It may have been a long time arriving, but once North Carolina’s Outer Banks finally joined the big leagues of golf destinations on the East Coast, there have been no thoughts of laying up at any point since. But if there is just one name – well make that two – that is synonymous with golf’s true arrival along this strip of ocean-front real estate it has to be the Currituck Club. The other is Jones. Rees Jones.
Together, Jones (son of classic golf course architect Robert Trent Jones Sr.) and his mid 1990s Currituck creation formed the big-block engine that continues to drive golfers to this seaside sanctuary. Sure there were others before it, but once in the batter’s box, the Currituck Club became the cleanup hitter for rest of the lineup. In fact, it was recently named as one of the Top 9 Best Public Golf Courses in North Carolina by TravelAwaits.com (a list that includes several Donald Ross designs from Pinehurst and around the state).
Jones, known as the “Open Doctor” due to his time sprucing up U.S. Open venues across the nation, took natural surroundings and crafted a fantastic golf challenge, creating a wonderfully undisturbed course that will astound even the most discerning golfer. Situated along the last bastion of undeveloped land on the Outer Banks proper, Currituck has developed into a magnet along Route 12, the only main road north from the Wright Memorial Bridge to Corolla. The 600-acre sliver of land, once owned by the Currituck Shooting Club, has turned into something special. It is truly a prime example of a modern golf course blending within natural surroundings.
“It’s a great piece of property and a great layout,” says Currituck Club General Manager Richard Beetle.
Of course with Jones’ blessing – calling the land he was gifted as “one of the best pieces of golfer course property on the East Coast” – the Currituck Club has evolved into somewhat of a traditional Scottish links-style playground (although it may be a bit more wooded than the originals from overseas). Very few courses developed near the Atlantic Ocean can claim natural elevation changes. But the back nine here offers massive undulations along the fairways and elevation changes that reach 80 feet above sea level. Thanks to natural rolling dunes, several holes offer a challenge rarely heard of along typically flat, barrier islands. In addition, the Currituck Club possesses six of the more spectacular sound-view holes on the Outer Banks, including its signature hole par-3 No. 15 that plays over inlet marsh to a well-protected green.
Despite having long established itself as the flagship course (with its location, design and designer pedigree) for the OBX destination, the Currituck Club is not content to rest on its laurels.
“Over the last several years our golf course staff has resodded nearly all of the tee boxes and put out more than eight acres of new sod which is equivalent to about eight football fields,” adds Beetle. “The staff has also resodded the fringes around most of the greens. These efforts are designed to make improvements to the overall condition of the fairways and add to the playability around the green complexes for golfers to enjoy.”
Course Review by golf writer Bill Kamenjar