Facts & Figures
Golf In North Carolina: Facts and Figures
North Carolina boasts more than 550 golf courses sprinkled from the highest mountains east of the Mississippi to 300 miles of coastline.
- According to the National Golf Foundation, North Carolina is one of the five most popular destination states for golf travelers.
- Linville Golf Club, built in 1895, was North Carolina's first golf course.
- James Tufts created Pinehurst in 1895 and America's first golf resort soon followed. Frederick Law Olmsted, who designed New York's Central Park, also designed the Village of Pinehurst.
- The first miniature golf course, called The Lilliputian Golf Course, was built in Pinehurst in 1916 or 1917. Putt-Putt miniature golf was founded in Fayetteville and is currently based in Winston-Salem.
- Famed course architect Donald Ross designed courses across the state from Wilmington to Asheville, including Pinehurst No. 2 and Black Mountain Golf Course.
- North Carolina has a few of the longest holes to be found anywhere. Black Mountain Golf & Country Club’s 17th hole is 747 yards with a par of 6. The 18th hole at Farmstead Golf Links in Calabash, another par 6, is 20 yards longer – golfers tee off in South Carolina and sink their putt North Carolina. As for par 5s, Wake Forest Golf Club near Raleigh lays out a 711-yard challenge on the first hole.
- The U.S. Open, U.S. Women's Open, PGA Championship, PGA Tour Championship, Ryder Cup, U.S. Senior Open, PGA Junior Championship, and the Men's and Women's U.S. Amateur have all been held in North Carolina.
- Pinehurst No. 2 has hosted the 1991 and 1992 PGA Tour Championships, the 1994 U.S. Senior Open, and the 1999 and 2005 U.S. Open Championships. It will also host the U.S. Open in 2014, an unprecedented third time in 15 years.
- Pine Needles in Southern Pines hosted the 1996, 2001 and 2007 U.S. Women's Open. LPGA legend Peggy Kirk Bell founded America's first golf school for women (Golfari), also at Pine Needles.
- Golf courses recognized as top courses for women include: Hound Ears Lodge & Country Club in Blowing Rock, Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club in Southern Pines (ranked #2 in the U.S. by Golf for Women magazine), Brunswick County's The Pearl (East and West), Meadowlands Golf Club, Pinehurst Resort and Sea Trail Golf Resort.
- Arnold Palmer, whose aggressive play and winning personality are credited with earning golf national attention, honed his skills on the championship golf team of Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem.
- Champion golfers Curtis Strange, Lanny Wadkins, Jay Haas, Davis Love III and Ray Floyd all attended college in North Carolina or grew up here.
- Known as the Jackie Robinson of golf, one of the state's noted sports heroes is Charlotte native Charlie Sifford. Sifford became the first African-American to compete in a PGA Tour event at the Greater Greensboro Open in 1961. He came in fourth place and seven months later, the PGA dropped its Caucasians-only requirement.
- North Carolina has more than 85 golf courses ranked by Golf Digest as four star or higher. Pinehurst No. 2 and Wade Hampton Golf Club in Cashiers (near Asheville) both ranked among the world's top 100 courses according to Golf Magazine.
added: January 3, 2009
updated: February 3, 2011