The Porters Neck Country Club serves as the golf haven of choice for residents of the community with the same name. The course winds its way around an expansive property north of the city of Wilmington, only slightly inland from the Topsail Sound.
Although the course is surrounded by real estate, Tom Fazio worked to keep the course at Porters Neck as insulated as possible. In fact, there are few instances where you can even see golfers on another hole, due to the shield of trees that line every fairway (perhaps Fazio took inspiration from Pine Valley, where he is famously the consulting architect).
Porters Neck is hardly Fazio’s most extreme challenge in North Carolina, however its far tees, at 7,100 yards, offer ample challenge for the scratch player. The aforementioned trees also enforce accuracy, suggesting to many that driver may not be the best option from the tee.
Although water is hardly the most prominent hazard at Porters Neck, it comes into play quite dramatically at No. 9, where the 412-yard par four’s green wraps around a pond near to the clubhouse.
Porters Neck Country Club is emerging from a difficult stretch in its history quite well. The club was recently acquired by McConnell Golf, and the new owner has left a positive mark in just few years. During my recent round there, every aspect of the experience was top notch.
From a design perspective, the putting surfaces at Porters Neck are the stars of the show. The course’s greens are large, and some have up to six or seven distinct areas where a pin could be placed. The layout lends itself naturally to numerous options. From a membership standpoint, Porters Neck presents a constantly changing set of challenges. On one day a pin may be accessible on the ground, while on the next it must be attacked from the air. At times, a player may use a slope to spin their ball towards the cup, while on a future round, that same undulation may prove perilous. The architecture keeps you on your toes.
Porters Neck’s course conditions were immaculate, and the practice facility – particularly for short game – was extensive. It is no doubt a strong option if you are in the Wilmington area.