Seek out a hidden treasure in the Sandhills: Anderson Creek Golf Club in Spring Lake, North Carolina

SPRING LAKE, N.C. -- The pull of Pinehurst is often too strong for out-of-state golfers to stop at an out-of-the-way destination such as Anderson Creek Golf Club.

Those who veer only slightly off course are rewarded with a strong Davis Love III design stocked with the signature elements that make the Sandhills so great for golf: the rolling terrain, sandy soil and priceless natural setting.

Anderson Creek, which opened in 2000, hides out inside a well heeled neighborhood where, thankfully, the houses never hog the limelight. The routing follows a figure-8 around the stately Southern-style clubhouse.

The elevated tees and winding fairways, scarred by just enough water hazards to keep things interesting, are mere distractions until the real fun starts on the greens. They’ve got more rumples and bumps than a bad case of hat head.

Anderson Creek's front nine holds more potential twists of fate. The par-5 second hole is a beast, and the par-3 third requires a confident swing to clear the water. The ninth hole shoots uphill and sweeps to the left across a wetland hazard.

Overall, this 7,215-yard course is certainly worth consideration from the bucket-list golfers who chase down the Pinehurst Resorts of the world.

Feb 11, 2014

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Jason Scott Deegan

Senior Staff Writer

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed more than 700 courses and golf destinations for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Twitter at @WorldGolfer.