August 1, 2016
Destinations throughout the U.S. offer a variety of rejuvenation options targeted at women.
Golf travel, like the game itself, tends to be dominated by men. The classic male bonding trip has been around as long as men have hunted and women have gathered. But the dynamic is changing. Women are an increasingly important part of the golf travel market.
When sizing up a resort, a woman’s priorities—apart from a well-groomed golf course designed to challenge tigresses and novices alike—generally go beyond what men have in mind. A welcoming, courteous staff is important. So is the chance to relax in a beautiful place. A top-flight spa with a range of body and facial treatments is vital. So is a fitness gym. The food—fresh, eclectic, well-prepared—must be good. Post-round sightseeing, shopping, cultural outlets and outdoor adventures are nice extras.
Pine Needles is one of the 12 resorts nationwide where every woman can unleash her inner diva.
PINE NEEDLES LODGE & GOLF CLUB
Southern Pines, N.C.
It may not scream five-star, but make no mistake: Under the guidance of LPGA legend Peggy Kirk Bell and her extended family, Pine Needles has introduced more women to the game than any other resort in the nation. Situated four miles from the Village of Pinehurst in the quaint little town of Southern Pines, the homespun resort’s centerpiece is a restored Donald Ross course with all his trademarks, notably wide fairways and inverted saucer greens. Pine Needles has hosted three U.S. Women’s Opens, but for the recreational player, the course is sheer delight from the forward tees at 4,936 yards. Walkers are welcome. Caddies are available. Ladies Golfaris, pioneered by Bell in the 1950s and available in February, May and September, offer five days of ladies-only, personalized instruction that set the pace in the industry.
Accommodations in the chalet-style lodges are rustic, but Pine Needles has a laid-back elegance all its own. Guests also have playing privileges across the street at Mid Pines, another updated Donald Ross-designed gem that gives visiting players an unbeatable tandem of women-friendly courses (pineneedles-midpines.com; 910-692-7111).
Virginia Golfer, May/June 2015 - By Brian McCallen
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