Best Public Golf Courses in Raleigh, North Carolina

Updated February 2024 to update booking information.

Last time I was in Raleigh, I was at a Darius Rucker concert, and I was having myself a mighty fun time.  While I don’t remember much of what happened post-concert, I do remember the crowd going crazy during the song, Wagon Wheel.  The crowd went nuts and sang along for the entire thing.  Maybe it had something to do with the fact that their hometown is mentioned in the lyrics… “And I’m a-hopin’ for Raleigh, so I can see my baby tonight…”

Ok, fine.  Maybe I should stick to golf and forgo my attempt at being a music critic.

But the point is, I wasn’t in Raleigh just for a rocking concert.  I was also there to play some golf, although the next morning’s round was a little foggy.

I haven’t played all the cool spots in Raleigh, so that’s why I asked our Golfer’s Authority readers to help me out in compiling a list of the best public tracks.

1

Lonnie Poole Golf Course

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If you’re looking for a top-notch golfing experience in Raleigh, North Carolina, Lonnie Poole Golf Course is a must-visit destination. Designed by the legendary Arnold Palmer, this gem is conveniently located just minutes from downtown Raleigh. It’s no wonder this course is home to the NC State men’s and women’s golf teams.

Lonnie Poole offers a fantastic layout and is considered one of the best conditioned courses on the East Coast. But it’s not just the golf that’s impressive; the course also boasts breathtaking views of the Raleigh skyline and Centennial campus.

Managed by Arnold Palmer Golf Management, Lonnie Poole Golf Course measures 7,358 yards from the tips, providing a challenging yet enjoyable experience for golfers of all levels. Whether you’re a local or just passing through, this course is open to the public and offers various membership packages and plans.

2

River Ridge Golf Club

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Nestled amidst the rolling hills and picturesque landscape along the Neuse River, River Ridge Golf Club offers golf enthusiasts a captivating and rewarding experience in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Designed by Chuck Smith, the course meanders through the natural terrain, providing golfers with true and varied shot values. The thoughtful design incorporates elevation changes, offering a mix of tough holes and risk-and-reward opportunities.

This well-maintained and player-friendly course is open year-round, providing a challenging yet enjoyable golfing experience. The serene and picturesque setting enhances the overall appeal, making it a top choice for golf enthusiasts seeking a memorable round of golf.

River Ridge Golf Club harmoniously blends with its beautiful natural surroundings, offering a serene escape for golfers. The course’s engaging layout and strategic design make it a standout choice among the best public golf courses in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Whether you’re seeking a challenging game or simply want to enjoy the stunning landscape, River Ridge Golf Club promises a truly rewarding experience for golfers of all levels.

3

Reedy Creek Golf Course

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As you venture beyond the captivating landscape of River Ridge Golf Club, your next golfing destination in Raleigh, North Carolina awaits at Reedy Creek Golf Course, a former working farm transformed into a picturesque course designed by Gene Hamm and lined with majestic southern pines.

This public golf club offers an affordable and peaceful golfing experience, making it a top choice for golfers seeking a quality round of golf. The course features championship Bermuda greens with no grain, contributing to its recognition by Golf Digest as a Best Place to Play.

The layout and design of Reedy Creek Golf Course provide a unique and enjoyable golfing experience, with scenic views and challenging holes that cater to golfers of all skill levels. Conveniently located just minutes from downtown Raleigh, this course offers a serene and easily accessible environment for golfers to enjoy.

Whether you’re a local resident or visiting the area, Reedy Creek Golf Course stands out as one of the best public golf courses in Raleigh, combining affordability, quality, and a tranquil setting for a memorable round of golf.

4

The Neuse Country Club

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Situated amidst the rolling terrain of Raleigh, North Carolina, The Neuse Country Club offers a captivating blend of old and modern design features that create a memorable and challenging golfing experience.

This Country Club, designed by the legendary Arnold Palmer, has an active private membership but also welcomes the public to enjoy its well-designed layout. The course’s rolling terrain and holes that move left and right offer a playable yet challenging experience for golfers of all levels.

The Neuse Bar and Grill at the club offer a cut above cocktail and food menus, enhancing the overall experience and providing a perfect place to unwind after a round. Moreover, golfers can revel in breathtaking views of the Raleigh skyline and the Centennial campus while playing.

The Neuse Country Club takes pride in its pristine conditions and the ability to provide golf enthusiasts with a memorable and enjoyable golfing experience. Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or just starting, The Neuse Country Club promises a golfing experience that combines challenge and beauty.

5

The Preserve at Jordan Lake Golf Club

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Located at the edge of Jordan Lake, The Preserve at Jordan Lake Golf Club, designed by Davis Love III, offers golfers a high-quality and scenic round of golf. Recognized as one of the 40 Best New Courses by Golfweek, this course provides a challenging yet rewarding experience in a stunning natural setting.

The layout features target golf with penal consequences for missing in the wrong spot, adding an element of strategy and precision to each round. As you navigate the course, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views and a well-maintained, unique layout that showcases the natural beauty of the area.

The Preserve at Jordan Lake Golf Club stands out as a must-visit destination for golfers seeking a memorable and picturesque round of golf near Raleigh, North Carolina. If you’re looking to explore the diverse golfing landscape around Raleigh, including courses like Arnold Palmer’s design at the Finley Golf Club, Eagle Ridge Golf Club, and the NC State’s Lonnie Poole Golf Course, be sure to add The Preserve at Jordan Lake Golf Club to your list.

6

Eagle Ridge Golf Club

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If you’re ready to explore another top-notch golfing experience near Raleigh, North Carolina, Eagle Ridge Golf Club offers a captivating link-style course with water hazards and bunkers, providing golfers with an enjoyable and challenging round. Designed by Arnold Palmer, this course measures 6,904 yards in length with a slope of 130, making it an ideal destination for golf enthusiasts of all levels. The reasonable rates, around $40 to play, make this course an accessible option for those seeking a memorable golfing experience without breaking the bank.

Eagle Ridge Golf Club boasts Bermuda grass greens and fairways, adding to the picturesque and well-maintained setting. The club also features a practice facility for honing your skills before hitting the course. Located near the Centennial campus, this golf course is conveniently situated for locals and visitors alike.

Built in 2000, Eagle Ridge Golf Club has established itself as a go-to destination for those seeking a challenging yet enjoyable round of golf. Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or a beginner, this course promises a rewarding experience in a beautiful setting.

7

Riverwood Golf Club

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Nestled amidst the picturesque rolling hills and alongside the tranquil Neuse River, Riverwood Golf Club offers golf enthusiasts a unique and rewarding experience in Raleigh, North Carolina. Designed by Chuck Smith, the course meanders through the landscape, providing a challenging yet harmonious golfing experience.

Golfers can expect true and varied shot values, with tough holes and opportunities for risk and reward. The course is renowned for its natural beauty and serene environment, making it an ideal location to test and improve your golfing skills. Riverwood Golf Club is conveniently located, offering a convenient escape for those seeking a memorable round of golf.

With its blend of challenging holes and breathtaking scenery, it’s no surprise that Riverwood Golf Club has become a sought-after destination for golfers in the area. Whether you’re a local enthusiast or visiting from Chapel Hill, this course promises an unforgettable golfing experience. Recognized by Golf Digest, Riverwood Golf Club stands out as a must-visit for those seeking a rewarding and enjoyable round of golf.

8

The Crossings Golf Club

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With its challenging layout and scenic views, The Crossings Golf Club offers golfers a rewarding and memorable experience in Raleigh, North Carolina. Designed by John LaFoy, the course provides a mix of tough holes and risk-reward opportunities, ensuring an engaging round for players of all levels.

The layout incorporates varied shot values and is thoughtfully constructed in harmony with nature. Golfers can savor breathtaking views of the Raleigh skyline and the surrounding natural landscapes, adding to the overall allure of the course.

The Crossings Golf Club is renowned for its exceptional course conditions and is widely acclaimed as one of the best public golf courses in the area, consistently maintaining high standards. It has been recognized by Golf Digests for its consistent delivery of excellence.

9

Hedingham Golf Club

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Hedingham Golf Club was designed by respected architect, David Postlethwait. 

A local’s favorite, the course’s diversity is what makes it both fun and challenging.  A mixture of long and short holes will have you using every club in your bag.

Like a lot of courses in the Raleigh area, you don’t need to hit it a mile off the tee.  Instead, you need to be accurate. 

During the week, this is one the more reasonably priced courses in Raleigh. 

While Hedingham isn’t the fanciest course in the world, it’s a joy to play and definitely worth the price.

10

Olde Liberty Golf Club

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Even though Olde Liberty is located in the heart of the Research Triangle, you’ll feel like you’re in the middle of nature when you play it. 

A quiet setting that lacks any commercial or residential buildings.  The setting is idyllic. 

Measuring 7,200 yards from the back tees, this course is a challenge for long hitters.  It’s also playable for folks that aren’t bombers too.  Plenty of teeing grounds make that possible. 

Another great value, don’t pass up a chance to play Olde Liberty.

Conclusion

Next time I’m in Raleigh, it’s going to be all about golf.  Of course, I’ll take in all the other fun activities and culture, but there’s simply too much good golf to be played here.

It sounds like that’s the case for a lot of our readers as well.  The amount of insight I received about golf in this area was overwhelming.  Thanks to you all for your generous help.  Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.  We’ll be back with more soon.

 

Paul Liberatore
Paul Liberatore

As the Founder of Golfers Authority Paul Liberatore Esq. has spent the last 7+ years writing about the best golf equipment or instruction from the top golf instructors in the world. He has been a contributing writer for Sports Illustrated Golf and GolfWRX. After graduating with honors from Purdue University, he realized that he had a passion for the golf business and the law. When he's not practicing law, or creating golf content on YouTube, he can be found on his syndicated Behind the Golf Brand podcast both on Apple and Spotify talking with the most prolific leaders in the golf industry. 

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