Scenic Drives: North Carolina’s Breathtaking Golf Courses

More than 550 golf courses dot the varying landscapes across North Carolina – many of them surrounded by soaring mountains, foothills vanishing in the misty distance or fresh ocean breezes. 

Piedmont

1 Pinehurst Resort

1 Pinehurst Resort

PinehurstSee on mapSee on map

The most famous of Pinehurst Resort’s nine courses and designed by icon Donald Ross, No. 2 has hosted more championships (including the U.S. Open) than any other course in the country. Players conquer hidden, sandy swales and unsuspected rollaway slopes. Renowned golf architect Gil Hanse’s redesign of No. 4 opened in September 2018 to rave reviews and is a perfect complement to No. 2.

2 Grandover Resort

2 Grandover Resort

GreensboroSee on mapSee on map

This resort’s East and West courses play out along fairways sculpted from elevation changes and lined with trees that blaze with vibrant colors in the fall. The West Course also features stone bridges and bent grass greens.

3 Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club

3 Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club

Southern PinesSee on mapSee on map

Ranked as one of the top 5 courses in our state by Golfweek, Pine Needles is the first course in the nation to host four U.S. Women's Open Championships. Paired with its Mid Pines course, the 1927 Pine Needles features longleaf pines, recently restored bunkers and memorable challenges such as the third hole's sharply sloped green.

Coast

4 Nags Head Golf Links

photo: Outer Banks Visitors Bureau

4 Nags Head Golf Links

Nags Head See on mapSee on map

Outer Banks salt air sets the tone for Scottish links-style golf. Carved into the barrier-island landscape, the course’s location along the Roanoke Sound makes it “among the most beautiful in the Eastern United States,” according to Golf Digest.

5 Leopard’s Chase Golf Links

5 Leopard’s Chase Golf Links

Ocean Isle BeachSee on mapSee on map

One of four big-cat-themed courses at Ocean Ridge Plantation, Leopard’s Chase is full of surprises that seem to leap out of nowhere. Scene-stealing highlights include greens tucked away on an island (hole 4) and behind a waterfall (hole 18).

6 The Currituck Club

6 The Currituck Club

CorollaSee on mapSee on map

Using diverse maritime geography, designer Rees Jones crafted a masterpiece of coastal golf among dunes and salt-air washed forest lands. Moody with ocean-driven wind changes, Currituck provides golfers with a different experience every round.

Mountains

7 The Omni Grove Park Inn

photo: The Omni Grove Park Inn

7 The Omni Grove Park Inn

AshevilleSee on mapSee on map

Follow in the footsteps of early 20th-century tycoons and artists on the slopes of the inn’s 1926 Donald Ross course. Laid out below the inn’s veranda, the creek-lined course comes with views of the Blue Ridge Mountains to the west.

8 Cleghorn Golf & Sports Club

8 Cleghorn Golf & Sports Club

RutherfordtonSee on mapSee on map

With roots in a 16th-century land grant from King George II, Cleghorn gives golfers the royal treatment. Hillside forests open wide enough for comfortable shot-making, and multilevel greens roll fast but true. The course opens with a birdie-friendly par 4 and ends with a par 5 – this one a tougher uphill challenge.

Take a swing through our state by checking out the Official North Carolina Travel Guide for more great golf courses and other scenic destinations.

Updated April 6, 2022
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