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Excessive Nation holes amongst golf’s greatest |


North Carolina’s tourism slogan for a few years was “Selection Vacationland.” The state boasts an amazing coastal area, a rolling hills piedmont and the majestic mountains. You may be on the seashore within the morning, play 9 holes within the Piedmont and ski that night time within the Excessive Nation.

“Selection” is the right description of the 315 holes (on 17 programs) awaiting Excessive Nation golfers in Ashe, Watauga and Avery counties.

The slopes, creeks, forests and surroundings in our space make best websites for attention-grabbing golf programs. Even higher, that selection exists inside every course. Every one has distinctive, memorable and enjoyable holes to play.

We’ll take a enjoyable journey across the Excessive Nation and discover out the place a few of these nice holes are. We’ve got a number of classes to make our selections — lengthy holes, brief holes, drivable par 4s, intimidating holes, uphill and downhill holes and, in fact, scenic holes.

There are lots of methods to categorize the holes, so, due to house limitation, we’ll restrict these classes in an effort to spend extra time speaking in regards to the particular holes on every course.

I’ve performed all of the programs, so I’ll move on my ideas about attention-grabbing holes on every. For reference functions, my handicap is 5, and my drives are medium size.

In fact, your favourite downhill par three or most intimidating tee shot won’t be the identical as mine, however the thought is to get a dialog began amongst your folks.

Extra importantly, I hope the dialog will get you to play the memorable and thrilling holes awaiting you in your individual yard this season.

Programs will first be divided into the programs open to the general public after which a couple of of the 9 personal golf equipment.

Programs which might be open to the general public

Jefferson LandingJefferson Touchdown is a semi-private membership positioned within the pastoral rolling hills of Ashe County, bordering cow pastures, Christmas tree farms and tributaries to the New River. The course was routed by famous Banner Elk architect and land planner, Dennis Lehmann, and designed by PGA Corridor of Famer Larry Nelson.

At 7,110 yards, it’s the longest course within the Excessive Nation, exceeding Grandfather Golf & Nation Membership by 9 yards. From the common tees, it performs 6,450 yards. Little or no land was moved to construct the course, which opened in 1990.

Initially, the primary gap was an extended par 4 from an elevated tee, and the 10th was a dogleg left par 5, additionally from an elevated tee. Now, the perimeters are switched, with the par 5 being the opening gap.

Probably the most intimidating tee shot for me is on the 376-yard second gap. A river crosses the green at a pointy angle from proper to left, with the precise a lot farther away. I’ve to determine whether or not to gamble and carry the creek on the left facet right into a slender touchdown space with a driver, or lay up within the slender proper nook of the green.

A 230-yard drive down the left facet provides me a brief iron in. A hooked drive or pushed drive leaves me within the river. This a traditional danger/reward tee shot. The chance might be a possible triple bogey, the reward a straightforward par or birdie. The opening is 450 yards from the ideas and 376 from the common tees. There’s a purpose that is the two-handicap gap.

The 227-yard (181 from common tees) 17th is a good looking gap from an elevated tee. The view forward on the clubhouse and up at Mt. Jefferson is spectacular. A creek operating in entrance of the inexperienced provides to the wonder … and the problem. Pray for a par right here. That is Jefferson Touchdown’s signature gap in my guide.

To expertise hitting a really difficult tee shot to the 17th gap, one of many state’s best par threes, name Jefferson Touchdown’s professional store at (336) 982-7767 to arrange your tee occasions.

Golf ClubThere is a Mountain Air in Burnsville, however our Mountain Aire is in Ashe County. It’s the third oldest course within the Excessive Nation behind solely Linville and Blowing Rock.

The course started as West Jefferson Golf Membership in 1949, because of the trouble of an area farmer who needed a golf course for the neighborhood. It was a real “cow pasture golf course,” with greens being small circles of grass mowed a bit decrease than the fairways. The Adams brothers — Austin, Sam and Tom — realized to play golf right here. Austin turned an amazing novice participant, Sam a PGA Tour winner and Tom head professional at Hound Ears and now Boone Golf Membership. I want I had realized to play at Mountain Aire.

When the farmer died, Carl Hagel, an informal golfer who constructed wood frames for home windows, bought it in 1971, and it has been within the household since then. In 1985, Carl’s son, Mark, expanded the course to 18 holes, utilizing Dennis Lehmann as his designer. In 1998, some holes had been changed, and the course has improved every year. It’s now below the supervision of Mark’s son-in-law, Philip Shepherd.

At the moment, the primary gap was a par 3, and the third gap returned to the clubhouse. Now, the earlier fourth gap was modified to be No. 1 with outdated ninth changing into No. 6. Holes 1, 2 and three at the moment are 7, eight and 9.

One of many new holes, No. 6 (now No. 3), is Mountain Aire’s signature gap. It’s the most dramatic gap within the Excessive Nation, if not Japanese America. The tee shot on the 468-yard par Four drops 150 toes in elevation, and, in the event you hit it a bit left, 200 toes.

The touchdown space may be very slender. If the wind is blowing, that is essentially the most intimidating tee shot within the space. Additionally it is one of the crucial stunning. You are feeling like you’re on high of the world searching at surrounding mountain ranges. Shepherd says the opening is “both your favourite or least favourite.”

For the longer hitters, Mountain Aire has two drivable par fours. The ninth is 305 yards lengthy from the very elevated common tees. An ideal drive shall be a birdie, one a bit proper or brief is in a pond, and a bit left within the driving vary. The 13th is a 275-yard par Four with a creek 15 yards in entrance of the inexperienced. To expertise driving off the third tee and watching your ball keep within the air perpetually, name Mountain Aire’s professional store at (336) 877-4716 to arrange your tee occasions.

Boone Golf ClubThe dream for a golf course in Boone started with one in all Boone’s biggest residents, Wade Brown, in 1940. After a number of false begins, which turned out to be blessings in disguise, Brown’s dream was realized in the summertime of 1959.

Brown’s quest to offer a golf course for Boone was impressed by the success of the Blowing Rock Nation Membership and the Linville Golf Membership. Potential “false begin” places for the course included Tater Hill, land from Rivers Avenue as much as the previous Broyhill Inn & Convention Heart (derailed by World Battle II), the Councill property behind the Lutheran church and Earth Fare (property would have been leased) and the Bolick property on U.S. 421 South the place the landfill is.

One property all the time behind Brown’s thoughts was the Neal Blair farm. Regardless of being informed the property was not on the market, Brown persevered, and, 5 years later, he obtained the Blair farm and the encircling property he wanted. Subsequent, was the important issue of financing the acquisition of the property and constructing the course, and Brown’s shut pal, banker Alfred Adams, additionally one in all Boone’s biggest residents, made it occur.

Ellis Maples, who realized his commerce from Donald Ross starting when he was 14 and ending when he accomplished Ross’s closing course, was chosen to design the course. Boone’s greens present a robust resemblance to Ross’s famed Pinehurst #2.

Boone is 6,686 yards from the ideas and 6,018 from the common tees, and it performs to a par 71. It’s not an extended course, however its greens defend the course properly from low scores. Boone’s assortment of par threes — they common 199 yards — are as robust as any within the Excessive Nation. Its par 5s aren’t too shabby, both. They common 556 yards.

Drivable danger/reward par 4s are a delight to galleries watching PGA Tour occasions and are enjoyable to play for the remainder of us. Boone has three. It’s uphill ninth is reachable for the massive boys. It’s 333 yards from the again and 299 from the common tee. The chance is a creek fronting a lot of the inexperienced, deep to the left and out-of-bounds to the precise.

The 12th is a downhill dogleg left that’s reachable with a excessive tee shot over some white pines. Not excessive sufficient or lengthy sufficient and it’s possible you’ll be taking part in for a bogey. The 15th is a 300-yard carry from each tees. Both carry the vast creek in entrance of the inexperienced, or hit one simply brief and bounce over (if the bottom is difficult).

My most intimidating pictures are usually not with a driver, however with irons. The tee shot on the 192-yard 16th have to be proper or you would be in your pocket. Truly, you received’t be in your pocket; your ball shall be historical past. A marsh is in entrance of the inexperienced and deep, actually deep tough and briers are instantly to the precise. The swamp can also be to the left.

My different intimidating shot is the second to the 18th inexperienced. It normally is hit from a downhill, sidehill (sloping away from you) misinform an elevated, slender inexperienced with a pond on the left catching balls which might be the slightest bit offline. This is without doubt one of the nice ending holes within the Excessive Nation.

To expertise one of many best units of par three holes in North Carolina, name the professional store at (828) 264-8760. Make tee time upfront, as a result of that is the most well-liked course within the Excessive Nation.

Willow CreekDr. Jim Lyons, a Miami surgeon who lived in Blowing Rock within the summers, needed to construct a improvement within the space and embrace a golf course. He bought the Willow Valley property off N.C. 105, and it had room for a nine-hole par three course.

By coincidence, Carolinas Golf Corridor of Fame architect Tom Jackson was performing some renovation work at close by Hound Ears. Lyons informed Jackson he needed holes that fluctuate in size, which have water options come into play, some bunkers and a gap or two over 200 yards. Jackson delivered.

In 1973, Willow Creek opened for play, and it has turned out to be an undiscovered gem. The course may be very difficult. Three holes are greater than 200 yards, and brought as a complete, they common 182 yards from the ideas. 5 have water hazards.

Willow Creek is properly designed with imaginative, scenic holes and it’s properly maintained. Merely put, it’s a good, enjoyable course to play. And, it’s handy; no tee occasions, simply present up and play. Carts can be found, however the course just isn’t arduous to stroll. If you wish to play 18 holes, simply use a special set of tees second time round so as to add selection.

Its greens are comparatively small, so accuracy is the important thing to a superb spherical. Since 75 p.c of the pictures in a spherical of golf are from 160 yards in, there may be loads of golf to be performed at Willow Creek. There’s additionally quite a bit to study as you develop and refine a successful brief sport.

Willow Creek’s 218-yard 18th gap will maintain its personal on any course in America, and it will get my vote for each most intimidating tee shot and signature gap. The inexperienced is guarded with a small pound in its entrance left that winds round to the left facet. A shot that lands six yards left of the inexperienced leads to the pond, and out-of-bounds is 15 yards from the inexperienced to the precise. The inexperienced is barely 31 toes vast. A par on this gap will make your day.

If time is a consider whether or not you play, or if value is an element, and if lengthy, arduous holes beat you up, you’ll be able to get pleasure from a calming spherical at Willow Creek. Simply present up, or name forward to the professional store at (828) 963-6865 and prepare to have an amazing day.

Golf ClubThe Sugar Mountain course is a municipal course, owned by the village of Sugar Mountain. The way it got here to be is a narrative involving a number of twists and turns.

The land was initially a part of the 16,000 acres bought to Hugh MacRae that included Linville Resorts and Grandfather Mountain. In 1952, MacRae died and left the Sugar Mountain/Flat Prime Mountain property to his grandson, George MacRae. In 1969, George and his spouse, Chessie, started creating Sugar as a four-seasons vacation spot with ski slopes, tennis and golf. They included three companions of their group.

They solely had 60 acres on the base of Sugar for a golf course, so it needed to be an government course, however they needed to even have a championship course. They chose Francis Duane to be their architect. Duane was senior venture supervisor for Robert Trent Jones Sr., and later a companion in course design with Arnold Palmer.

The MacRaes promised Duane that if he designed the chief course, he might design their championship course, which was to be referred to as Grouse Moor and positioned on high of Flat Prime Mountain.

An ideal storm of unhealthy luck hit the MacRaes in 1974, the yr their government course opened: unhealthy financial system, excessive inflation and rates of interest, gasoline rationing, heat winter and little snowboarding, and nobody shopping for actual property. Consequently, the MacRaes needed to declare chapter, and the financial institution foreclosed. One of many MacRaes’ companions leased the course till he died.

The village of Sugar Mountain needed to purchase it, however it was too younger a city to tackle debt, so the Sugar Mountain Ski Resort bought it till the city might purchase it again. Right this moment, the course is properly run, in nice situation and highly regarded.

Sugar, like Willow Creek, is an ideal area of interest golf course for the participant who doesn’t have time for a five-hour spherical or doesn’t get pleasure from taking part in 500-yard par 4s. Whereas Willow Creek is a par three course, Sugar is an government course with 9 par 3s, eight par 4s and one par 5. It measures 4,443 yards from the ideas and 4,071 from the common tees, and is par 64.

Surprisingly, regardless of Sugar’s brief yardage, it has just one drivable par 4, its ninth gap. The opening is barely uphill and is 259 yards from the again tee, 239 from the common tee. There isn’t any bother on the opening, so it’s no danger/all reward. Fireplace away.

There’s one gap, although, that’s value a shot only for enjoyable. The sharply downhill 321-yard (again), 288-yard (common) tee shot on the fifth gap must be good. There’s water in entrance and dense woods bordering either side of a reasonably slender fairway. There are danger/reward pictures, after which there are danger/reward pictures, in the event you go for the inexperienced on no. 5. However, hey, in case you are having a enjoyable spherical along with your buddies, hit your rating ball and drop one other and have at it only for enjoyable.

Sugar holds the excellence of most likely having the shortest par 5 round, solely 394 yards. Don’t let the opening idiot you: It’s an uphill dogleg proper that performs for much longer than its yardage. The second shot is a bear with a slender opening to the inexperienced and creeks left and proper.

Head skilled Tom McAuliffe, who can also be one in all North Carolina’s high golf writers, says the 212-yard 13th gap has the course’s most intimidating tee shot and in addition ranks as its signature gap.

“There isn’t any margin for error, left or proper,” McAuliffe mentioned. “There are bunkers entrance and left, and something proper leads to the ‘Valley of Dying,’ the place there is no such thing as a escape. The inexperienced has loads of motion and isn’t straightforward to putt. It’s the hardest birdie on the course. I’ll take a par each time and never look again.”

The tradition at Sugar is one in all a “down-home feeling.” Friends are handled like outdated buddies and are in for deal with as soon as they tee off the primary gap. The greens are nearly as good as any within the Excessive Nation, and that’s saying quite a bit. To arrange an pleasing day of golf with buddies, name McAuliffe at (828) 898-6464.

Mountain Glen Golf ClubThe thought to construct Mountain Glen arose from a devastating hearth in January 1961 that destroyed one-third of the city of Newland. Native leaders felt one thing wanted to be achieved to spur financial progress in Avery County.

They knew massive manufacturing was not an choice due to Avery’s tough winters and remoted location. They appeared 4 miles down the street at Linville and noticed their reply: Construct a golf course and develop the property round it for second householders. They shaped the Avery Growth Company and bought shares of inventory to lift cash for the venture.

Because of nice management and a beneficiant landowner, Todd Lecka, Mountain Glen would change into a actuality. George Cobb, who first designed Quail Hole in Charlotte, the Augusta Nationwide Par Three Course and, domestically, Hound Ears, was the architect. Cobb later designed Linville Ridge. The again 9 was constructed first, and it opened in July 1964. The entrance 9 opened a yr later.

Mountain Glen has been one of the crucial well-liked programs within the space. It performs 6,523 yards from the again tees and 5,968 yards from the common tees. The signature gap is the attractive, downhill, 186-yard 12th gap. The view from the tee reveals Hump Mountain within the background.

Mountain Glen’s hardest gap is the 411-yard dogleg left 11th gap. The opening isn’t notably lengthy, besides that from 200 yards in, it’s steeply uphill. Additionally, the tee shot have to be very correct. Somewhat left and you’re blocked by timber; a bit proper and you’re within the timber. It isn’t a good suggestion to be above the pin on its sloped inexperienced. Mountain Glen’s greens get actually quick later in the summertime. I price no. 11 as one of many Prime 5 hardest holes within the Excessive Nation.

Now to drivable par 4s: We have to divide this into two classes.

First, the mortals have two alternatives. The 291-yard sixth (265 yards from the common tees) is a tempting drive. Fade your drive and you’re in a pond. Hook it and also you may need a shot, you could be blocked by a pine tree otherwise you could be out-of-bounds. Going for it’s well worth the gamble, although.

The 16th is barely downhill and 313 yards from the common tees and 339 from the again. Purpose proper and hit a draw on the draw back of a hill, and also you’ll be sitting fairly. Get double-crossed and hit a fade, and also you’ll be in your pocket. Out-of-bounds is true off the green.

After which there’s David Forbes. Forbes takes it again so far as John Daly and is twice as robust. Forbes has pushed each par 4 at Mountain Glen besides the 11th. On the “brief” par 4s such because the 339 yard 16th, he drives it with a Three iron. Forbes is greater than an extended hitter. He holds the novice course document with a 63 from the ideas.

My most intimidating tee shot? It’s a tossup between the 11th and the 17th. No. 17 is a dogleg proper with two large oak timber down the precise facet of the green and a row of white pines bordering the left facet. The golf green slopes left into the pines. One of the best shot is a excessive fade over the primary oak or a low fade below its branches. A tee shot left of the primary oak must be good or you’re within the pines the place the solar by no means shines.

Name Mountain Glen at (828) 733-5804 to arrange a tee time and to understand what it took for David Forbes to drive all however one in all their 10 par 4s. If Sam Foster solutions the cellphone, you’re speaking to somebody particular. He has been head professional for 42 years and holds the course document with a 62. Earlier than coming to Mountain Glen, Foster was assistant professional at Grandfather Golf & Nation Membership in season and an assistant at Augusta Nationwide within the offseason.

Linville Land HarborLinville Land Harbor is a 48-year-old, 1,000-acre residential resort that’s, by far, the biggest in Avery County with 1,400 houses. It’s designed round a 48-acre lake seen from U.S. 221 three miles south of Linville.

Land Harbor was created by the Robbins brothers — Grover, Harry and Spencer — who additionally dropped at the Excessive Nation Tweetsie Railroad, Hound Ears, Beech Mountain, Land of Ozand the Elk River Membership. The unique thought was to construct a recreation resort for short-term or extended-stay vacationers who used their campers or RVs to dwell in. Again within the 1960s and early ‘70s, campers had been the fashion.

The RV tons made up 1,510 of the 1,933 tons, with homesites making up a lot of the relaxation. In a while, folks needed to spend extra time at Land Harbor, so lots of the RV tons had been mixed to offer an extra 500 constructing tons.

The Land Harbor property belonged to a lumber firm within the early 1900s. In 1923, 5,000 acres of that property was bought by Howard Marmon, an engineering genius whose mother and father took him to the Eseeola Lodge when he was a boy. Apparently, Marmon had well being issues when he was younger, and being within the mountains healed him. He got here again to construct a second residence.

In 1909, Marmon constructed the automobile that received the primary Indianapolis 500. The next yr, 61 of the nation’s official pace data had been owned by Marmon vehicles. Amelia Earhart rode in a Marmon in her New York Metropolis ticker-tape parade, and supposedly, Bonnie and Clyde used the speedy automobile to outrun the police after their financial institution robberies. Marmon was good buddies with Harvey Firestone, Henry Ford and Thomas Edison. They got here for visits and fished within the lake Marmon constructed, which is now the Land Harbor lake.

Mr. and Mrs. Marmon left their property to their nephew, and when he died, he put it in a belief to learn the hospital, library and airfield in Avery County. Warren Buffett now owns the Marmon Firm. A part of the Marmon property was developed right into a nursery, and that’s the property that’s Land Harbor.

Land Harbor was a subsidiary of Carolina Caribbean, developer of Beech Mountain and owned for essentially the most half by the Robbins brothers. Carolina Caribbean, like Sugar Mountain, was a sufferer of the turbulent ‘70s and needed to declare chapter in 1975. A financial institution took over the property and determined it was in one of the best curiosity of the resort’s property house owners to promote them the property.

The primary 9 holes of the Land Harbor Golf Membership was designed by architect Tom Jackson in collaboration with native golf hero Ernie Hayes. It measures 2,950 yards and performs to a par 36. It’s a pleasant 9 with smallish greens and well-placed hazards. The course is in glorious form.

The 463-yard first gap is a superb begin. It’s downhill with a pointy dogleg left and creek operating down the left facet of the green. The creek crosses the green at a pointy angle about 120 yards out and types a pond to the entrance left of the inexperienced. The small, undulating inexperienced has a really slender opening with bother throughout the inexperienced. In the event you go for the inexperienced in two, you greatest have your “A” sport proper out of the chute.

The 273-yard par Four sixth is drivable, however harmful. The golf green narrows significantly the nearer you get to the inexperienced. Homes and out-of-bounds are on the precise, and left just isn’t a pleasant place to be. Go for it for enjoyable, lay up for rating.

The 141-yard barely downhill seventh is without doubt one of the prettiest on the course. It has a good looking view of Grandfather Mountain within the background.

Land Harbor was initially going to be an 18-hole golf course, however among the greatest property for the second 9 was bought to attempt to keep away from chapter. All that was left was 23 acres of rugged, unusable property. The Land Harbor POA didn’t assume it was potential to design 9 holes on the property, however requested Ernie Hayes if he might give it a attempt. After quite a few failed makes an attempt, he got here up with a routing. It’s completely different than any 9 holes I’ve ever seen.

The again 9 is 1,927 yards lengthy and is a par 33. The longest par Four is 335 yards and the shortest 196 yards. The course performs up hills and down into valleys and across the mountainsides.

Most par 4s are doglegs. A number of are drivable, however Land Harbor guidelines forbid going for the inexperienced due to security issues.

The 196-yard par 4 18th will be two wedges, however it’s good to respect this gap. A tee shot a bit proper shall be off the world. I double bogeyed the opening. In the event you assume outdoors the field, overlook the usual driver-of-the-tee par 4s and perceive the constraints of a 23-acre nine-hole format, the again 9 really is loads of enjoyable. Its holes are like no different.

The signature gap on the again 9 must be no. 17. It’s a 112-yard par three that’s straight up — like, 45 toes straight up. You possibly can’t see the pin. If you’re brief, again down it comes.

If you’re a bit proper, off the world it goes. A par is a pleasant rating. A plaque on the tee names the opening “Ernie’s Revenge” in appreciation for his creating 9 holes that nobody thought might be constructed.

Land Harbor has been personal till just lately, however now it’s open to the general public. My recommendation: Play the course.

The entrance facet is fairly neat, however the again facet is just one thing you must expertise for 2 causes — since you’ll by no means see holes like this anyplace else, and secondly, to understand the genius of Ernie Hayes.

Name the professional store at (828) 733-8325.

Non-public clubsTypically, personal golf equipment are for members and their company. The Excessive Nation has an unbelievable assortment of personal golf equipment, the envy of the remainder of the state. Guess what? You possibly can play most of them. The personal golf equipment are very community-oriented, and most make their programs accessible to numerous charities for fundraising golf tournaments. Play in a kind of tournaments, and you’ll be serving to a worthy trigger and, on the similar time, get pleasure from an expertise you’ll fondly bear in mind for a very long time. That’s referred to as a win-win.

Hound Ears ClubThe Robbins brothers — Grover, Harry and Spencer — have had an extremely constructive affect on the Excessive Nation. Along with Tweetsie Railroad, Ski Beech and the Land of Oz, they’ve given us one-fourth of all of the golf programs within the Excessive Nation: Linville Land Harbor, Beech Mountain, Elk River Membership and Hound Ears.

Hound Ears was their first. Within the early 1960s, they noticed the recognition of the brand new Boone course and the Blowing Rock Nation Membership, they usually felt the realm might use a brand new course. They selected a web site in Shulls Mill, south of Boone alongside N.C. 105. Within the early 1900s, Shulls Mill was one of many county’s main industrial facilities. Its sawmill and lumberyard, together with a Tweetsie Railroad junction, employed sufficient folks to help a lodge, small hospital, shops and a movie show. By the point Hound Ears was constructed, solely remnants of the neighborhood remained.

Spencer Robbins was working at Pine Needles golf resort in Southern Pines, one of many high {golfing} locations within the nation, and Grover and Harry had been frequent guests. They favored Pine Needles and determined to observe their instance of their golf course. They did Pine Needles one higher by including one of many South’s first ski slopes. They determined to have a Bavarian theme to their clubhouse and lodge to enhance the ski slope. Their golf course was designed by George Cobb, then identified for his redesign work at Augusta Nationwide. Each the ski slope and golf course opened in 1964. They selected the title Hound Ears as a result of the rocks on high of the ridge behind the course stood up like canine ears. Hounds Ear or Hound Ears? Spencer Robbins solutions the query by saying, “One canine, two ears.”

Corridor of Fame golf teacher Bob Toski, nonetheless going robust at about 90 years outdated, was the membership’s first skilled. After Toski resigned to be the Johnny Miller of NBC’s golf telecasts, the membership employed Ohio State College golf coach Bob Kepler, who labored with Jack Nicklaus, Tom Weiskopf and Ed Sneed. Following Kepler was Tom Adams, now at Boone, after which Adams’s assistant, Peter Rucker, who began out at Hound Ears as a cart boy in 1981.

A lot of the golf course is positioned within the flat backside land of Shulls Mill. The Robbins brothers additionally acquired some rugged mountain land with the property buy, however they noticed no use for it. The course turned so well-liked that individuals who performed it needed to have a house there. Thus, the mountain land turned homesites. “We didn’t have a plan for a improvement,” Spencer Robbins mentioned. “It simply occurred.”

The primary six years, the third, eighth and 18th holes doubled as an airport runway for the resort. The hanger that housed the planes nonetheless exists behind the third inexperienced. In 1974, Hound Ears redesigned a number of bottom holes on adjoining property it bought. Tom Jackson designed the 12th and 14th holes. The 15th is Hound Ears’ signature gap, and it is without doubt one of the nice par 3s within the state. Solely 110 yards, the tee is perched on a mountain ridge, and the inexperienced lies 70 toes beneath. In entrance of the inexperienced is a creek and bunker. The inexperienced has a pleasant again to entrance slope, so golfers hitting their tee pictures over the inexperienced face a really difficult chip shot. Regardless of its lack of size, par is an efficient rating on this gap.

The 18th gap is a superb ending gap. It’s a last-minute dogleg proper, 414-yard gap with a creek down the precise facet till it crosses the green close to the entrance of the inexperienced. As a result of the dogleg is so near the inexperienced, tee pictures must land on the left facet of the green. A big tree in the beginning of the dogleg protects the inexperienced from gamers whose drives are from the middle to the precise facet of the green. The opening performs longer than its yardage. The neat factor about no. 18 is its tee field. It’s perched on high of a big boulder.

Hound Ears’ most scenic shot is teeing off the par 5 sixth gap. It’s a extremely elevated tee with an unbelievable view of Grandfather Mountain. Peter Rucker’s favourite gap is the uphill 490-yard par 5 fourth (additionally No. 1 handicap gap.). Rucker mentioned, “The golf green narrows considerably starting 100 yards earlier than the inexperienced. It’s bordered by woods on the precise and woods and a creek on the left.” Rucker’s favourite gap needs to be the 491-yard par 5 12th. He has double-eagled it twice.

There actually aren’t drivable par 4s at Hound Ears, despite the fact that the course is 6,307 yards from the ideas/6,145 from common tees. I used to be taking part in with the golf professional son of famed educating professional Jack Lumpkin, and he drove the 360-yard 10th. Then on the 491-yard 12th, which winds round a lake, he drove throughout the lake and landed within the bunker in entrance of the inexperienced. I noticed them each, however I don’t imagine what I noticed, so these pictures don’t rely.

Beech Mountain ClubBeech Mountain’s golf course is one other of the Robbins brothers’ contributions to the Excessive Nation, however on this case, oldest brother Grover was the visionary and first contributor to its creation. Grover envisioned the Hound Ears idea (resort, golf, snowboarding, property and airport) being taken to a a lot larger stage at Beech Mountain. He even used the Bavarian architectural theme that he used at Hound Ears.

Grover quietly bought 10,000 acres, 7,300 acres on Beech Mountain and a couple of,700 acres within the valley the place the Elk River Membership now stands. His slogan was “9,000 households on 10,000 acres.” Grover constructed the ski slope and airport in 1967. The airport now is part of the Elk River Membership, which the Robbins brothers additionally developed.

A improvement of this magnitude required extra funding capital, so Grover arrange the Appalachian Growth Corp. that attracted 40 preliminary buyers. Later, when he added a improvement within the Virgin Islands, he modified the title of the corporate to Carolina Caribbean.

Robbins selected Atlanta architect Willard Byrd to design two golf programs at Beech Mountain, one for leisure play and one for championship play. Byrd had designed numerous nice programs within the Piedmont a part of North Carolina and within the Myrtle Seaside space, however Beech Mountain could be his first mountain course. Willard’s land planner, Dennis Lehmann, helped plan the resort, in addition to all of Linville Land Harbor, additionally a Robbins brothers improvement. Lehmann would find yourself taking part in a serious position within the design of a number of Excessive Nation programs.

Byrd’s leisure course could be constructed first. The entrance 9 opened in 1969 and the again 9 two years later. Tragedy struck Beech Mountain about this time. Grover Robbins died of most cancers in 1970. With out his imaginative and prescient and management, Carolina Caribbean started to unravel. The group started taking over extra tasks than it might deal with. At their peak, that they had 11 planes they used to fly in potential property patrons. They needed to promote loads of property to maintain all their tasks going. Sadly, the financial system tanked, inflation was rampant, rates of interest had been 18 p.c, there was gasoline rationing and several other of their property house owners within the Virgin Islands had been robbed and killed whereas taking part in golf. The financial institution foreclosed in early 1975.All the corporate’s properties had been bought to repay its money owed. The second course, which was below development, was by no means accomplished. It was included within the property bought by the Eagles Nest improvement. Tweetsie Railroad purchased the Elk River Membership property, together with the airport. The Land of Ozand ski slopes had been bought to a mortgage firm, and Land Harbor was bought to its POA.

The Beech Mountain golf course and a 13-acre recreation park had been bought by its POA, however not with out some attempting occasions. First, they needed to persuade the chapter trustee they had been the most suitable choice as house owners. Then, they needed to finance its buy and operation. They needed to get the North Carolina Common Meeting to make Beech Mountain a city, so it might legally implement the fee of property taxes and utilities. Right this moment, the Beech Mountain Membership has near 1,300 members and is a wholesome operation.

The golf course is on the bottom of Beech Mountain, round 4,500 toes in elevation, and its panoramic views stretch into Tennessee and Virginia. The course performs to six,225 yards from the again tees and 5,743 from the common tees. Due to the up-and-down terrain, it performs longer than its yardage. Evidently, there are a variety of spectacular holes on the course. Two specifically are the 394-yard eighth gap with stunning views of mountain ridges positioned in three states. The 10th tee is positioned to the precise of the clubhouse, which is perched on a ridge, and which means the tee shot has a dramatic drop in elevation. The tee shot is thrilling, to say the least.

Beech Mountain is a personal membership open to its members, and their company, and people staying in lodging on the mountain that provides golf privileges for its company.

Linville RidgeThe prized scenic view within the Excessive Nation is Grandfather Mountain. Its ruggedness and abrupt rise in elevation makes for a spectacular web site. A number of space programs have views of Grandfather, however none are eyeball-to-eyeball like Linville Ridge. Its par 5 13th, at 4,984 toes, is the best elevation gap in Japanese America. The course has an elevation change from its lowest level to its highest of 760 toes. At this elevation, due to the thinner air, your pictures go additional than off the mountain.

Linville Ridge sits atop Flat Prime Mountain, which is a part of the unique 16,000-acre land buy by Hugh MacRae in 1885 that included Grandfather Mountain, Sugar Mountain, Grandmother Mountain and Linville. The property was owned by MacRae’s grandson, George MacRae, who additionally inherited Sugar Mountain. He misplaced the property to chapter when the financial system failed. Raymond Lutgert from Naples, Fla., bought 1,800 acres on Flat Prime within the early 1980s.

Lutgert introduced in an engineering agency to assist him determine the place to find his golf course — on high of the mountain or at its base? They mentioned a course was buildable at both location, so Lutgert selected the highest due to its views. The engineering agency additionally beneficial that George Cobb design the course due to his familiarity with the realm. Cobb designed Hound Ears and Mountain Glen, in addition to a half-dozen different mountain programs. He additionally was the unique designer of Quail Hole in Charlotte. Linville Ridge could be Cobb’s final course.

In 2007, Scott Lutgert, Ray’s son, who’s now president of the corporate, commissioned Bobby Weed, a disciple of Pete Dye, to renovate the course to make it more difficult for low handicap gamers and simpler and extra enjoyable for these with larger handicaps. Weed designed the extremely acclaimed Previous Farm course in Southwest Virginia and had achieved main work at Grandfather Golf & Nation Membership and Linville. His renovations have been enthusiastically obtained. A part of the makeover was to flip the nines, so the previous ninth gap is now No. 18.

Half the course is on the comparatively stage summit of Flat Prime Mountain. The remaining holes drop down from the summit and work their manner again up.

There are quite a few views from the course of Grandfather Mountain, however the next shall be etched in your thoughts perpetually: from the second inexperienced, the ninth fairway, the 12th inexperienced, alongside the 15th fairway to the inexperienced and approaching the 18th inexperienced.

Each gap at Linville Ridge is attention-grabbing and memorable, however these are a reduce above. The course’s signature gap is the 225-yard (183 yards from common tees) 16th gap. The elevation drop is so dramatic which you can hit the identical iron to the inexperienced that Bubba Watson hits to 225 yards with no elevation change. Inform that to your buddies.

Linville Ridge most likely has the smartest drivable par 4 within the Excessive Nation. The seventh is a 252-yard drive from the common tee. The shot is uphill and a creek runs in entrance of the inexperienced, however even I can drive it. My most intimidating tee shot is the par three 16th, however my most intimidating drive is the 12th gap.

It measures 405 yards, however the elevation acquire provides 50 yards to the opening. The strain is on you to hit a very good drive in an effort to get residence. In the event you don’t, your third shot is from a steep uphill lie. Miss your drive to the precise, and you’re off the world. Linville Ridge performs to six,813 yards from the again tees and 6,210 from the common tees.



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