Yuka Saso, 2021 U.S. Women’s Open Champion

By Julie Pine

Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club in Southern Pines, N.C., will be the host site for the 77th U.S. Women’s Open in 2022. The championship, considered the ultimate test in women’s golf, will be held June 2–5.

The 2022 U.S. Women’s Open will be the seventh USGA championship and record fourth U.S. Women’s Open contested at Pine Needles, which is also set to host the 2nd U.S. Senior Women’s Open in 2019. The USGA was last at Pine Needles for the 2007 U.S. Women’s Open, when Cristie Kerr won the first of her two majors with a two-stroke victory over Lorena Ochoa and Angela Park.

“We are thrilled to bring another U.S. Women’s Open to one of the most respected courses in the United States,” said Stuart Francis, USGA Championship Committee chairman. “Three great USGA champions have conquered the ultimate test in women’s golf at Pine Needles, and we look forward to adding the 77th U.S. Women’s Open champion to that illustrious list.”

In addition to Kerr’s victory in 2007, Pine Needles also played host to the 2001 U.S. Women’s Open, won by Karrie Webb, and the 1996 U.S. Women’s Open, won by Annika Sorenstam.

“Pine Needles is, if not my favorite U.S. Women’s Open venue, it’s in the top three,” said Webb, whose 2001 victory was her second straight Women’s Open title. “Pine Needles [in 1996] was my very first U.S. Open I ever played in, and then when we went back in 2001, I was so excited to be there as a defending champion. Obviously, it was a special week where I played fantastic golf at a tremendous golf course. I’ll always have special memories of Pine Needles.”

Designed by Donald Ross and opened in 1928, Pine Needles was renovated in 2004 by John Fought, who oversaw the restoration of greens and bunkers to their original forms with the aid of vintage aerial photos. In the summer of 2016, Kyle Franz was brought in to assist with a green rebuilding and bunker restoration project that aimed to maximize hole locations. The club, which was owned by women’s golf advocate, renowned instructor and LPGA Tour charter member Peggy Kirk Bell from 1953 until her death in 2016, also hosted the 1989 U.S. Girls’ Junior and 1991 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur championships.

“To host the most prestigious event in women’s golf for the fourth time speaks to our longstanding relationship with the USGA, and we’re honored they accepted our invitation to host the Women’s Open in 2022,” said Kelly Miller, president and CEO of Pine Needles. “The Donald Ross-designed course has already crowned three memorable Women’s Open champions, and we’re confident it will again be a welcoming yet challenging host for the world’s best players. I can only imagine how happy Mrs. Bell would have been to host another Women’s Open.”

Bell is largely credited with being the driving force behind Pine Needles hosting its first three U.S. Women’s Opens.

This will be the 34th USGA championship contested in North Carolina, which most recently hosted the 2017 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club, in the Village of Pinehurst. Upcoming USGA championships in the Tar Heel State include the 2018 U.S. Mid-Amateur at Charlotte Country Club, the 2019 U.S. Senior Women’s Open, the 2019 U.S. Amateur at Pinehurst and the 2019 U.S. Senior Amateur at Old Chatham Golf Club. Pinehurst No. 2 will also host the 2024 U.S. Open.

Julia Pine is the assistant director for championship communications for the United States Golf Association (USGA).

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This summer marks the 16th year that the U.S. Kids Golf World Championships will be hosted at the “Home of American Golf,” scheduled for July 21st – August 2nd, 2021.   Each year the best junior golfers from around the world, ages 5-18, are focused on their personal goals as they try to qualify for the world’s largest and most prestigious junior golf championships.

Volunteer recruiting for this year’s Red, White and Blue Invitational and the U.S. Kids Golf World Championships has begun and with the increase in players this year, the tournaments will require a greater number of volunteers for the 13 host courses. Available committee assignments include Player Registration, Player Shuttles, Pace of Play, Scoring, On-course Supply, Volunteer Control and On-course Spotters.  Volunteer shift times at the 13-host golf course range from 4-5 hours, and each volunteer will receive a golf shirt, golf cap or visor and for each day they work they will receive a box lunch.  There are no fees for volunteering, which is unique to the golf Championships that are held in the area.

The courses include Pinehurst Nos. 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, Talamore Golf Club, Legacy Golf Links, Mid Pines Inn and Golf Club, Midland Country Club, Beacon Ridge Golf and Country Club and Longleaf Golf and Family Club.

“Being a U.S. Kids Golf Volunteer is different than most any other golf championships held in the area,” said Volunteer Chairman Richard Lawson. “Having the opportunity to watch the best junior golfers from around the world play and compete for the World Championship is an amazing experience.  Many of these golfers over that past 16 years have advanced to top-ranked amateur and professional golfers. We are hopeful that we can encourage those who volunteered before to return this year and attract new volunteers for this year’s U.S. Kids Golf Regional and World Championships.”

The volunteer registration system allows easy selection for their specific facility, activity and time, and the ability to process the applications electronically.  For online volunteer registration go to: https://foundation.uskidsgolf.com/tournaments/world-teen/volunteer

 A confirmation email will be sent to each volunteer based on the position you have chosen.  Available volunteer positions are filled on a first come, first served basis, so quick registration is encouraged to assure your first choice of assignment.

“We are pleased at the overwhelming support we continue to receive from the community for our Championships,” said Chris Vonderkall, Vice President of Tournament for U.S. Kids Golf.  “U.S. Kids Golf will continue to follow all current health and safety guidelines to assure the well-being of our players, families, volunteers, staff, and local community, and to make the U.S. Kids Golf World Champions the best they can be.”

Today, May 14, Governor Cooper lifted the mask mandate, previously required in most settings, for the state of N.C. This decision was based on the latest CDC guidance which states that fully vaccinated adults can safely resume activities indoor and outdoor without masks or distancing, in gatherings large or small. Per CDC guidance, in general, people are considered fully vaccinated:  

  • 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
  • 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine

Effective immediately, employees and guests will not be required by law to wear masks inside or outside. If you should wish to continue to wear a mask for your own protection, you are free to do so.

The CDC strongly recommends that individuals who choose not to vaccinate should continue to wear masks and practice safe physical distancing. 

Additionally, all capacity restrictions and social distancing requirements will be lifted for restaurants, bars, and meeting spaces in hotels. 

Over the past year, we have consistently followed the guidelines set forth by Governor Cooper’s Executive Orders. While we approach the return to a sense of normalcy around the resort, we will do so with care and with the health and safety of our employees and guests in mind.

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Bradley to Produce Golf Tips for Destination; CVB to Highlight Traditions Golf Academy

PINEHURST, NC (MAY 11, 2021) – The Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) today announced a partnership with renowned golf instructor, Nick Bradley, to produce golf tips exclusively for the Home of American Golf. The CVB will assist Bradley in promotion and exposure for the Traditions Golf Academy at Forest Creek where Bradley was named the director of instruction last fall.

Originally from London, England, Bradley has lived in the United States since 2005 and brings an impressive resume of coaching, mentoring and developing male and female golfers, from the junior level to major professional champions. He has instructed winners on every major professional tour and has coached players to World No. 1, a pair of World No. 5 rankings, two players to European No. 1 and junior world champions.

“Nick’s resume speaks for itself and we are honored that he will lend his vast golfing knowledge and expertise with an ongoing series of golf tips for fans of the Home of American Golf brand to enjoy,” said Phil Werz, president and CEO of the Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB). “His vision for the Traditions Golf Academy is a first for the Pinehurst area and will create a boutique version of the famous IMG Academy in Florida. We have several solid golf schools in the Sandhills area, but Traditions will be the epicenter for serious aspiring golf stars we will see playing in the collegiate and professional ranks in the years to come.”

Bradley is a two-time bestselling author. His first book, The 7 Laws of the Golf Swing, has been a global bestseller since 2003 and published in five different languages. Bradley’s second book, Kinetic Golf, featured in Golf Digest and forwarded by Butch Harmon, was published in April 2013. His third book, Letters to an Evolving Golfer, was published in August 2018. Bradley has written for every major golf magazine publication in the world. In addition to authoring best-selling books, Bradley is a presenter, swing analyzer, and commentator for Sky Golf and NBC’s Golf Channel. He is also the technical consultant and an owner of SQAIRZ golf shoes.

Bradley consulted on the Nike Elite advisory panel for 15 years, has been elected by Golf Digest as the top male teacher in North Carolina, and has won The Independent Sports Book Award in 2004. During his 25-year career, Bradley has instructed more than 200 PGA and European Tour golf professionals.

“As the number one full-time junior academy in the United States, Traditions Golf Academy is truly excited to partner with the CVB,” said Nick Bradley, director of instruction, Traditions Golf Academy. “The entire Pinehurst area is a powerhouse of amazing golf. Partnering with the CVB allows us to market what we believe is the best full-time training experience for junior golfers globally,”

Traditions Golf Academy and The O’Neal School in Southern Pines offer an unmatched student-athlete experience. As a top private college preparatory school allied to proven tour caliber instruction, Traditions students attend The O’Neal School for their academics, then receive golf training at Forest Creek Golf Club. Traditions will provide everything elite junior golfers need to prepare for successful collegiate golf careers. Traditions began accepting applications in the fall of 2020 for an anticipated opening date of August 2021. Traditions’ approach is unique in the golf academy world in selecting a small number of junior golfers for a boutique academy experience, allowing Bradley to focus on every golfer. Bradley’s modern and ground-breaking approach will prepare Traditions’ golfers for elite colleges.

The CVB will showcase Bradley’s golf tips via several communications channels including the HomeofGolf.com website, social media platforms, You Tube Channel (Visit the Home of American Golf) and selected digital marketing campaigns.

The Pinehurst Southern Pines Aberdeen Convention & Visitors Bureau
The Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) is the economic development agency responsible for travel and tourism promotion, product development, and visitor services for Moore County, NC. The CVB devises strategies to enhance the County’s tourism brand value and product to accommodate the next generation of visitors, thereby stimulating the local economy and enhancing the quality of life for residents and visitors alike. In 2019, Moore County ranked as the eleventh largest tourism economy in North Carolina, generating $563 million annually in visitor spending, which supports the second largest employment sector in the county.

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Award-Winning BBQ Experts to Showcase Talents Labor Day Weekend

PINEHURST, NC (APRIL 30, 2021) – An all-star lineup of renowned and prestigious North Carolina pitmasters — with well over a century of combined grilling expertise — has been unveiled for the inaugural Pinehurst Barbecue Festival over Labor Day Weekend in the historic Village of Pinehurst.

The festival, celebrating “All Things Barbecue” and presented by US. Foods, Pinehurst Resort and Business North Carolina Magazine, will feature award-winning pitmasters Ed Mitchell, Christopher Prieto, Adam Hughes, Joe Lumbrazo and local favorite BBQ Hall of Famer Ashley Sheppard, event organizer Tarheel Festivals LLC announced.

Advanced tickets to the Pinehurst Barbecue Festival are available at www.pinehurstbarbecuefestival.com. This unique food festival Sept. 3-5 is expected to sell out as tickets are limited for each of the events associated with the three-day festival.

The “Ed Mitchell Pitmaster Invitational” on Sunday, Sept. 5, where patrons can sample five different BBQ meats and five Southern sides, will honor the 74-year-old Mitchell, known worldwide in barbecue circles as “The Pitmaster” for his experience cooking whole hog BBQ the traditional way since he was a teenager in Wilson.

“I’ve participated and cooked in countless food events and festivals during my career but helping launch the Pinehurst Barbecue Festival has to be one of the most exciting for me,” said the legendary pitmaster, who is opening new restaurant in Raleigh called The Preserve. “The quaint setting in the Village of Pinehurst, along with the elite group of pitmasters who have been assembled, will create a remarkable Tar Heel food experience and lasting impression for all who attend.”

Mitchell has been featured on the Food Network numerous times, as have most of the five pitmasters participating this fall. Mitchell has gone up against Iron Chef Bobby Flay in a rib throw down and won. He has been featured in The New Yorker and Gourmet magazines, as well as dozens of other publications and BBQ blogs. Mitchell, currently a judge on the Food Network’s Moonshiner Barbecue series, will feature whole hog BBQ at the Pinehurst Barbecue Festival.

Prieto, who owns Prime Barbecue in Knightdale, is known as #BarbecueNerd. Prieto appeared on the Food Network’s Chopped Grill Masters in 2018 along with Hughes, The Cooking Channel’s Man Fire Food and is the author of Southern Living magazine’s The Ultimate Book of BBQ. Prieto will feature beef brisket at the Pinehurst Barbecue Festival.

Hughes, the owner of Old Colony Smokehouse in Edenton, will compete in the prestigious 2021 World Food Championships this November. Three years ago, Hughes advanced to the grand finale of the “Chopped: Grill Masters” competition. Hughes has been a nationally ranked competitive barbecue pitmaster, winning several Grand Championships along with numerous other awards from Florida to Pennsylvania and everywhere in between, including a World Championship in ribs. Hughes will feature ribs at the Pinehurst Barbecue Festival.

Lumbrazo is co-owner of Backyard Bistro in Raleigh, which was featured on an episode of Epic BBQ Pits on the Destination America Cable Network. Backyard Bistro’s grilling operation features a 38-foot “Big Rig,” which will be on hand for the Pinehurst Barbecue Festival. The massive “Big Rig” displays four 3-by-5 feet grills (large enough to cook a whole 125-pound pig each), two cast-iron burners, two 35-pound fryers, a homemade hush puppy maker and six 40-pound LP gas tanks. Lumbrazo will grill sausage at the Pinehurst Barbecue Festival.

Sheppard, who is owner of Pik-N-Pig restaurant, was inducted into the North Carolina Barbecue Society Wall of Fame in 2019. What started as a venture on the side of the road in Carthage in a “log cabin” trailer, quickly grew into an airport barbecue location that attracts local military brass and many others. Since opening the Pik-N-Pig in 2007, Sheppard has been featured in Food Paradise on The Travel Channel, Fun Places to Fly and more. Sheppard will barbecue poultry at the Pinehurst Barbecue Festival.

In addition the main headliner event – the Ed Mitchell Pitmaster Invitational on Sunday, Sept. 5 – the three-day Pinehurst Barbecue Festival will include a Celebration Concert on Friday night, Sept. 3, along with “Q” School Grilling Classes, Demos & Food Sampling, a Bourbon and Bites tasting event and VIP “Meet the “Masters” reception on Saturday, Sept. 4. Tickets can be purchased to each event separately, or a “Whole Hog” ticket package can be purchased to include all Pinehurst Barbecue Festival events, including the exclusive VIP “Meet The Masters” reception.

Prieto and Lumbrazo will be conducting the unique “Q” School Grilling Classes, Demos & Food Sampling event at the Pinehurst Brewing Co. on Sept. 4.

Additional Contact Information:
Dave Droschak, Droschak Communications,
919-630-6656, ddroschak@earthlink.net

Peter Stilwell, Tarheel Communications Solutions,
910-528-7101, peterstilwell@tarheelcommunications.com

info@pinehurstbarbecuefestival.com

About Tarheel Festivals:
Tarheel Festivals, LLC. is a full-service event management and production company headquartered in Pinehurst. With over 35 years of producing signature events, their team of professionals build event experiences from inspiration to integration.

The official event partner for the Pinehurst- Southern Pines-Aberdeen Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB), Tarheel Festivals, LLC will also stage the third annual Festival D’Avion (www.festivaldavion.com) – A Celebration of Freedom and Flight — at the Moore Country Airport on Oct. 29-30, 2021. Tickets to that event, which honors the men and women that serve our military, in addition to highlighting vintage aircraft and all things aviation, are also available on www.ticketmesandhills.com.

The Pinehurst Southern Pines Aberdeen Convention & Visitors Bureau
The Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) is the economic development agency responsible for travel and tourism promotion, product development, and visitor services for Moore County, NC. The CVB devises strategies to enhance the County’s tourism brand value and product to accommodate the next generation of visitors, thereby stimulating the local economy and enhancing the quality of life for residents and visitors alike. In 2019, Moore County ranked as the eleventh largest tourism economy in North Carolina, generating $563 million annually in visitor spending, which supports the second largest employment sector in the county.

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Dogwood Course at CCNC Achieves Highest Ranking Ever

PINEHURST, NC (APRIL 1, 2021) – Pinehurst No. 2 has once again secured the top spot as the best golf course in the state as determined by the prestigious North Carolina Golf Panel. The top 10 courses in the state remained consistent due to COVID restrictions which limited panel members from visiting clubs around the state as a group, but many were able to rate courses individually. Among the top 10, the Dogwood Course at The Country Club of North Carolina (pictured above) rose from fifth to third in the rankings. CCNC’s Dogwood and Cardinal courses will host the 2021 U.S. Junior Amateur this summer. The Cardinal course moved up one spot to number 16.

The North Carolina Golf Panel was founded in 1995 and is recognized as the most authoritative statewide source of golf course rankings in a state that arguably has some of the nation’s best courses. The 135-member panel is composed of golf media, club professionals and general managers from many outstanding courses, accomplished amateur players and college golf coaches and others who play an active role in promoting golf in North Carolina.

“As a member of the (North Carolina) Golf Panel, 2020 was a very different year and obviously restrictive when it came to ranking our great golf courses around the state,” said Phil Werz, president and CEO for the Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Fortunately, for our tourism economy in Moore County, golf remained open throughout the pandemic. We are so blessed with world-class golf in the Pinehurst area and with the USGA announcement last fall to move a second headquarters here and create an anchor site for future U.S. Open championships, it merely enhanced that this destination is arguably the finest in the country to visit and experience the game for all ages.”

Among the 2021 rankings of the Top 100 Courses in North Carolina, a total of 15 are located in the Pinehurst Area. Those rankings include: Pinehurst No. 2 (#1); CCNC, Dogwood (#3); Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club (#4); Pinehurst No. 4 (#8); Pinehurst No. 8 (#14); CCNC, Cardinal (#16); Mid Pines Inn & Golf Club (#18); Forest Creek, South (#27); Pinehurst No. 9 (#30); Dormie Club (#33); Forest Creek, North (#34); Mid South Club (#40); Pinehurst No. 7 (#47); Pinewild, Magnolia (#59) and Talamore Resort, The New Course (#80).

The panel also ranked the Top 50 Courses You Can Play and the Pinehurst area once again dominated the list with 15 locations, or 30 percent of the clubs, including the top six and eight of the top 11. The top six include Pinehurst No. 2, Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club, Pinehurst No. 4, Pinehurst No.8, Mid Pines Inn and Golf Club and Pinehurst No. 9. Mid South Club was ninth and Pinehurst No. 7 eleventh. Other golf clubs among the Top 50 include The New Course at Talamore (#25), Southern Pines Golf Club (#36), Pinehurst No. 6 (#38), Legacy Golf Links (#39), Tobacco Road (#40), Longleaf Golf and Family Club (#41) and Hyland Golf Club (#50).

“Every serious golfer has a trip to the Pinehurst Area on their bucket list,” said Kevin Brafford, executive director of the N.C. Golf Panel. “One of the many blessings of living in North Carolina is that you can so easily become a repeat visitor.”

The Panel also determined a pair of sub-categories for the ten best Fairest Courses to Play and Most Strategic Courses and the Pinehurst Area is well-represented on both of those lists. According to the N.C. Golf Panel, the Pinehurst Area has the top three Fairest Courses to Play in the state – Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club is first, followed by Pinehurst No. 2 and the Dogwood Course at The Country Club of North Carolina. Pinehurst No. 8 is included as eighth on that list. The Fairest Courses to Play list considers courses regardless of overall difficulty on the premise that it rewards good shots and penalizes poor ones in a manner that is reasonable.

For Most Strategic Courses, Pinehurst No. 2 and Tobacco Road Golf Club are tops in North Carolina as determined by the Panel. Pinehurst No. 4 and Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club rated sixth and eighth, respectively. This category’s top 10 was determined based on how each course requires thoughtful planning and precise execution of shots from tee to green.

Pinehurst area golf courses are no strangers to the national and global stage as well when it comes to major championships. In 2019, Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club hosted the U.S. Senior Women’s Open while Pinehurst No. 2 and No. 4 hosted the U.S. Amateur. In 2021, The Country Club of North Carolina will host the U.S. Junior Amateur. In 2022, the U.S. Women’s Open returns to Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club. And the U.S. Open will be back at Pinehurst No. 2 in 2024, marking the fourth such major championship to be played at the historic club over the course of 25 years (1999, 2005, 2014 and 2024), the most to be played over the course of a quarter century than any other location in the country. Last fall, the United States Golf Association (USGA) announced additional U.S. Open championships for Pinehurst No. 2 in 2029, 2035, 2041 and 2047.

For more information about all golf courses in the Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen area, visit HomeofGolf.com. For the complete list of the Top 100 Courses for 2021, Top 50 Courses You Can Play and other rankings, visit NCGolfPanel.com

Top 100 Courses for 2021 (second number is previous year’s ranking)

1.         1. Pinehurst No. 2, Pinehurst

2.         2. Grandfather Golf and Country Club, Linville

3.         5. The Country Club of North Carolina (Dogwood)   

4.         4. Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club, Southern Pines                      

5.         3. Mountaintop Golf and Lake Club, Cashiers           

6.         7. Elk River Club, Banner Elk  

7.         6. Quail Hollow, Charlotte

8.         9. Pinehurst No. 4, Pinehurst

9.         8. Old North State, New London

10.       11. Sedgefield Country Club, Greensboro

11.       14. Cape Fear Country Club, Wilmington

12.       13. Old Town Club, Winston-Salem   

13.       10. Charlotte Country Club, Charlotte

14.       12. Pinehurst No. 8, Pinehurst

15.       12. Wade Hampton Golf Club, Cashiers        

16.       17. The Country Club of North Carolina (Cardinal), Pinehurst

17.       16. Eagle Point Golf Club, Wilmington

18.       18. Mid Pines Inn and Golf Club, Southern Pines

19.       19. Old Chatham Golf Club, Durham

20.       20. Raleigh Country Club, Raleigh     

21.       23. River Landing (River), Wallace    

22.       24. MacGregor Downs Country Club, Cary

23.       21. Rock Barn Country Club (Jones), Conover

24.       22. Biltmore Forest Country Club, Asheville

25.       35. Forsyth Country Club, Winston-Salem     

26.       25. Governors Club, Chapel Hill

27.       26. Forest Creek Golf Club (South), Pinehurst

28.       27. Prestonwood Country Club (Highlands), Cary

29.       29. Country Club of Landfall (Dye), Wilmington

30.       32. Pinehurst No. 9, Pinehurst

31.       30. Treyburn Country Club, Durham

32.       31. Country Club of Landfall (Nicklaus), Wilmington

33.       41. Dormie Club, West End

34.       33. Forest Creek Golf Club (North), Pinehurst

35.       27. Trump National Golf Club, Mooresville

36.       34. Linville Golf Club, Linville

37.       40. River Landing (Landing), Wallace

38.       38. Myers Park Country Club, Charlotte

39.       36. High Point Country Club (Willow Creek), High Point

40.       44. Mid South Club, Southern Pines

41.       47. The Hasentree Club. Wake Forest

42.       39. Finley Golf Course, Chapel Hill

43.       42. Greensboro Country Club (Farm), Greensboro

44.       43. Bald Head Island Club, Bald Head Island

45.       52. Balsam Mountain Preserve, Sylva

46.       50. Starmount Forest Country Club, Greensboro      

47.       58. Pinehurst No. 7, Pinehurst

48.       47. Country Club of Asheville, Asheville

49.       46. Gaston Country Club, Gastonia

50.       45. Duke University Golf Club, Durham

51.       48. Scotch Hall Preserve, Merry Hill  

52.       51. The Cardinal by Pete Dye, Greensboro

53.       64. Bryan Park Golf & Conference Center (Champions), Browns Summit

54.       55. Grandover (East), Greensboro

55.       53. Hope Valley Country Club. Durham

56.       49. Leopard’s Chase, Sunset Beach

57.       56. The Currituck Club, Corolla

58.       59. Lonnie Poole Golf Course, Raleigh          

59.       54. Pinewild Country Club (Magnolia), Pinehurst

60.       60. Prestonwood Country Club (Meadows), Cary     

61.       66. Hound Ears Club, Blowing Rock

62.       63. Ballantyne Country Club, Charlotte                     

63.       61. Jefferson Landing, Jefferson

64.       57. Alamance Country Club, Burlington

65.       62. The Club at Irish Creek, Kannapolis

66.       65. Tiger’s Eye, Sunset Beach

67.       69. Pinewood Country Club, Asheboro

68.       67. River Run Country Club, Davidson           

69.       68. Carmel Country Club, Charlotte  

70.       77. Mimosa Hill Golf Club. Morganton          

71.       70. Croasdaile Country Club, Durham           

72.       72. Cedarwood Country Club, Charlotte

73.       73. The Peninsula Club, Cornelius     

74.       74. Thistle Golf Club, Sunset Beach

75.       71. Porters Neck Country Club, Wilmington 

76.       75. Lake Toxaway Country Club, Lake Toxaway

77.       78. Kilmarlic Golf Club, Powells Point

78.       94. Crow Creek Golf Club, Calabash

79.       79.    Providence Country Club, Charlotte     

80.       83. The New Course at Talamore, Southern Pines

81.       80. The Country Club at Wakefield Plantation, Raleigh

82.       84. Grandover (West), Greensboro

83.       76. St. James Plantation (Reserve), Southport

84.       81. Linville Ridge. Linville

85.       82. Tanglewood Park (Championship, Clemmons

86.       89. Benvenue Country Club, Rocky Mount

87.       98. Blowing Rock Country Club, Blowing Rock

88.       86. Bermuda Run Country Club (East), Bermuda Run

89.       85. Wilson Country Club, Wilson       

90.       — Forest Oaks Country Club, Greensboro

91.       92. Mill Creek Golf Club, Mebane

92.       88. Brier Creek Country Club, Raleigh

93.       90. Rocky River Golf Club, Concord

94.       91. Compass Point Golf Club, Leland

95.       93. North Ridge Country Club (Lakes), Raleigh         

96.       95. Carolina Golf Club, Charlotte       

97.       99. Stoney Creek Golf Club, Whitsett

98.       — Deep Springs Country Club, Stoneville       

99.       100. Nags Head Golf Links, Nags Head

100.     96. Brook Valley Country Club, Greenville


The Pinehurst Southern Pines Aberdeen Convention & Visitors Bureau
The Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) is the economic development agency responsible for travel and tourism promotion, product development, and visitor services for Moore County, NC. The CVB devises strategies to enhance the County’s tourism brand value and product to accommodate the next generation of visitors, thereby stimulating the local economy and enhancing the quality of life for residents and visitors alike. In 2019, Moore County ranked as the eleventh largest tourism economy in North Carolina, generating $563 million annually in visitor spending, which supports the second largest employment sector in the county.

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CARTHAGE, N.C. – (February 24, 2021) – The 2021 Festival D’Avion celebration of freedom and flight staged at the Moore County Airport has been moved from early April to late October 2021 because of continued COVID-19 restrictions, Tarheel Festivals LLC has announced. The new dates for the Festival D’Avion will be October 29-30, 2021.

The third annual Festival D’Avion was on track to be the largest and best to date in the spring of 2020, but the event joined a long list of community activities across the Sandhills, the state of North Carolina and the United States to be postponed due to health precautions. Continued concerns for mass gatherings and timing of a vaccine distribution caused the event date to be postponed until this October.

All Festival D’Avion components, including the Celebration Concert, hospitality functions, Runway 5K race, aircraft exhibits, fly-overs and entertainment will be rescheduled for the October 2021 dates. All event sponsorships will transfer to the new dates, and any Festival D’Avion tickets purchased for the festival in advance or donated to military families will be honored for the new dates. Sponsorship packages and event tickets will remain on sale over the coming months.

“We are very disappointed to have to move our dates for a third time for the Festival D’Avion, but are doing so with guidance from the local and state health officials and from the Pentagon that controls the approval and participation for the military services involved with our event,” said Peter Stilwell, co-founder for the Festival D’Avion. “We are optimistic that outdoor events and festivals will return again in the late summer allowing our event to continue. The continued safety for our Festival patrons, sponsors and volunteers continues to be a priority.”

The members of the Moore County Airport Authority have approved the new dates for late October.

“We basically will go from promoting a really great spring event to a really great one for the fall “ said Phil Werz, president and CEO of the Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen Area CVB. “We are in complete agreement with the Festival D’Avion staff that moving the event later this year is the best option to maintain a safe environment for the participants and guests. It will allow the opportunity for this unique event to be successful and develop a loyal following. October is a great time of year in the destination and we look forward to welcoming our military friends and aviation enthusiasts from near and far.”

The Festival D’Avion is a celebration of Freedom and Flight and honors the men and women that have served in the armed forces. The 1½ day event, hosted at the Moore County Airport, includes a celebration concert featuring the Ultimate Eagles Tribute Band, Runway 5K race/walk, special aircraft exhibits, scheduled aircraft fly-overs, Warbird displays, precision jump team exhibitions, programmed entertainment and a special scheduled fly-out of all participating aircraft. The five branches of the military have approved participation for the Festival D’Avion and will provide a variety of static aircraft and military equipment displays. Classic cars and trucks will also be displayed during the event. A variety of food and beverage options will be available from area and regional food trucks, craft beer breweries, North Carolina wineries and vendors.

The Pinehurst Southern Pines Aberdeen Convention & Visitors Bureau
The Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) is the economic development agency responsible for travel and tourism promotion, product development, and visitor services for Moore County, NC. The CVB devises strategies to enhance the County’s tourism brand value and product to accommodate the next generation of visitors, thereby stimulating the local economy and enhancing the quality of life for residents and visitors alike. In 2019, Moore County ranked as the eleventh largest tourism economy in North Carolina, generating $563 million annually in visitor spending, which supports the second largest employment sector in the county.

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Pinehurst No. 2 Ranked Third in America; Boasts Four from Resort Layouts

PINEHURST, NC (January 5, 2021)Pinehurst No. 2, host of three U.S. Open Championships and future host of the 2024 event, is ranked third in the United States among Golfweek magazine’s 2021 Top 200 Best Resort Courses in the U.S. list. Among the publication’s other popular rankings, the famed Donald Ross design was also ranked third among Golfweek’s Top 100 Courses You Can Play list and 15th in the country among the Top 100 Classic Golf Courses which includes designs prior to 1960.

Other Pinehurst area courses ranked among the 2021 Top 200 Best Resort Courses in the U.S. list include Pinehurst No. 4 (28th), Mid Pines Inn & Golf Club (T-34th) and Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club (T-43rd), Tobacco Road Golf Club (T-66th), Pinehurst No. 8 (83rd), Pinehurst No. 7 (T-140th) and Talamore Resort’s Mid South Club (T-185th).

“These rankings simply reinforce that the Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen area is indeed the ‘Home of American Golf,’” said Phil Werz, president and CEO of the Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Aside from these world-class courses and resorts, this destination boasts almost 40 golf courses within 15 miles of each other for golfers to choose from and enjoy. The pandemic has produced a nationwide resurgence in the game of golf and we are fortunate to have one of the finest destinations in the world in which to enjoy it.”

The annual selection of the country’s 200 top resort layouts is determined by Golfweek’s elite team of more than 850 course evaluators. Each year, the raters survey over 3,600 facilities, grading each in accordance with Golfweek’s 10 strict standards of evaluation. For a complete look at Golfweek’s 2021 Top 200 Resort Courses in the U.S. list, click here.

The Pinehurst Southern Pines Aberdeen Convention & Visitors Bureau
The Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) is the economic development agency responsible for travel and tourism promotion, product development, and visitor services for Moore County, NC. The CVB devises strategies to enhance the County’s tourism brand value and product to accommodate the next generation of visitors, thereby stimulating the local economy and enhancing the quality of life for residents and visitors alike. In 2019, Moore County ranked as the eleventh largest tourism economy in North Carolina, generating $563 million annually in visitor spending, which supports the second largest employment sector in the county.

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Famed North Carolina BBQ Pitmasters to Highlight the 3-day Festival in the Village of Pinehurst

PINEHURST, NC (December 9, 2020) – Tarheel Festivals, LLC and Pinehurst Resort have announced plans for an exciting Barbecue Festival that will be held in the Village of Pinehurst on September 3-5, 2021.  The Pinehurst Barbecue Festival, presented by Pinehurst Resort and the Village of Pinehurst, will be a “Celebration of Taste and Tradition,” offering a unique collection of special events, vendor samplings and displays, food and beverage options and entertainment for the entire family to enjoy.  The event will become the second owned and operated event by Tarheel Festivals, including the annual Festival D’Avion hosted at the Moore County Airport, which will be staged April 9-10, 2021.

“Barbecue is part of North Carolina’s DNA,” explained the Barbecue Festival’s co-founder, Peter Stilwell.  “We are excited to introduce this new festival event in the Pinehurst community and showcase the best of North Carolina Barbecue and the legendary Pitmasters who prepare it.”

The schedule of events continues to evolve but will include a celebration concert on Friday, September 3rd; “Q” School Barbecue Grilling classes at the Pinehurst Brewing Company; a Wings & Whiskey/Cigar-B-Q; Village of Pinehurst Pub Crawl; a “Meet the Masters” VIP party on Saturday, September 4th; and the Grand Finale will feature the Ed Mitchell Pitmaster Invitational in the heart of the Village of Pinehurst, featuring renowned Pitmasters from across North Carolina, on Sunday September 5th.

Mitchell, from Wilson, NC, and known as “The Pitmaster” in world-wide barbeque circles and a master at cooking whole-hog barbecue, has owned and operated several restaurants throughout North Carolina.  He was the founding Pitmaster for the annual Big Apple Block Party in New York City and has been featured in Food & Wine, Gourmet, and Bon Appetite magazines, and on the Food Network, beating world-renown Iron Chef Bobby Flay in a “Battle of the Barbecues.”  He and his son Ryan will be opening a new restaurant in Raleigh, NC in 2021.

Mitchell will select the elite group of Pitmasters that will prepare barbecue samples and meals for the Festival in categories including whole hog, brisket, ribs, poultry and specialty meats.  Ticket holders will have the opportunity to sample from all participating Pitmasters during the Invitational.

“I have been cooking North Carolina barbecue my entire life,” said Mitchell.  “We are excited to be part of this new Festival in Pinehurst, and I look forward to joining my fellow Pitmasters next September.  The Village of Pinehurst and Pinehurst Resort are perfect locations for this unique event.”

In addition to the best Eastern and Western North Carolina-style Barbecue, the Pinehurst Barbecue Festival will highlight several of the state’s finest craft breweries during the various scheduled weekend events, including Pinehurst’s own Pinehurst Brewing Company.  Vendors during the festival will include barbecue grill companies and suppliers along with BBQ sauces, spices and rubs.  Music and entertainment will be provided throughout the Festival.

A variety of ticket and sponsor packages for the Pinehurst Barbecue Festival will be available starting in early 2021.  Tickets will be available for individual events, and there will be VIP hospitality ticket options as well.  Sponsorships categories will include individual event sponsorships, preferred products and vendor tents. The event website www.pinehurstbarbecuefestival.com will launch in February, 2021. 

Pinehurst Resort will be promoting stay and play packages for the Festival allowing their guests to enjoy the barbecue themed events along with the opportunity to play golf and to enjoy a true southern hospitality weekend.

“We are looking forward to hosting events again that the public can enjoy in 2021,” said Dave Droschak, co-founder of Tarheel Festivals, LLC.  “We’re confident the inaugural Pinehurst Barbecue Festival will be a huge success over Labor Day Weekend as we celebrate taste and tradition at Pinehurst.”

The Pinehurst Southern Pines Aberdeen Convention & Visitors Bureau
The Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) is the economic development agency responsible for travel and tourism promotion, product development, and visitor services for Moore County, NC. The CVB devises strategies to enhance the County’s tourism brand value and product to accommodate the next generation of visitors, thereby stimulating the local economy and enhancing the quality of life for residents and visitors alike. In 2019, Moore County ranked as the eleventh largest tourism economy in North Carolina, generating $563 million annually in visitor spending, which supports the second largest employment sector in the county.

About Tarheel Festivals:
Tarheel Festivals, LLC is a full-service Event Management and Production Company headquartered in Pinehurst, North Carolina.  With over thirty-five years of producing signature events, their team of professionals build event experiences from inspiration to integration, specializing in delivering seamless events with unparalleled attention to detail resulting in magic moments and fond memories.

They currently have two unique signature events in the Pinehurst area that draw attendees from throughout North Carolina and the region and will be launching new events in 2021. In addition, Tarheel Festival’s team supports several other events that are held in the area. They recently partnered with the Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen Convention and Visitors Bureau to assist in the development and operations for community events.

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Hotel to Feature 103 Guest Rooms, Conference Center and Full-Service Restaurant/Bar

ABERDEEN, NC (December 1, 2020) – The newest hotel in the Sandhills area of North Carolina will officially open on December 14, 2020. The Hilton Garden Inn will feature 103 rooms and employ about 60 employees. The hotel is owned by McPeake Hotels, Inc. which also operates the Hampton Inn and Towne Place Suites, all located in Aberdeen. The company is owned by Bonnie McPeake, a long-time hotel industry executive. She is also a board member on the Pinehurst, Southern Pines and Aberdeen Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. Reported cost of the hotel is $15 million.

The hotel will offer a spacious lobby, a full-service restaurant and bar with seating for up to 60 people, outdoor firepits, pool, fitness center and guest laundry. The Shop is a small store which will sell a variety of products from grab and go food items to guest necessities. Guest rooms will offer a microwave, refrigerator and coffee. The hotel also houses a 1,584 square foot conference room which can be separated into two rooms. Room rates will start at $139.00.

“Opening this hotel during a pandemic has been a challenge, but it has all been well worth the time and hard work to get it done,” said Bonnie McPeake, chairperson, McPeake Hotels, Inc. “Fortunately, despite these times, we see plenty of demand from the business and leisure traveler and having the Hilton brand makes it very recognizable for the consumer. We now have a great trio of hotels with this one, the Hampton Inn and Towne Place Suites in one location.”

The executive team of the hotel consists of David Byers, general manager, who has been on board since construction of the Hilton Garden Inn started two years ago. Byers has previous hotel experience in the area with the Comfort Inn and Suites. Sonya Sasser will serve as assistant manager and has more than 20 years of experience in the hotel industry. Jor’l Campbell has been named food and beverage director. He possesses more than 25 years in the food and beverage industry. Chef Campbell most recently served at CharBar7 in Southern Pines and as the general manager at The Mill at Puppy Creek in Raeford, NC.

About Hilton Garden Inn
The award-winning Hilton Garden Inn brand provides business and leisure guests upscale, affordable accommodations and unexpected amenities for an experience that is ‘Simply on Another Level.’ The Hilton Garden Inn Promise affirms the brand’s goal to make each guest’s stay better and brighter. Guaranteed. Team Members at more than 870 hotels in 49 countries and territories around the world ensure today’s busy travelers have a bright and satisfying experience, starting with the first hello. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits. For more information about Hilton Garden Inn, visit www.hgi.com or newsroom.hilton.com/hgi, and connect on FacebookTwitterYouTube, and Instagram.

The Pinehurst Southern Pines Aberdeen Convention & Visitors Bureau
The Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) is the economic development agency responsible for travel and tourism promotion, product development, and visitor services for Moore County, NC. The CVB devises strategies to enhance the County’s tourism brand value and product to accommodate the next generation of visitors, thereby stimulating the local economy and enhancing the quality of life for residents and visitors alike. In 2019, Moore County ranked as the eleventh largest tourism economy in North Carolina, generating $563 million annually in visitor spending, which supports the second largest employment sector in the county.

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