Despite everything you’ve heard about the Wilmington area and the devastating effects Hurricane Florence had on the area in September 2018, Beau Rivage Golf & Resort continues to thrive in the South Wilmington area.
Sure Florence had a huge impact on much of the area, but South Wilmington continues to grow at a rapid pace. The community of Beau Rivage and the surrounding area looks nothing like it did two years ago; homes and condominiums now grace the entire street leading up to the Beau Rivage Clubhouse, with lots of new construction going on as well. Beau Rivage has not only grown out, it has grown up as well!
The motto of the golf course at Beau Rivage Golf & Resort is “Never Cart Path Only,” and the course has never closed due to precipitation(drainage). Post hurricane activity was no exception; with all of the havoc wreaked upon the area, the damage to the golf course was minimal. According to General Manager Jake Walker, the course lost around 100 trees as a result of Hurricane Florence. Even without these trees the course remains as enjoyable and memorable as ever. There was minimal damage to the clubhouse and only a few of the 32 guest rooms were damaged.
Beau Rivage Golf & Resort has been around for a while, in fact they just celebrated their 30th anniversary in 2018. From the back (Blue) tees, the golf course plays 6,527 yards, with a course rating of 72.9 and a slope of 138. Move up to the White Tees and the yardage drops considerably to 6,064 yards (70.5/135). From here, the holes are manageable and still allow you to leave with a little bit of dignity still intact.
Over the years, Beau Rivage Golf & Resort has received its share of accolades including Best Golf Course in Wilmington by StarNews Best of the Shore Picks for Southeastern North Carolina. (2016, 2017, 2018) and by Encore Magazine (2018). Golf Digest has awarded them 4 stars as a “Best Places to Play,” and when the course opened in 1988, the magazine awarded them their “Best New Honors” award. With all of the changes recently, there’s no reason this steady stream of awards won’t continue.
The course sits amid gently rolling hills and plays through willowy pine forests and around – and over – beautiful lakes, with elevation changes in the neighborhood of 75 feet. Narrow tree-lined fairways, tight doglegs and strategically placed bunkers demand accuracy off the tee, while well undulated, quick paced greens will test your putting prowess.
Speaking of the driving range and practice area, Beau Rivage’s facilities are second to none. Recently, the hitting area was laser leveled to provide golfers with a little more consistency to their practice session. Many locals come to Beau Rivage just to practice, hitting bucket after bucket of golf balls, working on their chipping and bunker play and getting a feel for their putting stroke on the massive practice green. Not being ready to play shouldn’t be an excuse as you make your way to the first tee!
The golf course at Beau Rivage is one of my favorites; it’s playable and challenging at the same time. Knowing where to hit your tee shot is essential on a few holes as you can’t see the green from the tee, but for the most part the course is pretty straight forward. Don’t get me wrong, it is by no means a pushover. It’s a good mixture of brains VS brawn; on some holes – especially a couple of the par 5s – length is important if you want to give yourself any chance of getting on in two. On other holes, you need to think your way through the hole and maybe leave driver in the bag, all the while thinking about a manageable distance for your approach shot.
Number 8 remains the layout’s toughest hole and not only because of the length. From the White Tees, the hole plays 421 yards, meaning no matter how good you hit your drive, you’re still going to have along shot into the green. What makes this hole so tough is the slope and undulation in the green. Holding the green from a long way out can be difficult and up and down from in close can be just as daunting a task. No matter how you make it, par is considered an achievement on this hole.
In addition to knocking down the trees, Florence did escalate a couple of needed changes including a new bridge across the water on Number 4 as well as changes to the ladies’ island tee box on the hole as well. Other improvements at Beau Rivage include a new fleet of Club Car Tempo golf carts. These carts are comfortable and equipped with just about every option available.
Beau Rivage has a thriving dining room and the menu is outstanding – many locals plan a few meals each week around Mrs. Walker’s weekly specials of Meatball Sandwiches and Tacos. According to Jake Walker, plans are in place to knock down a couple of walls and expand the restaurant. Beau Rivage has partnered with a local catering company and offer a lively social calendar with many themed events such as murder mystery dinner theater.
When it comes to accommodations, the rooms at Beau Rivage leave little to be desired. All rooms have recently been newly furnished and re-carpeted. Each guest room is a suite and has over 700 square feet of space regardless of whether you choose a double/double or king bed. A separate bedroom allows for a sound sleep and peaceful night’s sleep, however if you have problems dozing off, the digital and high-speed Wi-Fi connection will let you catch up on some work or stream your favorite shows. The sofa in the separate living room opens up into a bed, meaning you can get two couples – or six guys depending upon how friendly you are – in one room.
The living room area features a wet bar and mini-fridge for your snacks and libations. Best of all, each suite features a private patio or balcony (depending on the floor level) with picturesque views of the course and grounds. Pull your cart up to the back door and you are literally seconds away from the driving range and the first tee.
Beau Rivage is well respected within the community as the premier golf venue. They have a thriving Men’s Golf League on Tuesday Night and participation is incredible. This past spring they had over 30 teams, with about 20 following through and playing in the fall. Anyone can join and you’ll find golfers of all skills and abilities.
Perhaps the greatest thing about Beau Rivage is the way it’s run. The resort is family owned and those that work there that aren’t family are treated as if they are. Everyone seems to have a say in what’s going on and General Manager Jake Walker is certainly the “face of the franchise.” If you’ve got any questions or suggestions, just as Jake. He’s easy to get to and easy to talk to once you do. Odds are that if you offer up a valuable suggestion, you may just see it come to fruition. For more information on the resort or to book your next stay, visit the Beau Rivage Golf & Resort website at www.beaurivagegolf.com.