Everyone knows business gets done on the golf course, but it also gets done in the conference centers, meeting rooms and restaurants at golf resorts and in clubhouses.
Golf destinations in North Carolina and South Carolina are experiencing an uptick in meeting business as more companies and organizations are once again including golf in their conferences.
Pinehurst, North Carolina
Pinehurst Resort in Pinehurst, North Carolina, is arguably the most famous golf resort in the nation, and it’s one of the oldest. The United States Golf Association was founded in 1894, and Pinehurst was founded the next year. That history makes it a draw for planners who want to capitalize on Pinehurst’s golf heritage.
The Carolina Hotel has more than 61,000 square feet of indoor event space and another 22,000 square feet outdoors. The largest of the hotel’s 20 indoor meeting areas is Carolina Hall, a 14,000-square-foot space with a terrace; that is followed by the 9,600-square-foot Grand Ballroom, which can be split into five smaller spaces.
The 82-room Holly Inn has five meeting rooms ranging from about 400 square feet to nearly 1,100, as well as an outdoor-pool terrace for receptions. Across the resort, the Pinehurst Clubhouse has two ballrooms — the larger one is about 5,200 square feet — that work well for receptions or meals before a round of golf or a shotgun. Groups can also arrange for putting contests, golf lessons, night-light golf or a round of Beat the Pro that pits attendees against Pinehurst professionals.
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Golf initially put South Carolina’s Hilton Head Island on the map back in 1969 when Arnold Palmer won the first Heritage Golf Classic at Harbour Town Golf Links, and “you couldn’t ask for a better person to win the first one,” said Jack Reed, director of sales for Hilton Head Island Visitor and Convention Bureau.
In addition to the Harbour Town course, the Sea Pines Resort’s 36 holes also include the Pete Dye-designed Heron Point course and the Atlantic Dunes by Davis Love III, a complete reconstruction of the resort’s historic Ocean Course. The resort has also invested millions in recent years rebuilding and renovating various facilities. The Harbour Town Clubhouse features wraparound terraces and a 2,200-square-foot ballroom. The new Sea Pines Beach Club has an upstairs 2,000-square-foot event room overlooking the ocean, and the Plantation Golf Club’s 1,900-square-foot Magnolia Room features floor-to-ceiling windows with golf views.
The Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort boasts three golf courses, and the resort has several event venues, including the Dunes House with a deck overlooking the ocean.