What and where?
Pinehurst Resort is nestled in the North Carolina Sandhills. Known as the “Cradle of American Golf”. Consisting of 9 of the most beautiful courses in the south, if not the nation. The easiest way to get there is flying into Raleigh-Durham. Upon arrival, you can rent a vehicle or have the resort send a shuttle for you/your group. This was the option we chose. Shuttle prices may vary, but probably expect to spend $100 one way (with tip). Our driver was a nice man and filled us in on some local knowledge along the way. The trip is a little over an hour. If i had to do it over, I’d take the shuttle again. Once you reach the resort, there is little or no need for your own vehicle. You simply take one of the many shuttles to whichever course you are playing, and your clubs will be there waiting. Also, walking to any of the restaurants is a breeze.
Food and accommodations
Well, I didn’t go to Pinehurst for either. Our hotel, called the Manor Inn, was one of three on the property. Sort of a sportsman’s lodge feel to it. Our room was quaint, clean and charming. Not something I’d call “5 star”, but certainly functional. And the A/C worked great, which was welcomed because we were there in August. There are also condos that you can rent. Unfortunately, I can’t comment on the spa. I have little doubt it’s fantastic though. Everything there has a touch of class.
The food? Outta this world! Our trip package consisted of lodging, 4 rounds of golf in 3 days, including the famed #2 course. Also included were breakfast and dinner each night. Booze however, was a la carte. Every meal we ate was as good or better than the one before. The breakfast was buffet style, and any and every type of breakfast item was on it. Made to order waffles, fresh fruit and juices, eggs, bacon…..you get the idea. And all top notch. Dinner was at any one of the 8 restaurants on property. Anything from a classy steakhouse to a burger and fries sports bar. Pretty much something for everyone’s appetite.
Heart of the matter
What to say about the golf that hasn’t already been said? If you didn’t already know, all the courses are numbered, not named. No question, each and every course is challenging. Not in the “what am I even doing out here?” way, but certainly difficult. The courses are maintained as well or even better than you might expect. Not a blade of grass out of place. Although we played Nos. 2, 3, 7, and 8, the No.8 course was my personal favorite. Surrounded by trees, lots of hills and majestic views. Though we clearly weren’t the only players on the course, you still got the feeling you were. Just an amazing course to decompress and get away from it all.
It is by far the most well known, as No. 2 has hosted multiple Majors and a Ryder Cup. We got caddies for the round, as it was recommended. For those with physical limitations, carts are available. The caddies were insightful, funny, prophetic, and just outright good guys. Since my bunker play (if you want to call it that) is less than stellar, my poor caddie had LOTS of raking to do. Towards the end of the round I just took the rake away from him when I hit a shot in one of the many bunkers. He’d done (more!) than enough at that point. He fought me about it, but I insisted. I know i shot 98, but I didn’t care. The chance to walk among the legends was something I’ll never forget.
Should you go?
It’s a golfing mecca. You can shop for packages that are actually quite reasonable. We were there in August, which was a bit of a drag. The heat on one day was stifling. But we survived. And I’d be shocked if any in our group didn’t say they had the time of their lives. You’re treated exceptionally well. The place is magnificent, and everything about it is convenient. Wake up, have an amazing breakfast then walk the fairways where legends have been born or made. Have a wonderful dinner, then do it all over again the next day. Who’s in?