We would like all to be talked about the way golfers talk about the Old North State Club.
I've heard people say they don't get Pinehurst No. 2 (I don't get people who say that) or they don't like one course or another for whatever reasons. Sometimes it's the greens they don't like. Or the greens fees.
Sometimes they played poorly so they developed an immediate dislike for a place that probably deserves a second chance. I have a few places on my do-not-go-back list that have landed there through little fault of their own but they happened to be the course where my driver deserted me, my short game went AWOL and even my pitch-out game left me.
The Old North State Club, located on the edge of Badin Lake at Uwharrie Point, is on seemingly everyone's favorites list. For good reason. There are few places where playing 18 holes if more fun than at the Old North State Club.
I was reminded of that over the weekend when a friend, Blake Okland, invited me to play the Tom Fazio layout with the dynamic lakeside finish. It was close to 100 degrees both days we played, temperatures that would typically earn a 'no thank you' from me. But the Old North State Club was worth the sweat.
There are harder golf courses and there are better golf courses than Old North State but when you put it all together, there aren't many that give you the pleasure you get alongside Badin Lake. And that's the point of playing golf isn't it, to have fun?
The par-3 holes don't send you reaching for your hybrid on every tee shot and a good drive makes most of the par-4s easy to reach with your second shot. If anything, the par-5s may be a touch on the soft side, though it's easy to make a big number if you're not careful (I speak from experience, recent experience).
The finish, starting with the par-4 16th hole, is among the most scenic you'll find, bringing the lake directly into play. It's demanding -- play the last three holes even par and you'll probably be on the collecting end of the wagers -- but it's exciting. You want to hit the shots coming in and if you pull them off, you've done something of which you can be proud.
If you don't, you can take a moment and look around. There aren't many better places to be than on the golf course at Old North State. If you've been there, you know what I'm talking about. If you haven't and get the chance to go, don't miss it.