Earlier than there was Bandon Dunes, Streamsong, or Cabot Hyperlinks, there was Pinehurst. It’s North America’s OG golf resort. Gamers have been flocking to the Sandhills of North Carolina since 1897. At this time, Pinehurst boasts 9 18 gap golf programs, plus a 9 gap quick course. The crown jewel, Donald Ross’s masterwork No. 2, is motive sufficient to get on a airplane. However there’s really a lot golf right here it’s value spending a while down in Tar Heel country. Whereas 10 programs in 4 days could be a Sisyphean job, a protracted weekend is the proper introduction to golf at Pinehurst—plus you possibly can at all times come again.
Pinehurst Village is a scant hour and 20 minutes from Raleigh Worldwide airport and about two hours from Charlotte, so guests have a number of choices for flights. The Pinehurst Resort presents a shuttle for company from the Raleigh airport for $100 every method per particular person, so a rental automotive isn’t required—however if you happen to’re eager to get off the property, we’d advocate one as Lyft and Uber are non-existent. Whereas there are cabs, they are often each costly and onerous to return by.
The place to Keep
The Pinehurst Resort presents a number of choices for lodging. The Carolina Hotel is well essentially the most handy place to remain. Its entrance door is a brief stroll (or a fast shuttle trip) to the primary membership home and about 5 minutes on foot to the middle of the Village. It’s bought a fancy Previous World vibe and stately visitor rooms, and breakfast is simply off the foyer.
The Holly Inn dates again to 1895 and is the oldest resort on property. The lately renovated Manor options the resort’s finest whiskey bar—excellent for a tipple earlier than mattress. And bigger teams can elect to remain on the Carolina Villas, which function visitor rooms linked to a shared dwelling area.
Gamers who would favor to remain off property even have some good choices, however gained’t have the ability to pre-book tee occasions on Pinehurst Programs. The Lodge at Pine Needles is just a few minutes away and is itself a stellar golf resort. There are additionally choices from Marriott, Wyndham, and Vacation Inn for vacationers who wish to earn or burn factors.
The place to Eat and Drink
It’s value noting that Pinehurst presents a number of packages, and a few of them embody meals (minus drinks). Listed below are some fashionable locations to gasoline up and wind down earlier than and after a day on the inexperienced.
The Carolina Dining Room (within the Carolina Resort) contains a substantial breakfast buffet with a great deal of choices, candy and savory. However don’t sleep on the selfmade biscuits and gravy. Professional tip: Throw a few freshly fried eggs and a few sizzling sauce on prime.
Down within the Village, the Agora Bakery and Cafe, which occupies an outdated financial institution, makes a tasty cappuccino; a decadent bacon egg and cheese on a buttery biscuit; and Elvis Toast with peanut butter, banana, honey, plus bacon.
For extra diner-style fare, The Villager Deli presents tasty concoctions your physician might not advocate (however we do). Certainly one of our favorites, the Pinehurst #6 (aka, the Porky Pegg Sandwich) with eggs, bacon, sausage, ham, lettuce, tomato, cheddar, and mayo on toast.
You’ll probably choose up the mid-day meal from one of many midway homes on the course. The hen salad in a cup is pleasant, however you probably have a little bit of time between rounds, seize a desk outdoors at The Deuce so you possibly can watch gamers hit into 18 and end their spherical on No. 2 whilst you scarf down a burger and tater tots.
Between the resort and the neighboring space, eating choices at Pinehurst are much more plentiful than golf programs.
The Pinehurst Brewery, as you’d anticipate from the identify, is a brew pub with a big collection of craft beers. The 1895 Lager is well essentially the most drinkable—and also you’ll discover a canned model on the golf programs. The stout is darkish and wealthy in taste whereas the blonde ale is crisp, tart, and goes down slightly too straightforward. For meals, the Brewery largely serves pizzas and slow-and-low cooked barbecue. In the event you’re there on a Monday or Tuesday, ribs are on the menu—they usually’re legit.
The Tavern is one other stable resort possibility with old-timey appeal contained in the Holly Inn. Their pub-style fare is consolation meals finished proper. The hen fried hen with smashed potatoes, collard greens, and black pepper gravy is one other one that may draw the ire of your heart specialist, nevertheless it’s constituted of a secret recipe. (You’re on trip, in spite of everything.)
For a basic Italian menu, vacationers will wish to hit up the off-resort Villaggio Ristorante and Bar. An enormous bowl of house-made pasta in a wealthy carbonara sauce is a good way to tank up after 36 holes. For gamers who need a refined farm-to-table eating expertise, Elliotts on Linden creates stunning plates utilizing contemporary, native substances. These in the hunt for one thing critically carnivorous ought to head again to the Carolina Eating Room for a 12-ounce ribeye or steak Diane.
Day 1: Pinehurst No. 4
Attempt to land as early as you possibly can so you may get to the resort for a warmup. You’ll wish to spend a minimum of half your apply session on the quick sport space. Chipping and pitching is completely different right here; the tight lies and sandy soil might not agree with the bounce loft combos in your wedges. Some locals and caddies advocate attempting to determine the right way to chip with an 8 iron and others with a hybrid. It actually comes all the way down to what’s comfy. You’ll wish to really feel at peace across the greens earlier than you tee off.
On Pinehurst No. 4, you’ll discover broad fairways which might be straightforward to hit even if you happen to aren’t driving the ball significantly properly. The check right here on Gil Hanse and Jim Wagner’s 2019 renovation is on the second and third photographs. Lots of the greens are formed to forestall all however high quality iron photographs from holding the placing floor. Even if you happen to discover the inexperienced in regulation, putts could be lightning quick and onerous to learn. The important thing to enjoying properly right here (and almost each course within the space) is to deeply contemplate the slope and grain earlier than you hit the strategy, because the contours can information the ball each towards and away from the outlet.
In the event you’ve nonetheless bought some fuel left within the tank and some hours of daylight to burn, pop into the professional store, and see if they will get you out for an emergency 9.
Day 2: Pinehurst No. 2 and The Cradle
Pinehurst No. 2 is the rationale you’re right here. The Donald Ross masterpiece is beautiful, framed by large pines and epic sand. The course has hosted a slew of main and USGA championships and is now an ‘anchor web site’ within the rotation of U.S. Open venues for 2029, 2035, 2041, and 2047.
It’s a check with not simply enamel however fangs. Positive, there are just a few spots the place out of bounds come into play and just one water hazard on the course—so that you gained’t lose many balls—however the hazard is the place you discover them. Huge sandy waste areas with wispy pockets of native grass make enjoying from anyplace however the fairway problematic.
After which there are the greens. Ross, who was born in Dornoch, Scotland—residence to Royal Dornoch, one in every of our favourite programs on the planet—constructed inexperienced complexes on No. 2 that demand precision. They’re all slick, grainy, and troublesome to learn. Many function a turtle again form with edges that may fling your ball 20 yards away. Neglect concerning the flags, and simply fireplace for the center of every inexperienced and attempt to make a long-ish putt. However don’t get too aggressive with the flat stick, particularly once you’re downhill and down grain, in any other case you would possibly want one other membership for the following shot.
After your spherical and a hearty lunch on the Deuce—the place you possibly can watch others play into the 18th on No. 2—deal with your self to a therapeutic massage if you happen to’ve bought time, then seize a beverage and saunter off to The Cradle. It’s a 9 gap quick course designed by Gil Hanse that’s excellent for settling or making new bets. You gained’t want rather more than a wedge for the longest tee shot, besides it’s a problem to stay it shut.
Day 3: Pinehurst No. 8 and Pinehurst No. 6
Tom Fazio designed Pinehurst No. 8 for Pinehurst’s a centesimal birthday. It’s a fantastic resort course that rolls up and down the hills and thru wetlands. Not like a lot of the programs at Pinehurst, there are some photographs that require a carry over water, just like the beautiful 14th gap. Gamers can chew off as a lot as they will chew over the marsh to a fairway that doglegs virtually 45 levels from the tee.
After lunch, head over to Pinehurst No. 6—one other Tom Fazio monitor (he labored on this one along with his uncle George Fazio). The course, specified by 1975, is a favourite of many native members (sure, you possibly can be part of Pinehurst) and is a little bit of a sleeper with company. There aren’t as many expansive waste areas, however there are a number of water hazards, some robust canine legs, and an excellent assortment of par threes to check your mid irons.
After your first spherical at Pinehurst No. 2, likelihood is you’ll be hankering for revenge. Don’t wait to your subsequent journey. Carpe diem!
In the event you’ve booked a late flight, as we advocate you do, on the way in which to the airport, it is best to have time to cease and play Tobacco Road. It’s radically completely different from anything you’ve performed within the space. Designed by Mike Stranz, it’s daring and in your face with as a lot visible intimidation as we’ve ever seen. The course options a great deal of blind photographs and insane bunkering coupled with waste areas that additionally function cart paths. However on the opposite facet you’ll discover broad fairways with loads of area for imperfect photographs and a few really wonderful inexperienced complexes. Equally intimidating is the spicy pimento cheese canine, however we’d advocate you’re taking that on as properly.
Need to Keep Longer?
In the event you’ve bought the time, the Sandhills have the programs. There are nonetheless 5 extra programs at Pinehurst together with No. 1, which began all of it.
The aforementioned trio of tracks, Pine Needles, which is able to host the 2022 U.S. Women’s Open, Mid Pines and Southern Pines are all unique Donald Ross spectacular designs, and properly value their very own journey.
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