Virginia Golfer Sep / Oct 2017 - Page 35

THE MERE MENTION OF PINEHURST brings to mind visions of longleaf pines swaying in the breeze, slightly rolling sandy terrain sprinkled with oversized pinecones and pine straw, and quality golf, far and wide. For neighboring Virginians, the golf mecca of Pinehurst, Southern Pines and Aberdeen is just a short drive away and well worth a few hours on the highway to stroll some of the most respected fairways in the world. In fact, there are 40 championship courses here in this North Carolina destination called the “Home of American Golf.” “The Pinehurst, Southern Pines and Aberdeen area of North Carolina is historically a golf destination and has been for over 100 years,” said Claire Berggren, director of marketing for the area’s convention and visitor’s bureau. FINE NINE Pinehurst No. 2 pictured below, no doubt, is the crown jewel of all courses in this region of the North Carolina Sandhills. It hosted both the 2014 U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open in con- secutive championships that show- cased the return of nearly 35 acres of previously manicured turf to native wire grasses, hardpan and natural bun- ker edging as originally intended by legendary designer Donald Ross. If you are skilled enough to play from the tips, this par-70 masterpiece stretches 7,565 yards. The course is renowned for its undulating and crowned greens, and a layout that is designed to offer strategic choices. A big part of the experience in playing No. 2 is utilizing the knowledge of pro- fessional caddies, either with a forecad- die for your foursome or your own personal caddie. And if your game needs more gener- ous fairways, less punitive greens and less strategy than what is required by No. 2 or even the Jack Nicklaus-de- signed Pinehurst No. 9, try No. 3, the shortest Ross course (5,722 yards) that features classic design and small elevated greens. A total of nine Pine- hurst courses (800-ITSGOLF) crafted by Ross, Tom Fazio, Ellis Maples, Rees Jones and Nicklaus offer outstanding golf for every player. S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 17 | V I R G I N I A G O L F E R 33