughout the Brunswick Islands—challenging enough that golfers keep coming back again and again to lower their handicap. Of course, most courses were designed with both the professional and beginner in mind, so even a first-time golfer can enjoy a day out on the links at nearly all of the nearby courses.
In order to be ready to tackle that Par 3 or find your ball among the pines, you need to have the proper attire and equipment. Make sure your outfit is appropriate for the course and you have the right shoes. Most of the public courses require spikes, but it’s best to check with the clubhouse or facility to be certain. If you don’t have your own clubs, many courses offer club rentals. There are also plenty of pro shops in case you’re in the market for new ones.
Nearly all of the courses are open to the public, and even the few private clubs offer play packages to non-members. Green fees are in line with what you’d expect to pay, and you might be pleasantly surprised at rates offered by most courses. Before you head out to the links, contact the course to arrange a tee time. Some local courses also have online booking options. Either way, keep in mind that it’s best to book ahead.
Most golf courses offer lessons for every level of golfer. Whether you need to tweak your swing or get a full introduction to this game of precision, onsite pros are there to help. Learn the basics from one of the expert instructors, or work on advanced techniques with a pro. In addition to teaching the fundamentals, lessons can offer swing analyses, general pointers for evaluating the course and tips for your short game.
Some golf courses have the additional benefit of onsite driving ranges and practice greens, as well as all the necessary amenities, such as a pro shop, rentals, beverage and snack carts and a clubhouse bar and restaurant. Some of the best courses are also resorts, with full accommodations for the ultimate golfing getaway.
With sub-tropical weather, golfers are lured here year-round. But perhaps the best time to hit the links is the spring and fall, when the temperatures cool and the beach crowds return home. No matter what time of year, you’re bound to experience some of the best golf of your life in the friendly atmosphere that defines the North Carolina coast.