A new golf course has opened for play at the Compass Pointe community development in Leland, North Carolina, a few miles west of the city of Wilmington. It is the first new-build course in the state since Dormie Club, designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, opened in 2010.
Designed by Rick Robbins, the golf course site comprises wooded areas, open wetlands and long views, with quite significant elevation change for this coastal region.
Robbins picks out the par-five second hole as one to note: “It has a lot of little wetland pockets and splits as you get towards the green. It can be played in three or four different ways.”
The closing hole, another par five, is another highlight. “The tee is elevated and you have two substantially downhill shots to a point at which a wetland crosses the hole, with the green set up on a hill of about 25-30 feet,” explains Robbins.
The course has been designed to be fun and very playable, focusing on appealing to the community it serves. It can even be played as an 18-hole par-three course. “We have added a set of real tees at between 75 and 150 yards on every hole,” says Robbins. “Generally they are within fairway mounding so you don’t see them as you are playing the hole, but can access them via the cart path.”
The facilities at Compass Pointe also include a substantial short game and practice area, with a large driving range, 18-hole putting green, chipping area, sand shot area and an 80-yard par three that can be used as a 19th hole.
Original designs for the course were prepared in the mid-2000s, but the project was paused following the downturn in the housing market. As the market began to recover, developer Bobby Harrelson decided to begin shaping some of the holes. This renewed activity on the golf development helped to increase interest and prices of the lots, and accelerate the development.
The master plan for the community includes a routing for an additional nine holes, which are ready to be constructed as the overall development progresses.