Duck Woods Country Club is celebrating its 50th anniversary

By on May 15, 2019

From left,  Frank Stone and Mo Moore, founding club members, and Roger Harman, first greens superintendent, review a diagram of the proposed golf course.

Fifty-five years ago a group of businessmen had a vision to create the first golf course on the Outer Banks. Thanks to their dream and hard work, Duck Woods Country Club will celebrate its 50th anniversary in June.

How did their vision become a reality? In March 1964, as a result of a special meeting, these businessmen outlined and implemented the plan to develop the first golf course.

Two years later, two things gave life to the dream. First, a 250+ acre tract of maritime forest was donated by Kitty Hawk Land Co.

Second, an FHA loan was granted.

In May 1967, construction contracts were awarded to build the 18-hole championship golf course, designed by renowned golf architect Ellis Maples.

On Thanksgiving Day 1968, the first nine holes opened for limited play, with 324 members. The clubhouse opened its doors for the official dedication June 8, 1969.

It was much smaller, with two floors that encompassed a multipurpose banquet/meeting/dance/cards room, dining room, a bar area, and a grill room.

There was a golf course, small clubhouse, a combination pro shop, office and bag storage building, a pool, tennis courts, maintenance building, and cart storage shelter.

Old Southern Shores.

Reflecing on the opening of DWCC Shelby Hines, one of the founding members, commented that DWCC was “the greatest thing that ever happened to the Outer Banks, except for the 1933 storm!”

When it opened the membership fee was $150. The facility attracted members from Hatteras to Elizabeth City.

As for helping the economy, “The purpose of the association and its members is to supply and provide the number one need of the area, a golf course and related facilities, which will directly and indirectly affect children, youth, and adults both in Currituck and Dare Counties,” said David Stick, one of the founding club members and president, as well as the first Southern Shores mayor.

As for the members thoughts on the opening, “It was the happiest day of our lives when they put a golf course on the Outer Banks,” said Linda Turner, wife of Curtis Turner, a founding member. Once this happened, the Turners bought property on the Outer Banks.

During the first five years things were tight, but members were generous. “A lot of members put their heart and soul into Duck Woods,” said Joyce Stone, the first homeowner on the golf course.

Aerial view of the first clubhouse.

Originally, 21 members served on the board and managed the club, meeting weekly with the staff.

“It was a special time working with the conscientious and forward thinking group who brought DWCC into reality,” said Frank Stone, a founding member and DWCC president in 1981.

The swim team was also important and within the first decade, two associations were established.

In 1972, 28 women formed the Women’s Auxiliary of the Outer Banks Recreation Association of the Duck Woods Golf Course. This was the beginning of what is known today as the Women’s Association of Duck Woods Country Club.

Its purpose is to promote greater interest, fellowship, and sportsmanship in the social and recreational activities of the group.

A year later, the Ladies Golf Division of Duck Woods Golf Club (the forerunner of the Ladies Golf Association) began with 10 members. In 1980, this organization hosted the North Carolina State Women’s Amateur Golf Tournament.

In the 1980s, Henry and Linda Ezzell, the first concessionaires, offered meals and catering at the club.

The club’s tennis program began in the mid 1980s. Then in 1988, revised by-laws and a new name of Duck Woods Country Club was approved, better reflecting membership.

In the 1990s, two associations were started and the first general manger was named.

The Men’s Golf Association was established in 1992 with about 65 members and two years later the Ladies Tennis Association was launched. Both are designed to encourage members to enjoy the game.

In summer 2004,  major construction began on a new clubhouse, with its grand opening in fall 2005.

In 2007-8 and 2008-9, Golf Digest Magazine rated DWCC as one of the “Best Places to Play” in North Carolina.

The Men’s Tennis Association was founded in fall 2009, and aimed to encourage the game and to support the club’s tennis program. The initial group included about 20 players.

That same year, the PGA of America and U.S. Kids named the club an “official PGA Family Golf Course.”

In 2015, “Wedding Wire,” an international online wedding industry marketplace, DWCC was selected, among thousands, as one of the top 20 venues, by the 2015 Editors Picks awards for the Best Country Clubs.

That same year, Southern Weddings website, partner of Southern Living magazine, gave the coveted regional wedding honor as Blue Ribbon Vendor to the club.

An array of improvements have been made during the last few years in order to enhance the enjoyment for both members and guests alike. These include a putting green, pitching green, fire pit outside the golf pro shop, bocce court, and pickle ball court.

Additionally, Duck Woods gives back to the Outer Banks community. This includes hosting golf and tennis tournaments that benefit area nonprofits, loaning property to a learning center at an local elementary school, conducting blood drives, providing scholarships to area youth and adults, volunteering at and providing needed items to local charities, collecting toys and other gifts for children at Christmas, offering learning opportunities to youth, donating golf and tennis passes for worthy causes, plus more.

For more information about the club or membership, contact Patrick O’Keefe, general manager, at 261-2744 or by e-mail at [email protected]

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