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Ironwood Golf and Country Club, home to the Pirates' golf programs, opened in 1996 as the first 18-hole Lee Trevino Signature Golf Course east of the Mississippi River. Winding through 200 acres of wooded terrain, the course reveals its subtle nuances while providing scenic vistas of ancient oaks, ponds, beech trees and native wildlife. the course is part of an 1,100-acre private golf community located nearby the East Carolina University campus.
The strategically placed rolling mound and delicate undulations of the bent grass greens take a step back in time to the designers of the past that knew that game of golf was meant to be enjoyed by players of all skill levels. Five sets of tees are available on every hole, from the shortest red tees at 5,300 yards, to the black ones, which play at a championship length of 7,102.
Trevino's design displays a masterful use of the land, creating a challenging and playable course. Each hole offers marvelous views of the rolling woodlands, the sun's reflection of the quiet waters of the river and tributaries meandering through the course. Ironwood is scenic, with many quality golf holes with several picturesque views. The course's fairways are Bermuda Grass and landing areas are often bordered by trees, water or sand. The greens consist of Kato Crenshaw Bent Grass.
The 14th hole is the most characteristic of the Trevino philosophy of designing a golf hole. A par-4 hole with a double fairway with a water hazard to the right of the left fairway. The Tar River runs parallel along the right of 16th hole, which has two strategically placed ponds and fairways bunkers.
A central feature to the course is an updated version of the a stately 14,000 square-foot southern mansion that serves as the clubhouse. It can accommodate virtually any need with a full service restaurant, men's and women's locker rooms, meeting rooms and numerous other amenities.
The Pirates have a practice facility located at the far end of the driving range. The facility opened in the fall of 2009 and includes a large three-tier teeing ground, 8,000-sguare foot putting green and 5,000 square-foot practice chipping/pitching green with two bunkers.
When the course opened in 1996, Golf Digest selected it as one of the "Top 15 New Golf Courses in America." Since that the course has hosted numerous charity and championship events, including the 2006 Conference USA Women's Championships and the 2010 NCAA Women's East Regional.