— Balsam Mountain Preserve in Sylva is the best new golf course in the state, according to the April issue of Business North Carolina magazine. The private club sits more than 3,000 feet above sea level amid the dense forests of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The North Carolina Golf Panel, which compiled the rankings, cited its beautiful setting and the Arnold Palmer design. Finishing second was The Hasentree Club, a Tom Fazio design in Wake Forest. Third was Innsbrook Golf & Boat Club, a Palmer design near Merry Hill, followed by Lake Toxaway Country Club, a Kris Spence design.
Each year, panelists — including media members, club professionals and general managers, golf-industry executives, notable amateurs and business leaders — vote on the state’s top 100 courses. Pinehurst No. 2 once again ranked No. 1 overall. Other courses in the top 10 are Old North State Club in New London, Grandfather Golf & Country Club in Linville, Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club in Southern Pines, The Country Club of North Carolina (Dogwood course) in Pinehurst, Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, Forest Creek Golf Club (South) in Pinehurst, Elk River Club in Banner Elk, Charlotte Country Club and Pinehurst No. 4.
The panel also ranked courses in three specialty categories.
The most difficult courses, by region, were:
Western: Grandfather Golf and Country Club
Charlotte metro: Quail Hollow Club
Triad: Cardinal Golf and Country Club, Greensboro
Triangle: Governors Club, Chapel Hill
Sandhills: Pinehurst No. 2
Eastern: River Landing (River), Wallace
Coastal: St. James Plantation (Reserve), Southport
Delivering the most bang for the buck were:
Western: Boone Golf Club
Charlotte metro: Rocky River Club, Concord
Triad: Bryan Park Golf & Conference Center (Champions), Browns Summit
Triangle: Duke University Golf Club, Durham
Sandhills: Southern Pines Golf Club (Elks)
Eastern: Keith Hills Country Club (Creek), Buies Creek
Coastal: Wilmington Municipal Golf Club
Courses with the best 19th holes were:
Western: Elk River Club
Charlotte metro: Charlotte Country Club
Triad: Old North State Club
Triangle: Governors Club
Sandhills: Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club
Eastern: Wilson Country Club
Coastal: Bald Head Island Club
Business North Carolina is a Charlotte-based monthly magazine that focuses on the people, events and trends that shape business in North Carolina. Since it began publication in 1981, it has won more than 80 national awards for its writing, reporting, and design.