Bald Head Island
South Brunswick Islands
Southport-Oak Island and South Brunswick Islands
Equipment and Repairs
Packages and Services
Golfers appreciate the southern coast's relaxed, laid-back feeling. Great weather, beautiful views all around, majestic long leaf pines, stately live oaks, and flat to gently rolling land are just a few of the reasons golf is a very popular sport here. Most of the local courses offer prices that encourage multiple rounds per day, too. PGA and fund-raising organizations find area courses ideal for hosting their tournaments and events.
More new golf courses sprout up along the southern coast than anywhere else in North Carolina. Brunswick County alone boasts 36 courses, many located in residential golf communities. The area features challenging course designs bearing the signatures of Arnold Palmer, Rees Jones, Tom Fazio, Pete Dye, Jack Nicklaus, Dan Maples, Donald Ross, Hale Irwin, Fred Couples, Tim Cate, George Cobb and Willard Byrd, among others.
Most local courses are semiprivate, which means they're open to the public and club memberships are available. Membership, of course, offers various benefits and privileges, such as lower fees or preferred tee times. Greens fees vary according to season and location. At semiprivate courses, fees range widely, from about $20 to $100 and more, but average between $30 and $40 for 18 holes. Fees are highest at the more exclusive clubs and during the peak seasons (March 1st to mid-May and mid-September to early November). Look for special packages during non-peak times, such as three rounds at drastically reduced prices for either morning or afternoon. Discounts for seniors, corporations and groups are commonplace.
Overall, the region's courses offer an excellent balance between price and playing conditions. Many courses also offer practice ranges and club rental. Teaching pros are plentiful and eager to help you polish your game. You'll find a proliferation of golf publications at visitors centers, hotels and other touristy locations. Check out The Insiders' Guide® to Golf in the Carolinas at http://www.insiders.com/carolina-golf/
In this chapter we describe some of the area's better courses, judged by overall beauty, location and variety of challenge. We've also included independent driving ranges plus retail shops that offer equipment and repairs; information on golf packages and services; and some local annual tournaments. Complete listings of courses can be found at chambers of commerce (see our Area Overviews chapter for a listings).