You won’t find Boone Golf Club on a top 100 list or Golf Channel resort special. However, it is one of my favorite courses in the world. The views are great, the course is in excellent condition, and most importantly, it is extremely fun to play. You’ll find the course in Boone, North Carolina, a short 20-minute drive from Blowing Rock, where I spent many weekends growing up. I have many memories of the course. My first set of irons, a full set of used Ping Eye-2s, even came from the used club bag at Boone GC.
A 20-minute drive from the course provides views like the one below. The course sits at 3,346 feet of elevation, and was designed by Ellis Maples in 1959. You may recognize Maples’ name from his designs at 30+ Southern clubs, including Pinehurst #5, and Grandfather Mtn. G&CC, which ranks consistently within the top 10 courses in North Carolina.
Every time that I have played Boone over the last 15 years it has been very busy. Most days groups are sent off the 1st and 10th tees from the early morning into the afternoon. The course is inexpensive, friendly, and very fun to play. If more courses were as enjoyable and inclusive, there would certainly be less clubs struggling financially.
Hole #3 – 183 yards
The 3rd hole is a strong par 3 with a green working away and to the right from the tee. The low lying thick area is more visually intimidating than anything else and stays about 30 yards short of the green. This par 3 is the site of my first hole in one!
Hole #6 – 471 yards
The photo above is taken from behind the 6th green looking back down the hole (seen on the left). While the yardage of 471 may initially seem short for a par 5, the dogleg right hole requires a long carry to clear a lake in front of the sloping green. The putting surface slopes heavily back to front, making any putt from above the hole particularly perilous.
Hole #7 – 372 yards
The dogleg left 7th has a stream running down the left side of the hole and a very sloping green. The large mound on the lefthand side of the green acts as a backstop of sorts for left pin positions.
Hole #9 – 299 yards
An iron off the tee leaves an uphill wedge into the 9th green. A stream in front of the green stops all but extremely long hitters from driving the green off the tee. Depending on the time of year, the foliage surrounding this green can be in beautiful bloom, similar to the leaves, which change colors in the fall.
This fun par 5 is only 479 yards from the men’s tees, but is a stout 584 yards from the championship tees. The Appalachian State men’s golf team practices at Boone Golf Club, and they would be some of the few who could still challenge this green in two from the tips. The wide sloping fairway narrows at 175 yards from the green, leaving an approach to a small green sitting on the hillside.
Hole #14 – 375 yards
A great view of surrounding mountains can be seen from the 14th tee box. The fairway is wide open and a single bunker guards the green. In the same vein as St Andrews, the wide open aspects of this hole can lull you into a fall sense of security just long enough for thick rough on the right to take its toll.
Hole #17 – 502 yards
The par 5 17th initially looks wide open from the tee, but the left rough is grown much further into the fairway that it appears. The raised two tier green sits on a beautiful shelf and has a false front. This is one of my favorite holes on the course.
Hole #18 – 394 yards
The 18th hole has a chute of trees leading off the tee box reminiscent of the 18th at Augusta National Golf Club. The green is very long, narrow, and works away and to the left from fairway. A back left pin is particularly tough. A front pin is easier, but brings the massive false front into play.
At the time of writing this post, I have played 25 of the top 100 golf courses in the world. It is my goal to play all 100, but as I play more, I continue to realize that the most important list is one of personal favorites. On that list of my personal favorites, Boone Golf Club rates very high.