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Best golf courses near Wilmington, NC

Below, you’ll find a list of courses near Wilmington, NC. There are 20 courses within a 15-mile radius of Wilmington, 9 of which are public courses and 11 are private courses. There are 14 18-hole courses and 5 nine-hole layouts.

The above has been curated through Golf Digest’s Places to Play course database, where we have collected star ratings and reviews from our 1,900 course-ranking panelists. Join our community by signing up for Golf Digest+ and rate the courses you’ve visited recently.

Eagle Point Golf Club
Private
Eagle Point Golf Club
Wilmington, NC
From Golf Digest Architecture Editor emeritus Ron Whitten: I played Eagle Point Golf Club, a Tom Fazio design, soon after it became ranked on Golf Digest's 100 Greatest but before it hosted the 2017 Wells Fargo Championship as a one-time substitute for Quail Hollow Club, which hosted the PGA Championship that summer. I walked it with caddies, Director of Golf Billy Anderson and one of the club's founders (and later president) Bobby Long (who was also green chairman at Seminole and a member of Augusta National.) Just before we teed off, golf architect Andrew Green came over and introduced himself. We'd never met. He was designing a short-game facility for the club. Though it may seem strange that Fazio's firm wasn’t retained to do that, it helps to know that Andrew’s brother, Sam, was Eagle Point’s course superintendent at the time. Eagle Point is a beautifully rolling, pine-lined Augusta National clone with huge immaculate greens (bentgrass back then, Champion G12 Bermudagrass now) and gorgeously shaped bunkers which, like at many Tom Fazio designs, seemed to have fully interchangeable parts. I didn’t dislike the look, but I didn’t go head over heels over it, either. Mainly because I’ve seen it all before. The ninth had a wind-blown Wild Dunes vibe to it, the 10th had the long-range view of a Galloway National hole, and the par-5 18th seemed patterned after the seventh at Quail Hollow. When we got to the 13th hole, I remarked to Bobby Long that I liked how Fazio’s people had dug this huge irrigation lake, piled up all the soil into a massive hillside and planted mature pines all over it to make it look like it’s been there forever. “Oh, no, you’re wrong,” Long said. “That hill has been there forever.” Billy then corrected him. “Mr. Long, this was a pasture. They did create that.” Long was surprised, then asked me how I could possibly know that when I’d never been on the property before. (I was tempted to ask him how he, as a club founder, had never found his way back to that corner of the property during construction, but I resisted.) Walking up the last hole, Long asked me if I’d played Fazio's Alotian in Little Rock, and I remarked that I had with Warren Stephens, who was nice enough to then sponsor me at Augusta National. “You’re a member at Augusta National?” Long gasped. (I wish I could recreate in print the tone of astonishment in his voice.) No, no, no, I said. He sponsored me for a weekend of golf there back in 2005. “Oh,” Long said, as he looked at my Dockers khakis and mis-matched socks. Clearly, he was temporarily stricken by the fear that Augusta National had suddenly and drastically lowered its membership qualifications.
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Cape Fear Country Club
Private
Cape Fear Country Club
Wilmington, NC
4
48 Panelists
Cape Fear Country Club in Wilmington is one of the best courses in North Carolina. Discover our experts’ reviews and where Cape Fear Country Club sits in our rankings.
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Wilmington Municipal Golf Course: Wilmington
3.6
27 Panelists
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Porters Neck Country Club: Porter's Neck
3.1
33 Panelists
From Golf Digest Architecture Editor emeritus Ron Whitten: The afternoon after I played Tom Fazio's Eagle Point Golf Club in Wilmington, N.C., I literally crossed the street and played Porters Neck Country Club, another Fazio layout. At the time, it came highly recommended by one of my fellow writers at Golf Digest, which is why I sought it out. Turns out Porters Neck was also the reason Eagle Point even exists. A member named Bobby Long got tired of never being able to get a decent tee time, so along with three other Porters Neck members, he went south of Porters Neck Road and built his own golf course. I played Porters Neck with its longtime head pro Robert Loper, and no sooner had we teed it up than a bolt of lightning struck a tree just a few hundred yards away, so we hustled back to the clubhouse. Following an hour-long monsoon, we were able to get back out and ahead of the crowd by playing the back nine first. But the heat, humidity and threatening skies were too much, so at the turn we simply toured the front nine in a cart before I packed it in and left. At the time, I left unimpressed. Porters Neck looked old and tired and rather unexciting. Of course, I was comparing it to Eagle Point, a spectacular production that cost probably $25 million more that was spent in creating Porters Neck. Still, my verdict was that Porters Neck was a housing development course with homes too close, bunkers too bland and greens too dull. It reminded me very much of Pinehurst No. 6, which I've always thought was the most ordinary Tom Fazio design I’ve ever seen. In retrospect, I was too harsh. After all, Porters Neck was ranked among the top 25 in North Carolina for a time, and having been built in 1991, was representative of Fazio's architecture at that time, when he was at the cusp of his create-an-environment philosophy, still massaging the land instead of totally churning it up as he would do across the street at Eagle Point. I recently found my old notes on my round at Porters Neck, and I found some pluses. I liked how Fazio had saddled most fairways between tree-lines to collect tee shots and how he framed nearly every hole with something directly in front of the tee box—a grassy swale, a wetlands, a pond, even an elaborate sandy waste area. I also unearthed a 1991 photo of the par-5 15th. It had been built in an open field back then, with no homes yet built. The 15th green was a punchbowl, tucked behind a large bunker that was shaped and vegetated like an ocean dune. (The Atlantic is just a quarter mile east, so it wouldn't have looked out of place.) A long ridge had been created behind the green (to hide a proposed residential street), and the ridge, too, was shaped and landscaped like a sand dune. Over time, developers came in, planted trees, paved roads, built homes and the links-like appearance of the hole morphed into a conventional residential development corridor. In 2020, McConnell Golf purchased Porters Neck and has already renovated the bunkers. In the process, someone (I don't yet know who) reestablished the sand-dune look of the ridge behind the punchbowl 15th green. That's an encouraging start. Porters Neck had more character and personality in the beginning than I had remembered, and I'm guessing a lot of it could still be reclaimed.
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Compass Pointe Golf Club: Compass
3.9
15 Panelists
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Cape Fear National At Brunswick Forest
3.5
25 Panelists
Built in 2009, Cape Fear National is a fun resort style course that's playable for all handicap levels. but challenges better players with native wetland areas and water hazards. The course, which tips out at about 7,200 yards, is a good option for anyone visiting the Wilmington, N.C., area.
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