NC’s Best Golf Courses

Business with pleasure

The governor calls on the state's best courses to help him court commerce.

Perhaps you’re wondering why we publish the North Carolina Golf Panel’s annual ranking of the top 100 Tar Heel golf courses. Maybe you think that Business North Carolina should stop playing hooky and get back to writing about what makes the state work. Your argument is valid. But we don’t think golf and business are mutually exclusive — and the governor agrees. “We have the best golf courses around, and we must integrate that now much more into our travel and tourism package,” Pat McCrory said in February. “And not just for travel and tourism dollars but also for business travel — to encourage more business conventions to come to North Carolina.” Those seeking “the best golf courses around” need only to turn the page. The panel — about 135 journalists, golf pros, college coaches, noted amateurs and business leaders — have ranked North Carolina courses based on routing, design, strategy, memorability, fairness, variety, conditioning and aesthetics. A minimum of 40 had to vote for a course for it to qualify; panelists could only vote for ones they’ve played. Pinehurst No. 2 once again grabbed the top spot and will play a huge role in business recruitment this summer, when it hosts the men’s and women’s U.S. Opens. For example, many golfers in the ladies’ event will come from Southeast Asia, giving McCrory an opportunity to woo Far East companies. “I’ve wiped my schedule clear for two weeks.” 

Kevin Brafford is executive director of the North Carolina Golf Panel.

For a complete listing of the top 100, click here.