Now that fall is officially here, it’s time to talk about golf on the Outer Banks. If ever there was a place that combined all the elements for a great time on the links, it’s this piece of real estate in northeastern North Carolina.
There are six courses within an hour’s drive of each other offering a wide variety of styles and skill levels. Because they are so close together, a golf weekend, long weekend or even a week is a very real possibility. With rental rates and green fees off their peak season highs, now through the end of October may be the best time of the year to take a golf break.
Of course a golf break is great any time of the year, but autumn weather on the Outer Banks is truly spectacular–the temperatures have moderated and the wind tends to let up a little bit. After October though, the temperatures get a little cooler and the winds begin to get stronger.
On a course like Nags Head Links that could really be a factor. A Scottish style links course, it sits on the Albemarle Sound with not much of anything to stop the wind. It is an open, beautiful course, and the wind can become a hazard all its own.
Most Outer Banks golf courses are not as exposed to the wind, however. The two premier courses are probably the Rees Jones designed Currituck Club in Corolla and the Tom Steele designed Kilmarlic on the Currituck mainland. Both are stunning in their beauty, both have been used for sanctioned tournament play and they are challenging courses.
Kilmarlic was created out of a maritime forest and there is a distinct feel that it is part of that environment and not 18 holes and a clubhouse that was imposed on the land. There is a tournament coming up in October: the ODU/Outer Banks Collegiate Golf Tournament October 21-23, so be aware the course will not be available to the public that weekend.
The Currituck Club is a fairly long–6,885 yards–course with a variety of environments matching the settings found on the Outer Banks. The course follows a dune line into a maritime forest and then to the wetlands that parallel the Currituck Sound.
Not every Outer Banks golf course is as challenging as the winds of Nags Head Links or Kilmarlic and the Currituck Club. In Kitty Hawk Seascape is a very pleasant open course that runs along the dune line. Although wind can be a factor here, it’s not nearly as strong as the winds in Nags Head.
On the mainland there are two more courses worth checking out. The Pointe is just a little south of Kilmarlic on the other side of Caratoke Highway. The course is fairly open with a well-deserved reputation for some of the best putting greens around. About seven or eight miles up the road in Grandy, the Carolina Club is perfect for a relaxing day on the links.
Brindley Beach Vacations has a quick description of the courses with links to their websites at http://www.brindleybeach.com/golf.htm.