BY ED DUPREE
If you’ve played a lot of golf courses in North Carolina, you’ve probably been “up the Creek” a few times.
That’s because “Creek” appears in the names of the Tarheel State’s courses more than any other word – 43 times. Second is “Pine” with 35 times with the majority of those courses obviously being in the Pinehurst area.
The Triad’s “Creek” courses include Beaver Creek, Cross Creek, Denson’s Creek, Long Creek, Mill Creek, Quaker Creek, Stoney Creek, Willow Creek, Winding Creek and Wolf Creek. The “pine” courses are Caswell Pines, Pinewood and Pine Knolls.
Other popular names in the state include Lake (28 times), Wood (28), Ridge (23), Hills (21), Mountain (19), River (18), Valley (17), Park (14) and Oak (14).
Park and Ridge are popular names in the Triad. You’ve got Blair Park, Bur-Mil Park, Bryan Park, Gillespie Park, Jamestown Park, Pennrose Park and Reynolds Park; and Chapel Ridge, Holly Ridge, Pleasant Ridge, Pudding Ridge, Sapona Ridge and River Landing at Sandy Ridge.
There are also a number of courses with identical names, which can cause confusion, especially to golfers who are visiting North Carolina from other states.
Dick Shaw of Winston-Salem tells about visiting Meadowlands in Calabash and telling the pro or assistant pro that there is also a Meadowlands course near Winston-Salem (Wallburg).
“Don’t we know it,” he told Shaw. “One group of eight (from a northern state) actually made their tee time at the Winston-Salem course and showed up here.”
The Triad has Archdale’s Holly Ridge. There’s also Holly Ridge in Harbinger. The Triad has River Landing at Sandy Ridge in Colfax. There are two River Landing courses near Wallace. Mill Creek is in Mebane, while another Mill Creek is in, of course, Mill Creek. Stoneville has a Ponderosa, and the other is in Olivia.
Other twins include Crooked Creek in Hendersonville and Fuquay-Varina; Lakewood in Statesville and Salemburg; Silver Creek in Morganton and Swansboro; Rock Creek in North Wilkesboro and Jacksonville; Meadowbrook in Rutherfordton and Garner; Mountain Aire in West Jefferson and Mountain Air in Burnsville; Highland in Fayetteville and Highlands in Highlands; and Old Fort in Old Fort and Olde Fort in Winnabow.
How about The Carolina in Whispering Pines, the Carolina Club in Grandy, Carolina Golf Club in Charlotte, and Carolina Country Club in Raleigh? Nine other courses have Carolina or North Carolina in their names.
My unofficial count of courses, including executives and par-3s, in the state has been reduced from 576 to 565 because of closings in the past year or so. The list of regulation courses includes 496 with 18 holes, 38 with nine holes, and 10 with 27 holes.
NOTE: Ed Dupree, a retired sportswriter, has played 377 North Carolina courses and his goal is to reach 400 by the end of 2014. A story about his feat appeared in the March issue of Triad Golf Today, which can be seen on www.triadgolf.com under the past issues tab. Ed will have an interesting column about North Carolina golf courses in Triad Golf Today throughout this year. If you would like to contact Ed regarding this subject, please email edupree@