Eagle Point Golf Club is the most exclusive golf club in eastern North Carolina and the Tom Fazio-designed course opened for play in May 2000.
Routed close to the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic further east, the Eagle Point layout can stretch to 7,170 yards from the tips and it plays tough when there’s a freshening wind. If you are lucky enough to receive an invite to play this top-notch course, then carefully choose your tee box from the five available to ensure maximum enjoyment.
With multi-tiered greens, which often reach Augusta-like stimp speeds, you’ll need your best putting game. You might consider taking a caddy as one of Eagle Point’s selling points is that it’s the only private club in the south east of the Tar Heel State to offer a full daily caddy service.
In addition to the main 18-hole course, there is a 9-hole par three executive course on the 245-acre Eagle Point property, which serves as the perfect warm up ahead of the real thing. In 2017, the Wells Fargo Championship moved from Quail Hollow to Eagle Point which showcased the club to a world audience.
Designed by Tom Fazio on land close enough to the ocean to be influenced by the strength of the wind, this is a “big feeling” golf course due to the width of the fairways and the routing which has the outer nine on the northern side and the inner nine on the southern side of the property.
The course is built on flat land, but it is obvious that there was a lot of earth moved to create the green complexes and manufacture changes in height, none as dramatic as the “hill” created for the eighteenth tee, the highest point on the golf course.
Some people I know that have played Eagle Point describe it as “over-rated” and “unmemorable.” I can see their point of view from playing it one time and I believe that is because of the overall flatness and width of the fairways. Yet when I think about the course after having played it recently, I find it to be a course that will grow on you the more you play it because there is distinctiveness to most of the holes. I can see that if I were to play it ten times that after completing a hole, that on the walk to the next tee, I would be thinking about how to play the next hole because of some unique feature to that hole that is not on another hole on the golf course.
Due to the width of those fairways, this is primarily a second shot golf course. Hitting into these green complexes requires one to generally be on one side of the fairway versus another side so there is a fair amount of strategy that should go into many of the tee shots. One has to be reasonably precise to find the correct spot to land their ball on the green given the changes in green slopes and the fall-offs on many of the greens, some of them fairly dramatic. If there is a criticism to the course’s green complexes, one could argue a short miss can lead to a recovery shot with a very low possibility of recovery.
The par 3’s are mainly good here, although I heard the real gems are on the club’s par 3 nine hole course. Each one is different although they are in a narrower range of yardages ranging from 160 to 208 yards.
The par 5’ are good, with all of them being on the longer side. Each one is different from the next both in the movement of land, their shape, and especially in the green surrounds.
The par 4’s are where some might say some of them “run” together and lack distinctiveness. But as mentioned earlier, I think the more often one plays the course, the more one will realize the variety of the holes.
Where does this course rank in the many courses designed and built by Tom Fazio? Mr. Fazio built so many good golf courses that it is difficult to place it. It is not in the top ten because it does not have the great land that many of his other courses do such as Wade Hampton or Mountaintop. It does not have the fabulous location that his courses such as The Quarry at La Quinta or The River Course at Kiawah. It does not have the unique setting such as Shadow Creek. It does not have the amount of sand and outstanding bunkering such as at Congaree. But it certainly ranks among many of his better designs such as at Forest Creek.
The course, practice area and facilities were considered good enough to host the Wells Fargo PGA event in 2017, which resulted in praise from many of the tour players. As one plays the course, it is obvious why the tour players would like it due to its length, wide fairways, and the interesting greens.
The course measures 7471 from the Black tees, par 72 rated 76.2/143. The Green tees are 6849 yards rated 72.7/137. We played the Blue tees at 6407 yards, rated 71.0/133 although the member said the Blue tees placed on our day of play were closer on several holes to the green tees, estimating we played at closer to 6600 yards. There are two sets of lesser tees.
1. Par 4 442/387/360. The best line into the hole is to stay on the left side of the fairway as there is a vertical long fall-off on lower ground on the right side where taller grass awaits. Bigger hitters will need to avoid a long, winding bunker on the left that cuts the fairway to about half the size on this dogleg right. Near the green is a single bunker on the front left. The green is tilted back to front and left to right. There is ample room if one misses to the right of the green to recover. It is a good starting hole.
2. Par 3 – 161/139. This par 3 is a visual delight. You play across a pond that fronts the green and continues down the left. The green is angled slightly to the left and missing the green on the left will result in the ball likely finding the water. There is a mound on the left center that hides the back left half of the green where a swale brings a ball to that area. It is a very nice short par 3.
3. Par 4 – 461/386/361. This seems to be an “easy” hole until one stands on the tee and looks down the fairway to see a lot of sand on both sides of the fairway due to a long bunker on the left and two built into the rise of the land on the right. The line to the tee is from the left side as the green is set off a bit to the right. The green has one bunker on the right but it can catch a lot of balls. There is a false-front and fall-off on the left and the green has several serious slopes in it. Visually this is another nice hole from the tee as the pond that fronts the second also can be seen off to the left of the tee although it is not in play.
4. Par 5 – 640/598/558. This is a long hole no matter which tee one plays. This hole plays as a dogleg right with an outer bunker on the left off the tee. The land to the right side of the fairway sits much lower than the fairway. Bigger hitters can easily carry a higher plateau from the tee shot and get extra distance as the ground starts to go down. The fairway narrows for the second shot for most players with a line of thick trees on the left followed by a long bunker as well as a bunker on the right. The ground falls down but the green is placed on a higher plateau with a substantial fall-off on the right side. There are two deep fronting bunkers. The green has several thumbprints in it as well as several mounds. This is a difficult green to two putt if one is more than 20 feet away.
5. Par 3 – 207/175/147. We played this hole at the 175 yardage. The green is longer and angled to the right. You play slightly downhill over a pond. A single bunker in on the left side. I put my tee shot in the water well left of the green. The green slopes back to front with almost a tier in it. It is a fine par 3.
6. Par 5 – 549/524/498. This hole can drive one batty. A stream cuts down the entirety of the left side of the fairway before cutting across at a point that brings doubt into the mind of shorter hitters as to whether they can clear it or lay up. If they lay up, they will have a long third shot into a green where the water is now hard against the right side of the green as it has winded itself up the right side of the fairway. If one misses slightly to the right they will go into the water as the bank will throw the ball right. The green is long and has a substantial rise on the left front half with a second tier on the back half. A large and deep bunker is on the left side of the green so coming out of this bunker is a difficult proposition as one faces a very speedy downhill slope if they do not stay on the rise. Too much speed to a front half pin placement will likely have the ball go all the way through the green into the water. I like the green although some might consider it to be overly done and therefore unfair.
7. Par 4 – 353/333/313. This short hole has a pond fronting the beginning of the fairway. Up ahead is a lot of sand with a single bunker left but five bunkers placed somewhat in the driving line on the right that end up pushing the fairway to the left. The play from the tee is to favor the left side which has the better line into the green. The fairway rises from the pond before leveling off about 110 yards out. As one nears the green there are two bunkers on the left and two small bunkers fronting the green with a third long bunker wrapping around the right side to half of the back. The green has a shelf on the back half.
8. Par 4 – 453/411/382. This hard hole has a long carry to the start of the fairway. The fairway bunkers are on the right as there are thick trees down the left side. Fronting the green are two bunkers on the right side that squeeze the opening to a long, undulating green. For me this is one of the lesser memorable holes on the course although it is a difficult par.
9. Par 4 – 431/410/380. You play through a chute of trees over a pond to a fairway that looks narrow due to a long bunker right and two bunkers on the left. The hole rises to the green with two additional bunkers short of the green on the right. Trees come in from the left to shrink the sight line to the green. If one misses to the right they will likely be in one of those bunkers or on higher ground facing a downhill shot to a green sloping away from you from right to left. It is a tricky golf hole.
10. Par 3 – 186/163/137. Teeing off at the back of the clubhouse one looks at a green that seems the entire front is sand but is actually two separate bunkers with a small opening. The right side of the green seems especially thin from the tee hiding behind the bunker. Behind and to the right side of the green are sizeable fall-offs.
11. Par 4 – 448/393. After one walks across a bridge they arrive at a tee with thick trees down the left and scattered trees down the right. This is a dogleg left with bunkers on both corners which shrinks the fairway. The green complex has three bunkers on the right side, one of which resembles a pot bunker. There is a good tilt left to right on the green. For some reason, walking across the bridge made me feel like the hole was more separated from the rest of the course even though it parallels the eighteenth.
12. Par 5 – 562/533/500. This resembles the par 5 tenth hole at Valhalla in the shape. There are flanking bunkers at the landing area. Farther ahead there is a bunker on the left just after a heavy line of trees starts on the right. The green is set behind a pond that cuts in front of it. The green is angled left to right with several ripples in it and an overall slant back to front which is also similar to the hole at Valhalla. Although done by different designers, the hole felt the same to me.
13. Par 4 – 423/378/354. This hole plays uphill with a pond that goes down the right side. Playing away from the pond brings a bunker on the left into play. Farther up is a bunker on the right in play for the longer hitters. Approaching the green is a long bunker left well short of the green and a “v” shape bunker just before the green which is two tiered. It is a nice hole.
14. Par 4 – 462/448/412. Bunkers are right and left off the tee and the fairway narrows. There is higher ground down the right side. The green is set off a bit to the left closer to both trees and two bunkers. For me, this is the least memorable hole on the back side, but much like the eighth, it is a challenging hole.
15. Par 3 – 223/196/174. The longest par 3 on the course is the #11 index, denoting its difficulty playing across a small pond to a green fronted by flanking bunkers and perched atop a rise. There is a strong back to front tilt to a bit of a bowl at the opening at the front. It is a strong golf hole.
16. Par 4 – 448/414/390. Playing downhill one has to stay within a narrower fairway although still wide enough to be playable. There are no fairway bunkers due to thick trees on both sides. The green has a bunker center right and two center left providing access to the front of the green. The green is placed in a bit of a bowl of higher ground surrounding it and I felt it to be one of the lesser interesting greens on the course.
17. Par 4 – 442/414/389. There is sand everywhere on this hole as it has the most bunkers with a total of eleven. Seven of the bunkers are off the fairway placing a premium on placement from the elevated tee. The green is angled right to left also on higher ground with all of the bunkers front left and left side. This hole is visually more interesting than most of the other par 4’s on the course. There is a difficult green due to various slopes and the fall-offs on the right side.
18. Par 5 – 580/547/518. Playing from the highest point on the golf course, one plays through a chute of trees trying to avoid the first fairway bunker on the left and then for the longer hitters a bunker on the right. There is a long fairway bunker on the left farther up that could be in play for the longest of hitters. A pond cuts in from the right side about 150 yards from the green. For those players hitting away from the pond there are two bunkers placed off to the left about 15 yards apart with the second one on the front left of the green. The pond is hard against the right side of the long green. There are fall-offs on all sides of the raised green which has ripples through it. It is a nice finish to a strong golf course.
This course would be more elevated in the rankings if it has more interesting natural features that one could see from the course such as holes sitting on bigger ponds/lakes, or being located with long views of a marsh, etc. As it is, the course feels very parkland despite being so close to the ocean. The green complexes are the highlight of the course followed by the movement in the land. The bunkering is very good.
This is easily the best course on the eastern side of North Carolina and one worth playing if traveling through the area. The members have a very fine golf course.
If one can, they should try to play the nine hole par 3 which I heard is outstanding.
A Fazio design that has aged like a fine wine. A golfer’s club, not easy to get on, but well worth the effort.
The 1st hole is welcoming. A par 4 dogleg right, a decent drive down the right side will give you a short iron into a green that slopes back to front. The 2nd is a super birdie oppty, if you are on the correct side of the pin. A picturesque short par 3 that is slightly downhill and over a water hazard, there is a distinctive ridge in the green about 1/3 from the lefthand side. Things toughen up on the 3rd. Favor the left off thee tee to avoid the right fairway bunkers. This green has a false front, so it is best to take an extra club. I do not really understand why the par 5 dogleg right 4th is the number three handicap hole. It is the longest hole on the course, thus play it as a 3 shotter. Off the tee aim at the corner of the left fairway bunker. A good drive will get to the crest, but roll hard right. For your second shot aim just right of the left fairway bunker and this should give you a short iron into the green. The 5th is a Florida par 3, depending upon your tees, long or mid-iron. The 6th is a thinking golfer’s hole. Not that long of a par 5, it drifts left with a creek that starts on the left, crosses the fairway about 180 yards out and then trundles down the right side. The hole tilts right. Play it as a 3 shotter and have your favorite wedge in hand for the approach shot as distance control to this undulating green is critical. The7th is the shortest par four and while it may be easy to assume that is a birdie oppty, with 9 bunkers on the right side inside of 150 there still are challenges. Thus, favor the left off the tee. In my opinion, the 8th is an easier hole than the 7th, favor the left off the tee. This is a very narrow green, hitting a long iron into the green is fraught with danger, lots of undulation and moguls. The front ends with an awesome par 4 that slides left. The tee shot is through a chute. Aim at the right fairway bunker. This will still leave you with a long approach shot, to a green that is well-protected, bunker front right and left.
The back starts with a short par three that is well protected with bunkers front right and left. The green is quite narrow, it is all about hitting the right club. The 11th is a dogleg left with bunkers on the inside and outside elbows. There is also an old elm tree behind the left bunker. It is a true tree survivor. I asked how it escaped Dutch Elm disease that ravaged the elm population about 50 years ago and nobody knew. Aim just right of the tree of the tee. The 12th is a par five that tilts right at the end to a cape green. There are fairway bunkers right and left off the tee. For the 2nd shot keep it left to give you the best angle into the redan green. Not too far, lest you end up in the left fairway bunker. If the pin is back exercise caution as there is water back left and right. Solid par five. The 13th is supposed to be the easiest hole on the course. I of course mucked it up. A dogleg right, with a bunker on the inside elbow. Not a good place for your drive. I then deposited my 2nd shot in the front right greenside bunker and then hit the sand shot onto the wrong tier of the green to set up my 3-putt. The 14th is a long par 4 with a fairway bunker right and left. Favor the left off the tee. The 15th is a long par 3. Over water, that shouldn’t really come into play with large bunkers front right and left. Play for the middle of the green. The 16th is an interesting hole, no fairway bunkers. I would suggest favoring the left side off the tee. It is a 3 tiered figure eight green with bunkers middle left and right. The hole plays much easier if the pin is back. However, if it is front right, go for the middle of the green. Front right is called The Volkswagen Roof. The par 417th is probably the prettiest hole. An elevated tee, carry over water, creek left with fairway bunkers left to an elevated green. The hole tilts right to left, so favor the right off the tee. I think this gives you the best approach as there are deep bunkers front left. The 18th is a good par 5 finishing hole. Big hitters can get home in two, but there is a water hazard greenside right of the redan green with a bunker front left. Off the tee favor the left side of the fairway, from here you can choose to be a hero or select your favorite wedge yardage into the green.
Eagle Point is a golfers golf course. Top notch layout, excellent accommodating staff. If you can get on, you gotta go.
Excellent conditioning and challenging topography has identified this course on the world stage to host big championships. One of the countries high profile clubs and a great experience.