1 Sam Snead Drive,
North Carolina (NC) 27410,
- +1 336 299 0425
3 miles W of Greensboro
Members and their guests only
Wayne Stiles, John Van Kleek, George Cobb, Lester George
Planned as Hamilton Lakes due to the neighborhood it resides in, Starmount Golf Club (as it was originally named) opened for play in 1930, becoming a PGA Tour stop in 1938 when it first co-hosted the Greater Greensboro Golf Tournament along with Sedgefield Country Club.
It was a public course on a limited budget but managed one week a year during most of the 1940s and 1950s to make itself available as a presentable test for the best professionals in the country. The second edition of the US Women’s Open was also held here in 1947.
In the book The Life and Works of Wayne Stiles, authors Bob Labbance and Kevin Mendick write: “For reasons that remain a mystery, Starmount long considered itself a Perry Maxwell course, though no original source documentation can be found that ties the Oklahoma-based designer to the course.
George Cobb remodelled in 1970, but the level nature of the land and firm sub-soil prevented proper drainage until a Lester George revamp in 1999. With that problem corrected, and new L-93 planted greens, the course has delighted old time members and friends in the new century.”
Steeped in a rich history of golf’s greatest players, Starmount Forest imparts a special feeling as you enter the property, ascend the long driveway to the pro shop, and soak in views of the hallowed grounds. It is also impossible to miss its modern amenities which include a magnificent clubhouse, top notch short game area, and water slide worthy of an amusement park.
Situated in the suburban/urban divide of Greensboro, Starmount Forest exemplifies the mission of any country club: offering its members a retreat from the bustle of city life. The layout rolls over mixed topography and incorporates a number of natural waterways in true classical fashion. Architecturally, two main themes emerge throughout the round.
The first is the varied nature of the dogleg corridors. In fact, with so many twists and turns, the green is not visible from the tee on 13 of the 14 par fours and fives. Neither a fade, nor a draw, nor a perfectly straight ball will suffice to conquer Starmount Forest. Perhaps the most compelling aspect of the design, though, is that on any individual hole, the adventure can change drastically after the bend.
This characteristic is exemplified by the par four 6th which comfortably sits among my favorites of 3,800 unique holes played. From the tee, the player can easily experience a sensation of tunnel vision. With houses left, out-of-bounds right, and a creek acting as a wall at the end of the fairway, nerves sink in as you must either drop a perfectly positioned layup, or severely hook the ball around the corner. After descending to the fairway, though, the approach to the green emerges as a wide-open vista. The creek, which previously ran perpendicular to play, then must be conquered in parallel, often forcing the opposite shot shape from your drive. This type of diversity – on a single hole, no less – is fascinating and favors no player.
The second main characteristic of Starmount Forest are the exceptional putting surfaces which are frequently banked into the natural hills of the property. Given the firm nature of the Bermuda grass, and the fact that almost every approach must be played aerially, players often need to consider how the ball will react with the ground upon landing. In some instances, a well-struck shot may unfavorably bounce to an irrecoverable chipping area. In others, a player may be able to use the natural contours to roll an approach to a different tier. This feature is seen at holes such as the 8th where a draw to the more accessible front right portion of the green can swing all the way to a guarded back left pin.
Starmount Forest may not be long by modern standards, but it is a dream layout for players who can work the ball. This second shot golf course will test every club in your bag and dare you to play aggressively around its many dogleg holes. It is a golf tradition that continues to stand the test of time.
An enjoyable round of golf just west of downtown Greensboro, NC. The course is always in fantastic shape and has a rich history with it's association to the Greater Greensboro Open (now known as the Wyndham Championship and from hosting the second US Women's Open. It's a short course by modern standards and longer hitters can take advantage by cutting some corners and flying fairway bunkers. It does have a great set of par 3s which to me are the highlight of the course. Holes 2-4 and 14-17 are the best stretches of golf since the are on the periphery of the property and away from the compact middle of the property near the clubhouse. The closing holes on each side just leave me a little disappointed and plays into my overall view of the course. It is still a fun round of golf. If you are in the area and have already played Sedgefield CC, Grandover East, Bryan Park Champions and Forsyth CC give it a shot!