Where to stay & play on a North Carolina golf trip
North Carolina, in particular Southern Pines, is famous for its large sandy waste areas, towering pine trees and unique courses. This is a must-visit destination for your next golf vacation.
Much like its southern neighbor, North Carolina is a popular hotspot for golfing trips, with some of the most picturesque courses in the world. The state is perhaps best known for Pinehurst, however, the neighbouring town of Southern Pines is possibly the best location for a golf vacation on the east coast.
While Pinehurst rightly takes center stage in the state of North Carolina, there are several local facilities that can provide ample challenges: Tobacco Road being one of them. Designed by Mike Stranz, the land cuts through an old sand quarry and was once tended by tobacco farmers, which makes for an incredibly unique and exciting layout. With rolling terrain, stupendous greens and a mighty challenge, Tobacco Road enhances the North Carolina golfing experience and is one of the state’s leading golf courses.
The award-winning golf course at Pine Needles is the first to be issued the hosting rights of four U.S. Women’s Open Championships – which highlights not only its reputation but its difficulty too. Steeped in rich history, the original design took place by Donald Ross in 1927 (and one of his best creations) before Kyle Franz conducted restoration work in 2017.
Spanning over 7,000 yards in its current state, the difficulty that Ross had envisioned nearly 100 years ago remains resilient today, with rolling hills, strategic fairway bunkering and beautiful, huge pines. Additionally, the on-site lodge, and its 74 guest rooms, offer visiting golfers the perfect place to rest their heads overnight.
The initial idea for the layout was to create a friendly approach that would solely punish poor shots or questionable decisions, but it has quickly established itself as a must-play venue, further highlighted by the hosting of the 2002 USGA Senior Women’s Amateur Championship. As with Pine Needles, the on-site accommodation adds to the charm and quality of the golf here.
Talamore is a golfer’s dream, with two exceptional woodland courses on-site and a selection of two- and three-bedroom villas. Designed by Rees Jones in 1991, The New Course is the older of the two courses (despite what its name suggests), featuring towering pines, wetlands, lakes and wastelands. The second of the two layouts, Mid-South Club, was designed by the late, great Arnold Palmer in 1993. Like its older sibling, Mid-South includes numerous lakes, towering pines, and naturally undulating fairways.
The villas and lodges provide excellent self-catering, providing guests with complete flexibility during their stay. Here, visitors can enjoy well-appointed kitchens, spacious living and dining rooms, and an outdoor area. All in all, Talamore is an exceptional golf facility.
Situated conveniently next to the Talamore Resort and 2 miles from Mid Pines & Pines Needles, the Longleaf Golf Club is a fantastic course to add to your Southern Pines golf trip. Similar to the other courses in the area, Longleaf can be described as a tale of two nines. The front nine is characterized by tree lined fairway with relatively flat lies and sandy waste areas. The back nine has more elevation changes with less trees and more waste areas off the fairways.
The Longleaf property was originally a horse training facility and racetrack from 1948 – 1987 before being converted to a golf course in 1988. Around the course you will find white racetrack fences, rail posts, and steeplechase hedges as an ode to the history of the property.
Located 10 miles away from the Southern Pines area, 7 Lakes Country Club offers golfers a different golf experience than others. The semi-private club is more of your traditional parkland layout with less waste areas and more water hazards. The generous fairways are still tree-lined, but offer wide landing areas and elevation changes in the rolling landscape. Designed by Donald Ross’s godson, Peter Tufts III, 7 Lakes provides all golfers with an pleasant round of golf.
The Country Club at Whispering Pines is a 36-hole facility located 8 miles outside of the Southern Pines area. The two courses, Pines and River Courses, may be situated on the same piece of property, but couldn’t be more different. The Pines Course plays about 500+ yards further than the River Course and was created to emulate a more “inland links” course style.
The generous fairways and Bermuda grass greens (renovated in 2016) will prove a fair challenge to all golfers. The River Course is more of a shot maker’s course, even though it is shorter, strategic golf will lead to low scores. The tree lined fairways, lakes and streams throughout the course make up for the shorter distances and adds to the difficulty of this course.
Director of Product
Director of Product, developing great golf packages and experiences in North America for our customers