Cape Fear National is on the northern border of Brunswick County and only a short ten-minute hop from the Wilmington NC airport. Opened in 2010, the newest area course has already received plenty of accolades including a listing in the “Best New Courses” category by a number of the major golf publications.
Cape Fear National is a pleasant surprise in the Wilmington, NC area. It is very flat but has water and swamp, excuse me, wetlands, on just about every hole.
The first hole is welcoming, a slight dogleg right. Tee shot is over gunch, if you are in it you really hit a bad shot. There is water left of the green. The 2nd is a devilish par 5, dogleg left. Possible to get home in two, but there are some challenges. Off the tee be as far left as you dare. The 2nd shot is over swamp and there is a water hazard down the right side. The 3rd is a difficult long par 4 with water all the way down the left side. Best approach, hit it long down the center or right thereof. The 4th is a long slightly uphill par 3. It has one of the largest greens on the course. The 5th is another long difficult par 4, with a perched green. Waste bunker and water hazard all the way down the right side with fairway bunkers left. The 6th has a water hazard in front of the green along with an assortment of bunkers. Favor the left off the tee. The 7th is a good birdie oppty. Stay center or right off the tee. There is water left and it sneaks up to the green. The 8th is the number one handicap hole. A long par five dogleg right. There is water all the way down the right side, but 3 average shots should have you on the green. The 9th is a tough par 3. Redan green with bunkers right and back and a water hazard carry. If the pin is back left, go for the middle of the green.
The back starts with a hole that is very similar to one. Just a wee bit longer. If you have a chance look carefully at the house that is left of the green to see the golf balls on display. The 11th and 12th are good birdie opptys. The former straight away par five, favor the left and the latter a short par 4, favor the right. The 13th is a demanding par four with a huge waste bunker carry on your approach. The 14th is the easiest hole on the course, a 200+ yard par 3. The 15th is a par five that sneaks up on you. Narrow fairway favor the left off the tee, but aim further right than you think you should on your second. The water hazard comes way in. The 16th and 17th holes are similar long par fours. On the 17th, favor the left off the tee, this will minimize the water carry on the approach. The 18th is another long par 3 with bunkers left.
Not a fan of courses where both 9 & 18 are par threes, but I enjoyed this course. I recommend it and would go back and play, especially if you paid.