(GREENSBORO, N.C.) – The North Carolina Golf Panel’s 2015 rankings of the state’s best golf courses are out, and as has rang true since the Panel’s founding two decades ago, Pinehurst No. 2 steadfastly remains No. 1.
Members of the Panel also voted on the top dozen courses in six regions of the state, plus ranked the top five courses per region in three specialty categories: Best Collection of Par 4s; Best Bang for the Buck; and Best Experience.
Second again in the Top 100 to Pinehurst No. 2, designed by the great Donald Ross, is Grandfather Golf & Country Club in Linville. Third and fourth also remain the same from 2014, with the Dogwood course at Country Club of North Carolina in Pinehurst third and the Old North State Club in New London fourth. Fifth this year is Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club in Southern Pines.
Ranking sixth through 10th are: Elk River Club (Banner Elk); Quail Hollow Club (Charlotte); Charlotte Country Club (Charlotte); Pinehurst No. 8 (Pinehurst); and Wade Hampton Club in Cashiers.
Significant moves in the Top 100 were made by the Ross-designed Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro (from 22nd to 16th), Old Town Club in Winston-Salem (24th to 18th), Mid Pines Inn and Golf Club in Southern Pines (25th to 19th), Trump National Golf Club in Mooresville (33rd to 24th), and the two courses at Country Club of Landfall in Wilmington (Pete Dye course from 37th to 29th and the Jack Nicklaus course from 59th to 38th).
The biggest leaps were made by Governors Club in Chapel Hill (57th to 36th), Prestonwood Country Club in Cary’s Meadows course (72nd to 55th), and Porters Neck Country Club in Wilmington (79th to 64th). Two courses cracked the Top 100 for the first time: Cedarwood Country Club in Charlotte (81st) and Red Bridge Golf and Country Club in Locust (99th).
The Top 100 courses are determined by a scoring system where panelists consider among these factors: routing, design, strategy, memorability, fairness, variety and aesthetics. The Panel’s 2015 rankings are detailed in the April issue of Business North Carolina magazine and at NCGolfPanel.com.