National Golf Club
The year after winning his record sixth Masters, Jack Nicklaus went to work building National Golf Club in the Sandhills of North Carolina. The course opened in 1988 and stands as a Nicklaus masterpiece, which is only fitting for its location in America€™s home of golf.
National is one of the top courses in North Carolina that you can play. It has been ranked 14th best in the entire state for three straight years, and consistently receives four and a half stars from Golf Digest.
The Golden Bear carved a scenic and challenging course amongst the longleaf pines. The land at National has more character than most parcels in the Sandhills, punctuated by small elevation changes. There are also ponds, streams and a lake.
Golfers find the course forgiving off the tee with wide fairways and open areas. There are no out-of-bounds stakes, and homes do not intrude on the course. The layout gets progressively tougher as you approach the green complexes. The greens are not flat ovals; instead they meander about with slope and undulation. Merely reaching greens in regulation is not a guarantee of par. Golfers must target their approach shots to distinct segments.
A highlight is the stonework that frames several greens. The rocks were laid by hand by an English stonemason, creating dramatic views from the fairways.
Among Carolina golfers in the know, National has a reputation as a real test. It has twice hosted the first stage of PGA Tour qualifying, along with U.S. Open qualifying. The course measures 7,122 yards when stretched to the tips, but average golfers should not be leery. The gold tees (6,595 yards), blue tees (6,128) and white tees (5,378) allow for an enjoyable round as long as you have some semblance of a short game at the greens.
Course Architect: Jack Nicklaus
Location: Village of Pinehurst, NC
Minutes from Talamore: 2