NC’s Brunswick Islands Ranks as Top Destination for Group Golf Getaways

Leopard's Chase Golf Course

With 567 holes on more than 30 scenic coastal courses, the value and variety awaiting golf groups are just a couple of the reasons that North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands is consistently rated as one of the top destinations for group golf.

Also known as North Carolina’s Golf Coast, this premier coastal destination has earned its reputation by offering day after day of play on award-wining, championship courses designed by the best names in golf. Palmer, Byrd, Maples, Jones, Cate and Couples designs are all here offering world-class golf and delightfully uncrowded play compared to other golf destinations. The area also offers a wonderful collection of restaurants and easy access to miles of beaches, oceans and waterways for off-the-course activities.

For the perfect group golf vacation, the Brunswick Islands not only delivers the greens (and fairways), the area also has a host of experts who make planning your group golf experience a breeze. Whether for an intimate group of eight or a larger gathering of 100 or more, the area’s extensive lodging options, from course-side condominiums to island inns to beach vacation homes, are perfectly suited to golf groups of all sizes.

Groups like Jacob’s Raiders, who’ve been coming to NC’s Brunswick Islands for golf vacations for 25 years, are now into the next generation as sons play alongside fathers. At The Winds Resort Beach Club on Ocean Isle Beach, they enjoy spacious, cottage-style accommodations and an elaborate set up with their own customized 19th hole, a hospitality suite complete with a logo’d flag, bar, trophy display and a spirited awards ceremony to conclude the trip. The Winds Director of Golf and Corporate Sales, Beth Turner arranges everything in advance including scheduling rounds of golf on the courses of their choice, all accommodation arrangements and on and off-site catering for the group of 48, who stays for four nights.

“Our specialty is golf groups from 12 – 60 people,” says Turner. The Winds group golf experience is custom tailored for each group to include accommodations, golf, awards ceremonies and on and off-site catering as desired. The variety of golf and accommodation options are very popular during spring and fall drawing golf groups from Ohio, Virginia, Pennsylvania and New York, as well as many from within North Carolina. The Winds offers packages with dozens of area courses, including Rivers Edge Golf Club, Ocean Ridge Plantation’s four “Big Cats” courses, Oyster Bay Golf Links, Sandpiper Bay Golf & Country Club and Sea Trail Resort.

“We’ve also seen an increase in the number of women’s golf groups,” Turner mentioned. “Our women’s golf groups take full advantage of everything NC’s Brunswick Islands offers both on and off the course, adding shopping, a trip to the beach or spa, and dining to their itinerary to round out their golf getaways.”

Ocean Ridge Plantation’s Bill Long credits the area’s popularity to quieter, slower paced courses that are just as good, if not better than, some of the crowded areas nearby. “This is a very unique market for golf,” says Long. “To have this many high-caliber courses literally within a 5-10 minute drive in such great condition brings our golf groups from Ohio, Pennsylvania and up and down the east coast back every spring and fall.”

Brunswick Plantation Golf

Another popular home-base for golf groups is Brunswick Plantation Resort & Golf in Calabash. The newly renovated one and two-bedroom condominiums are perfect for a golf getaway. The resort’s recently opened restaurant and sports bar, Hickory Shaft Bistro, offers indoor and outdoor dining venues and great food and libations amidst an impressive collection of historical golf memorabilia.

“Groups here stay for long weekends, or three to four days, and pack in as much golf as they can,” says Scott Thrailkill, Brunswick Plantation’s Sales and Marketing Director. Brunswick Plantation is perfect for the serious golfer offering 27 holes of play on site, with nearby courses such as the Thistle Golf Club, The Pearl Golf Links, Farmstead Golf Links, Meadowlands Golf Club and Crow Creek Golf Club, and dozens of others within an easy drive.

Elaine Clemmons, Golf Director with Sloane Realty Vacations has decades of experience pairing groups with the perfect courses and accommodations for a great group golf getaway on Ocean Isle Beach and Sunset Beach.

“We’ve got several groups who have been coming here for 20 years,” says Clemmons, who credits the area’s resort and laid-back feel along with the high caliber and variety of courses for bringing the groups back year after year.

Rivers Edge golf course Brunswick Islands

With decades of experience in arranging golf trips, Clemmons shares her expert tips below:

Planning the Ultimate Group Golf Getaway at NC’s Brunswick Islands – 10 Tips

  1. Select and book your accommodations first to ensure that you get your preferred travel dates.
  2. Book courses and tee-times as soon as dates are confirmed.
  3. Work with lodging partners to coordinate catered meals and dinners in advance; many lodging and vacation rental companies work with several caterers and are happy to assist in creating a memorable event.
  4. Plan a mix of on-site meals and dinner events at area restaurants to take in a taste of the coast and see a bit of the area.
  5. Designate one group member to be in charge of scoring and awards.
  6. Reserve an extra condominium for the hospitality suite and stock with water, beverages, snacks, etc.
  7. Don’t forget gift baskets and awards.
  8. Most importantly, get a great golf group name! Monikers like Mulligan’s Island, Weapons of Grass Destruction or Complete and Putter Madness, set the tone for a great getaway!
  9. Schedule in some time to explore the area – a day at the beach, a fishing charter, ATV tour, and more are available in NC’s Brunswick Islands.
  10. Leave planning to the experts so you can concentrate on having fun and focusing on the birdies!

Whether your group is driving or flying, North Carolina’s Brunswick Island’s central east coast location makes it a convenient golf destination for people traveling from across the United States. The area is accessible from both the Wilmington International Airport and the Myrtle Beach International Airport.

For information on these and other Brunswick Islands golf package providers, visit www.ncbrunswick.com/Golf_Packages or download a copy of the Brunswick Islands Golf Guide for all the information you need to plan your next golf getaway!

Nine Reasons Golf in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands is a Hole in One

golf course

From classic coastal golf courses that offer some of the most scenic views in the Brunswick Islands to challenging links play designed by the masters, North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands earns its reputation as North Carolina’s Golf Coast with every tee shot, fairway drive and perfectly calculated putt. The North Carolina part of Grand Strand golf, the Brunswick Islands, is home to 567 holes of challenging and rewarding golf gold spread across more than 30 championship courses, all in one amazing destination. Exemplifying coastal golf at its finest, each course offers players a one-of-a-kind experience within a one-of-a-kind destination. Need even more reasons to make Brunswick Islands your golf getaway destination? Check out nine reasons golf in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands is a hole in one!

1. Layouts Sculpted by Legends
Golf outings in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands place players directly in the footsteps of some of the golf greats. Our championship courses offer some of the best golf on the Grand Strand, with layouts sculpted by legends such as Palmer, Byrd, Maples, Jones, Cate and Couples.

2. Ample Courses for All Skill Levels
Our 30+ top golf courses were each built to accommodate players of all skill levels, including junior golfers and those new to the game. Many courses offer private and group lessons lead by golf professionals who specialize in targeting and improving all aspects of your game. Experienced golf enthusiasts will also enjoy some of our community’s more challenging courses, including the area’s only par 6.

3. Experience Unparalleled Scenic Views
The Brunswick Islands golf experience is about more than a game. Our world-class golf is perfectly paired with unparalleled and sweeping views of our natural coastal North Carolina landscape; it’s why you come to the coast, right? Play alongside the Intracoastal Waterway and amidst long, tree-lined fairways with magnificent, moss-draped live-oaks. With such scenic water views and maritime-forest lined fairways, your golf game will not be the only thing to amaze.

4. Home to Stand Out Holes
With 567 holes of golf, more than 30 championship courses and more than 120 miles of fairways, it is no surprise that North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands is home to some pretty stand out holes. Waterfalls, tidal marshland, panoramic river views, the area’s only par 6 and an island green are just some of the features that highlight our courses. Check out our recommendations for some of the top golf holes in the area for even more reasons to take a swing at a golf getaway to the Brunswick Islands.

5. Better Climate and Longer Seasons
The mild coastal climate of North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands means you not only get more enjoyable playing weather, but a longer season to play in. A golf getaway to the Brunswick Islands is always a great idea, no mater the time of year, but winter and spring offer an even better reason to visit. Now is the time to play and getaway. While it may be chilly in the north, our average high is 58 degrees in February and 66  in March. Bermuda greens make for exceptional year-round play.

6. Awesome Packages and Specials
A golf getaway to the Brunswick Islands is the total package – literally! Visitors can easily book accommodations and tee times. For the latest in offerings, check out our golf packages and specials, where winter and spring seasonal packages offer 18 holes, cart and range balls starting at $49 and stay-and-play packages beginning at $69 per person.

golf courses

7. Stay and Play Availability
Whether a foursome or a group of 20 or more, our extensive accommodation options range from oceanfront vacation homes to course-side condominiums, homes, hotel and resort rooms, all perfect for golf getaways of any size. Several of our golf packages offer exceptional stay and play offers, giving avid golfers the opportunity to see, do and experience more in the Brunswick Islands. A longer stay means more days to enjoy our expansive array of fairways and finds.

8. Trip Planning Resources
Planning the ultimate golf getaway can be overwhelming, but we are here to help you plan the perfect trip. Flip through our Official Guide to Golf in NC’s Brunswick Islands or order a copy to be sent to you directly. In addition to featured golf packages and promotions, trip planners can download our course map and directory for an overview of the golf scene in the Brunswick Islands.

9. Many Ways to Play, One Incredible Destination
An unbeatable golf scene is only the beginning when it comes to enjoying North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands. Visitors can get more out of their golf getaway with delicious dining, countless area activities, exciting events, cozy coastal accommodations and more. In North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands there are many ways to play, both on and off the green.

woman golfer

Each course features its own unique personality and challenges, but all share one enticing promise – a golf getaway or excursion to North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands is a hole in one! For more information on how to plan your next golf excursion or getaway, please visit www.ncbrunswickgolf.com.

Tim Cate: The FORE Father of Golfing the North Carolina Coast

north Carolina’s Brunswick Islands is known as North Carolina’s Golf Coast, where championship courses have been designed by such greats as Arnold Palmer, Rees Jones, Fred Couples, Dan Maples, Willard Byrd and Hale Irwin.  Each offers a wide range of settings, from marsh to maritime forests, to lakes, streams, beaches and the Intracoastal Waterway, and each is unique in its design and playability.

One designer, Tim Cate, who may be lesser-known outside of our area is worth noting. In fact, he is quite renowned along the coast for his sustainable golf course design that completely incorporates the natural terrain, providing an artful challenge for golf enthusiasts.

We like to think he’s a best-kept secret, just like our area.

Cate says this, “Unlike the South Carolina courses, this is a unique region with a bit of a roll to the land, which provides some wind break off the water and opportunities for interesting layouts. We have beautiful beaches and low-rise development, so the area has been left in a more natural state.”

In 2010, Golf Digest named a golf course in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands “Best design by an architect you’ve never heard of.” Golf course architect Tim Cate, a resident of Sunset Beach, attended West Virginia University and the University of Georgia, graduating with a degree in Landscape Architecture. He then spent eight years under the tutelage of course design greats like Willard Byrd.  According to Jamie Roderick, General Manager of The Thistle Golf Club, “Cate doesn’t just move earth. He carefully designs his courses, then supervises like a virtuoso, taking advantage of the lay of the land as it is being sculpted by the construction crew.”

For your next North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands’ vacation, consider one of these several award-winning, Tim Cate-designed courses…

Cape Fear National 

Cape Fear National in Leland is the newest golf course in Brunswick County. Among its prestigious awards, Cape Fear was named among the top “11 best courses you can play in NC” as named by Golfweek magazine. Expect to see ornate grasses, drive-through waste bunkers, two waterfalls and over 1,500 linear feet of bridges as you weave through 18 holes of exceptionally conditioned golf.

Cape Fear National, No. 13According to Director of Sales and Marketing, Brad Walker, “There’s really a wow factor here at Cape Fear National. Week after week, we receive rave reviews on the overall conditioning of the golf course, the surrounding natural landscape and the quality of our A1/A4 Bentgrass greens. Tim Cate’s attention to detail is impressive and he is an expert when it comes to local landscape in Coastal North Carolina.”

The “Big Cats” Courses 

Ocean Ridge Plantation in Sunset Beach offers four championship “Big Cats” golf courses – three designed by Tim Cate.  The three Tim Cate courses each has it’s own unique character and feel, but with the unifying Tim Cate signature design features incorporated into their layouts for the thrill of the hunt.

Two courses of note are Tiger’s Eye and Leopard’s Chase. Tiger’s Eye is distinguished by dramatic 60-foot elevation changes reminiscent DSC_0718_LC 4 smallof the North Carolina sand hills and a stunning combination of natural waste areas, native grasses, wildflowers, pine and oak trees and water, including Carolina bays, two waterfalls and marshland typical of a coastal environment. Leopard’s Chase offers stunning natural beauty playing along expansive natural wetlands and features dramatic elevation changes heretofore unseen along the coast.

Thistle Golf Club

The clubhouse at the venerable Thistle Golf Club in Sunset Beach is of traditional Scottish design, filled with the antiquitClubhouse-Twlght[1] smallies, original documents, trophies, ledgers and other memorabilia from the original 1815 Thistle club on Edinburgh’s revered Links of Leith. In similar Scottish tradition, architect Tim Cate provided windswept fairways, heather-covered hillsides and generous rolling Bentgrass greens, earning a 4 ½-star rating by Golf Digest.

With 120 miles of fairways and 45 miles of wide, un-crowded beaches, free from high-rise Microsoft Word - Document1development, dedicated golfers as well as families can all find their paradise. With over 30 golf courses in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands, you could stay for a month and play one course each day. Perks to golfing in Brunswick Islands include more than 30 hotels, inns, bed and breakfasts and golf resorts, as well as countless seaside and inland vacation rental homes and condos for every style and budget.  If golf is your vacation focus, our local golf packagers can arrange for the perfect visit. View a video here about Brunswick Islands’ golf.

The North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands’ Golf Guide is the perfect tool to get your dream golf vacation started.  To order a printed copy of the Golf Guide and/or to sign up for emails click here.