The Crossings Golf Club: Challenging Layout Begins Another Chapter

By Douglas Scarboro, Contributor

DURHAM, NC - The Crossings Golf Club is an eighteen-hole facility that has seen it share of adversity. Initially the land for the course was graded and molded into its current form. The land was left barren for a number of years and later purchased by the RDC Golf Group out of New Jersey. This company, which also owns several other golf courses along the east coast, developed the course and opened its doors in 1997.

The initial growing years of The Crossings were tough, as well as the course. With a very tight layout and little room for error, the hard fairways were less than forgiving.

That was than and this is now. The Crossings Golf Club has transformed itself into a well-known golf course that has full lush fairways with fast greens. The professional staff touts these greens consistently roll 9 or higher on the stimpmeter.

Now the course is still very challenging, but the playability has increased. Fairways that once were tight and difficult to maneuver has been soften and expanded. The woods that run along the fairways have been cleared of some debris to make it possible to find errant shots. This is surely appreciated by the residents of the housing community around The Crossings. These lucky individuals now are able to clearly see the layout of one of the Triangle's better golf courses.

With two different styled nines, the course is sure to befuddle first timers. The front nine has rolling hills with many elevation changes and the back nine offers a layout that runs through wetlands. However, it is possible to lose your fair share of balls on either side.

Spend time talking to any of the members of The Crossings Golf Club and you will quickly find out why golf balls are such a hot commodity here. Assistant Golf Pro Jonathan Hughes will point out his selection of balls to play and those not to play at this tricky course.

This course is also particularly popular in the area for golf outings. Talking to Michael Gardner, the head professional and general manager, you will quickly find out that this is due to the staff and the facility. He and the staff strive to be one of the premier outing facilities in North Carolina. The Crossings continually adds extra services to make guests enjoy their visit.

The Mallard grill, located inside of The Crossings clubhouse, serves breakfast and lunch and is a favorite of many areas residents. Golfers and area lunchers fill the grill on a regular basis. The outside porch area is a favorite of many diners and usually is crowded. The dining area of the grill opens to the green of the ninth hole and offers views of the fairway of number one and also the green of number eighteen. The panoramic view from this vantage point is worth a trip to the course.

Almost every course has a unique feature that it likes to beat its chest about. The Crossings' pride comes from a complete package. It is best put by Gardner, "the best part of The Crossings is that it doesn't have just one signature hole, it has eighteen."

The signature hole at the course is the par-three, number twelve, which features an island green. This hole is cut into the wetland area and is surrounded on about three sides by water. A small land bridge runs into the green which features small sand bunkers on the front lip. These bunkers incline steeply into an undulating green that will quickly dump any off center shot into the water. A tee shot close to the pin is definitely a blessing.

The finishing hole on the front nine can be a mammoth for those who are not long off the tee. This par-five requires you to cross the water off the tee box and again on the approach shot. From the tee box, you are faced with woods on the right and water directly ahead. The fairway slopes from left to right into the water. The steeply sloping fairway makes it difficult to find an even landing area from which to hit your approach shot. To even further complicate the approach on nine is the possibility of having to perform for the crowd back of the clubhouse.

The Crossings has improved since its' opening and continues to evolve. Boasting a challenging, but enjoyable layout, this is sure to be a golf course that will be talked about for years to come.

Douglas Scarboro, Contributor

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