Where in the world is Shanks? Golfing in Pinehurst!
Nothing could be finer
Than to be in Carolina
In the Moooorning …..
Yes, I know that I’m dating myself with that little ditty, but it sums up my feeling about the Pinehurst area. If there is a better place to play golf in the Eastern U.S., I haven’t been there yet. In a way Pinehurst reminds me of Scotland, in that golf is woven into the fabric of life there. Even those who don’t actually play golf know all about it.
The boys and I left Saturday morning and stopped en route at nearby Keith Hills CC to get in a round just before sunset. The golfing home of Campbell University is about an hour Northeast of Pinehurst and sports two 18-hole championship courses. We played the older of the two, and it is a solid layout. Although the fairway grass was still dormant, the greens were in excellent condition and very fast. Keith Hills represents a nice arrival or get-away choice of course for golfers from the Northeast.
We all struggled at times during our first round of the year but Billy’s injury bedeviled him for the entire trip. However, good trooper that he is, he soldiered on. So we drove the last hour and checked into the Pinehurst Resort for just one night in order to play the world famous No. 2 course. This experience deserves, and will receive, its own separate blog.
The following evening we checked into a villa at Talamore for a couple of days and evenings. These are very nice, spacious accommodations and they border the golf course at Talamore. We drove, literally, just a few minutes into Southern Pines for a great meal at Tripps. The next morning we walked to the Talamore clubhouse for coffee and Cindy at the grill almost had me convinced that I should move into the area. What is it about the people in this area that they are so nice? We’d slipped a few miles down the road to tee off at Legacy, a very fine layout with overseeded fairways. (For those who may be unacquainted with Winter golf, it has a charm of it’s own with green overseeded fairways contrasted by beige, dormant rough.) To our disappointment the greens that had been aerated 10 days prior but had just been re-sanded, which took away from the overall experience. They still rolled fairly well but occasionally we had to figure in the sand effect. Bake was least-pleased of us all.
We stopped into Pine Needles early that evening for a couple of cocktails at what has to be the most comfortable bar on the planet. It reminds me of a ski lodge for golfers. Our bartender Jo-Jo was particularly gracious in dealing with us, as we can be a handful. Ms. Bell was spied strolling about, still in command of her comfy, down-home establishment. From there it was one last stop minutes away at Giovanni’s Pizzeria, where you can get a sure-fire home-made pie. E, the group’s pizza connoisseur, was extremely impressed as was I.
The next morning we played our final round at Talamore which is a marvelous course. These fairways had been overseeded and the greens aerated a week prior but they rolled very well. This course is also a very good challenge and will test every club in your bag. Although I have only played about a dozen courses in the Pinehurst area, this is one of my very favorite.
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