19th Hole: Forest Creek North Ranked in Top 50
Forest Creek Golf Club's North Course continues to draw rave reviews from around the nation.
Earlier in the year, it had been named one of the "100 Best Modern Courses in America" by Golfweek Magazine. Now Golfweek has ranked the Tom Fazio-designed course as one of the "Top 50 New Courses" in the country.
The North Course ranked as the nation's sixth best new course opened in 2004-2005, making it the highest ranked in the Southeast. The rankings reflect balloting by a nationwide panel, who grade candidate courses in 10 separate voting categories.
The North Course is the third private Tom Fazio design with Greenville, S.C.-based developer, N. Barton Tuck Jr.
This past summer, Bright's Creek Golf Club in Mill Spring, another Tuck development, opened the first of two Tom Fazio designs. The Bright's Creek course is being considered for Best New Course in America in the 2007 rankings.
Earlier this year, when Golfweek announced its annual ranking of "America's 100 Best Modern Courses," Forest Creek North debuted at No. 68. Forest Creek's original South Course, also designed by Fazio, is ranked 96th in the country. Forest Creek was the only property -- private club, resort or daily-fee operation -- to land more than one course in the top 100.
"When we brought Tom in to build the second course here at Forest Creek, we knew we were handing him a tough assignment -- to create a course that would be a worthy complement to our original South Course," said Tuck, developer and managing partner of the private residential community. "But we knew Tom was more than equal to the challenge. What he helped create at Forest Creek is a club with two distinctively different style courses, yet an overall club with a quality that is unmatched in the area."
In its August 2006 issue, GolfStyles Carolina said, "The North," as compared to its older sister course, "features sprawling sandy waste areas along with deeper and more penal bunkering. The ragged edges to the bunkers and the pine barrens feel have caused people to draw a parallel to Pine Valley, the perennial No. 1 course in the world.
"There have been dozens of courses built in the Pinehurst area since the death of Donald Ross, creator of the famed Pinehurst No. 2 and Pine Needles, in 1948. Yet, no course since that time has come close to the immediate acclaim for both the North and South courses at Forest Creek."
The rolling contours of the site add to the beauty of the course, as well as its challenge. Adding to the "pure golf" experience of the North Course is the fact that there is no out-of-bounds. Further, there are no formal bunkers on the course. All sand is played "through the green." Two par-fours, holes 15 and 17, are divided by a large, scenic lake the only true water hazard on the course.
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