With 45 holes of golf designed by either Pete Dye or Jack Nicklaus, members at the Country Club of Landfall should not expect an easy day. This is reasonable, as the club emphasizes competitive golf, dedicating at least one day per week to league competitions. That said, Dye did not subject the amateurs at Landfall to the same abuse he pulls out at his major championship routes.
There are relatively few penal water hazards, but it seems as if Dye may be revving up to one of his signature water-laden finales as players roll into nos. 15 and 16, which both feature ponds along the green sites. The course maintains the “land” in “Landfall” during the last few holes, however. No. 18 is a classic Dye risk-reward, but with a different flavor of challenge than many of his championship routes.
A short par five, many players will be able to reach the green in two. The elevated nature of this green, however, will provide the challenge. Those off to the right will fall into a deep greenside bunker, which will provide a much tougher third shot than for those who have laid up to the front fairway. A tight score coming into this final hole will be just as exciting for the amateur competitors at this club as it is for the professionals at Dye’s stiffer courses.
Wilmington is among the strongest golf destinations in North Carolina. The selection of courses is unbeatable, with options ranging from the golden age to the modern era, private and public courses at any price point, and clubs welcoming to beginners as well as those that can host a tour event. Many notable architects left their mark on the golf scene in the rapidly growing city.
The Pete Dye Course at the Country Club of Landfall captures this diverse spirit throughout its 18 hole layout. A consummate test for any level player, the Dye Course is sure to be fun.
As with many Pete Dye layouts, Landfall features numerous risk-reward holes with options and tradeoffs. One great example is the opening hole. With water running down the entire right side, it can be easy to bail out left. However, doing so give the player a blind shot behind moguls to a green that has a shallow angle and water lurking long.
Both the front and back nines loop back to the clubhouse and in doing so, force the player to tackle the wind from all angles. Many of the holes with wider fairways may seem accessible, but the wider corridors are often the most exposed to the coastal breeze, adding to the difficulty. While many courses in this area are flat, Dye expertly created many blind shots and speed slots in the fairways that often appear quite natural.
The par fives at the Dye Course are especially noteworthy and may play entirely different on consecutive days in wind. Each par five varies in direction, and the green complexes also differ in size and scale. All four are perched fairly high from their surrounds, and the monstrous 18th sits well above a massive bunker right of the green. Missing any of these putting surfaces will lead to a very tough chip and may make even the best player second guess an attempt for the green in two.
With fabulous practice facilities and top notch conditions, the Country Club of Landfall’s Dye Course provides all the player could want in a round and captures the greater spirit of Wilmington’s golf scene.