Tanglewood Park (Championship) - North Carolina - USA

Tanglewood Golf,
4061 Clemmons Road,
Clemmons,
North Carolina (NC) 27012,
USA


  • +1 336 703 6420


Owned and operated by Forsyth County Parks and Recreation Department, the 36-hole Tanglewood Park golf facility was designed by Robert Trent Jones Senior in the late 1950s. The Championship course is the longer and tougher of the two 18-hole layouts here, hosting the PGA Championship in 1974, the 1986 US Amateur Public Links Championship in 1986 and fifteen editions of the Vantage Championship on the Champions Tour, ending in 2002.

A five-month restoration was carried out by Robert Trent Jones Junior in 2018, with lead architect Bruce Charlton and Pinehurst-based designer Richard Mandell closely co-operating on the implementation of a master plan which involved refinements to many elements of the golf course such as bunkers, tees, tree management, and resurfacing of the greens.

It’s a large-scale layout and the bunkers were originally built to match the size of the property so they’ve been reconstructed using the Better Billy Bunker system with dramatic, flash-faced styling. The number of sand hazards was also reduced from ninety-nine to seventy-seven and greens were enlarged back to the 1974 design standard with new Champion bermuda putting surfaces.

Richard Mandell told us about his involvement in the project:

“I secured a 1974 aerial of the course and sold everyone on a restoration, with some adjustments for playability regarding the locals which was much different from the original partially-completed master plan. After course walk-throughs with members, we finalized our new plan and secured permits. The RTJ II people signed off on our plan with some input.”

If the above article is inaccurate, please let us know by clicking here

Write a review

Reviews for Tanglewood Park (Championship)

Average Reviewers Score:
Description: The Championship course at Tanglewood Park is a Robert Trent Jones Snr layout that hosted the 1974 PGA Championship, the 1986 US Amateur Public Links Championship and fifteen editions of the Vantage Championship on the Champions Tour, ending in 2002. Rating: 6.2 out of 10 Reviews: 5
TaylorMade
Mark White

In its earliest years, the PGA of America chose many less-well known courses and some “average” courses to host their biggest tournament. The selection of courses began to improve in the 1970’s. Since that time there have only been a handful of courses used to host the men’s PGA that were not really worthy of doing so. In my opinion, Kemper Lakes, TPC Harding Park and the Tanglewood Park Championship courses are the three courses that were odd choices as locales for one of men’s four majors.

The Championship course at Tanglewood Park is a decent public course but certainly not one worth changing one’s golf calendar to play. If you live in the Burlington-Greensboro-Winston-Salem area and are not a member of a private course, it is very much worth playing. But it is not a course that one need to play if they live more than an hour’s drive away unless they are doing so for historical purposes. If one lives more than an hour away from Tanglewood Park, higher quality public courses are more easily found by going to Pinehurst.

Somehow this course was deemed worthy to host the 1974 PGA won by Lee Trevino. It also hosted the senior tour’s Vantage/RJR Championship for 15 years including having the first $1 million purse for that tour. Perhaps this was due to money both from tobacco and furniture companies in the area.

Designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr., the course is routed around the high point of the clubhouse which I heard might soon be replaced. It is easily one of the ugliest clubhouses I have ever seen. This is out from character to the Park itself which is beautiful. The first hole drops significantly downhill while the tenth goes more gradually downhill in a different direction. Nine and eighteen climb back up this hill with the ninth finishing in front of the clubhouse and the eighteenth a wedge away.

The condition of the fairways was not always ideal which I expected due to the mid-April tee time. Yet there were numerous areas nearer the greens where it was if I was playing on bare ground making chips much more difficult. The bunkers had adequate sand even if the edges were worn away. Indeed, there were several green-side bunkers one could use their putter to get onto the green. The greens were excellent.

The fairways are generous and the greens fairly sizeable with the exception of the short first hole. I found the course to be essentially stress free golf from tee to green even on the holes featuring water or a significant change in elevation. At this time of year (April) the course plays firm and fast and I don’t think that changes much in the summer or fall.

The greens are well contoured particularly on the back nine. We very much enjoyed putting on them even though we missed many chances. Certainly one’s chances to make a putt are increased by being below the hole.

The course is 7101 yards from the Gold tees, par 72 rated 74.5/137. I played the Blue tees at 6637 yards rated 72.8/134.

1. Par 4 - 364/344. This downhill par 4 features many bunkers as well as a pond off to the left that should not be in play. The most interesting feature of the hole is the narrow neck at the back of the green.

2. Par 4 - 490/467. This hole offers a very wide fairway and a green that is elevated with a lot of contours. The green is fairly long. The hole is more defined by its length than anything else.

3. Par 3 - 235/210. This hole plays over a pond that continues down the left side with the green well defended with bunkers on all sides. The green has a lot of internal movement except on the back half which is flattish. A par is a good score as this is likely the hardest par 3 on the course. This is a good golf hole.

4. Par 4 - 418/395. Longer hitters will carry the slight rise and pick up an extra 50-90 yards possibly ending just in front of the green due to the steepness of the decline. One cannot go long here as the land falls away quickly off the right back and behind the green. It is another well bunkered green but given its width the green side bunkers should be avoided.

5. Par 4 - 424/383. Water must both be carried and avoided down the left side of the fairway from the elevated tee. This hole is easily the most visually appealing on the front nine as the green is off to the left and very elevated atop a rise. The fairway is cantered to the left so the right side of the fairway is ideal for landing a ball. The green has a tier in it about halfway in. I liked this hole quite a lot.

6. Par 4 - 374/359. This hole does not offer much of interest if one can thread the fairway bunkers on both sides.

7. Par 3 - 198/183. The par 3’s I thought were the strength of the course due to their variety. This hole is also well defended by bunkers and the green looks small from the tee but is actually pretty deep and wide. The green has subtle movement but a lot of speed as well.

8. Par 5 - 580/540. In the most recent redesign the center line bunkers and fairway bunkers down the right side were removed. I would put them back. The green has a small middle opening and tiers on either side making the front half middle almost a bowl. I did not think the hole offered much given the width of the fairway.

9. Par 4 - 435/418. This dogleg right climbs up a significant hill. The key is to avoid the fairway bunkers on the right. The green’s pin position is likely semi-blind and this hole has a false front and a tier. All of us misread our putts. It s a fun hole. I admired the cemetery and small church off to the left of the green.

10. Par 4 - 377/364. This downhill dogleg left has a decent green but is otherwise forgettable.

11. Par 3 - 190/178. This might have the best green on the golf course due to various tiers, slopes and swales. It is also well defended by bunkers ringing the green.

12. Par 4 - 481/421. This hole goes gently to the right. The green sits on a slight plateau with another central ridge and deep bunkers on its left side. It’s a nice golf hole.

13. Par 4 - 400/382. There is not much interesting about this hole. The green is perhaps a bit too large for its length.

14. Par 5 - 614/575. Despite its length, this dogleg right is a chance for a birdie if one can avoid the bunkers on the inner corner off the tee. The green is elevated and very large. We had the most difficult pin placement on the front left side behind the deep bunkers. There is a central spine on this hole running through the middle of the green. This hole is fun to play.

15. Par 4 - 387/372. Tres go down the left side and there are a lot of fairway bunkers. But if one plays short of them they have a good chance to hit their second close to the pin. I did not think much of the hole.

16. Par 3 - 243/208. Water goes down the left side of this hole starting near the green. This hole plays downhill with fronting bunkers and a rear bunker. Much like the third a par is a well earned score here given all of the danger. It is a good golf hole.

17. Par 4 - 456/420. This hole is pretty straightforward and offers little of visual appeal.

18. Par 4 - 435/418. This hole plays considerably longer as the green sits on a hill about 50 feet up from the fairway. One must avoid the fairway bunkers on the left side. The green is sloped back to front and is perhaps the most sloped green on the course.

I enjoyed many holes at Tanglewood Park Champions course, particularly the par 3’s. There is a good variety to many of the other holes. But the highlight to me are the greens in their slopes and ridge lines. The course suffers a bit from inconsistency of several holes from a visual appeal as well as lacking in strategy/challenge. I played it only because I am considering possibly playing all of the courses that have hosted a men’s major but if a person is not trying to do that, I would not drive more than an hour to play it.

I could see this course rated as 3.5 but given the quality of the par 3’s and the greens, I will rate it higher.

April 14, 2022
6 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
1 person found this review helpful

Adam Tomasiello

There is very little I can add to M. James Ward’s thorough commentary on the recently renovated Tanglewood Park Championship Course. Undoubtedly among North Carolina’s finest public tracks, this routing is full of bold, unrelenting features. The course is peppered with massive bunkers, most of which are surrounded by thick rough. Adding to the difficulty of challenging these traps on risk-reward shots are their high, flashing faces. The player’s depth perception is completely thrown off when these types of sand pits are placed consecutively in the line of sight, which is the case at the 8th and 14th holes. Exacting drives and approach shots over the rolling terrain are demanded from the first tee to the final green.

The Championship Course is a stern test that is best suited for advanced players. After all, it did host the 1974 PGA Championship. However, Tanglewood Park is a consummate golf playground. It is welcome to players of any ability. The property offers another 18-hole layout in its Reynolds Course, family tees, and a spacious practice range. Its rates are affordable throughout the year, placing the facility among the best values in the state. It is absolutely worth a stop in the golf-rich city of Winston-Salem.

February 21, 2021
6 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

M. James Ward

My first time playing the course came a number of years after the playing of the 1974 PGA Championship. I really liked the course -- it epitomized the RTJ, Sr. motif -- with large bunkers and even larger putting surfaces. The course back then was in need of an updating and the combination of RTJ, Jr and his on-site team in concert with Richard Mandell have done a first-rate effort in bringing back to full life the majesty of the layout.

Certainly, it helps to have a site in which the ebb and flow of the terrain clearly is front and center. For many who come here for the first time the opening hole is merely one to stretch the muscles and many will wonder what all the fuss layout. The key is getting out of the box in good form because the intensity meter ramps up considerably.

Solid driving is a central feature and heaven help those who are wayward because the rough can completely envelop one's ball.

Hole 2-5 are stern tests and the par-4 5th is most notable for the intersection of land and water -- truly engaging. The par-4 9th brings the outward side to a fine conclusion.

The inward half follows the same formula as the front nine with the 10th being quite benign. Once you get past that hole it's akin to handling a bucky bronco -- hold on dearly and be sure to think carefully on what each shot entails. The ending par-4 is the ultimate summary hole. The tee shot must the fairway before you face a daunting approach to an elevated green that only accepts the finest of plays.

The Championship Course was smartly updated. Overall turf quality has clearly improved and while the Trent Jones style may seem out of place to those enamored with the classical period of architecture -- the test of golf encountered is very direct, fair and, most of all, thorough.

There are no shortcuts when playing the layout. You are fairly tested and nothing short of well-executed shots suffice.. For those seeking such a frank examination you'll find out if your game is up to the task.

Without question, among the best public courses in the Tar Heel State.

M. James Ward

February 06, 2021
7 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

Donald Hudspeth

PGA Championship venue at an affordable price? Yes, please! Make it a 36 hole day. A good test of all your clubs in the bag.

September 25, 2020
6 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

Tim Rogers

The late 2018 refresh of new Champion Bermuda greens, tree management/removal and a full bunker update have brought this RTJ Sr. design back to relevance in NC public golf.This is certainly a top 20 public facility in NC.

September 10, 2020
6 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful