Where in the World is Shanks? Golfing at Pinehurst Resort
Many things come to mind when I think of the Pinehurst Resort. Like most of you, the No. 2 course is probably my very first thought and rightfully so. But having been there several times now, the lasting impression is deeper and more textured. This is a world-class golfing facility steeped in history and oozing with Southern charm. You need not be a VIP to feel pampered in this little slice of heaven.
If you’re a person of normal means like myself, you’re probably saying “Shanks, doesn’t it cost a fortune to stay there?” Well, it’s not cheap although they do have less-expensive alternative plans. If you want immaculate courses and every detail handled with first-rate service, you’ve got to pay for that. For a lot of us regular Joes, it’s not something we’d do all the time. But, oh my God, you owe it to yourself to do this sometimes. One of the best-kept secrets in golf travel is the special Winter package to stay and play the No. 2 course.
Let’s start with checking into the Carolina – that hotel you’ve seen on tv during both of the recent US Opens. After the bellhop gets your bags, you are introduced to the most gentile staff you may ever encounter. It seems like there’s nothing they won’t do for you and in the nicest manner possible. This hotel is packed with history adorning the walls and it is a treat to just stroll and peruse. If you work up a thirst for any particular reason, drop into the Ryder Cup Lounge where you can whet your whistle – or drown it like we did. (Thanks for putting up with us, Susan.) The rooms are good-sized, smartly decorated and immaculate – everything you would want.
Upon waking, we were treated to without-a-doubt the best buffet breakfast on the planet. You just cannot imagine what a treat this is. After making fools of ourselves there, we moved down the street to the majestic clubhouse. If you think the hotel is loaded with history, wait until you get a load of this place. And, of course, it is permeated with the feel of a special place in golf. The staff over there is extremely accommodating as well.
And then there is the No. 2 Course itself. Magnificent. It is the most fun golf course I have ever played. Your imagination will be challenged, perhaps unlike anywhere else in the world. For the most part there is plenty of room off the tee. But the noose tightens as you get nearer the hole. Bunkering always seems to be in the right (or wrong) places. The much ballyhooed crowned greens repel marginal shots, leaving you in chipping areas with a number of options. This course was in very good shape even for Winter conditions. All was overseeded and the greens were at championship speed – in February! They rolled fast and true.
There is not one thing I don’t love about the Resort. Do yourself a favor – just go.
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I'm not sure I agree about #2 being such a fun course. I loved it, but I think I would enjoy it much more if I got another chance to play it. I've been fortunate enough to play Harbour Town, the Ocean Course, Whistling Straits, and Royal St. George's as well, and #2 is near the end of that list in my opinion.
Hit em well.