The Home Of American Golf
Nestled in the Sandhills of central North Carolina lies a roughly triangular area encompassing the villages of Southern Pines, Aberdeen and the quaint little walking village of Pinehurst (designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, who also created New York's Central Park) and Pinehurst Resort. The center of Pinehurst-area golf is, and always has been, the Resort’s world-renowned #2 course. Today the area is home to 43 excellent courses and counting. It’s known as the "Home of American Golf."
Steeped in tradition, exuding refinement and genuine Southern hospitality, and with year-round golf weather, the Sandhills area is truly a golf mecca. In addition to Pinehurst Resort's #2, several other courses are among the nation’s elite. The list of leading course designers includes Palmer, Maples, Nicklaus, Player, Jones and Fazio, but the name "Donald Ross" dominates. The legendary Scottish course designer came to Pinehurst in 1900 to redesign the new Resort’s #1, stayed for 48 years and created the Resort’s #s 2, 3 and 4 (significantly updated in 2000 by Tom Fazio and reopened as a new course), as well as the courses at Pine Needles and Mid Pines . In all, Ross designed or redesigned more than 400 others in North America, but considered #2 his home course, calling it "the fairest test of championship golf I have ever designed."
Pinehurst and professional golf have long been synonymous. In 1940 Ben Hogan won his first pro tournament at Pinehurst. Sam Snead, Byron Nelson and Cary Middlecoff won tournaments here. A young Arnold Palmer was a regular at Pinehurst during college days at Wake Forest. And who could forget the 1999 U.S. Open at Pinehurst #2, where an exuberant Payne Stewart, clad in signature traditional knickers and tam-o-shanter cap, won his second Open just months before an untimely death. The Open returns to #2 in 2005. Pine Needles, site of the 1996 U.S. Women's Open, again hosts the tournament in 2006. And Legacy Golf Links hosted the USGA’s 2000 Women's Amateur Public Links Championship. Area courses also host other professional tournaments.
A trip to the Pinehurst area will reward golfers not only with first-rate golf, but experiences and memories that will last a lifetime. Play the area's excellent newer courses, but do include at least one Ross venue on your itinerary and commune with both the spirit of this "holy" game and the spirits of golf’s greats who walked these hallowed fairways before you.
What To Bring
Depending on the season in which you make your trip, the weather can be hot and humid in the Sandhills area or a bit on the chilly side. Pick up some new shirts that are designed to perform in specific weather conditions. For the hot stuff, try one of the many modern shirt models that are capable of wicking away moisture throughout the round to help keep you dry and comfortable. On the sunny days, opt for shirts with a special UV coating, which will help reduce the effects of the sun’s powerful rays. If you visit the Sandhills in cooler weather, definite bring either a vest-style or full-length pullover.