Course: Sea Scape Golf Links
Location: Kitty Hawk, NC
Tee Info: Black: 6131yds, 70.0/124; Gold: 5789, 68.3/119; White: 5377, 66.6/111
Driving Range: None; putting green only
Written By: Colin Murray
Sea Scape is located off Rte 158 only a few miles south of the Route 12 intersection, so it is a very short drive from the major beach areas of Corolla, Duck, Southern Shores, etc. As I pulled into the lot, I was greeted at my car by a young teen boy who put my bags into my cart for me, and showed me where the starters area was. The course was in great condition, and did not see many unrepaired ball marks or fairway divots. Being a links style, the fairways are very narrow and the rough is thick. The tall, weed-like grass is also very prevalent, and makes both finding your ball and hitting out of it quite difficult. This course also has lots of woods and houses lining the fairways, so while the course itself is relatively easy, you can make it a lot harder by spraying your tee shots. There are lots of elevation changes, and you will find yourself clubbing up and down many times to account for the change. One interesting thing to note is this course has names for each hole, and those are displayed on the scorecard above the yardage. The course is very short, but the greens are quite tricky. What looks to be a relatively straight putt will almost definitely have some break in it, the tough part is judging which direction the break is going. If you’re not careful enough, you’ll end up with a high number of 3-putts (which was the case with me that day, despite the fact I’m normally a solid putter). I don’t know if it is characteristic of a links-style, but this course did not have any of the traditional yardage markers in the fairway (blue/white/red). Instead, to find your distance you would have to locate a sprinkler head and pace it out. Thankfully there was no shortage of sprinkler heads, so it was not difficult to get a solid idea of how far out you are.
The clubhouse is relatively small, and does not have much of a selection beyond the typical last-minute items of balls, gloves, and tees. There were a few shirts, but not much else. There is no driving range here, just a putting green. The carts are all electric but do not have GPS. There is a grill that had a decent menu listing, along with several beers on tap if you wanted a stop at the 19th.
There are 3 par-5s on the front, starting with the first hole that is also the 1hdcp, and it plays straight and slightly uphill. It is long, playing 579/560/529, so getting home in two is quite difficult. The fairway here is actually pretty wide, but going too far right will put your ball OB. The green is the second-largest on the course in terms of overall square yardage, so it is very accessible. It is all short-grass beyond the green, so if you go long you are still okay. Hole 3 is the next par-5, and has a dog-leg right after the tee shot landing area. Keep your tee shot to the left, since if you go right trees at the dog-leg will block your attempt at advancing the ball very far (also there are houses & OB on the far right).There is a bunker on the left side that long hitters may encounter depending on the tee box played. The green plays about 200yds from the front of the bunker, but it is uphill and protected by bunkers in the front. Laying up is the smart play, but as with hole 1 if you go over the green you are okay since it is just short grass beyond. Hole 5 is the final par-5, and plays as the 13hdcp. It is not very long, only 456 from the tips, so home in two is certainly possible for two well-struck shots. The fairway runs out at 260yds, and is a slight dog-leg left. Most tee shots will carry enough to give you a solid look/straight shot at the green that is both relatively wide and deep. There are also 3 par-3s: 4, 7, and 9. The latter two both play downhill, so adjust your club accordingly. Hole 7 plays over water, and 9 plays over thick, tall grass that will make finding your ball quite difficult.
Hole 10 is a short par-4 (333/311/292) with a very wide fairway and an equally wide green, though it is not very deep (21×32 dxw). The green is protected by a front-side bunker, but scoring here is very possible and you will likely be left feeling disappointed if you don’t. The final par-5 is Hole 11, and it plays 475/449/397. It is very straight with a relatively deep green (38yds), so if you go for it and miss you likely won’t be punished (unless you really fly the green). Holes 12 and 13 are back-to-back par-3s, with the former playing very downhill and needing to carry grass that would cause an unplayable lie drop. Hole 13 is quite short, only 138 from the tips, and has a bunker protecting the back of the green. Hole 14 is the first of three consecutive holes where the green is to the right of the tee box, either from a sharp or a slight dog-leg. The 14th is the sharpest of them all, and the fairway runs out at approximately 230yds. If you can hit a fade, this is the perfect place for it as you will sail right around the trees and set yourself up for a very short approach. If you can’t hit the fade, then a long iron/hybrid off the tee is best, as you will then have a straight look at a green that is almost 40yds deep. Holes 15 & 16 are almost identical in length and curve, and fades off the tee work great here too. 16 is protected by water front-right and behind, so keep your tee shot left or make sure you take enough club to carry the small pond in front. The water continues for hole 17, a long par-3, where it runs down the right side of the hole and will catch everything fading or slicing. Hit it too far left and you will be in the trees, so you can see why this is the 4hdcp hole. The closing hole is a short uphill par-4 that has a 90-turn left to the green from the edge of the fairway (about 260yds). The green is blind from the tee and any tee shot that does not carry at least 200yds.
This is a deceptive course, since upon first glance at the scorecard one would think it is quite easy based on the yardage, rating, and slop. However, the thick, tall grass, trees, narrow fairways, and tricky greens make it more difficult. It is possible to shoot low here, but you need to play smart golf when needed – which includes putting the driver away on many holes and choosing the right club for the elevation change on your approach. The course is in great condition however, and it was an enjoyable round. I would recommend having extra balls on hand just in case, since the thick grass, trees, and water can all make it easy to lose balls.