The Ibis course at Carolina National
Par: 36 | Black: 3444 yds | Gold: 3188 yds | Blue: 2955 yds | Teal: 2660 yds | White: 2328 yds
Ibis #1 – A real shot shaper’s par 5 to open up on the Ibis course, where the ideal tee shot works from left to right around the fairway bunker, but don’t get too greedy as the fairway narrows significantly beyond that bunker. The second shot could be blind if going for this green in two and will require a long right to left fairway wood. The lay-up is best played to the 100-yard mark short of the bunker there, leaving a straight forward approach to the green.
Ibis #2 – A short dogleg par 4 that requires some attention on the tee shot. Many players will lay back to avoid running through the fairway as it turns left around the bunker and tree line at 140 yards in. Anything more aggressive is a quite a risk but will leave a short wedge into the green. An accurate approach into this fairly large green is another good opportunity for birdie.
Ibis #3 – Now back along the river again, a wetlands area crosses the fairway of this straight away par 4 hole. The best tee shot leaves about a 150-yard approach to a slightly elevated green. A large greenside bunker will catch any approach shots that come up short.
Ibis #4 – A par 4 with a split fairway is the only hole on the course without a sand bunker. The tree that once stood between the fairways fell victim to Hurricane Florence. The fairway left is much wider but may force the player to deal with an uneven lie on the approach. The right side fairway is smaller with more required carry but should leave a flat lie approach. Either way the second shot will play considerably downhill to a moderately undulating green.
Ibis #5 – The Ibis’ signature par 3 is not overly long but does require a shot over the marsh in front of the green and bulkhead wall. Two bunkers guard this wide green while any shots long or left will quickly fall off into the Lockwood Folly River that once again provides a scenic backdrop to this hole.
Ibis #6 – A par 4 with a blind and slightly uphill tee shot, but the fairway here is one of the widest on the course allowing players to hit a big drive. The putting surface is again slightly elevated and surrounded by mounding and bunkers. Mostly subtle breaks on this green make for a good opportunity to hole a long putt.
Ibis #7 – Another strategic par 5 from course architect Fred Couples. The drive must carry the water off the tee and find the fairway to stay in position for a good score here. There are numerous approaches to consider with the second shot that is played through a narrow chute as the tree line pinches in on the fairway. Long hitters, if in position off the tee, may go for the green. Lay-up shots will have to navigate a tree that guards the landing area and a bunker placed in the fairway. A precise shot is required into this large, deep green as well with a slight slope from front to back.
Ibis #8 – A longer par 3 that plays over a very large sand bunker. The green is wide but shallow, favoring a high trajectory approach shot. A miss short right leaves a reasonable recovery. Par is a good score here.
Ibis #9 – Once again we close out the nine with another grand finishing hole. A par 4 with a double fairway split by a huge natural sand area all the way down. A drive down the right will leave an approach playing in over the greenside bunker. While a drive to the left will need to come to rest short of the water, then play in over that water. Both approach shots play slightly uphill to a moderately sloped green.