Location: Calabash, N.C.
Course architect: Willard Byrd
Tee — Yardage | Rating / Slope:
Black — 7,242 | 75.6 / 141
Blue — 6,566 | 72.1 / 134
White — 6,097 | 70.0 / 124
Gold — 5,638 | 67.6 / 118
Red — 4,998 | 69.7 / 117
Saturday morning green fee: $$ ($50-$99)
Caddie service: No
Walker friendly: No
Fairways: 419 Bermudagrass
Greens: Tiff Eagle Bermudagrass
Starter: W.J. McLamb Jr., in his late 80s, is the hands-on owner of Farmstead and Meadowlands Golf Club, a sister course located a mile away, and is rightfully proud of his contributions to the golf-rich North Carolina coastal landscape. McLamb took land from his family farm and pasture in Calabash and transitioned it to join the golf boom of the late 1990s. Meadowlands was opened in 1998, and Farmstead followed in 2001. Willard Byrd was the architect for both courses.
Play because ...: Farmstead always receives fine reviews from golfers, and they consistently praise the courteous golf staff on site. Farmstead delivers an enjoyable combination of challenging and getable holes, most with generous fairways, but tricky greens. The course has six holes that cross the state line between North and South Carolina, including the iconic 18th, a 767-yard, par-6 finisher.
Takeaway: Farmstead is a links-like course that is enjoyable playing every day. There is water on every hole, but there is room to play safe. The real challenge is figuring out the wind that usually blows across this once open farmland.
THE RATINGS [1 to 10 scale; 10 being the highest]
Food | Beverage: 7.5
Pro shop: 7.0
Pace of play: 7.0
THE COURSE | Scorecard
Best par 3: No 12 (192 | 163 | 134 | 89 | 83 yards). There are six sets of tee boxes on this hole, which plays over water and usually into a breeze. The wind makes finding the correct section of the two-tiered green a challenge. There are also protective greenside bunkers on the left and right. The left front of the green is never a bad place to be off the tee.
Best par 4: No. 5 (384 | 348 | 313 | 282 | 247 yards). This hole can leave golfers shaking their heads after walking off with a bogey or worse. Even with a blind tee shot, the hole plays short, so a driver is not really needed. But, it's hard not to take a rip. If the well-positioned fairway bunkers on a knoll about 50 yards short of the green are found, one stroke, possibly two, will likely be added to the score. Enjoy.
Best par 6: No. 18 (767 | 712 | 679 | 664 | 635 yards). No, it's not a typo, this hole really plays to a par of six. Shaped like a reverse C, water runs the length of the left-hand side. There is plenty of room out to the right until the third shot, when the question is, “Do I want to fly the water and try to reach the green, or again, play out to the right?” A bunker guards the front of the green on the conservative route, so a short-but-precise approach is necessary to finish strong. The hole starts in South Carolina, but crosses back into North Carolina about 100 yards from the green.
Rater: Craig Smith