NORTH RIDGE COUNRY CLUB, RALEIGH NC – NRCC is a private 36 hole family
oriented golf and country club located on the north side of North Carolinas capital city. In late 2018 the club reached out to golf architect Kris W. Spence to develop a master plan and new vision for the Oaks course, one of two at the club designed in the 70’s by legendary architects George Cobb and Gene Hamm. On my first visit, I saw courses with a somewhat modernistic feel and appearance sitting upon a very traditional piece of land. The holes naturally flowed over gorgeous rolling ridges and swales that were ideally suited for my style of old school architecture.
The Master Planned project got underway in late February 2019 and reopened to member play in October of the same year. All greens and green complexes including bunkers were dramatically reshaped to remove the modern elements (mounding) and instill a lower profile old school character reminiscent of a 20’s Ross or Tillinghast design. Greens were re-shaped to feature distinctive personalities with fill pad shoulders surrounded by closely mown chipping areas. All greenside bunkers were lowered and cut tightly near the greenside edges and positioned to highlight the strategic shot shape of each hole. The actual putting surfaces were softly reconfigured (but not reconstructed) with a subtle complexity old school classic course commonly possess. The greens were then converted from bentgrass to Champion Ultradwarf bermudagrass. Fairway bunkers were repositioned in strategic locations and cut into natural landforms where possible in visible and aesthetic style. Additional work included significant tree removal to open long vista’s, provide increased sunlight to green areas and much wider playing corridors on many holes. Fairways and landing areas on holes 6, 12 and 14, 3 holes were regraded to provide better driving opportunities.
The new Oaks course at North Ridge is a great example of how a tired and worn out
course can be transformed into a more interesting test with tons of variety without having to completely start over from scratch.