Incredible Golf Trip Destinations: Pinehurst Resort
By Chris Lewis
The Cradle (Photo courtesy of Pinehurst Resort)
When golfers first think about Pinehurst Resort, they’ll generally focus on Payne Stewart’s 15-foot putt on Pinehurst No. 2’s 18th hole, which led to his victory at the 1999 U.S. Open. In fact, when they discuss Pinehurst Resort in general, they’ll likely focus on Pinehurst No. 2, first and foremost.
However, there is so much more to the resort than its world-renowned course—eight other courses actually, along with a variety of amenities for golf buddies to enjoy, including several restaurants and accommodations.
“Pinehurst Resort lends itself to a ‘buddy trip’, due to the numerous course layouts it has,” said Eric Alpenfels, PGA, director of golf instruction and the Golf Academy. “Furthermore, the courses have various levels of difficulty, ranging from easier layouts to much more challenging layouts, which even test the skills of professional golfers.”
Pinehurst No. 1 was the resort’s very first course, as it was created before the 20th century, and then remodeled by Donald Ross, who designed the famous No. 2 course (which opened in 1907), as well as the No. 3 course (the shortest course at the resort, which opened in 1910). From there, six other designers were involved with Pinehurst Resort’s six other courses.
In 2018, No. 4 reopened, as it was redesigned by Gil Hanse and served as the site of the 2019 U.S. Amateur (joining No. 2 as the resort’s second host for that championship). Meanwhile, the No. 5 course opened nearly 60 years before that, as it was designed by Ellis Maples, an apprentice of Donald Ross, in 1961.
Eighteen years later, Tom Fazio, along with his uncle George, designed the No. 6 course. The streak of famous designers’ involvement at Pinehurst Resort continued for nearly 20 years, as Rees Jones designed No. 7 in 1986, Tom Fazio designed another course (No. 8) in 1996 and Jack Nicklaus designed the No. 9 course in 1988, two years after claiming his final Masters Tournament triumph.
The golfing options don’t end there though. In addition to each of these challenging, pristine courses, created by some of the greatest golf course architects of all time, the resort has The Cradle, a nine-hole short course designed by Hanse. And it also offers Thistle Dhu, an 18-hole putting course that is free for all resort guests.
“There are also lots of opportunities for stroke play, match play activities and even alternate shot challenges. For example, golfers can enjoy stroke play on No. 4 in the morning and then an alternate shot match on No. 3 in the afternoon,” said Alpenfels, PGA.
Alongside the extensive golfing options, Pinehurst Resort also provides an array of accommodation and dining options. Five accommodations are currently available: Carolina Hotel, which has 230 Four-Diamond guest rooms, including suites; Holly Inn, featuring 82 guest rooms and suites; The Manor, which has recently been renovated; Carolina Villas, which have private, separately keyed rooms; and the Condos at Pinehurst, two- and three-bedroom condos for groups.
A wide assortment of dining options are offered for virtually every taste too. For instance, Carolina Dining Room provides southern gourmet, The Coffee House has several drinks and breakfast options and The 1895 Grille offers a Four-Star dining experience. Guests can also enjoy a brewery and smokehouse (Pinehurst Brewing Co.), fine Italian dining (Villaggio) and bourbon, ryes, Scotch and whiskeys (North & South Bar).
And when they aren’t golfing, visitors can partake in the resort’s lawn sports, play pickleball and tennis, and unwind at its pools.
“Whether golf buddies want to golf as many courses as possible, relax at the resort’s clubhouse, restaurants and bars, or spend time outside participating in other activities, along with golf, Pinehurst Resort truly offers something for everyone,” Alpenfels shares.
Other Courses Near Pinehurst Resort:
- Midland Country Club: Currently the only nine-hole golf course located in Pinehurst, Midland provides golf buddies an affordable option in the area, as it only costs $22 for nine holes with a cart. A sister course, known as Knollwood Fairways, is also available for the public.
- Southern Pines Golf Course: As the third original course ever designed by Donald Ross, Southern Pines has been opened since 1906. Aside from its history, the course is also known for its terrain, as it has several knolls and ridges.
- Talamore Golf Resort: Featuring 36 holes of golf (with layouts by Arnold Palmer and Rees Jones), Talamore offers golfers another resort experience in the Pinehurst area. Aside from its courses, the resort has various accommodations too, including lodges, villas and the Palmer Cottage, which was built for up to eight guests.
- Tobacco Road Golf Club: Boasting a layout unlike any other, Tobacco Road is a must play for any golf architecture fan. Architect Mike Strantz made the most of the unique North Carolina landscape to create a revolutionary design that meets his goal to test “a player’s eye, determination, and wits.”