Where life happens at your own pace.


Elk River Club is home to Jack Nicklaus’ first Signature Golf Course in North Carolina where the altitude ranges from 3,450 feet to 4,650 feet. Since it opened in 1984, it has remained one of North Carolina’s Top Ten Golf Courses and one of the most beautiful courses in the state. Nicklaus’ design deliberately integrates with the natural topography and beauty that is characteristic of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The meticulously maintained mountain course winds around the Elk River, shimmering lakes, and tree-lines fairways.

“With relatively wide fairways, the real character lies in the approaches to the fast, undulating greens, which typically run at nearly 12 on the Stimpmeter. The short 13th plays to an elevated, almost blind two-tiered green that gets your attention even with a wedge in your hands. Add a quartet of challenging and beautiful par threes and Elk River is easily one of the best mountain courses in the Southeast.”

“Because of the wonderful views on the golf course, it’s a great golf course to play over and over and over.”


A staff of 20, managed by Josh Smith, begin a daily pre-dawn maintenance program that includes the mowing of 35 acres of fairways, cutting 19 greens, a large practice putting green, 75 tees, and raking 51 bunkers. All of these efforts, along with the members’ dedication to maintaining a pristine golf course, has led to Elk River Club being rated one of the top ten courses in North Carolina.

“This unique property has allowed us to create a truly dynamic golf course with varying golf strategies that are enjoyable for members yet challenging enough for world-class tournament play. I am pleased that Elk River has been ranked among North Carolina’s finest and has played host to the North Carolina Open, as well as a number of charity events.”

– Jack Nicklaus in a 2005 letter
“Elk River is an exceptional golf course. But the best work was accomplished by nature long before I got there.”



Golfers at all levels can fine tune their games at our Learning Center, affectionately named “The Bear’s Den.” Incorporated as part of the practice range, The Bear’s Den houses two hitting bays and the most sophisticated Trackman® measurement and training equipment. Touring pros regularly visit Elk River to receive world-class instruction from staff members led by Director of Golf David Ambrose, a member-focused professional dedicated to improving golf operations by design and execution of professionally run operations. His driving force is to ensure unparalleled customer service, promote rewarding interactions among our membership, and maximize our golfing experience for all members and guests. With a goal of using our Jack Nicklaus signature designed golf course to its fullest potential, David leads a team of PGA Professionals that provide a season full of club-sponsored major and social tournaments for men, women, juniors and couples. He has built his career at country clubs in Florida, Maryland, Tennessee and North Carolina, including Charlotte Country Club, Old Beau in Roaring Gap and Old Chatham in Durham. A Class A PGA member, David is the consummate ambassador for the Elk River Club and the game of golf.