98. Old Town Club
Perry Maxwell (1939)/Bill Coore & Ben Crenshaw (2013)
Created by architect Perry Maxwell on the heels of his work at No. 27 Prairie Dunes and No. 34 Southern Hills, Old Town Club was surprisingly unique, and included perhaps Maxwell’s only surviving double green. When Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw were hired to address the bunkering at Old Town, they opted not to reproduce the original bunkers (some of which were enormous) but rather emulate their gnarly shapes, edges and vegetation in places where bunkers naturally fit. Lots of trees had already been removed, but the architects convinced the club to get rid of even more. Now, a single swath of fairway connects the seventh, eighth, ninth, 17th and 18th holes. Very unique.
100 Greatest History: First appearance on any Golf Digest national ranking.
"Old Town Club is the epitome of Southern Charm and the big-boned Perry Maxwell golf course (as restored by Coore & Crenshaw) is a treat to play. This classic design deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as almost all other outstanding pre-WWII designs."
"Brilliant routing that explores the entire property and makes exceptional use of the rolling terrain to present a varied set of shot values while still preserving an easy walk. Par 3s are standouts and are again varied, challenging, but highly playable with safe options available on the longer holes."
"The double green for the eighth and 17th is an incredibly creative use of the existing landforms. The Maxwell rolls are prevalent, reminding one of Prairie Dunes’ outstanding green complexes."
"Terrific use of interesting land to create a collection of extremely memorable and unique holes; uneven lies abound, and golfers are rewarded for shaping shots from such lies (as well as from tees). Ever-changing hole directions bring different land-forms into play on nearly every hole; this variety also contributes greatly to the inherent challenge of the course. Design encourages creative shot making while providing options for more conventional course management."
"Perry Maxwell designed and routed a masterpiece. What a thrilling ride and adventure Old Town is. You get a sense for the specialness of the course when you tee off on 1 and see the green set above the fairway in the distance. Tremendous job with tree removal opening up vistas, adding to the character and distinctiveness of this historic North Carolina gem."
Photos: Courtesy of the club