(Photos courtesy of Brick Landing Plantation)
Ocean Isle Beach NC may be one of the state’s smallest communities, but it is home to one of North Carolina golf’s hidden treasures, the Brick Landing Plantation.
Ocean Isle is a barrier island between Wilmington NC and Myrtle Beach SC. The small town charm of Ocean Isle brings visitors back year after year, and this is especially true for the golfing crowd.
One of the beautiful courses that call Ocean Isle home is Brick Landing Plantation. The 18-hole course, also know as the Brick, takes advantage of the marsh and Intercoastal Waterway throughout the entire course.
While the course is a beautiful challenge, the history is just as fascinating.
Brick Landing Plantation’s history goes back to the 1700’s when William Gause, Sr. bought land overlooking what is now called Ocean Isle Beach. Gause, who made his living in the local tar and turpentine business, built a beautiful two-story manor on top of a hill overlooking the marshland.
In 1791, the Plantation was the site of one of the area’s historic moments as President George Washington visited with the Gauses on his way Georgetown SC.
Brick Landing received its’ name from an odd manner. The burial structure, which is known as one of the oddest structures in Brunswick County, is built of brick. The bricks were transported from England and used on several buildings owned by the family.
However, the manor was destroyed, the popular story told is it was destroyed by fire, and the burial ground and vault has been vandalized since the 1830s.
The course, which was designed by H.M. Brazeal, opened in 1988. With bent/bermuda grass on the green, the course is always ready for play.
Perhaps the best known hole on the course is the closing No. 18. The hole sees water across throughout the hole, and the view rivals any on the coast.
The community around Brick Plantation is just as unique as the course itself with the small beach town charm.
Before challenging the Brick Plantation course, be sure to stop by Sarah’s Kitchen in Ocean Isle for a different kind of challenge, the Cake Challenge. In the cake challenge, the bravest diners must eat two pancakes (cakes), eggs and choice of bacon or sausage with no time limit. Sounds easy right, but it is anything but easy.
Owner Sandy Daniels, who as been a fixture at Sarah’s Kitchen for nine years before buying the restaurant in August of 2013, described the cakes as the size of a “hubcap.” Along with the eggs and meat, the hearty meal is more then most stomachs can accommodate.
Sarah’s also serves homemade salsa to go with scrumptious breakfast burritos that have become local legend. With food like that, it is no wonder that Sarah’s Kitchen has become the local’s choice for breakfast. In addition to breakfast, the restaurant has daily lunch specials including Turkey and Gravy, Salmon patties and a southern staple Chicken and Dumplings.
Sarah’s Kitchen is open 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. during the week and 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. on the weekends. The restaurant is closed on Mondays.
If you are looking for a place to go after a round at Brick Plantation, be sure to check out Ocean Isle’s oldest restaurant, Sharky’s. Located 300 yards from the beach, Sharky’s has the perfect atmosphere for an evening of fun following a round of golf.
The restaurant is decorated in golf memorabilia. The owner Ray Harris also has a personal touch to the golfing décor with photos of his father and Arnold Palmer. Harris’ dad Sonny was a teammate of Palmers in 1949 at Wake Forest.
Sharky’s, which is open 363 days a year, is known for their blackened fish and shrimp. If pasta is more your style, Harris said the Not So Cajun pasta with chicken or shrimp is the perfect pasta with a hint a fuel.
When asked to describe his restaurant in one word, Harris quickly said “Soulful.” The reason, according to Harris, is that Sharky’s caters to the customer and reflects his passion for surfing.
You never know who you might run into at Sharky’s as Jimmy Buffett has stopped in on occasion and made Sharky’s one of his favorite places to stop when he is in North Carolina.
From the opening day to the last, Ocean Isle will be sure to become a yearly trip.
Contact writer/managing editor Matt Laws at [email protected]. Be sure to follow us on Twitter @Golf_NCSC and find us on Facebook by searching for Golf North Carolina.