Our golf travel specialist, Robin Couchman, has travelled extensively to the USA playing many of the top golfing venues. Here's Robin's review of the best golf courses in Pinehurst.
Often referred to as America’s home of golf, its no wonder many choose Pinehurst golf holidays for their first golfing trip across the pond. I have been fortunate enough to visit Pinehurst many times over the years. The area is actually known as Sandhills, composing of three villages, Aberdeen, Southern Pines and of course, Pinehurst.
It is a simple destination to get too with direct flights from London into either Raleigh Durham or Charlotte and after just an hour or so, you have arrived at a tranquil golfing piece of heaven. Many of the famous course designers have all managed to get their hands on some land here to produce some excellent layouts that are a joy to play.
We are all familiar with the famous Carolina Hotel with the Pinehurst logo written in the grounds in front, but there are two other properties linked to the Resort at the boutique Holly Inn and the more informal and relaxed Manor Inn. You have to stay on site to play any of the numbered courses from 1-9, which naturally includes the “world famous” Pinehurst No 2 and host to numerous prestigious events. Having played it twice, I can tell you it lives up to all expectations, and the changes to the course made a few years ago have enhanced the playing experience.
There is no more heavy rough, but instead a first cut and then waste and scrub, which means you will more than likely find your ball, but the lie may be tricky! The greens have been commonly referred to as “upturned saucers”, and while they are fast and slopey, with a bit of thought and planning, you soon adjust to the superb conditions of these fantastic greens.
To get the best value out of your trip to this area, then I highly recommend a two-centre stay within the village, either at the well-appointed Springhill Suites or in one of the lodges or condos at Mid South and Talamore. With over 20 courses in the area, you can get to play some fantastic tracks such as Mid Pines, Mid South, Talamore and Legacy, or test yourself at one of my favourites “Tobacco Road”. All of these are highly recommended, and the accommodation is also of the best quality and keeps the cost down to be able to afford the high-light Number 2.
The area of Sandhills is becoming more and more popular for residential living and so with that, comes more restaurants and bars. Even though there is that lovely village feel with many residents driving around from their homes to the course or shops in their golf carts, it is still possible for those that want it, to find the livelier atmosphere and mix with the locals.