Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen Area Golf
Gotta' Golf At Pinehurst
Pinehurst Resort is located in North Carolina's Sandhills Region, approximately one-hour southwest of Raleigh and two hours east of Charlotte. The resort was the vision of Boston businessman James Tufts. He spent $1 per acre for approximately 6,000 acres of scrub pine property in 1895 with the idea of creating a winter retreat with spa facilities.
Golf, surprisingly, was introduced to Pinehurst in the late 1890s almost as an afterthought. The Scottish game was in its infancy in the United States at the time. Tufts saw his guests hitting their own small white balls in a cow pasture and decided it was time to create nine holes as an additional diversion. The game's popularity exploded. An additional nine holes were added, world golf champion Harry Vardon played an exhibition on Pinehurst's course, and, in a move that ensured Pinehurst's future reputation, golf pro Donald Ross was hired.
Ross was a budding course architect and Pinehurst provided some of his initial design palettes. He called Pinehurst home for almost 50 years, went on to design approximately 400 courses and is considered by many as the game's greatest course architect.
Pinehurst now features 144 golf holes in its portfolio of eight championship courses. Along with the esteemed Ross, course architects on Pinehurst's No. 1 through No. 8 courses include other notable designers such as Tom Fazio, Ellis Maples and Rees Jones.
It has been a glorious run for Pinehurst No. 2. The jewel of North Carolina's championship golf courses hosted the U.S. Open in 1999 – who could forget the late Payne Stewart's fist-pump celebration after his winning putt – and again in 2005. Maintaining its string of success, Pinehurst No. 2 is slated to host both the men's and women's U.S. Open Championships on consecutive weeks in 2014.
Pinehurst's lengthy resume includes hosting the international Ryder Cup matches. The Tour Championship and the PGA Championship have been played in Pinehurst. Numerous amateur championships, most notably the prestigious North & South Men's Amateur, have been hosted at Pinehurst for more than a century. Venerable No. 2, along with layouts such as The Old Course at St. Andrews and Pebble Beach, has earned its place among the pantheon of golf's most revered and accessible courses.
The game's greatest players – Vardon, Jones, Didrikson, Hogan, Snead, Palmer, Nicklaus, and Woods among them – have all strolled the fairways of Pinehurst No. 2 in its history. But in addition to the accomplished golfers, this tradition–rich resort course has also entertained countless numbers of overmatched beginners and high-handicap players willing to test their games while soaking in Pinehurst's history.
The 7,335-yard, par-72 Pinehurst No. 2 course is a layout available to every golfer. And it is one that every recreational player should add to their wish list. Pinehurst annually ranks among the world's top golf destinations by publications such as Conde Nast Traveler and Golf Magazine.
While the golfing experience at Pinehurst is almost unparalleled worldwide, there is much more to experience when not on the course. There are 24 tennis courts staffed with three full-time professionals. Pinehurst has hosted both the U.S. Croquet Championship and the World Lawn Bowling Championship. Guests can pamper themselves at The Spa at Pinehurst, a 31,000-square-foot facility with steam rooms, saunas, whirlpools and 28 treatment rooms for massages and other body treatments.
Accommodations include The Carolina, a Mobil Four-Star and AAA Four Diamond hotel on the National Register of Historic Places. It features 244 newly renovated guest rooms and a Presidential Suite.
The Village of Pinehurst, a short stroll from The Carolina, offers boutique shops, dining opportunities and a nightlife scene. The Tavern is an authentic recreation of a 19th century Scottish pub with an antique bar that was hand carved in 1880. For more information, including packages and reservations, visit the website.
By Patrick Jones
By Patrick Jones
added: December 22, 2010
updated: January 3, 2011