With the first few holes situated along the final stages of the Neuse River, Sound of Freedom Golf Course is cut through dense forest and has its share of up-and-down holes for its coastal setting.
The short opening hole of 333 yards offers golfers an expansive view of the river from the green and the new facility situated along the water is impressive for an after round cocktail or some wings.
“Our golf course at Cherry Point is kind of unusual for a couple of reasons,” said veteran golf course manager Jim Ferree II, a former military brat who has been here for 26 years. “In Eastern North Carolina, things are pretty flat and non-descript but we have some undulation and topography here to deal with as a golfer. You can get some uneven lies and it’s very scenic.
“Another big factor is most of your golf courses today are built in housing developments so you are either on the golf course or in someone’s backyard. This is cut out of dense woods and you don’t see anything but foxes and deer … and we even have a bear out here. It’s really cut out of nature.”
Ferree is trying to grow the game on the base with a number of programs aimed at juniors and spouses, but he’s also started a Friends of Cherry Point golfing initiative for the general public, making it a bit easier to get on base for a round or to secure a yearly membership.
“With the deployment situation it’s very stressful on families, to have the man of the house or even a female Marine gone and there is one person left to raise the kids,” Ferree said. “If it is a six-month or year deployment it’s very confusing as to what role each parent has, so we’re trying to focus on golf as an outlet for Marines to spend quality time with their kids, to bring them out here to where they are not in front of a TV set or playing with a phone or text messaging someone.”
Sound of Freedom Golf Course (Cherry Point)
Architect: George Cobb
Year Opened: 1946
Worth Noting: Billed as the first solo project for Cobb, who became known as the “military architect” for his design work on bases in such states as North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Maryland.
Best Hole: The 525-yard ninth hole, which is a dogleg right in which golfers have to navigate water off the tee and how much of the corner they wish to cut in an attempt to get on the green in two.