Trip Report 15 - 23 Nov
Two of us flew over from the UK on our 9th or 10th trip since 1999 and arrived in Raleigh on 14th, driving down to the beach on the 15th, this is our preferred way in as it offers a good price on flight plus car.
We stayed at the Caravelle (St Clements building), having stayed there 3 times previously it will be our last time there as it is starting to show it’s age. There were multiple issues from the showerhead spraying water everywhere but onto my head to a couple of cockroaches wandering around, generally it needs to be updated and with many other options nearby for $5 a night more it would have been worth it to upgrade to one of them.
Everything was booked as usual through Brian and as usual we got excellent service, swapping out a Cats package due to recommendations from Art and others on the board at a late date was no problem and actually gained us a $50 gift card in the process. My only comment on this card is that it needs you to exclusively claim it on Adidas goods which in the two pro shops we looked in required us to buy course branded clothing. I did get a very nice Kings North half zip for $39 net though.
We tried to play the courses at around 6200 yards, some were a bit longer, some shorter but in every case they played longer than the yardage due to the wet conditions.
15th Rivers Edge
Drove down from Raleigh in about 2 ½ hours for a 10:06 tee time raining heavily all the way, we didn’t think we would get out but the pro said the course was open so off we went. CPO obviously but although the course was very wet the greens drained really well and we didn’t have to move a ball all day. I couldn’t believe how fast they were considering the conditions. All in all this is a great course worthy of a place in our top ten.
First time here, CPO and we pretty much had the course to ourselves, Cypress was closed so we played 36 on Lakes removed link Again the greens were quick and overall the course was in superb condition considering the rain of the previous day. Although I really enjoyed the course I’m struggling to remember many of the holes but I would not hesitate to go back.
Still CPO and with at least a 3 club wind this made for a long day of wondering what club to hit. We played with an ex pro who shot 82 from the same tees as us to give an indication of how tough it was. The course condition was very good and the greens were among the fastest of the week, I was really surprised we didn’t have balls blowing off them
Back on the fairways today with a couple of exceptions, what’s not to like about this course, terrific conditions all over, first out and we played with a couple of members who walked with push carts, they were great fun to be with. I can’t really say anything else but this is golf heaven.
18th (pm) Founders Club@Pawleys
$30 replay through the TPC pro shop, we played this once before and enjoyed they layout and it was no different this time, ok it’s not the same standard as any of our morning rounds but the fairways and greens are still very playable although the cart paths and waste areas could use some work.
19th Crow Creek
First time here and the biggest disappointment of the week for us, very wet all over and back to CPO. The overseed was still kicking in so all the tees were right at the back of the box and the grass on the fairway was quite long in places, first out again and the greens were being watered in front of us which meant we had to wait on just about every shot for the first 6 holes. I did enjoy the greens which were slower than I was expecting but still quick from the wrong side of the hole.
19th (pm) Whispering Pines
Just a low cost afternoon round, first time here and we were pleasantly surprised by the mix of holes, conditions were as good as anywhere else and we actually got a bit of roll on the fairways. The best cart paths of the week, we reckon that they must have used left over tarmac from a runway resurfacing project.
20th BF Fazio
First out and again we had problems with the greens being watered in front of us, condition wise it was top notch, the greens were a lot slower than Moorland/Arrowhead/TPC but quick enough to make you think. The jury is still out on Fazio for me, we normally play Dye but fancied a change and although it is a totally different look I prefer the Dye course. I can’t remember what number the hole is with the 2 greens but that is the first time in 4 plays that I’ve played to the right hand green, it’s a much more interesting hole playing to the left hand one.
20th (pm) Pine Lakes
We were back in the hotel by 11:30 and a quick search found this for $50, having never played there and 5 minutes away we decided to go for it. You can get into the course from 17th business via Woodlands avenue. Conditions were good again, rode the fairways and really enjoyed this old school layout but again it didn’t want me to put it on the list for the next trip, the back nine is certainly more interesting than the front.
21st Dunes Club
Conditions were perfect, the course absolutely fantastic and for the 2nd time had my worst round of the trip on this course, I love this course but just cannot play it!! I think my low ball flight hitting to raised greens is the main reason but putting on these greens every day would at least double my handicap. It really does give an appreciation of how good the pro’s are to consistently putt on greens this fast and true.
22nd Kings North
Once again we were blessed with near perfect conditions, greens rolled at a good speed and the fairways were nearly dry in places, we both love this course and makes it onto every other trip. It has a great mix of holes, the first time I didn’t go for the island on the gambler and for the first time made par on the hole. One of the twosome we were paired with hit hybrid to the island, 8 iron to the back edge for an easy birdie. They had drained the pond at the 12th which sort of took away the island green look, I wonder how many balls they pulled out as there were none visible in the mud.
23rd The Preserve at Jordan Lake (Raleigh)
We drove back to Raleigh after our round at Kings North so that we could get another round in before our flight, after a bit of research this looked like a good $50 option. It’s a Davis Love course with many undulations (I don’t think there is a flat hole) and was well worth the money, very fast sloping greens (Dunes fast). They don’t overseed so everything looked a bit brown but that aside I would highly recommend it. We got the first 9 holes dry but then the heavens opened so we finished as we started….wet!!
After multiple trips we firmly believe that with a few exceptions you get what you pay for and that was certainly the case on this trip, TPC could charge more, I’m glad they don’t, Crow Creek should charge less but in the main I would rank them in the order we paid for them, (played Fazio on a Wed and wouldn’t want to pay any more for it)
We ate out every night but only at Outback, Liberty, Carraba’s, TGI’s as they are easy to walk to from the Caravelle, Breakfast every morning was at a pancake house opposite Outback, can’t remember the name but very fast, friendly and good service.
Driving back from Pawleys we used the 707/31 route and it probably is faster in the afternoon but given that it’s a good 7 or 8 miles on 707 from 17 I don’t think it would make that much difference early in the morning
After 13 rounds in all weather there was 2 stableford points in it at the end and I had to give my buddy the $20, I’d love to blame the Dunes Club after losing there by 7 but just can’t bring myself to do it.
Until the next time, keep up the good work on the forum it is invaluable when planning a trip like this.
Super trip report that is a lot of golf. Sorry for the all the rain agree about Brian taking care of any issues.
Thanks for the excellent report. Just to show how quickly conditions can change - in my trip report from October 6-12th, Crow Creek was the best conditioned course we played.
I'm not too familiar with over-seeding but it certainly changes things considerably.
I quit staying at Caravelle's St Clements about 9 years ago when my group had enough
of it. The main hotel there should be nicer. Doesn't the Caravelle still have a
It was good you dropped the Big Cats. You ran into overseed watering on top of rain,
which makes it hard to rate courses.
Thanks for remembering MBGT with a great report!
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Thanks for the great report.
Given the travel involved from the UK, have you ever considered making the trip at a time of year when you could avoid the overseed issues & maybe get better weather as well?
Always enjoy our random encounters with golfers from "across the pond" when we're in MB.
Sounds like a great trip, thank you for the update!
Thanks for your report Dan. Enjoyed reading it during lunch. Sorry to hear about the rain but you seem to battle through it.
Great report. Thanks for sharing.
Excellent report, thanks for taking the time to write it up!
Let the Big Dawg Bite!!!
That is a first class trip report!
And how about your course selections! Wow!
Thanks for sharing!
Quebec City, Canada
Great trip report, you played some of the nicer courses MB has to offer. That Southern Pancake House is also a good spot to start your day, thanks again for your report.
Thanks for the great report. I share your thoughts about several of the courses you played. If staying in the same general area again next trip, try the Mexican restaurant on the east side of 17 between 70 and 71 I think it is. We've stayed at the Schooner at 7050 North Ocean for about 20 years and didn't try it until a few years ago. Now we eat there 1-2 times a trip in the summer. The pizza place across from the Schooner has excellent pizza as well.
Nice job on the trip report Dan.
You played some great golf courses.
Raleigh Airport is bigger than I expected. To get to the car rental area, one has to take a 5 minute tram ride. The car rental area at MB airport is a 50 yard walk from the luggage pickup.
Thanks for reporting Dan
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