This Bob Moore design is one of my favorite courses on The Outer Banks. Although only 6126 yards from the tips, this course is a bruiser. The player who steps up on the Black Tees (tips) thinking “this course is short,” is in for a rude awakening.
This Scottish Links style course has all the sand and wind one could ask for. And it definitely has its share of blind shots (nine if I counted correctly). The first hole, a short par four, is only 292 yards from an elevated tee, but the green is hidden behind a big sand dune that causes many players to start the round with a bogey at best.
The smart player will seldom hit driver at The Links (as the locals call it) unless hitting into a strong head wind. Even then you better think twice. Miss the fairway on this course and you’ll be hitting three from the tee. Errant shots may find sand dunes loaded with ‘beach’ shrubbery, or of course water! Every shot must consider the wind as a major factor. It might just be a slight cross breeze on one shot then twenty miles per hour head wind the next.
One of the best examples of how the wind affects this course is when playing the 15th hole, a par three measuring 221 yards from the Black tees. This is a beautiful hole running along The Roanoke Sound. Water down the right side, really bad country with hazard down the left and behind the green. I have hit driver on this hole and come up short due to strong winds. Then another time hit six iron to the back of the large green. There have been times when my tee shot was aimed some twenty yards right of the green, over the sound, and still missed the green left. Factor in the wind!
The Links’ Bermuda greens are always in great shape, rolling fast and true. Greens vary in size but all have one thing in common: tough to read. And again, don’t forget to consider the wind as a factor. Every hole location is easily accessible, but taking dead aim at the flag could mean big trouble. Most greens are well protected by sand or bunkers, ‘beach’ shrubbery or water. Oh, and don’t forget the wind.
The Nags Head Links is truly a shot maker’s course. Players need to know how far they hit each club in their bag. Don’t worry if you normally can’t work the ball right to left or left to right, the wind will handle that for you. I have played this course probably twenty or more times and it has never played the same twice. Never!
My best advice for everyone who decides to play this great track: play a set of tees one shorter than you think you can handle and pay the three or four dollars to pick up a yardage book. It can save you ten shots and a dozen balls easily. Oh, and don’t forget to factor the wind’s affect that day.
Nags Head Golf Links
5615 South Seachase Drive
Nags Head, NC 27959