Short but sweet: Beacon Ridge Golf & Country Club in West End, North Carolina

WEST END, N.C. -- The Pet Shop Boys taught us to appreciate "West End Girls." Beacon Ridge Golf and Country Club sells the virtues of "West End Golf."

Beacon Ridge feels miles away from the expensive resort golf in Pinehurst and Southern Pines, although geographically it's just down the road. The club delivers a value-oriented and unpretentious round in peaceful surroundings.

Overconfident single-digit players might look at the 6,414 yards on the scorecard and snicker. The truth is an endless parade of uphill approach shots to elevated greens makes this Gene Ham design circa 1988 play as long as 6,900 yards.

Beacon Ridge members call the 389-yard, par-4 sixth hole "the shortest par 5 in Moore County." The long approach shot rises uphill over a single bunker to a green slanted back-to-front like a playground slide.

There is one slight design hiccup in the routing. A pond pinching the fourth fairway forces an awkward layup off the tee of a demanding uphill par 5. Any stroke lost will likely be given back at no. 16, a 475-yard par 5 reachable in two even for mere mortals.

"The course is player friendly," Beacon Ridge Head Professional Greg Hall said. "The one defense is it seems every hole is uphill. If you get the ball in the fairway, the game is not over.

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.
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Short but sweet: Beacon Ridge Golf & Country Club in West End, North Carolina
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