May 29, 2015
This year’s edition of the Conlon Brothers’ spring golf trip returned to Duck, NC for a series of rounds at the golf courses serving the Outer Banks.
The roughly five-hour drive gave the Cape Region contingent of Kevin Conlon, Nick DelCampo, and yours truly a break from the usual travel commitment we faced when going to Myrtle Beach SC, Pinehurst NC, or other venues we have visited for this get-together.
Our first round took place at the Kilmarlic Golf Club, a few miles west of the U.S. 158 causeway to Kitty Hawk, south of Duck (252-491-4220). This difficult par-72 course is a good example of the fact that yardage alone is no indication of how difficult it can be. We played the Gold tees at 6,001 yards, which carries a 68.8 course rating and a 134 Slope. It was more than enough challenge for our gang.
The second round was no easier, especially with the stiff breezes off Roanoke Sound. Five holes at the par-71 Nags Head Golf Links, including the 9th and 18th, lie hard by the Sound, and the whitecaps were constant in the 15-20 knot winds (252-441-8073).
For the par 4s and par 5s, one handy tip I received for Nags Head is to go for the 150-yard markers, and avoid a lot of trouble on the narrow fairways. I should have taken that advice more often.
The winds were far calmer when we played our third round at The Pointe Golf Club, in Powells Point (252-491-8388). A torrential evening downpour earlier in the week forced us to use lift, clean, and place, but the greens were in great shape and we enjoyed a beautiful spring day.
We traveled to Grandy, NC the next day for a round at the par-72 Carolina Club, a sister course for The Pointe (252-453-3588). Showing the Pointe receipt earned us a nice discount on the Carolina greens fee.
The greens were just as nice as The Pointe’s, and the extra day helped dry out the course a bit more. We were also able to fit in a nine-hole scramble after the regular round, for a very reasonable replay fee.
Our last round brought our group back to The Currituck Club, few miles from the Duck home we used as our base (888-453-9400). Designed by Rees Jones and operated by ClubCorp, the pretty course features holes running along Currituck Sound on the front nine, as well as tee boxes with a view of the Atlantic on the back nine.
For players unfamiliar with the layout, prominent 150-yard posts centered in the fairways help with tactical choices on the rolling terrain.
The off-season April rental rates for the 8-bedroom house our gang used made Outer Banks golf a decent bargain, comparable to Myrtle Beach or Pinehurst.
However, except for nearby Currituck, the other golf courses are admittedly a bit of a hike from Duck.
Playing golf during the busy summer would require a significant commitment to travel time each day along the very busy, two-lane Route 12 corridor for the north end of OBX.
The Rookery holding ball-fitting event
The folks at Rookery golf are hosting the Titleist mobile golf-ball fitting team at the South Course, Routes 1 and 16, on June 3 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. However, you are asked to call ahead for an appointment. Call The Rookery at 302-684-3000 to schedule your session, or go to titleist.com/golf-ball-fitting for more information.