Little River Golf Course Review
Little River Golf Course is located in the North Carolina Sandhills just 5 minutes from the village of Pinehurst. The first thing you realize about the course is that it is huge. Set upon a former horse farm, Dan Maples had ample room to design this sprawling course on the 450 acres of land with over 200 feet of elevation change. There are 4 tee boxes ranging from 4,850 yards all the way to 7,018. We played the course in late April from the white tees which measure 6,430. The fairways are Bermuda grass with Crenshaw Bentgrass greens. Rates run between $50 for mid-week winter and peak at $134 for prime spring weekends. Beside the course, Little River has Condominiums on site and a clubhouse large enough to offer banquets, conferences and business meetings.
The Driving Range and Putting Green:
One thing Little River is not short on is land. The driving range is located just down the hill from the clubhouse and could easily fit a few aircraft carriers. Tee boxes are well cared for and there are plenty of well-marked flags. The putting green is conveniently located next to the first tee. My only knock on the putting green is that it is has a few too many undulations for my taste. That said, if you can master the practice green you will be good to go.
Big, big is the feeling you get when you pull into the course. The clubhouse is spacious, the driving range is monstrous, the fairways are wide and the acreage is almost overwhelming. For me, it makes it feel like a legit course. All of the tee boxes are in great shape, the bunkers are raked and the greens are near perfect.
The other thing I really like about the course is that each hole is unique. Moreover, the front and back nine are totally different. The front nine features a few long par fours and is more hilly, while the back nine has a couple of shorter dog-legged holes where shot making is at a premium. In all cases, the course is laid out in front of you with no tricked-up holes. With that said, there is definitely some advantages to having local knowledge as you will find some places are better to miss than others.
This big vibe rolls over to the end of the round where you can enjoy a cold beverage on the porch and gaze out over the expansive fairways. The large pond in front of the clubhouse is nicely placed to add both an immediate mental obstacle on the first hole and pleasing view from the clubhouse.
Near perfect. The greens at Little River Golf Resort are bentgrass and during this time of year are amazing. They roll very true and super fast. I love that you can read a break and have the ball hold that line. Make a good putt and it will go in . . . that’s the point, right?
We played in mid-spring so the grass was still a few weeks away from being fully grown in, but even so the fairways were plush. When you have a property as big as Little River there are bound to be some areas that or a little rough but for the most part the entire course was in great shape.
Really the only issue we had were the cart paths which were in need of repair. In the Sandhills, where pine trees are prevalent, roots will wreak havoc on asphalt paths. Clearly it has been a few years since the last paving so just be careful to warn your cart buddy before hitting some of the larger cracks.
Sand comes in lots of varieties and I am fine as long as it is consistent. The sand at Little River Golf Resort is not super fluffy but rather a heavier, rocky version that is fairly common in Pinehurst. All of the bunkers were very well maintained and had a consistent texture which is really what is important.
Like most high-end Pinehurst golf courses, Little River has a huge clubhouse. They have a well stocked pro shop and a full restaurant. Additionally, there are condos on site as well as rooms in the main building. The ambiance is welcoming albeit slightly under lit.
If you want to know what the avacado salad tastes like you’re out of luck, we all got burgers! While not “world class”, the Little River burgers and fries are solid. They also have a good selection of beer, three on tap.
Judging service from a single visit is tough as one can never know if a given day was common or not. Moreover, we played on a Wednesday which is likely less staffed than the weekends. With that said, the course did seem a touch under staffed. Getting food at the turn took a little longer than expected and there was no available Marshall to get my 8 iron I forgot on the fourth hole. That is not to say everyone was not super friendly, it just seemed to be a situation in which a few more people on staff would have helped.
If you are travelling to Pinehurst then the short drive to Little River is definitely worth it. Little River offers classic Pinehurst golf, with more forestation than many of the local courses. The greens are always in amazing shape and the scenery is both gorgeous and varied.
You can learn more about Little River Golf Resort on their website.