Best golf courses in North Carolina
Photograph Courtesy of Evan Schiller

North Carolina, and its 500+ golf courses, is a state where the diversity of its landscapes translates into an unparalleled golf experience. From the peaks of the Blue Ridge Mountains to the beaches of Wilmington, few destinations can match the variety of golf available here. But it’s not just about the scenery; North Carolina’s rich golf history adds an extra layer of charm, blending the classic allure of historic courses with the excitement of modern designs. So, join us as we explore the best golf courses in North Carolina, and let’s plan your next golf trip together.

The Best Golf Courses in North Carolina

1. Pinehurst No. 2


Pinehurst No. 2

Nestled among the towering longleaf pines of North Carolina, Pinehurst No. 2 is at the top of our list. Designed by the renowned Donald Ross in 1907, this course has seen some serious history made on its fairways, hosting major championships like the U.S. Open, the Ryder Cup, and more. Its difficult layout, characterized by natural sandy areas and iconic “turtleback” greens, demands precision and strategy on every shot. But Pinehurst No. 2 isn’t just about your score, it’s about the experience. From the first tee to the statue of Payne Stewart beyond the 18th, every round here is a journey into the heart and soul of the game. 

2. Wade Hampton Golf Club


Tucked away in the enchanting mountain town of Cashiers, North Carolina, Wade Hampton Golf Club is a hidden gem that promises an unforgettable experience. It’s one of the best golf courses in North Carolina and was crafted by the esteemed Tom Fazio. This exclusive club is a testament to nature’s beauty and the artistry of golf course design. As you navigate its wonderfully crafted fairways and greens, you’ll find yourself surrounded by breathtaking vistas of the Blue Ridge Mountains, with each hole offering a new and exciting adventure. 

3. Quail Hollow Club


Quail Hollow Club is considered one of the best golf courses in North Carolina, annually captivating audiences during the Wells Fargo Championship. Initially crafted by George Cobb in 1961 and later enhanced by Tom Fazio, this course seamlessly blends challenge with the picturesque Carolina scenery. Its crowning jewel, however, lies in its final three holes, famously known as “The Green Mile,” where every round culminates in riveting drama.

4. Old Town Club


Old Town Club is a testament to architectural ingenuity, boasting a layout that has garnered acclaim since its inception. Conceived by renowned architect Perry Maxwell, celebrated for his work at premier courses like Prairie Dunes and Southern Hills, Old Town Club is a standout creation. One of the course’s distinctive aspects is Maxwell’s rare double green, an element that sets it apart from many other courses. Over the years, Old Town Club has undergone careful restoration, including the removal of numerous trees to create a continuous swath of fairway that connects several holes, including the 7th, 8th, 9th, 17th, and 18th.

5. Mountaintop Golf & Lake Club


The Cashiers area continues to deliver great golf with our next selection for the best golf courses in North Carolina: Mountaintop Golf & Lake Club. As the name suggests, this course is a true alpine escape. It winds through the natural North Carolina topography with majestic hardwoods, natural springs, and sweeping mountain views. Play is reserved for Mountaintop’s members along with their families and guests. 

6. Pinehurst No. 4


Pinehurst No. 4

Pinehurst No. 4 is a masterpiece among Pinehurst Resort’s outstanding collection of courses. Originally developed by Donald Ross and revamped by Gil Hanse in 2018, the course combines classic elements with modern design. It winds through the rolling terrain of the North Carolina Sandhills, providing stunning vistas around every turn. Whether you’re a scratch golfer or a weekend warrior, No. 4 offers a memorable and rewarding golf experience that is quintessentially Pinehurst. 

7. Eagle Point Golf Club


Situated between the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean is a coastal gem, Eagle Point Golf Club.  Opened in 2000 and the brainchild of Tom Fazio, the course highlights rolling, pine-lined fairways, among Champion G12 Bermudagrass greens. Its pristine landscapes draw comparisons to Augusta National Golf Club and it’s just as exclusive.

8. Forest Creek Golf Club: North Course


Tom Fazio has been a popular name on our list of the best golf courses in North Carolina, and we’re exploring one of his most prestigious works with our next selection. Fazio infused the North Course at Forest Creek Golf Club with a pine barrens feel, reminiscent of the famed Pine Valley in New Jersey. The course boasts sprawling sandy waste areas and bunkers, seamlessly integrating with the natural landscape. Towering pines, sparkling lakes, and manicured fairways add to the allure.

9. Tobacco Road Golf Club


Tobacco Road Golf Club is a course that defies convention and captivates the imagination. Developed by the late Mike Strantz, known for his bold and innovative approach to golf course architecture, Tobacco Road is a visual and strategic masterpiece. Carved out of a former sand quarry, the course features dramatic elevation changes, vast waste areas, and striking bunker complexes that challenge golfers to think creatively and strategically. Each hole offers a unique test, with blind shots, towering dunes, and undulating fairways that demand precision. The rugged, raw beauty of the landscape, combined with Strantz’s daring design, makes Tobacco Road a must-play for golfers visiting the Carolinas.

10. Grandfather Golf & Country Club


Nestled in the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains, Grandfather Golf & Country Club offers a golfing experience that is both trying and breathtaking. The club’s championship course was designed by Ellis Maples. As golfers navigate the course, they are treated to panoramic views of Grandfather Mountain and its surrounding forests, making each round an immersive experience in nature. Beyond the stunning visuals, the course’s thoughtful design presents a variety of shot-making opportunities, catering to golfers of all skill levels. 

11. Charlotte Country Club


Established in 1910, Charlotte Country Club is a historic club that offers a famed Donald Ross-designed golf course, which has been impeccably preserved and restored to maintain its classic charm. The course is characterized by its rolling fairways, strategic bunkering, and undulating greens, posing a test of skill and strategy for golfers of all levels. The club’s wonderfully landscaped grounds and stately clubhouse provide a sophisticated backdrop for members and guests.

12. Diamond Creek

Banner Elk

Diamond Creek in Banner Elk, North Carolina, offers a golfing experience unlike any other, blending natural beauty with architectural excellence. Crafted by, you guessed it, Tom Fazio, the course features a stunning waterfall behind the par-3 17th green, cascading over a sheer granite quarry wall, creating a dramatic backdrop for this hole. The course layout is masterfully integrated into the surrounding landscape, with each hole offering a unique and memorable experience. The attention to detail is evident throughout the course, from the manicured fairways to the subtle elevation changes and strategic bunkering. 

13. Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club

Southern Pines

Pine Needles golf

Located in North Carolina’s beloved Sandhills region, Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club is a timeless retreat known for its classic Donald Ross-designed course that has hosted three U.S. Women’s Open Championships. The course is a blend of challenge and scenery, with rolling fairways framed by majestic longleaf pines. What sets Pine Needles apart is its commitment to tradition, offering a golf experience that celebrates the game’s heritage. With comfortable accommodations and Southern hospitality, Pine Needles invites golfers to immerse themselves in a true golfing haven.

14. Southern Pines Golf Club

Southern Pines

One of the best golf courses in North Carolina, Southern Pines Golf Club offers a premier golfing experience steeped in history and natural beauty. From the mind of legendary architect Donald Ross and opened in 1906, this course has stood the test of time, attracting golfers from near and far to its imposing yet scenic layout. The course features rolling fairways lined with pine trees and strategic bunkering, providing a classic Carolinian golfing experience.

15. Dormie Club

West End

Dormie Club

Dormie Club in West End, North Carolina, isn’t just a golf course; it’s a golfer’s playground waiting to be explored. Brought to life by the iconic duo Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, this course is a true marvel, blending harmoniously with the natural landscape. The undulating terrain, strategically placed bunkers, and complex greens offer a thrilling experience for golfers of all levels.

North Carolina’s diverse and picturesque golf courses offer something for every golfer, from stunning coastal views to mountain landscapes. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a casual player, the best golf courses in North Carolina are sure to impress. To make your golfing experience even more enjoyable, consider using Ship Sticks. With Ship Sticks, you can easily ship your clubs and luggage directly to your destination, saving you time and hassle at the airport. So why wait? Plan your trip to the best golf courses in North Carolina today and let Ship Sticks handle the logistics.

Megan Williams

Meet Megan Williams, a wordsmith with a passion for golf, travel, and the epic combination of the two! Originally from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, the Golf Capital of the World, Megan has played golf since she was a child, eventually playing competitively in college. She's since swapped her golf clubs for the keyboard and skillfully translates her on-course experiences into captivating narratives and insightful stories. When she's not crafting engaging content, you can catch her enjoying the company of her energetic golden retriever or trying new culinary delights around Tampa, Florida - her current stomping grounds. Join Megan on her literary journey as she explores golf courses and resorts worldwide, shares travel knowledge and shipping tips, covers industry news, and more - all exclusively on the Ship Sticks blog.