Springtime In Pinehurst, N.C.
Great golf blooms in the Pinehurst area
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Gene Hamm's Beacon Ridge Golf & Country Club only measures 6,414 yards from the tips, but don't be fooled. You'll need your "A" game there.
Boasting two championship courses that challenge golfers of all levels, Pinewild Country Club is a must-play if you're in the Sandhills region. The Magnolia, designed by Gene Hamm, meanders through longleaf pines and has recently undergone a comprehensive renovation. The Gary Player-designed Holly is a classic "risk/reward" layout. All complemented by beautifully wooded terrain, rolling hills, ponds and streams. Looking for Tour validation? Pinewild has hosted the PGA Tour's Qualifying School and the LPGA's Pinewild Championship.
The Numbers: Par 72, 7,276 yards, 75.6/135 (Magnolia); Par 72, 6,425 yards, 71.1/131 (Holly)
Architects: Gene Hamm (Magnolia); Gary Player (Holly)
Green Fees: $135
More Info: pinewildcc.com, (800) 523-1499
5. Talamore Golf Resort Southern Pines, N.C.
Talamore was named "North Carolina Golf Course of the Year" in both 2002 and 2003, and has been honored with a four and a half star ranking by Golf Digest. 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 "Open Doctor" himself—a man who's known for getting the best courses in peak condition.
The Numbers: Par 71, 6,840 yards, 73/142
Architect: Rees Jones
Green Fees: $99-$119
More Info: talamoregolfresort.com, (800) 552-6292
Best Western Pinehurst Inn
Located on Highway 1 South in Southern Pines, the Best Western Pinehurst Inn boasts a knowledgeable staff, clean rooms and access to Wi-Fi. But what we really like is the special they're currently promoting: From now through May 17, you can spend two nights and play three rounds of golf (at Hyland, Beacon Ridge and Longleaf) for just $272 per person (based on double occupancy). Price includes room, taxes, breakfast, green fees and cart fees. Alternate courses available. For more information, call (910) 692-0640 or visit bestwestern.com.
Talamore Golf Resort
With a wide range of cultural activities in the area, you'll never lack things to do off-course. Like history and museums? Check out the Airborne & Special Operations Museum, the National Railroad Museum and Hall of Fame or the Tufts Archives located in the Given Memorial Library (in the Village of Pinehurst). If outdoor recreation appeals to you, consider the Aloha Safari Zoo, Carolina Horse Park at Five Points (they hold a steeplechase in April) or the Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve. Artistically inclined? There's plenty to do, including the Campbell House Galleries and the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame. For more information, homeofgolf.com.
HOW TO GET THERE
The Pinehurst area enjoys easy access by auto from Interstates 95, 85, 40 and 73/74. Airports include Fayetteville, Raleigh-Durham, Greensboro and Charlotte. The nearby Moore County Airport can handle private aircraft.
Mid-March to Mid-May: What golf is all about. Dogwoods, azaleas in bloom, Carolina blue skies, crisp clean air. Make your reservations well in advance for weekend play. Average highs: 62° to 79°.
Mid-May to Mid-June: Ideal weather with a few hot days mixed in and you'll save money compared to the spring season. Average highs: 70° to 85°.
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