The Currituck Club is part of an Outer Banks community in Corolla, N.C., and a haven for summer visitors. This region was known for water fowl hunting, beginning in the mid-1800s; in fact, Duck, the next town south, is named for the exemplary duck hunting. The area was a favorite of the rich railroad and steel barons, who built magnificent mansions to entertain their hunting friends. The old Currituck Shooting Club, built in 1857 and rebuilt in 1879, still stands and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
In 1996, Rees Jones sculpted an award-winning golf course to incorporate the native dunes, woodlands and marshes with views of Currituck Sound, while creating a challenging and fair game. Few houses surrounded the course when it was built, but now that million-dollar resort homes occupy the land, there are fewer views of nature and more vistas of splendor.
Currituck Club’s course was rated one of the 10 Best New Places You Can Play by Golf magazine and one of the Top 25 Courses in North Carolina by Golf Digest. I was unable to play the course with my annual Outer Banks crew due to a scheduling conflict. They got in two rounds before Hurricane Sandy required them to evacuate.
Hole 1 | 541 yards, par 5
As a single golfer, I raced to tee off before a lumbering foursome, so I did not have time to review the GPS device on the cart or the yardage booklet. The hole looked straightforward, downhill with plenty of room … or so I thought. I nailed my drive and could not believe it flew to the right edge near the marsh. I immediately hit a provisional, which took the same course. Off I drove to see the damage, and I was pleased the first ball was barely safe. I hit a 3-wood back into play and approached the green with some respect. The green has a big trap on the left and a pond on the right, making a difficult starting hole.
Hole 4 | 412 yards, par 4
If you cannot keep your ball away from the right side, the front nine of The Currituck Club will have you pulling out your hair. A lake lines the entire right side of this fairway and follows all the way to the green. Several moguls line the left and help keep a wayward ball in play. I overestimated the distance and sailed a ball just over the green’s left side, catching the deep grass. By doing so, I avoided the two bunkers, one in the front and the other in the back center. A simple lob wedge got me back in the game, and a two-putt earned a bogey.
Hole 6 | 200 yards, par 3
This is an aesthetically pleasing hole, but many golfers find they don’t have the mojo to reach the green. From the tee box, clear a pond and then a large trap in the front to an elevated putting surface. This trap ends many hopes of par. I made a “golf shot” to within birdie putting distance. I read too much break into the putt, which had none, and settled for par.
Hole 7 | 532 yards, par 5
This is a beautiful hole: Currituck Sound runs along the left with high reeds between the water and the fairway. It is a very straight and long hole, offering the opportunity to “let it rip” off the tee. I took a mighty swing and sent my ball to the right side of the fairway. From here, reeds on the left and woodlands on the right might make you nervous; I threw caution to the wind and landed my 3-wood on the left rough but still alive. A very long bunker lines the entire left side of the green with a smaller one on the right, so I rolled on from the center. I had a National Geographic moment while waiting to tee off: I walked to the sound and watched a flock of geese take flight over the water — beautiful.
Hole 11 | 190 yards, par 3
I had such a spectacular shot to the green, I have to include this hole. This is a significant shot, as the hole lies slightly above and is guarded on either side by traps, the right one enormous. My iron shot landed three feet from the pin, and I scored a birdie, which made up for some previous nonsense!
Hole 12 | 454 yards, par 4
This is the No. 1 handicapped hole and is long and challenging. It does not look that difficult from the tee, but three perfectly positioned pot bunkers on the right side of this dogleg right stand ready to catch many golfers. I hit a less-than-zealous drive, a sloppy low screamer to the left but short. This required me to muscle a 3-wood to about 40 yards in front of the green on the left side of the fairway — a decent recovery. Two bunkers flank the green; a lob wedge got me within striking distance of the cup. I walked off with a bogey, not bad for this hole and my circumstances.
Hole 16 | 523 yards, par 5
By the time I hit the back nine, I was fully entrenched in playing two balls so I would not be racing up behind the people in front, allowing me to jot notes and take photographs. Golf is a funny sport, as drives that veer off course can turn into pars, and perfect drives can turn into dogs. My first drive turned right and fell just over the cart path near the tree line. I saw an opening and took a 7-iron and positioned the ball back into play mid-fairway. This offered the chance to nail a 3-wood to the front of the green and walk away with a bogey. The green has four bunkers protecting the first half. I totally avoided the two fairway bunkers on the left.
Hole 18 | 410 yards, par 4
As I played the last couple of holes, I began to catch up to players in front of me; and on the tee box, the group behind me pulled up as I hit my drive. As any golfer can tell you, this is the time to outperform yourself, as there is an audience. I did just that with a completely perfect, powerful and straight drive which landed next to the 150-yard marker. Off the tee, you can hear the waves crashing on your left and across Highway 12. Jones’ finishing hole is more difficult than it appears; you need a great drive to attack the green, but overshooting leaves you in the doghouse. I turned my great drive into a double bogey after several mishaps, which is why par on this hole is a great play.
The Currituck Club
620 Currituck Clubhouse Drive
Corolla, NC 27927
tel 252 455 9518
As I arrived at the Air Canada check-in counter, the helpful staff directed me to the security checkpoint. Once through the line, and a bit strapped for time, I walked quickly to my gate, where an extremely kind concierge service member greeted me. She asked how my trip was and said she had been watching for me so she could assist me with boarding early to ensure a calm and easy departure. She assisted me earlier that week when I processed through security from Toronto to London, so it was nice closing my trip with a friendly face. She escorted me onto the plane and to my seat in the beautiful Signature Class cabin of the Boeing 787-8, introducing me to the flight attendant who would be directing cabin staff during my flight. I thanked the concierge for her hospitality throughout my journey.
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