The Elk River Club deserves note for being the first design from Jack Nicklaus in the Tar Heel State, predating even his efforts at the Pinehurst Resort. The title river winds its way across the property, and Nicklaus accordingly works it into play on at least two holes.
The landforms more appreciated by membership don’t come from water, however, but rather the Blue Ridge Mountains, which run along the western border of North Carolina: Players will experience a total altitude change of more than 1,200 feet during their round. Some of that will be a more dramatic climb and descent on the property’s south side, however a majority of the course will take place on more conventional “rolling hills” near the mount’s base.
Another visual that sets Elk River apart from other courses is the adjacent airport (flat land is rare and valuable in such mountainous areas). Trees are often planted to protect golfers on other fairways, but two holes at Elk River feature plantings that protect pilots from your notorious slice.
Greens stimped at 12 run almost as fast as the stream that comes down the property’s more mountainous stretch.
I'm shocked that Elk River isn't a fixture in the Top 100/200 lists. This golf course just gets better and better as it goes. It's got everything: countless risk-reward options, memorable holes, stunning scenery, and all 18 holes offer something special.