The Takeaway: Famous for boasting the first island green in the Tarheel State, the tree lined Dogwood course at CCNC features top notch conditioning, some appealing elevation changes, and a quality test of skill. Grade B+
Designer: Ellis Maples and Willard Byrd in 1963 - Arthur Hills renovation in 2002 - Chris Spence in 2016
Phone Number: 910-692-6565
Course Website: Official Website - Visit The Country Club of North Carolina (Dogwood)'s official website by clicking on the link provided.
Directions: Get here! - 1600 Morganton Rd, Pinehurst, North Carolina 28374 – UNITED STATES
What to Expect: Quickly regarded as one of the finer courses in the sandhills of North Carolina after opening in 1963, the Dogwood course at the Country Club of North Carolina is known for featuring the first island green in the state and for hosting the U.S. Amateur in 1980 that was won by a young Hal Sutton. The engaging design has water come into play on half of the holes as the routing takes players along Aberdeen Creek and Watson Lake with the back nine being the more compelling and scenic of the two sides. The classic figure 8 routing does a nice job of taking players in a variety of directions which provides increased playability no matter what wind condition is dialed up that day. Speaking of conditions, the turf conditions and pure greens at CCNC are some of the best in North Carolina and is a keystone feature of the club that everyone enjoys. Towering pine trees frame the holes and the gentle movement in the terrain helps give variety and interest to the hole designs while the difference in hole lengths ensures the cliché that you'll use "every club in the bag." In the end, the Dogwood course at CCNC is a Top 10 course in the Pinehurst area and a Top 20 course in the Tarheel State and well worth jumping on an invite to play it.
By the Numbers
Individual Hole Analysis
Signature Hole: 11th Hole – 423 Yard Par 4 – A beautiful two-shotter that catches your eye and requires your attention, the 11th features an inlet from Aberdeen Creek that dominates the view. The inlet comes into play 140 yards from the green and players have to decide whether to layup short of it or whether to challenge the water and bust a drive over the bridge to the fairway beyond. The fairway doglegs hard right beyond the inlet so players need to get their ball to the middle or left side of the fairway in order to ensure they won't be blocked out with their second shot. The raised green is protected by bunkers on each side and the widest part of the putting surface is in the back, so taking more club is better than less in most instances.
Best Par 3: 3rd Hole – 162 Yards – Known as the first island green in the state of North Carolina, the 3rd is a downhill one-shotter with bunkers short right and long left. The back third is its own tier and is the most challenging section of the green to get close to, while putts from the back to the front third will require some touch. A beauty of a hole that sets the tone early for the Dogwood course that features water hazards throughout to contend with.
Best Par 4: 15th Hole – 466 Yards – The 15th is a dogleg right that descends 20 feet from tee to green. A drive that travels over the inside edge of the fairway bunkers on the right will produce the optimal line to set up the approach shot. The green is bordered by Watson Lake on the left and a trio of bunkers on the right, so there is no forgiveness on the accuracy required when attacking this putting surface. The front of the green is wide open if players want to bring in a low shot that utilizes the ground to skip up to the target.
Best Par 5: 18th Hole – 510 Yards – Watson Lake is the major factor to consider on the risk/reward closing hole at the Dogwood course. The fairway bunkers on the right are a good aiming point but can be reachable for longer hitters, so staying just left of the sand is the ideal play. 200 yards from the green the fairway tightens to not much more than a glorified walkway and virtually forces players to stay short of it with their tee shot before preparing for the upward ascent to the green. With the fairway doglegging left, players will find themselves needing to climb 35 feet in the last 200 yards with a trio of bunkers of various placements waiting to catch shots that aren't struck well. It is an exciting hole to finish on and an opportunity to score well if you implore the correct strategy.
Birdie Time: 5th Hole – 523 Yard Par 5 – Located at the very southern portion of the property, the 5th hole is a great risk/reward opportunity that is unassuming off the tee. With Aberdeen Creek to your back, the tee shot plays to a raised fairway where much of the landing area is blind, setting up a great reveal. Upon cresting the hill, the hole unveils a descending fairway with a green completely fronted by a pond and a bunker on the left side of the putting surface that lies in wait to catch shots that are bailing away from the watery hazard. With 33 yards of depth to work with, the green can be attacked from a distance with the confidence that it will stay on the putting surface when landing on the fly. This is a fun hole and early opportunity to card a birdie on, so take advantage of it.
Bogey Beware: 14th Hole – 444 Yard Par 4 – A heroic tee shot over a corner of Watson Lake is required on the 14th hole and places pretty much straight away. Each side of the fairway is tree lined and is further protected by bunkers, so the architects are going to make sure you pipe one down the middle, or get lucky, in order to have a good look with your second shot. On the approach shot the left side of the fairway is pinched by a tree while the right side features bunkers, so you'll have to pick your poison on which obstacle you feel most confident taking on. Accuracy, accuracy, accuracy is the name of the game on this hole.