Updated: Aug 19
In the heart of the North Carolina Sandhills sits America's first Golf Resort, Pinehurst. While it is widely known as the birthplace of Golf in America, James Walker Tufts had originally created Pinehurst as a health resort for the average American. It was believed that the pine scented air was rehabilitative for people with lung disorders. As part of the healing process, walking trails, horseback riding, lawn tennis and croquet were encouraged. In 1897, the first golf course was laid out. It was completed in 1898, making Pinehurst one of the oldest golf courses in the United States. There are nine golf courses including the Donald Ross designed No 2, home to more golf championships than any other course in the United States. Pinehurst offers not only world class golf and all the amenities Tufts dreamed of, including a gorgeous spa, fitness center, and the delightful New England inspired Village with shops, restaurants, museums and a theatre. All this is available with that special southern hospitality that invites you to sit a spell, sip a cold drink and enjoy the pine scented breezes.
There are four on-sites resort accommodations options available at Pinehurst. The Holly Inn is the oldest hotel, built in 1895 with 82 rooms in Queen Anne Revival and Arts & Crafts style. It is located in the charming Pinehurst Village. Also in the Village is the newly renovated Manor Inn with stylish contemporary finishes in this 1923 built hotel. Closer to the golf courses, we stayed in the Carolina Hotel a graceful elegant 230 room hotel with deep wide verandas dotted with rockers that encourage you to slow down and rock a while. There is also a heated swimming pool, luxurious spa and state of the art Fitness Center. For groups, there are the Carolina Villas. Each Villa has four bedrooms and a shared parlor, perfect for family groups and foursomes. Information on Stay & Play or Stay and Spa Packages are available on the Resort Website. Looking for more budget-friendly accommodations, check out Booking.com.
Whichever accommodations you choose, there are special touches like afternoon Cookies and Lemonade, lobby jigsaw puzzles and front porch rockers, encouraging you to slow down and enjoy your Pinehurst Experience.
When you book a stay, you are offered multiple dining options. We did the Breakfast and Dinner option for our 3 day stay. We were able to enjoy the reputed "Best Breakfast Buffet in Golf" at the Carolina Dining Room, each morning.
The Carolina Dining Room was also our choice for an elegant dinner to celebrate our friends wedding anniversary, which is on Valentine's Day.
Also in the Carolina Inn is the Ryder Cup Lounge, serving lunch, dinner and delicious cocktails.
There are a wide variety restaurants in the Village and surrounding area. Our favorite was the Pinehurst Brewing Company, in the restored building that was the original steam power plant for Pinehurst. They added a large outdoor patio where you can enjoy the local brews or a craft cocktail as well as pizza, barbecue and wings. This is a great place to unwind after 18 holes on the links or 3 sets of tennis.
At the Holly Inn, is the Four Star Dining Experience at the 1895 Grille. Their speciality dessert is the Chocolate Soufflé with White Chocolate Sauce. For more casual dining, the Holly Inn has the Tavern with Tiffany Light shades and a Wooden Bar from Scotland.
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The History of Pinehurst
These statues are of the two men who brought the dream of Pinehurst to life. On the left is Donald Ross the visionary and designer of several of the courses at Pinehurst including the famous No 2. On the right is James Walker Tufts who purchased 5000 acres in south central North Carolina with the vision to create a health resort for people of all means. At the heart of this resort, is a New England style Village with inns and cottages for people to stay. In 1898, Tufts hired Dr. Leroy Culver to design the first 9 hole course. Two years later, Tufts hired Scottish golf pro and future course designer, Donald Ross to redesign the now 18 hole No 1 course. Donald Ross went on the design to more of the golf courses at Pinehurst and 100's more around the United States.
One of the greatest moments in Pinehurst's history was the winning putt by Payne Stewart in the 1999 US Open on No 2. This moment was immortalized by a photograph of his jubilance which this statue is modeled after. It is especially poignant because Payne Stewart passed away unexpectedly 4 months after his win.
There are nine golf courses at PineHurst. The most recent course was built in 1999. In the place, where the original 9 Hole Course was constructed is the challenging 18 hole Jack Nicklaus designed Par3, called the Cradle. It is named for the descriptor, Pinehurst the Cradle of American Golf, recognizing all of the tournaments that have been played at Pinehurst in the past 123 years. Looking for some great Woman's Golf Products, check out my Amazon Store and my LiketoKnowit Page.
Pinehurst No 2 is the most famous of all the courses, more championships have been played on this course than any other course in the United States. No 2 is available for any resort guest to play. It is highly recommended that you have a Caddy for this course and No 4. It is also recommended that you channel golf's origins and walk these courses. Carts are allowed on all 8 of the 18 hole courses at Pinehurst, however No 2 and No 4 are cart path only.
No 4 is a 7227 yard, Gil Hanse designed course. It was the home to the 2019 US Amateur Championship. It was Capt.K's favorite. Each course at Pinehurst has its own personality, from the Cathedral Hole on No 5 to the "rolley" terrain and natural wetlands of No 8. Courses 1, 2 and 3 were designed by Donald Ross who loved Pinehurst so much, he made his home there.
The Surrounding Area
The Village of Pinehurst is a great place to explore. Whether you are shopping for new Golf Gear, wanting to enjoy a cup of coffee and some people watching, take a yoga class or enjoy some sushi, there is something for everyone. Further afield, history lovers might enjoy the Fort Bragg Airborne & Special Ops Museum. Art lovers might enjoy some stops on the North Carolina Quilt Trail or the North Carolina Pottery Trail. Information on Pinehurst Village and more are available at the Visitors Center in the Village. Check out their website for more information.
There are Run, Walk and Bike Trails throughout the area. Maps are available from the front desk of all the Hotels. Bikes are available for guests of the resort to use. Whether you are looking for a walk through historic neighborhoods or a walk through the towering pine forests of the area, Pinehurst has trails for it. I hiked the Weymouth Woods Sandhill Nature Trail as well as the Reservoir Park Trails. It is interesting to consider the vision of William Tufts and Donald Ross creating golf courses in the Carolina Pine forests and ancient sandhills.
Whether you are planning a multi-generational family trip or a girls golf getaway, Pinehurst truly has something for everyone. Are you interested in other golf resorts, check out my post about our Couple's Trip to Streamsong.