Pinehurst Resort - No. 1 Golf CourseDESTINATION GUIDE

Pinehurst oozes history, Carolina charm and world class Sandhills golf

Pinehurst Resort's walls and trophy cases are filled with more than 100 years of memories and memorabilia. Indeed, one can easily argue the idea of a golf vacation destination began here, amid the Carolina Sandhills, when James Walker Tufts bought the land that now represents a large slice of American golf history.

Pinehurst No. 2 - Hole 5Famed architect Donald Ross served as the golf professional here, and his Pinehurst No. 2, long considered a masterpiece, has attracted golf pilgrims from around the globe for more than a century. Since then, modern architects Tom Fazio, Rees Jones and Ellis Maples have contributed signature designs as the resort expanded to eight Pinehurst Resort golf courses.

The excellence extends off the course to the new 31,000 square foot spa, which has received the prestigious Mobil four-star rating. Even the daily breakfast buffet in the elegant Carolina Dining Room carries a special aura about it, a vibe you can feel throughout the area.

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Outside of the resort, head down Midland Road for a sample platter of courses by Ross, Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer. This seven-mile or so stretch of tree-lined, four-lane blacktop ranks as one of the great golf drives and features some of these architects' finest work.

How about this troika of American golf course design, all located within a mile of each other?

Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club - No. 1Ross effortlessly takes you around Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club, where his classic crowned greens await around every dogleg.

Nicklaus makes you play a cerebral, skillful game at National Golf Club, although this course demands some of the Golden Bear's power, too.

Palmer applies his muscle at Mid South Club (part of the Talamore Resort), giving you room to bomb away off the tee but setting up risk/reward shots worthy of the King himself.

Pinehurst-area inns and hotels

Staying at a historic hotel can blend a nostalgic aura into any visit to a golf destination, and the Village of Pinehurst offers four of the grandest experiences.

Mid South ClubThe Magnolia Inn dates to 1896, or one year after Tufts bought the land that became Pinehurst for $1.25 an acre.

The Pine Crest Inn was owned by Ross for more than a quarter century until his death in 1948. Both landmarks boast fine restaurants and pubs favored by locals as well as travelers.

Ditto for the nearby Holly Inn, which opened on New Year's Eve, 1895, and is registered as a National Historic Landmark; and the Carolina, which opened in 1901 and has been nicknamed the White House of Golf.

Any opinions expressed above are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of the management. The information in this story was accurate at the time of publication. All contact information, directions and prices should be confirmed directly with the golf course or resort before making reservations and/or travel plans.

More on Pinehurst-area golf:

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