Focus On: Pinehurst, Southern Pines & Aberdeen
The Pinehurst area boasts 43 golf courses within a 15-mile radius including eight at Pinehurst Resort
Ellis Maples' Country Club of Whispering Pines
Statues of two Pinehurst institutions: Donald Ross and Richard Tufts.
Donald Ross' Mid
Consistently rated one of America's best golf resorts, Pinehurst is home to eight championship courses including No. 2, site of the 2005 and 2014 U.S. Opens. The Donald Ross design, famous for its so-called "turtleback" greens, recently celebrated its 100th birthday and has never been better. Last year, along with the No. 4 course, it hosted the men's U.S. Amateur Championships. But there's more to Pinehurst Resort than No. 2. Eight courses can be found on the property of this luxurious resort, nestled in the North Carolina sandhills. If you're a serious golfer, you must visit Pinehurst in your lifetime.
Pine Needles/Mid Pines
Pine Needles, another classic Donald Ross design, is regularly ranked among North Carolina's best courses and is in prime condition after undergoing a 2005 renovation. Spearheaded by John Fought, the refurbishment restored the greens and their surroundings to Ross' original vision. The course hosted the 2007 U.S. Women's Open. Opened in 1921, Mid Pines, another Donald Ross layout, is hillier and shorter than Pine Needles. Still, it requires golfers to think, while being more accommodating to the recreational player.
Tobacco Road Golf Club
Measuring only 6,500 yards from its "Ripper" tees, it'd be easy to think Mike Strantz' Tobacco Road is just a walk in the park. In reality, it's more like a trek through a quarry. From the first hole, which demands your drive split two massive sand dunes, to a long forced carry over a waste bunker on your 18th tee shot, Tobacco Road is as unique a golf experience as the maverick who designed it.
While this Rees Jones design may get a lot of press for its llama caddie program, (yes, llamas) it shouldn't overshadow the quality of the golf course. After all, Talamore was designed by the man responsible for getting U.S. Open courses in peak condition.
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