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Monday, October 11, 2010

Pinehurst - Great town, Great golf

No town in America says "Golf" quite like Pinehurst in North Carolina. About 4 1/2 hours from Washington D.C it is a must for any serious golfer. A group of us have just returned from playing in and around Golf Town, USA.
If you are looking for the best deal in town stay at the Pine Crest Inn. Once owned by renowned golf architect Donald Ross it is a haven for all things golf. The bar is frequented by locals and gets pretty rowdy on a Saturday night, but that's all part of the fun of the place. The old tradition of chipping into the fireplace continues, albeit with a new astroturf version to preserve the picture above the fireplace that was regularly in need of reframing.
Breakfast and dinner are included in the golfers package and represent incredible value, particularly when compared to the overpriced and understaffed Pinehurst Resort that sits 500 yards away. The Pine Crest's Pork Chop is the stuff of legend. Right up there with the hamburger at The Tap Room at Pebble Beach (in CA), the milkshakes at Castle Pines (in CO) and the meat loaf at Mckee's Pub at Bandon (in OR).
We played at 4 courses and the unanimous group vote was

1. Dormie Club - Crenshaw and Coore's latest private club - tough to get on but call everyone you know to try and experience golf as it is meant to be. Exceptional.
2. Pine Needles - Designed by Donald Ross and wonderfully restored by John Fought it is a must play.
3. Tobacco Road - Designed by Mike Strantz it is "Sand Hills golf on LSD" It's crazy, fun, maddening but one of the most enjoyable golf courses you will ever play. I guarantee you have never seen anything like it. Now, if only they could get those rangers to do their job and kick people off who can't play golf. 
4. Mid Pines - Also owned by the Bell family (like Pine Needles) it's clear where the budget is allocated and that's to Needles, not Pines. That said it's a very playable, though somewhat mundane layout and when we played had suffered from the summer of 2010.

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