Any golfer who’s been to the Pinehurst area of North Carolina will be familiar with the stately look of the Carolina Hotel and the fabulous clubhouse that is the centrepiece of the Pinehurst Resort’s nine memorable golf courses. When the word Pinehurst comes up this is the image for most people. This, despite the fact that there are literally dozens of other golf courses in the surrounding Sandhills region.
This is not to diminish the Pinehurst Resort, after all, without it is hard to say if and when the golfers in the world would eventually discover the attractive turf of the region that is so suitable for pursuing the grand old game. Without Richard Tufts and his vision as founder of the Pinehurst Resort there might never have been a proclamation of the place as the home of American golf.
True golf fans could make a trek to the resort and its courses at least once in their golfing life but at the same time the other layouts in the area deserve their fair share of attention. Ideally a trip to the Sandhills region would blend a taste of both the Pinehurst resort and a number of other properties within a close proximity. That, my friends, creates one of the best landlocked golf trips you could ever possibly have.
Within a fifteen mile radius there are some forty golf courses in the Sandhills make the region centred in Pinehurst, Southern Pines, and Aberdeen.
You read that right, forty.
Top golf architects like Donald Ross, Bill Coore/Ben Crenshaw, Jack Nicklaus, Mike Strantz, Dan Maples, and Tom Fazio are among those well represented here in this convenient location.
For a single home base you take enjoy a sampling of the some of the best that the game has to offer.
The great part of that you can take advantage of them all year-long; Pinehurst is a four-season stop for golfers and Canadians will love the deals available in the shoulder
Adding to the attraction are great lodging and dining options, from quaint, historic inns, to bed and breakfasts, modern hotels and a favourite for golf buddy trips – rental condominiums and homes of all sizes.
Sure, you can dine in but why bother when there are countless hotels, local pubs, restaurants, and even breweries where you can enjoy a meal and a beverage. And this is not pre-packaged national chain fare – top quality eateries abound. “Many of the local, independently owned restaurants use local sourcing for their products,” says Claire Berggren, director of marketing for the Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen-area Convention and Visitors Bureau. “This is very popular for ‘foodies.”
I’d be remiss not to include the names of few favourites spots in the regions, noting that after multiple journeys I seem to add to the list each time I visit.
On the golf front, Pinehurst Resorts #2, #4, and #8 come to mind but equally attractive are The Dormie Club, Mid-Pines, Legacy Golf Links, Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club, Tobacco Road, Talamore, and the courses at Pinewild Golf & Country Club.
I could go on and on; it’s that good with 23 local course receiving regular four star rankings in national publications.
For groups you might want to consider setting up camp at a place like Little River Resort in Carthage. Not only do they have their own high-quality layout on-site but their packages are inclusive of many other local properties. It’s a theme carried over to many other spots with the entire golfing community typically working together to promote one of their greatest resources – golf.
In between meals, golf, and a beverage of two, be sure to wander the street of the well-planned and historic Pinehurst Village. Here you will find great shops, many golf themed, and residents that welcome visitors with endless charm and open arms.
If you fancy golf history that stop by the local library and see the Tufts Archives containing all you’ll ever need to know about Donald Ross, the giant of golf architecture who made this place his home and guided it on to the road of becoming the Home of American Golf.
The Pinehurst Region is more than just a golf course that hosted both the Men’s and Women’s 2014 United States Open Championships in 2014.
It is a wide ranging golf destination with history at its heart and golf always on its mind.
Convention & Visitors Bureau
Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen Area
10677 Hwy 15-501
Southern Pines, NC 28388
/ Scott MacLeod @Flagstick