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Top 100 golf courses for 2020

Photo courtesy of Talamore Golf Resort

Twenty-five years ago, Charlotte public relations agency owner Bill Hensley didn’t think the famous national golf publications were treating North Carolina’s esteemed courses fairly. “I was ticked at how the magazines rated our courses, so I said, ‘I’ll get a panel together and we’ll have our own damned rating,’” he recalls.

A gifted promoter, Hensley convened a group of 100 talented golfers, ink-stained writers and some businesspeople to travel around rating the state’s best links. Early members included N.C. golfing legends such as Harvie Ward and Peggy Kirk Bell, along with some hackers whose love for the sport exceeded their skill level. Thus was born the N.C. Golf Panel, which presents its 25th annual report on the state’s 100 best courses in this magazine.
The 2020 list is little changed from last year’s, with the exception of Pinehurst No. 4, which returned to a top 10 rating after a 2018 redesign by architect Gil Hanse reduced its turf acreage by 40%. Its more famous sibling course, Pinehurst No. 2, claimed its traditional top spot, followed by western N.C. favorites Grandfather Golf & Country Club of Linville and Mountaintop Golf & Lake Club of Cashiers. The latter course, designed by Tom Fazio and opened in 2006, is among the state’s most exclusive, with golf memberships limited to 350 property owners in the development.

Other courses that rose in this year’s rankings include No. 55 Grandover Resort in Greensboro, which was 63rd last year, and No. 56 The Currituck Club in Corolla, which had been 66th previously.

Hensley, 94, says he only played one round last year, but he still enjoys talking with golf panel members about the strengths and weaknesses of the various Tar Heel State tracks. “I think the panel has turned out really well.”

Click below to view a PDF of additional lists

Top 50 Courses You Can Play

Regional Rankings For 2020

Best Green Complexes

Best Bang For The Buck


Top 100 Courses

Par Yardage Course Rating/Slope

1. (1) Pinehurst No. 2
Pinehurst
72 7,588 76.5/138
2. (2) Grandfather Golf & Country Club
Linville
72 7,021 74.2/148
3. (3) Mountaintop Golf & Lake Club
Cashiers
70 7,126 73.9/145
4. (4) Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club
Southern Pines
71 7,015 73.5/135
5. (4 )The Country Club of North Carolina (Dogwood)
Pinehurst
72 7,204 75.2/134
6. (6) Quail Hollow Club
Charlotte
72 7,396 75.0/140

8. (7) Old North State Club
New London
72 7,102 74.8/142
 9. (19) Pinehurst No. 4
Pinehurst
72 7,227 74.9/138
10. (8) Charlotte Country Club
Charlotte
71 7,335 75.9/146
11. (11) Sedgefield Country Club (Ross)
Greensboro
71 7,117 72.9/130
12. (10) Pinehurst No. 8
Pinehurst
72 7,099 74.1/137
13. (14) Old Town Club
Winston-Salem
70 7,042 74.5/140
14. (13) Cape Fear Country Club
Wilmington
72 6,856 73.4/135
15. (12) Wade Hampton Golf Club
Cashiers
72 7,154 74.0/144
16. (16) Eagle Point Golf Club
Wilmington
72 7,170 74.5/137
17. (15) The Country Club of North Carolina (Cardinal)
Pinehurst
72 7,212 75.0/141
18. (17) Mid Pines Inn & Golf Club
Southern Pines
72 6,732 71.0/126
19. (18) Old Chatham Golf Club
Durham
72 7,210 74.0/131

21. (21) Rock Barn Country Club & Spa (Jones)
Conover
72 7,126 74.4/141
22. (22) Biltmore Forest Country Club
Asheville
70 6,606 71.5/127
23. (23) River Landing (River)
Wallace
72 7,009 74.1/141
24. (25) MacGregor Downs Country Club
Cary
72 7,003 73.4/134
25. (28) Governors Club
Chapel Hill
72 7,062 75.1/144
26. (24) Forest Creek Golf Club (South)
Pinehurst
72 7,067 74.6/143

28. (27) Prestonwood Country Club (Highlands)
Cary
72 7,082 74.4/138
29. (29) Country Club of Landfall (Dye)
Wilmington
72 7,026 74.3/132
30. (31) Treyburn Country Club
Durham
72 7,175 74.1/137
31. (32 )Country Club of Landfall (Nicklaus)
Wilmington
72 7,100 75.7/144
32. (30) Pinehurst No. 9
Pinehurst
72 7,125 75.1/143
33. (34) Forest Creek Golf Club (North)
Pinehurst
72 7,139 74.7/144
34. (33) Linville Golf Club
Linville
72 6,946 73.4/139
35. (37) Forsyth Country Club
Winston-Salem
71 6,784 72.8/136
36. (35) High Point Country Club (Willow Creek)
High Point
72 6,972 73.9/139
37. (36) Hasentree
Wake Forest
71 7,074 73.9/139
38. (38) Myers Park Country Club
Charlotte
71 7,120 74.3/138
39. (39) UNC Finley Golf Course
Chapel Hill
72 7,223 74.9/138
40. (41) River Landing (Landing)
Wallace
72 7,112 74.2/134
41. (44) Dormie Club
West End
72 6,988 74.0/140
42. (40) Greensboro Country Club (Farm)
Greensboro
72 7,302 75.1/140
43. (42) Bald Head Island Club
Bald Head Island
72 6,855 73.7/143
44. (52) Mid South Club
Southern Pines
71 7,003 73.8/144
45. (43) Duke University Golf Club
Durham
72 7,105 73.9/141
46. (46) Gaston Country Club
Gastonia
72 7,042 74.2/135
47. (48) Country Club of Asheville
Asheville
71 6,672 72.3/134
48. (49) Scotch Hall Preserve
Merry Hill
72 7,257 76.3/139
49. (47) Leopard’s Chase
Sunset Beach
72 7,055 74.3/140
50. (57) Starmount Forest Country Club
Greensboro
71 6,518 72.0/136
51. (54) The Cardinal by Pete Dye
Greensboro
70 6,821 74.2/139
52. (55) Balsam Mountain Preserve
Sylva
70 6,859 73.0/145
53. (50) Hope Valley Country Club
Durham
70 6,671 73.1/133
54. (51) Pinewild Country Club (Magnolia)
Pinehurst
72 7,446 76.4/139
55. (63) Grandover Resort (East)
Greensboro
72 7,270 75.4/140
56. (66) The Currituck Club
Corolla
72 6,888 73.9/136

58. (59) Pinehurst No. 7
Pinehurst
72 7,216 75.5/143
59. (61) Lonnie Poole Golf Course
Raleigh
72 7,358 74.4/142
60. (60) Prestonwood Country Club (Meadows)
Cary
72 7,108 74.6/138
61. (65) Jefferson Landing
Jefferson
72 7,111 73.1/134
62. (45) The Club at Irish Creek
Kannapolis
72 7,099 74.3/137
63. (72) Ballantyne Country Club
Charlotte
72 7,034 74.1/136
64. (64) Bryan Park Golf & Conference Center (Champions)
Browns Summit
72 7,255 75.4/140
65. (53) Tiger’s Eye
Sunset Beach
72 6,849 73.3/141
66. (78) Hound Ears Club
Blowing Rock
72 6,327 69.9/129
67. (56) River Run Country Club
Davidson
72 6,947 74.2/138
68. (62) Carmel Country Club (South)
Charlotte
72 7,503 76.5/142
69. (67) Pinewood Country Club
Asheboro
72 6,830 73.5/134
70. (70) Croasdaile Country Club
Durham
72 7,068 73.4/140
71. (71) Porters Neck Country Club
Wilmington
72 7,112 74.8/138
72. (73) Cedarwood Country Club
Charlotte
71 6,940 73.9/137
73. (76) The Peninsula Club
Cornelius
72 7,014 74.9/142
75. (69) Lake Toxaway Country Club
Lake Toxaway
71 6,500 70.9/134
76. (75) St. James Plantation (Reserve)
Southport
72 7,212 75.4/146
77. (79) Mimosa Hills Golf Club
Morganton
72 6,750 72.8/137
78. (83) Kilmarlic Golf Club
Powells Point
72 6,560 72.2/144
79. (—) Providence Country Club
Charlotte
72 7,021 74.6/141
80. (77) Tournament Players Club at Wakefield Plantation
Raleigh
72 7,257 75.2/137
81. (74 )Linville Ridge
Linville
72 6,775 72.8/136
82. (—) Tanglewood Park golf course (Championship)
Clemmons
70 7,101 74.6/140

84. (82) Grandover Resort (West)
Greensboro
72 6,800 72.7/137
85. (80) Wilson Country Club
Wilson
72 6,851 73.1/136
86. (84) Bermuda Run Country Club (East)
Bermuda Run
72 7,045 74.3/139
87. (81) Cape Fear National Golf Club
Leland
72 7,217 74.5/143
88. (85) Brier Creek Country Club
Raleigh
72 6,885 73.6/139
89. (86) Benvenue Country Club
Rocky Mount
72 6,525 71.3/134
90. (87) Rocky River Golf Club
Concord
72 6,970 73.5/137
91. (89) Compass Pointe Golf Club
Leland
72 7,228 74.6/138
92. (88) Mill Creek Golf Club
Mebane
72 7,004 73.5/144
93. (90) North Ridge Country Club (Lakes)
Raleigh
72 6,880 73.8/136
94. (93) Crow Creek Golf Club
Calabash
72 7,101 73.9/130
95. (94) Carolina Golf Club
Charlotte
71 7,011 73.2/138
91. (82) Country Club of Salisbury
Salisbury
71 6,665 72.0/128
96. (96) Brook Valley Country Club
Greenville
72 6,836 73.8/141
97. (—) Prestonwood Country Club (Fairways)
Cary
70 6,475 71.2/134
98. (100) Blowing Rock Country Club
Blowing Rock
72 6,162 69.9/130
99. (97) Stoney Creek Golf Club
Whitsett
71 7,016 73.8/139
100. (—) Nags Head Golf Links
Nags Head
71 6,126 70.2/138
 

Click here to see a PDF of the section and the additional lists

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