While Pinehurst gets all the attention paid to North Carolina golf, a little town an hour southeast of Pinehurst is gaining a reputation as a great golf destination. Fayetteville is best known as the home of Ft. Bragg, an Army facility just outside of the city, which makes the downtown area a lively city, filled with retail centers, restaurants and nightlife.
This thriving downtown area makes Fayetteville a great destination for a buddies’ trip. After a day of golf at one of the championship golf courses in the area, there’s a thriving nightlife for the whole group to enjoy.
Of course, all the nightlife and culture in the world don’t make for a great golf trip. You have to start with top-notch golf courses, and Fayetteville has you covered in that department. Here are a few of the best:
Cypress Lakes Golf Course
This long, challenging course features some of the best greens you’ll find anywhere in the country. The newly renovated greens sport a special grass called Hybrid 419 Bermuda, which is perfectly suited to the climate and substrate of the North Carolina countryside. This results in picture-perfect conditions all year long, the greens rolling true and fast like glassy carpet.
While scratch golfers will want to perfect their games from the 7200-yard back tees, the course gives less-skilled players options as well. It’s a great course for match play and Ryder Cup-style group formats, as there’s plenty of room for both aggressive and conservative play. Wide fairways encourage you to find the right angle of attack to the interesting greens complexes. And the greens fees are remarkably reasonable, with a very low replay rate that’s perfect for 36-hole days.
Bayonet at Puppy Creek
The Bayonet course at Puppy Creek is a brilliant, tough layout with a steep slope rating of 142. Stretching out over 7000 yards from the tips, Bayonet will play every bit as difficult as you want it to, with tightly cut fairways and sleek, slippery greens. One of architect Willard Byrd’s finest courses in the region, Bayonet at Puppy Creek blends in beautifully to the rolling countryside, making great use of the terrain’s contours to provide great variety from hole to hole.
Several shorter par 4s challenge you to think about your tee shot’s placement, as a driver might not always be the best option. The picturesque 13th hole doglegs around tall, narrow pines that jut into the fairway just enough to get into your head and force you to bail out to the right, which leaves you with a difficult approach to a narrow green. And the par 5 18th is a fantastic finishing hole with a large green making for an attractive target for long hitters to go for it in two. But missing the green will leave you with a tough lie in a giant waste bunker that’ll make or break your round.
Ryder Golf Course
Fort Bragg’s own Ryder golf course is an attractive one for large groups, as it plays to a relatively short 6410 yards and a par of 72. That means better golfer will be finding lots of birdie opportunities, and beginners will be looking to set new personal records. An irrigation system installed during a renovation in 2000 has changed the face of the course, and where they once struggled to grow grass, there now sit lush green fairways and smooth, fast greens. With public rates under $25/person and a top-notch snack bar serving up great breakfast and some of the best burgers in the area, Ryder is a great course to spend a full 36-hole day with your buddies. The straightforward course lends itself to scrambles, which is the perfect way to finish off a memorable golf buddies trip.
Fayetteville is a great golf destination for groups. Aside from it, there are theatres, restaurants, brewpubs and museums abound, but a small-town charm still permeates the cobblestone streets and friendly atmosphere.