No matter your skill level, you’ve more than likely succumbed to stepping up to the back tees on a lengthy par-5 and smashing your driver.
But have you ever done so on a par-6? A few such holes exist. But only the 18th at Farmstead Golf Links in Calabash, North Carolina straddles two states.
Stretching a staggering 767 yards, Farmstead’s 18th hole starts with a tee shot into a wide South Carolina fairway and finishes on an undulating green in North Carolina. With a lake guarding a majority of its left side and seven bunkers sprinkled in between, it’s easy to understand why Golf Digest named the hole one of the 18 most fun in America.
Golfers flock to Farmstead to play this behemoth. But the course’s 17 other holes complement it well, making this one of the premier stops along North Carolina’s “Golf Coast.”
Designed by Willard Byrd and David Johnson, Farmstead opened in 2001 and quickly garnered acclaim for its links style layout. With its native grasses, well-placed bunkers and expansive fairways, the course feels quite open, with wind almost always impacting play.
Measuring 7,242 yards from the tips – one of five sets of tees – Farmstead offers a player-friendly layout and exceptional course conditions, highlighted by the TifEagle Bermudagrass greens.
Even during the hot summer – the heat index peaked at 102 degrees during my round at Farmstead on Saturday – the greens remain in great shape. Putts roll smooth and fast.
Don’t expect many distractions, either. Farmstead, with its open layout and lakes that frame many of its holes, resembles a rural setting. Housing is almost non-existent on or around the course, making this a peaceful place to enjoy your round.
Although the 18th draws the most attention, Farmstead actually boasts three other holes (Nos. 10, 14 and 16) that cross between North Carolina, which most of the course calls home, and South Carolina. Small signs along them signal the border lines.
The 14th hole also holds the distinction of being one of only three par-5s on the course. Playing 541 yards from the tips, the hole is reachable. However, a large bunker along the right side causes the fairway to narrow as you approach the green, which is surrounded by two bunkers and a lake – where one of the course’s alligator sanctuaries is located.
Despite the par-6, Farmstead still plays to a par of 72, thanks to five par-3s. Three of those measure more than 200 yards from the tips. The 12th hole doesn’t meet that threshold, coming in at 192 yards, but it might be the most challenging par-3, being nearly all carry over water.
All of this leads up to the heralded 18th hole.
Although three total bunkers come into play on both sides of the fairway on your drive, there’s still a good amount of room to work with until the lake comes into play for the final 200 yards. Anything left and long of the green, which is fronted by a bunker, will likely roll into the water. Still, a birdie is possible for those who don’t get too intimidated.
As you walk off the 18th green and toward the the veranda of the stately clubhouse, you’ll likely find yourself looking back down the fairway and trying to spot the distant tee box, an unforgettable end to an enjoyable round.