The Reserve Club at St. James Plantation in Southport, N.C., a Nicklaus Design featuring Michael Nicklaus as lead designer, has been named the “Best New Course in North Carolina” for 2006 by the 130-member North Carolina Golf Panel.
The Reserve Club, the fourth course at St. James, opened last May. John Cope served as Design Associate on the project.
The par-72, 7,212-yard course was built through acres of wetlands, features A1 bentgrass greens, bunkers with predominantly grass faces rather than high sand faces, and areas of mulch and bark in and along the edges of tree lines. Each hole is set off on its own and is surrounded by either wetlands, water, thick trees or underbrush, so if you miss a fairway you likely lose a ball. And there are several carries over wetlands or water.
The course measures 4,925 yards from the forward tees and has a course rating of 75.2 and slope of 140 from the tips. It is open to the public until January, when it will become private.
The golf panelists rated The Reserve Club on routing, flow, design, strategy, fairness, memorability, condition, variety, aesthetics and the experience of the round.
The panel also selected the top 100 golf courses in the state for 2007 and the The Reserve Club debuted at No. 39. Pinehurst and Old North State are the top two courses in a state with nearly 600 courses. The results were announced in Business North Carolina’s April issue.