A Hunger for Golf … and From It

I used to think wild horses couldn’t drag me away from the golf course. Or the sight and sounds of the ocean. Though that’s never been the case with the burning hunger a round of golf can produce.

But things have changed. As a devoted visitor to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, it didn’t take long for me to learn that the descendants of Spanish Mustangs survived 16th century shipwrecks. They swam ashore and have roamed the white sandy beaches ever since. An adventure horse tour across these creatures’ natural dune and seaside habitats, consequently, has had a way of occasionally enticing me away from the sea of green fairways along the Northern banks.

Then, of course, there’s the beach. There’s nothing quite as soothing as digging one’s toes (sans the wedge) into the soft sand while the pounding surf slows – at the very spot where every wave’s long journey across the Atlantic Ocean comes to an end and the sea retreats into itself.

The one great temptation, however, that has always acted as a magnetic pull away from the fairway has been the primal craving for some grub. And after a round of golf on a course like the Currituck Club, there’s no place more special than the place where “North Carolina’s barbeque culture meets fresh coastal seafood.”

When I (along with my playing partners) decide to serve up a four-course golfing delight in Northern OBX, it begins at one of these clubs: Currituck, Kilmarlic, The Carolina Club or The Pointe. But one thing I have noticed through all of my times of swiping my way across these delightful designs is the tremendous appetite that any one – or all in the same trip – seem to create.

Reasons to Dig In

Golf, it has been said, is a whole different bag of shag balls. And because of that it has its own unique way of developing a scandalous hunger – especially that played along the coast. Maybe it’s the fresh salt air. Or the time spent lining up putts. Or hacking out of waste bunkers. There’s just something about the four hours spent with good companions playing a game that we all love. While a hot dog and a pack of orange-colored peanut butter crackers (a snack, incidentally, that is a North Carolina invention: Lance Cracker in Charlotte!) at the turn can usually contain those hunger pangs for a while, it’s not until you have packed up your sticks, stuffed them in the trunk and headed for your favorite après golf destination that some real savory pleasures unfold.

When my group pulls out the stops and heads for OBX, we like to experience a variety of options over the course of several days and rounds. No matter what the score, we rarely have to travel very far to score the perfect meal.

To begin with, there are plenty of dining options when golfing along coastal Corolla or mainland Currituck, or both. Seafood, of course, is a virtual no brainer on most barrier island menus. At places like The Oceanfront Grille in Corolla, local catch can be had, complete with fantastic views of the Atlantic surf. For more customary palates, steaks, chicken and other non-seafood items are prepared daily.

Over on the mainland, there’s the Pass the Salt Café, with its alternative, down-home-cooked menu to enjoy. As for the traditional barbeque side of the hunger chart, you roll up on it quickly at Currituck BBQ. Situated on Rte. 158 almost halfway between the border of Virginia and North Carolina and Outer Banks, this timely location has become a favorite stopover for many locals and beach goers since 2006. Using only fresh ingredients, Currituck BBQ specializes in hickory-smoked, slow-cooked Pork BBQ, Beef Brisket, Pork Ribs and BBQ Chicken. With a variety of great sauces and sides, a drop in here is a must on every golf adventure into or out of the Outer Banks.

There are, naturally, other barbeque variations to be had in northern OBX including Corolla Village BBQ and B.J.’s Carolina Café. For the stay-and-play lovers, both the Point Golf Club’s Greenside Bar & Grill and the Carolina Club’s Tuckers Sports Bar & Grille offer scrumptious barbeque of varying ingredients and presentation. On Thursday nights during the season, in addition, sweet barbeque aromas have been noticed wafting from the courtyard of the stay-and-play Golf Cottages at Kilmarlic Golf Club.

But barbeque and creatures from the sea aren’t the only treasures to be found along the northern Outer Banks. And, of course, a few southerly excursions to places along the beach like Kitty Hawk and even into Nags Head (home of the Nags Head Golf Links) are also in play. In my next blog post I will feature a complete rundown of some of my and my golf buddies’ favorite places to refuel the body after a day of traversing OBX’s choice fairways and greens.

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