Majestic Fairways

Walk in footsteps of the greats at Forest Oaks

Most courses that host PGA Tour events are exclusive country clubs – the public is welcome to visit during the tournament, but good luck trying to play it. That is not the case with Forest Oaks Country Club, a semi-private course in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Opened in 1962, it was a favored spot among tour pros from 1977-2007, hosting the Greater Greensboro Open. At one time held the week before the Masters, many of the game’s stars played in the tournament as a final tune-up. And its list of champions reflects that, with luminaries such as Seve Ballesteros, Raymond Floyd, Lanny Wadkins, Craig Stadler, Mark O’Meara, and Hal Sutton among the winners.

Today, the 7,212-yard course is open for both member and public play.

Designed by Ellis Maples and refurbished in 2002 at the hands of Davis Love III’s Love Design Group, the course retains the challenge that once tested the world’s best golfers, but with a sense of built-in maturity and old-school class that makes it a joy to play.

In terms of the layout, although the course was carved from Carolinian hardwoods and is a traditional parklands track, a myriad of undulations makes every hole a challenge, a test compounded by multi-tier putting surfaces and false-front greens.

The course can be a hurdle from the back tees, due to the length as well as the numerous doglegs, but the member’s tees reduce the threat of those turns, making for a much more playable course for the average player.

But regardless of where you tee it up, each hole has its unique personality. In fact, one of General Manger Anthony Miller’s favorite things about the course is “the variety of shot selections that the course demands,” he said. “There are lots of holes that require a fade and lots of holes that require a draw. The green complexes are demanding and unique with various bowls and dips.”

The signature 12th hole, a 441-yard par-4, is also the course’s toughest. From an elevated tee there is water to the right and a stream to the left. The approach shot plays to an elevated two-tiered green that requires precise club selection.

Another standout hole, Miller said, is the 578-yard, par-5 finishing hole.

“It makes for an exciting finishing hole because it offers longer hitters the possibility of reaching the green in two, which can and has been the deciding factor in some of our tournaments,” he said.

If you are not member and are interested in visiting the course, click HERE to view available tee times.

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