Host venue to an LPGA Tour event from 1966 to 1974, the 18-hole layout at Raleigh Country Club dates back to the late 1940s. It’s thought to be the very last course that Donald Ross designed.
Raleigh is likely Donald Ross’s last design and I must say he finished on a high note. The course is set on beautiful rolling land just east of the city. The course flows naturally through the landscape and Ross was able to build some memorable holes, especially the uphill par 4 second which has not one but two false fronts at the green! The par 3’s are the strength of he course. The third plays 195 yards uphill with a reverse redan type green. The sixth plays 235 yards and is also slightly uphill. The green has a pretty typical back to front Ross green that is almost impossible to get up and down from behind. Fourteen is another long (226 yards) par three protected by a bunker right and a swale left. Seventeen is only 150 yards but the green is thin and narrow and surrounded by bunkers. In fact the greens are the strength of the course and all of them have treacherous slopes that are downright frightening when the greens are fast, as they usually are.
Raleigh is getting ready to undergo a renovation by Kyle Franz, who did a remarkable job at Mid Pines in Pinehurst. The property could certainly use some significant tree clearing to open up vistas and I will be interested to see where Franz goes with this project.
This is a solid 4 ball course on the top100 scale and a solid 5 on the Doak scale. I will be excited to return after the renovation.