My Article – Reprinted from Golf Scene Magazine Fall 2011 Edition
When it’s too cold to play golf where you live, it’s time to make the pilgrimage to one of the best in the U.S. – the often overlooked Pinehurst. The adjacent areas of Pinehurst, Southern Pines, and Aberdeen, North Carolina are recognized by Golf Digest as one of the top three golfing destinations in the world.
Pinehurst is a tiny village in North Carolina surrounded by numerous small towns and more than 30 golf courses within 30 miles. Attention family man! This is not a family vacation with some golf. There is almost nothing to do in the Pinehurst area except play golf. But it’s great golf. And the fall is the perfect time to play. As is springtime. (Summer is really, really hot- and humid). Fly to Raleigh, rent a car and get a stay/play package which gives you several course choices. Here are some of the best:
Pinehurst: The Resort itself has eight golf courses, three hotels, a spa and extensive sports and leisure facilities. The first course was laid out in 1897 and the famous Pinehurst No.2 was completed in 1907 by Donald Ross. Pinehurst has hosted all 5 USGA major championships and will again host the U.S. Open in 2014. You can’t go wrong staying and playing at Pinehurst.
Talamore Golf Resort, Southern Pines: 36 Championship Holes designed by Arnold Palmer and Rees Jones and winner of multiple awards and national recognition since opening in 1991. Talamore was also made famous by instituting the first llama caddy program- seriously! Like Pinehurst, you can stay at the resort in Villas and enjoy great golf.
Tobacco Road Golf Club, Sandhills: Rated #4 in the Top 5o public courses to play in the U.S. last year. Playing at a length of 6500 yards from the Ripper tees, Mike Strantz designed Tobacco Road was rated as high as second in slope in the Carolinas to the famed Ocean Course at Kiawah Island.
Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club, Sandhills: This 1928 Donald Ross design gets high marks for the Pinehurst feel. Updated in 2004, it now measures 7,000 yards and was used by several PGA players as a tune up course (including Tiger) for the last U.S. Open at Pinehurst. Pristine and a must play.
Southern Pines Golf Club, Southern Pines: If you are looking for a second round on any day, try this forgotten Donald Ross course. Challenging Ross greens and with afternoon rates of $40, you can’t go wrong (call ahead and you might get a lower rate).
Pinehurst and area has to be on the golf “bucket list”!
Mark Crone is Owner of Uniglobe Graham’s/Normark Travel Inc. in Toronto. And avid worldwide golfer!