I won’t go hole by hole since plenty of others have done so, but Old Town is an outstanding course in every way. I’ve purposefully delayed a review until playing it a number of times, which I knew I’d fortunately have the opportunity to do.
I never played it prior to the Coore & Crenshaw renovations done ~2014 so i can’t do a before and after comparison, but the course right now is definitely one of the country’s (and world’s) best. There’s hardly a flat lie anywhere, but the sloping throughout is wonderful. Enough to move your ball and create intriguing run offs but not so much that you have a lot of awkward lies. Hugely fair and playable. BUT... like other great courses, to have a chance to score well, you have to think your way around the course. In order to score well, coming in at preferred angles and hitting to the correct part of the green, depending on pin placement that day, is critical. And because of slopes both in fairways and on greens, you rarely hit it directly to where you want to end up.
I’ve enjoyed the course each time, and I can easily say that I learn more about how to “manage” my way around it each time. And the learning curve still continues.
Dunlop White has done a masterful job not only in overseeing the C& C renovation work years ago but in continuing to want to tweak the course with further improvements. Thousands of trees have been removed which open up sight lines as well as playing options. The topography is excellent.
Also a huge shout out to Old Town’s club policy of encouraging walking, either by carrying or using pushcarts. Although hilly in a number of places, it’s a very enjoyable walk, and it’s the best way to really appreciate the layout of the course (as is the case at most any great course).
This is one of the best courses out there folks. It is no longer a “hidden gem” when it’s on so many Top 100 lists, but many might not make it to Winston Salem, NC. And it’s a private club so you need to know a member or hope for reciprocity through your own club pro. But if you get a chance to play it (or replay it, which you’ll undoubtedly want to), by all means it’s worth a special trip to do so.
Date: March 08, 2021