Golfing Pinehurst Area, “America’s Home for Golf”
With Grandsons…enjoying four outstanding courses…
Bayonet, Talamore, Mid-South and Dormie


Story & Photos by: Ed & Fran Stone

Pinehurst, North Carolina has one meaning to my two grandsons, Stone (16) & Dylan (13)…and, to yours truly. It means, “golf.”

Pinehurst, North Carolina has one meaning to my two grandsons, Stone (16) & Dylan (13)…and, to yours truly. It means, “golf.” The area’s Convention and Visitors Bureau uses the brand name of “America’s Home for Golf.” For those of us who enjoy the game and history of the sport, this is a must visit area.

Bayonet at Puppy Creek is one of the area’s more popular public courses offering very reasonable rates.

FYI to our readers, these two young golfers are very good off the tee and through the green. Dylan plays on his middle school’s golf team and scores quite well. Stone hits the ball a ton off the tee and hit a drive from the tee to the green on a Dormie 265 yard, par 4 hole. It is pure pleasure to enjoy a round with these aspiring young golfers.

Our visit to the Pinehurst area was one week after the historic back-to-back U.S. Opens held on the famous Donald Ross’ Pinehurst #2 course that were won by Martin Kaymer and Michelle Wie. After watching most of these two events on television, anticipation had been building for quite some time to visit this area touting more than 40 courses in a 15 mile radius of the Village of Pinehurst. We had checked the Golf Digest ratings and found the 30 courses the magazine rated in the Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen Area (100%) were rated 3-stars or greater. Twenty-three of the courses in the area were rated 4-stars or better (76%)…that told us we were in a celebrated golfing destination.

Homewood offers studio, one- or two-bedroom suites with a separate bedroom and living area featuring a sofa bed and 32-inch LCD HDTVs with premium cable channels.

Our first night’s accommodations was at the Homewood Suites near Pinehurst, overlooking 50 acres of forest. Conveniently located on NC 211 and Highway 5 within Olmsted Village.  This is an all-suite hotel near all the area’s golf courses.

Homewood offers studio, one- or two-bedroom suites with a separate bedroom and living area featuring a sofa bed and 32-inch LCD HDTVs with premium cable channels. You are welcome to prepare your dinner in the fully equipped kitchen with refrigerator, microwave, stove top and utensils.  An extra-nice seasonal outdoor pool and fitness center.  Free access to WiFi and complimentary hot full breakfast is served daily.  Also the complimentary evening drinks are served Monday through Thursday.

Bayonet at Puppy Creek in Raeford was our introduction to the area. This public course was designed by North Carolina native, Willard Byrd. He is the architect of over 100 courses in the Southeastern United States. Some of his more recognized layouts included the Atlanta Country Club (GA), Beech Mountain Club (NC), Dogwood at Country Club of North Carolina and many more, CLICK HERE.

Bayonet at Puppy Creek is one of the area’s more popular public courses offering very reasonable rates. The clubhouse is attractive and well suited for all the golfer’s needs. The rolling fairways are Bermuda and greens are Crenshaw Bent. This course has shot challenges on every hole, i.e. forced carries on at least six to eight hole, depending on your tee position or water to either go over or around. There are no houses or roadways on the course, just natural sand floors, wiregrasses and beautiful forest surrounding almost every hole. We thoroughly enjoyed the Bayonet at Puppy Creek and want to return whenever possible.

Golf Digest ranked Talamore as one of the best five new courses in America the year it opened.

The Resort Course at Talamore designed by Rees Jones is a challenge and delight to play. Both of the boys really began to find their game on this rolling and well-laid out golf course. The Bermuda fairways and bent greens were in perfect condition, although the greens rolled a bit faster than expected. Took a few putts to get accustomed to the speed. Talamore opened in 1991 with world-wide rave reviews not only about the course, but the fact lamas were being used as caddies. Llamas are no longer used as caddies, but three of these native to South America animals can be seen in a small pasture with barn between the 14th green and 15th tee box. Thus the reason the llama is in the logo of the Talamore course. Golf Digest ranked Talamore as one of the best five new courses in America the year it opened. The magazine further gives this par 71, 6,840 yard golf layout a four-star rating and named it the Best New Public Course in the South when it opened. The rankings are most deserving and a “must play” course when visiting the Pinehurst area.

In an interview with Rees Jones, he stated, “This is a position course. Length isn’t going to benefit the long hitter. What I’m trying to do is require thinking. I don’t want to take the driver out of the golfer’s hands, but what I want him to think about is whether he wants to use it. You have to manufacture golf shots and make them happen. Strategy is an important key to a successful round of golf here. My hope is that golfers will enjoy this dimension of the game. Talamore is intended to capture the best of classic golf in the Village of Pinehurst area. The site has a spirit that’s unmistakable: one that allowed for a remarkable diversity of features. There’s a challenge in the course that’s meant to add to the enjoyment of the game. After all, golf is supposed to be fun.”

Mid South Club is part of the Talamore golf group and located a mile or so closer to the Village of Pinehurst. Our accommodations at the Mid South Club overlooked the driving range and practice area of the resort. You literally walk out of your two-bedroom unit to load your golf clubs. Very convenient in every respect. 

Mid South golf course is one of Arnold Palmer’s exceptional best using the natural terrain to deliver an outstanding golf course, making it challenging, yet fun to play.


This is one of Arnold Palmer’s exceptional best. He used the natural terrain to provide the golfer with an outstanding golf course, making it challenging, yet fun to play. Our two grandson’s thoroughly enjoyed Mid South and a favorite for them. When we inquired about special holes for play and photos, the golf staff pointed us to the 14th hole. We understand as this par 4 requires those playing from the tips to have a 225 yard drive to reach the fairway. With sand down most of the fairway, it’s like playing in the desert. Playing from the whites (375) we were able to enjoy the challenge and did not hit any of the sand on this hole…amazing!

Checking with the grand boys on this course, they were now getting into the swing of their game and becoming avid “Arnie” fans when it comes to playing his course designs. They appreciated the nice broad fairways, but the undulating greens require a lot of “reading” or interpreting the contours. Both scored well on Mid South.

The Mid South Lodges are very upscale and offer luxury accommodation packeges for a golf vacation.

The Mid South Lodges are very upscale and offer luxury accommodation packeges for a golf vacation. The development offers 16 high-end luxurious condominiums located next to the clubhouse with views stretching from the #1 fairway all the way across to #9, #18 and the new 19th hole. Our room was one of a 4-unit building with some 1,800 square feet of living space, granite and stainless kitchens, a plasma TV, custom millwork, a huge front porch, welcome fountain and a spiral staircase to our second floor. Other amenities included: full kitchen, spacious living & dining room, two bedrooms with two queen size beds, wireless Internet, pool & cabana, tennis, washer/dryer and two full baths. All units are non-smoking and no pets allowed.

In the early morning mist of North Carolina’s mid-summer air with your two grandsons anxious to be first off the tee on a gorgeous golf course just doesn’t get any better. Dormie Club, designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw is located about 4.8 miles north of the Village of Pinehurst. Stone & Dylan already played three courses most teenage golfers would give up their IPods or Xboxes to play are eager to meet this challenge.

The Dormie Club is different. You can feel the difference when you turn on to the road leading to the clubhouse. The entrance, parking lot and clubhouse are not impressive. The attendant who meets you in the parking lot to load your bags and the PGA golf pro (Dean Allgeyer) in the clubhouse are congenital and impressive. This is what counts. This golf course is right up there with some of the best we’ve played…anywhere.

Dormie is beautiful, challenging and certainly one of our favorites in the Pinehurst area.

Coore & Crenshaw opened Dormie in May of 2010 as a private club. However, until enough members have joined, this impressive layout is open to the public. There are a limited number of homes being built in the development, and I suspect will sell rather quickly. In case you didn’t know, these two gentlemen were in charge of renovating the Pinehurst #2 course for the recent U.S. Open. They did a miraculous job of bringing that course back to the original Donald Ross design as possible.

For Dormie Club, it looks like it could have been built before Donald Ross came to the Tar Heel State back in 1900. This is golf at its best with a natural, minimalist approach to design. Coore & Crenshaw carved and created a course using much of the natural terrain with only 75 acres of turf in the 307 acres on the course.   There are 1,028 acres in the development with a 110 foot change in elevation.

One of the first questions from the grandsons was “What does Dormie mean?” So, we had to go to our smartphones. Dormie is a golfing match play term that means the leading golfer's margin is the same as the number of holes remaining, e.g., 3-up with three holes to play. In others words, the golfer can relax…knowing he is going to win.

Dormie is beautiful, challenging and certainly one of our favorites in the Pinehurst area. There are plenty of natural waste areas but there are no rakes or sand traps and sand bunkers on the course. Thus, you can ground your clubs just about anywhere during the game. Both grandsons commented that Dormie is “all about golf” and was one of their preferred courses to play in the Pinehurst area.

Some background and update on the Pinehurst area:

The Village of Pinehurst is historic with the entire town center on the National Historic Register.  The Village is steeped in Southern harm offering many amenities from The Spa at Pinehurst Resort to exceptional dining, shopping, sports, arts, culture and history. Whether or not you play golf, strolling the streets of the Village of Pinehurst is enjoyable and relaxing. 

The Village of Pinehurst is historic with the entire town center on the National Historic Register.

One of the shops the boys enjoyed was Old Sport & Gallery owned by Tom Stewart, the affable and affectionately call Lord Mayor of Golftown. A chat with Tom and one of his photographer buddies, Robert McNeely who turned out to be the official personal photographer of President Bill Clinton during his term in office truly added a nice touch to the grandson’s visit to America’s Home for Golf. Here you can find just about any kind of memorabilia related to golf…a fun stop. (Read more about Tom Stewart, CLICK HERE.)

Pinehurst was established in 1895, but did not become a municipality until 1980. Back in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, a gentleman by the name of James Walker Tufts from Boston and owner of various enterprises, most notably the American Soda Fountain Company purchased some 598 acres at a price of about $1.25 per acre. His intent was to create a "first rate" health resort. He brought in the land planning firm headed by Frederick Law Olmstead, designer of Central Park in New York City and the Biltmore Estate in Asheville. Records indicate it took about three weeks to create the plan for the Village of Pinehurst.  With many guests at the resort wanting to play golf, Tufts hired Donald Ross in 1900 to develop a golf course.  Pinehurst No. 2 was born at this time and has been designated as a National Landmark hosting numerous golf championships.

Until 1920, the Tufts family owned and operated the Pinehurst resort. In 1920, a corporate form of ownership was established when a charter for Pinehurst, Inc. was obtained.  By the late 1960's the shareholders of Pinehurst, Inc. decided to sell the resort property to Diamondhead Corporation, based in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. They also owned several resorts in the Southeast.  Some 7,000 lots/units were created and sold to Pinehurst members between the mid-1960’s and mid-1970. These members enjoyed the privileges of all the Pinehurst resort facilities. In 1980, pursuant to an Order of Incorporation, the Village of Pinehurst became an incorporated municipality. Since then ownership of the resort property has changed hands several times and the world-renowned golf courses have been developed and expanded under each owner.

Rich in golf history, Pinehurst along with Southern Pines and Aberdeen Area (Moore County) is the Home of American Golf with more than 270,000 yards and over 720 holes and over 165 miles, or 2,800 football fields, of fairways for golfers to enjoy.  Many of golf's historic and memorable moments can be traced to this southern resort. Pinehurst Resort's eight golf courses make it the world's largest golf resort and the only single golf resort in the world with that many golf tracks.  The North & South Amateur Championship, which began at Pinehurst in 1901, is the longest consecutively running golf championship in the country.

Dylan & Stone pose next to the iconic statue of Payne Stewart in the celebrating pose he struck after winning the 1999 U.S.

Just outside the Pinehurst clubhouse it the iconic statue of Payne Stewart in the celebrating pose he struck after winning the 1999 U.S. Open by sinking a 15 foot put on the 18th green of Pinehurst #2. The beloved golfer lost his life in a plane crash some four months later.


The area is conveniently located between Charlotte and Raleigh in south-central North Carolina, with easy access from Interstates 95, 85, 73-74 and 40, and direct access from U.S. Highways 1 and 15-501, N.C. Highways 211, 2 and 5. Amtrak service is also available at the Southern Pines station, providing daily connections from the North (New York) and South (Miami). 

J

Pinehurst’s climate is a bit milder and drier year-round than surrounding areas as a result of its unique combination of sandy soil, elevation (600 feet above sea level at some points) and its protection by the mountains in the western part of the state. The geographic designation describing this ecosystem is "Sandhills."

Whether you visit with grandchildren, a golfing foursome or as a couple, the Pinehurst area is a great destination for golfing or vacationing. Our two grandsons thoroughly enjoyed playing Bayonet, Talamore, Mid South and Dormie. They want to make a return visit and checkout the other golf courses in the area…and, so do we!

CLICK HERE TO VIEW A SHORT VIDEO OF OUR GOLFING PINEHURST WITH GRANDSONS:


For more information:

Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen Area
Convention & Visitors Bureau

10677 Hwy 15-501
Southern Pines, NC 28388
Phone: 1-800-346-5362
Website: www.homeofgolf.com/

Bayonet at Puppy Creek
349 South Parker Church Road
Raeford, North Carolina 28376
Website: www.bayonetgolf.com
Phone: 1-888-BAYONET1-888-BAYONET

Talamore Golf Resort
48 Talamore Drive
Southern Pines, NC 28387
Phone: (800) 552-6292
Phone:  (910) 692-5884OR (910) 692-5884 ext. 1
Website: http://talamoregolfresort.com

The Mid South Club
610 Palmer Drive
Southern Pines, NC 28387
Phone: (910) 695-3193(910) 695-3193
Website: http://www.midsouthclub.com/

Dormie Golf Club
6033 Beulah Hill Church Rd.
West End, NC 27376
Phone: (910) 947-3240(910) 947-3240
Website: http://dormieclub.net/

Homewood Suites, Pinehurst
50 Central Park Avenue
Pinehurst, North Carolina, 28374
Phone: 910-255-0300
Website: www.homewoodsuites.com