Check any golfer’s bucket list and odds are good that Pinehurst, specifically Pinehurst No. 2, will be at or near the top of “Golf Courses I Must Play.”
Pinehurst No. 2 is the best known of eight golf courses at Pinehurst Resort and Country Club in North Carolina’s Village of Pinehurst, about 100 miles east of Charlotte and 70 miles south of Raleigh.
Golfers seem to never tire of the course Donald Ross laid out in 1936. Recent evidence of its enduring popularity is the U.S. Golf Association’s decision to hold the men’s and women’s U.S. Opens on Pinehurst No. 2 next summer.
A number of major championships, including men’s U.S. Opens, have been held on the course, but this time the men’s and women’s championships will be held back to back on the same course, a first.
Pinehurst Resort and the region are well suited to playing host. Pinehurst Resort has three hotels, including the 230-room Carolina and the original inn, the AAA Four-Diamond the Holly. The resort’s 55,000 square feet of meeting space will also serve the tournaments’ needs.
And, although Pinehurst is the area’s best-known resort, it is far from the only place to stay and to play golf in the area. There are more than 2,600 guest rooms, including 12 meeting properties.
Within a 15-minute radius, 43 golf courses punctuate the Sandhills, ancient beach dunes that mark the start of the Carolinas’ coastal plains.
Those courses include a number of private ones that book group play through golf package companies.
Among other noted golf resorts is the National Golf Club, home to the area’s only Jack Nicklaus-design course. Its villas, boardroom and ballroom are suited to small meetings. Pine Needles, where the women’s U.S. Open has been played many times, is known for its classic Donald Ross course. Guests there stay in rustic-style two- and four-story lodges.
A newer addition to the golf landscape is Tulamore Golf Resort. Between its villas and lodges, the resort has 200 rooms. Its public course is a Rees Jones design; its private Arnold Palmer-design course was rated the area’s No. 1 private course.