The Carthage Club
The land in the Sandhills region of North Carolina hasn’t even been purchased yet for The Carthage Club. However, we can already visualise the course, land permitting. It will be built quickly, given little land will be moved.
There will be two sets of tees. The yardage for the front will be around 4,000 yards and the course will ‘stretch’ to 6,200 from the back. There will be no ‘par.’ Is the 270 yard hole a par 3 or par 4? Is the 470 yarder a 4 or 5? Who cares? Doesn’t matter.
There will not be the need for tee times.
The need to hunt for golf balls will be minimal – there will be little rough. There will be as little irrigation as is possible. The fairways will play firm and fast. The North Carolina summer heat requires too much water to keep the grass alive in the deep summer to allow for good golfing conditions, so the course will be shut for August.
The fairways will be broad, ranging from 40 to 60 yards in width. Bunkers will be placed at a variety of angles to the golfer with many of them completely surrounded by fairway grass (i.e. they won’t be tucked on the sides of holes where they don’t influence play). Some will be shallow but plenty will be deep and penal (i.e. true hazards). Combined with the greens, the bunkering will provide the strategic interest. There will be no water hazards.
The property will be elevated and exposed to the wind. It will be essentially treeless. The course itself will occupy close to 180 acres. There will be plenty of room between the neighboring holes but little room between the green and following tee. Overall, the course and the holes will promote a sense of spaciousness.
The greens will differ a significant amount in size and contour. The relatively small membership of 250 golfers allows latitude in having a couple of very small 2,500 sq.ft. greens where appropriate but a green or two may run up to 9,000 sq. ft as well. Over time, we may be able to say we have seen someone putt off each green.
The majority of the time spent on conditioning will be on the green complexes. There will be little irrigation. The area within a thirty yard radius of the green will be keep at fairway height. The lies will be tight. The conditioning will be scruffy (i.e. natural) other than the prepared areas.
The intent is for the course to play equally well year around, another reason the course needs to be shut during the oppressively humid month of August.
Trolleys will be encouraged. Four ball matches will be discouraged. Two ball and foursome play will be the norm. A round will average under three hours.
Members will be encouraged to bring their children and dogs.
There will be a modest clubhouse. There will be no other activities on offer other than golf. The parking lot will be small and unpaved.
The cost to build the course will be small as well, as the sandy soil is ideal and not much of it will be moved. We hope to acquire 275 acres for under two million dollars, so the membership fee structure will be reasonable.
This then constitutes an ideal course and club. We hope to see you there.