Location: Powells Pointe, NC (near Outer Banks)
Driving Range: Yes, $5 small/$8 large. Grass tees.
Tee Info: White: 5426yds, 65.7/114; Blue: 5911yds, 67.9/119; Gold: 6343yds, 70.1/126
Written By: Colin Murray
The Pointe is located on Route 158 only a few miles before the Route 12 intersection that takes you towards Duck, Corolla, Southern Shores, etc. I was staying in Corolla and this course was between a 30-40min drive. Upon driving up, I could not find a bag drop area so I pulled into a spot, then a moment later I was greeted by an employee driving a cart who verified my tee time, put my bag onto the cart, and showed me where the clubhouse was. Definitely a very good first impression. The course itself was in excellent condition. Only the random unrepaired ball mark on the greens, the fairway grass was lush but not too thick that it hindered your shots. Despite a few tree lined fairways, the course is very open so if you spray your tee shots you will be able to find them. There are however lots of bunkers at this course, and you will inevitably find yourself in a few of them before your round is over since they are strategically placed. The other rather unique aspect to this course is the number of doglegs. Out of 14 non-par 3s, there were approximately 5 holes that had a curve to them, a few almost a full 90-degrees. As the tee info indicates, this is a short course that is easy to score on. Long hitters will only need driver on a few holes, mainly the par-5s.
The pro-shop was quite impressive; probably has the vastest selection of items for purchase, including a few racks of shoes which you don’t usually see. The driving range is also very nice as it is all grass tees. The only downside is there are no distance markers, so you don’t know exactly how far your shot is going. Buckets are cheap too, $5/small, $8/large. The carts are all electric, but do not have GPS. There is also a full-service grill located adjacent to the pro-shop. They offer full meals, along with the regular golf course type fare. For those that like to have some beers on course, they sell 6-packs with ice to keep them cold. A cart girl also comes around to satisfy your hunger or thirst needs mid-round.
Hole 1 is one of those sharp dog-legs, as the fairway runs out about 275yds before turning a sharp right. Water is in play off the tee if you go right at all, so aim left. From there your second shot should be straight at the hole. If you’ve got the distance, go for it; otherwise play the lay-up and leave yourself with a short GIR attempt. Hole 3 is a longer par 3 that plays over water, though it is only in play if you duff your tee shot. Get a solid strike on the ball and you should have no problem carrying the pond. The green plays slightly uphill from the tee by about a half club-lengths worth. Hole 7 is a short par-3 (151/137/116), but has OB surrounding the back of the green. If the pin is in the back, taking a club lower may be a smart play so you don’t fly the green and take a penalty. Hole 8 is a short par-5, playing 459/447/422, but is the 1hdcp hole on the course because of a short dog-leg right off the tee and a narrower fairway with OB on the left. If you can fade your tee shot, this is a good opportunity for it. Keep it in the fairway and you should have a very good look at getting under GIR.
Hole 10 is almost a clone of Hole 1, as it is a par-5 with a sharp dog-leg right (no water on this one however). This hole also turns back left about 50yds from the green, so if you are FIR and go for it in two you will have to carry both the rough and a bunker that is placed to catch those attempts. Par is a good score here, but it is definitely possible to birdie. Hole 13 is a short par-4 that must carry OB grass off the tee from Gold or Blue, but a solid struck tee shot should not have any issues making the carry. If you play the White tee, it is possible to drive the green since it only plays 312, and is downhill. A bunker is well-placed just in front of the green to catch any shots that fall short. Hole 18 is the longest on the course (619/556/513), but plays mostly straight. Your tee shot is best aimed slightly right, since there is a bunker on the left side of the main landing area. Even long hitters will not get home in two, so unless you feel comfortable with your 3W, your best play is a mid- to long-iron to set yourself up for a short third shot onto the green and hopefully take the front side bunkers on the left and right out of play. Despite the length and a 4hdcp, this is not a difficult hole to finish on a good note with since making par and even birdie are definitely possible.
While this course is relatively easy and on the shorter side, it is nothing short of excellent. The staff was very friendly, and having them drive a cart to & take it cart from you at the end (even giving your clubs a quick cleaning) was a nice touch. The condition of the course was virtually perfect; greens & fairways were very well kept, and the surrounding landscape was done nicely as well. The openness of the course lends well to those who have trouble keeping the ball straight, and despite water in play on a few holes there are not many opportunities to lose balls.