On the tail end of a recent trip with the AmateurGolf.com Tour to Pine
Needles and Pinehurst I was able to make the best
of an extra day in the Raleigh–Durham area and play
the Duke University Golf Club. After a week of golf
at Pine Needles, Mid Pines, and Pinehurst, it was
going to be difficult to find another course that was
on par with the previous North Carolina gems. Well…
I was wrong.
The Duke University Golf Club is situated smack
dab in the middle of the beautiful Duke University
campus. The golf course is a part of the Washington
Duke Inn which sits adjacent to the course on the
300 acre rolling property. Opened in 1957, this is the
only Robert Trent Jones designed course in the
area. The course was redesigned in 1994 by
Jones’ son Rees. Duke University Golf Club
was site of the 2001 NCAA Men’s Golf
Championships, and is considered one of the top 10
golf courses in North Carolina.
The course plays just over 7,100 yards from the
back tees and is a true test of golf for any
player. Large elevated greens, blind tee shots, and
sharp doglegs make this a course that you will
absolutely have to play a few times to figure out.
The Par five, seventh hole was a standout hole for
me. A 530 yard par five, over water, to an elevated
green sloping severely from back to front. The
course was in excellent shape when I played and the
greens were some of the best I had putted all week,
and that includes Pinehurst No. 2. Green fees were
$100, but it was well worth the price of admission
considering the condition and history of this
course. The practice facility is top notch with a huge
driving range and a great short game area.
I highly recommend this course the next time
you are in the Raleigh-Durham area. The course is
only a 20 minute drive from the airport, and could
make a nice stop over if you are heading down to
the Pinehurst area to play.