Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club
About Washington Duke Inn & Golf ClubAlthough Duke University is known as a basketball school, the Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club is as good a college golf/hotel facility in the country. Located on 300 forested acres on the edge of the Duke Forest, the Inn was built to mimic an English country estate. It is an elite conference center with fine dining, a bar and afternoon tea. A fitness center, indoor pool and 3.1-mile walking/running trail are available in addition to the Robert Trent Jones Sr. course redesigned by his son, Rees. A modern sister property, the JB Duke Hotel, is across the street.
Golf courses at Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club
Images from Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club
Duke Wins the Tobacco Road Rivalry
What a gem of a course. From drop off to the first tee, you get first class service. The pro shop was one of the best I’ve ever seen and the starter was extremely nice. Played a ton of RTJ courses up north and this one doesn’t disappoint. Fairways are wide and as long as you place the ball right you’ll have no danger. Where this course gets you is the elevated greens and subtle breaks that you don’t notice. Also not many flat parts on this course. Conditions weren’t tops yet but it’s early April and they got hammered by rain. I think the price is a bit high but not too high. This is a must play. I’ll be back to play UNC when they finish their Reno’s, but Duke definitely has the upper hand
Nice, but overhyped and overpriced
After playing the three major university courses in the region, I can say with certainty that Duke was my least favorite of the three. There were parts of the Duke course that were better than the others, but the price left a really sour taste in my mouth. Considering that I could play Lonnie Poole or Finley for about half the price, the $120 price tag is just too steep. I plan on playing here again, but it won't be until next summer when I can play the 4:00 p.m. twilight rate and still finish 18.
Pace was a bit slow, but condition wise it was in great shape. The tees, fairways, and greens were all top-notch. While the greens were in great shape, my only complaint was that they were just too fast. I enjoy and prefer fast greens, but if you were above the hole, you were three putting. When you bring your putter back 2 inches for a 10 foot putt, and you end up 12 feet past the hole, it feels a bit unfair and quite frankly it's unenjoyable. I hit 13 greens in regulation and lost more shots putting than I have since I started playing 20+ years ago.
I'd recommend giving the course a try since it is a really beautiful course and challenging, but it's just a bit overhyped. If you're looking to play the nicest university course in the area, play the NC State course... or UNC course when they finish the redesign next fall. You can go on Golfnow, and get a hot deal for each of those courses. It'll cost you about the same as one round at the Duke course.
Somewhat hard to admit this as a diehard Kentucky basketball fan but the Dukies have a gem here in their school golf course. First class place --- course in great shape and a fun, challenging layout. Great practice area Greens fees aren't cheap @ $100 for the public on the weekend but it's first class and worth it. The only area of frustration was the cart price --- $30 for each person for a cart --- that's excessive. Kudos to Duke for a great course and the staff went above & beyond to make the day enjoyable. I'd play there again but likely walk it, which is doable. Thanks.
What a treasure in the heart of Durham!
I have played DGC many times over the past 15 years, but I have to note the addition of Bermuda greens and what must be a bigger emphasis on course conditions the past few years has really turned this Rees Jones redesign into a truly great track. All you can eat from the back, but don't let the first couple of holes scare you. Lots of variety of shots and plenty of birdies in the middle of the course.
It's a challenging but very walkable course, and the finish from the long Par 3 15th is outstanding. Best public course greens in the Triangle... get ready for 12-13 on the stimp.
I would recommend DGC to anyone looking for a great course, and take your time to see the rest of the campus when in the area... a truly special place!
Would have rated 5 stars but greens had been punched 3 weeks prior to us playing and they had not fully recovered. Layout is beautiful, fairways outstanding. Love the elevation changes. Will definitely be back.
Picturesque views and challenging
The course is in excellent shape and the layout while challenging allows for enjoyable play for the intermediate to the lower handicap. Almost every green is elevated adding complexity to club selection.
The greens and bunkers are killer
This course is amazing. Absolutely beautiful with a ton of elevation changes and scenery. The staff was exceptionally friendly and helpful. Would highly recommend! The greens are super slick, so play accordingly.
Great Layout; Terrible Conditions
I love the layout. At its peak, this would be a real championship test of golf. Elevated greens protected by enormous bunkers on almost every hole, and enough length that you dont have the luxury of hitting short irons in. And the value is superb. If you stay at the hotel (which is fantastic), you can walk for less than $70. The clubhouse is also very nice, and the people are super friendly.
While the greens were in good shape, the course was not. The fairways seemed to still--in the middle of April in North Carolina--be dormant. There were large patches of fairway that were simply mud or dead grass. It was disappointing, both visually and from a play-ability standpoint. I think I heard someone say that they have a different kind of grass than other courses in the area, but the course just didn't look nice during a time that should be peak conditions.
If they get the fairways right, I'd be back to play in a heartbeat. Really great potential.
Worth Walking, not Riding
We had the 1st tee time on a Friday morning and had the course to ourselves. The greens were in fantastic shape and the course was in good shape for being mid-April. $30 per-person for a cart is expensive ($60 total for myself and a friend). I would play again, but only if I could walk the course.
Strong layout, great greens
Classic RTJ layout. Lots of long, tree-lined par 4's. I walked 18 after 4 pm and even with a twosome in front of me never really had to wait more than a minute. Hillier than I expected. Great greens and well conditioned all over. Bunkers are VERY deep especially greenside. Greens firm and fast, even with light sand dusting recently. This is a challenging course. Very nice adjoining hotel and restaurants. Nice practice areas. Definitely recommend for better players staying in/around Durham.
Great layout and hole routing
First time playing. $80 to walk. Got us out early. Front 9 is tough, back nine a few quirky holes. Cool tee markers and clubhouse. People seem nice at various points and some seem entitled. Interesting to see students wearing flip flops gym shorts and tee shirts walking around. Great driving range. #9 would be a great par 4 instead of par 5. Hit a great drive had 175 up the hill; hit 8 iron. Coming off downhill in the rough lie. Would recommend the course to anyone passing through Raleigh.
Good to be back
A couple of years since I last played. Ron helped us get our bags on the cart; extremely helpful guy. Greens were very recently aerified but rolled okay. Tee boxes and fairways perfect as were the bunkers. Course very clean - no trash - plenty of water in coolers.
Best of the university courses
Although the greens were aerated and there was considerable maintenance on the fringes and approached this is still a great course. Elevated greens put a premium on approach shots. Course plays long.
RTJ Scores Another Hit
I was fortunate in joining a 3some on the back nine which I played first and then joined by a single on the front so I got a lot of info on the course.
This is a very very nice design and the course was playing firm and fast. I learned that sometime in the past the front and back nines were switched which is puzzling to me since 7, 8, 9 are the most interesting to my way of thinking. But playing it back to front I got the best of both worlds because 10 starts you off gently and then builds momentum.
Although the pro shop told me that the greens had mostly healed from aeration two weeks before, I found them bumpy and fast - a bad combination. The rest of the course was in immaculate shape though and I would enjoy a second round at this magnificent layout. Since I expect to be back to Durham soon I'm sure it will happen.
quickest greens in triangle
Played on a Monday afternoon for 50 dollars plus 10 for a pull cart. The rate was fair but don't bother with the pull carts, they are really bad. Otherwise great course layout. The greens were rolling at about an 11. Do not end up above the hole on your approach shots, its impossible to slow ball down.
Sand bunkers are in great shape. Fairways are in bad shape but so are all of the courses around here this time of year. Very playable-wide open fairways but approach shots can get tight with many well-placed bunkers.
Pace of play was just OK-we did wait a bit on the back 9 but not terrible. Overall this is a good track and I will play it again...
Duke University Golf Course
Have played at Duke for more than 20 years and it is now in its best shape ever! Bermudagrass greens installed in 2013 are fantastic - smooth, very fast and with enough slope to test the best of putters. Ball marks are easily fixed. Fairways are cut short and play their best when firm and fast. Select the correct tee box for the most enjoyable round. High handicappers and players who tend to stray from the short grass should beware - bring an extra sleeve of golf balls but keep it moving. Golf carts are equipped with GPS to help with club selection. Super practice range, however it could benefit from a better short game area. Green fees a little high but not inconsistent when compared with other courses of similar quality. Shoot a good score and you'll really have something to brag about.
If you are a 15 or higher don't play this course
The Duke University course is an amazing layout with a great practice facility and an amazing staff that helps with everything. Sadly, if you're over a 15 handicap I would not recommend this course for you. Tightish fairways, unrecoverable trouble if you miss the fairways, huge elevations on a lot of greens you're hitting into and a ridiculous stimp of 12 makes this course unplayable for the average to below average player. If you are a 0-10 I would say this is the course for you as it is a GREAT challenge but it is just too unforgiving for someone who doesn't hit it right down the middle and can't handle tabletop greens. The greens were so hard that when I went to fix a ball mark my tool going into the ground sounded like someone biting into an apple. If you're good play it, you'll love it, if your average don't or you'll leave with a bad taste in your mouth
One of the Triangle's best
Simply put, Duke University Golf Club is annually rated one of the top public facilities in the state of North Carolina for a reason. The course is in immaculate shape, the staff is top notch, and the amenities are second to none.
I would recommend this course to anyone. Also, try to go with a Duke staff member during the week because it knocks the cost down to $35/person.
Best course in Durham
I haven't played every course in Durham, but it would be hard to imagine a golf course that is better than this one. The course conditions are superb and you never play the same hole twice.