The Hidden Gems of Pinehurst, N.C.
By Abby Parsons, PGA
Pinehurst No. 2
Pinehurst, North Carolina, is a golf destination that just about everyone wants to check off their bucket list. The small town has so much to offer, the history, the charm, the infinite pine needles, and of course: the golf. With over 40 golf courses in the county, Pinehurst has a lot of golf to offer, with nine of those courses being at the iconic Pinehurst Resort. And while the Resort isn't exactly hidden at all, it's such a special spot that it's always a must visit when in the Pinehurst area.
But there are also countless hidden gems in the area. It feels as if there is a golf course for just about anyone, and I am here to tell you some of the other must-plays during your time at the land of the pines.
Mid Pines Inn & Golf Club
Mid Pines... This place is special. What I always take away from this golf course is the short game needed to take on this Donald Ross design. The crafty wedge shots a player can use around the greens are not like most courses. If you have a “trusty steed” wedge and type of shot near the putting surface, you can go ahead and put that to the side because you will need much more than that. Not only this, but the golf course feels like a true Pinehurst/Southern Pines experience. The layout, pine needles, and waste areas make it known that you are in the golf mecca of the US. The rates are very reasonable for this course as well, and it is worth a tee time when you are in Moore County.
Seven Lakes Country Club
I could not tell you how many tournaments I played at Seven Lakes, but it was always one of my favorite courses on my calendar of competitions. This place is fun, and it is nice for the wallet. Designed by Peter Tufts III, a godson of Donald Ross, this course sets up for an enjoyable day in Pinehurst. Not only does the course provide great views, but it gives you a chance to play aggressively. The layout is decently open, but bad shots are most definitely not rewarded. This one is not quite in Pinehurst, but it is a short drive to experience the fun that is Seven Lakes Country Club.
Forest Creek Golf Club
This is a private club; however, if you can find your way onto the North or South course at Forest Creek: you are in for a treat. These courses can bring a fun challenge to your Pinehurst trip. Talk about tree-lined fairways, tough fairway bunkers, and tricky greens. These brilliant Fazio designs nestled in Moore County provide classic and characteristic golf experiences. Forest Creek is one of those places where you feel like you cannot experience an unkept lie. If you can, try your best to tee it up at Forest Creek Golf Club.
Pinewild Country Club
I grew up playing Pinewild’s courses on a regular basis, and I would always beg my dad to take me to the Par 3 course, The Azalea. It is one of the most scenic Par 3 courses you will ever play, and it genuinely feels like a different hole every time; rather, a lot of Par 3 courses are super short and very similar layouts. Not only this, but Pinewild has two outstanding 18-hole courses: The Holly and The Magnolia. The courses have hosted several USGA and PGA qualifying events, and they are both worth a round when you are in town. Pinewild is a great Pinehurst experience, and it is a worthy spot to bring your family to check out the Azalea.
If you are looking to do more than just golf when you are in town, make sure to walk around downtown Pinehurst. It feels like you are going back in time. The Village Deli, the old irish pubs, and brick walkways add so much charm to your experience. When you are done with this, Southern Pines is not too far away and there are many more great food options in DTSP, which is what the locals call “DownTown Southern Pines”, as well as awesome shopping and other activities.
Pinehurst is a gem of its own, but the variety of courses and experiences it provides to its guests is unlike any other.