CCNC first site to host expanded field of 264 players in 2021

PINEHURST, NC (July 29, 2020) – For the third time since it opened in 1963, The Country Club of North Carolina will host a USGA championship. The 36-hole facility, located in the Village of Pinehurst, will host the 74th U.S. Junior Amateur Championship from July 19-24, 2021. CCNC will also become the 16th site to have hosted both the U.S. Junior Amateur and U.S. Girls’ Junior. This will be the first time the U.S. Junior Amateur will be held in the Tar Heel State.

“The Country Club of North Carolina is honored to host the 2021 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship and to be among the prestigious clubs to host this wonderful event,” said Tom Beddow, CCNC club president. “CCNC has a great history and tradition of supporting amateur golf and we have the experience, infrastructure and a committed staff and group of volunteers who will help make this a memorable championship.”

In April, the USGA had announced that the 2020 championship, with an expanded field from 156 to 264, at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minn., was canceled “as a result of continued uncertainty surrounding the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.” So, this means CCNC will be the first site to host the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship with the expanded field.

Besides its two previous USGA championships, CCNC has also played host to the 1972 U.S. Professional Match-Play Championship (won by Jack Nicklaus), seven Southern Amateurs, four Carolinas Amateurs and seven North Carolina Amateurs. The list of Southern Amateur champions includes Ben Crenshaw (1971), Len Mattiace (1985) and Webb Simpson (2007).

Simpson, a North Carolina native, and 2012 U.S Open champion, is the honorary chairman of the 2021 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship.

“As the honorary chairman, I’m glad to provide as much assistance to the players and CCNC as I can,” said Simpson, who competed in two U.S. Junior Amateurs and advanced to the quarterfinals in 2003. “The Simpson family is excited about the Junior Amateur coming to North Carolina and getting to know the players and their families. So glad we are next to host this great event.”

The 2021 Junior Amateur will be the 34th USGA championship in North Carolina. The event was first played in 1948. The championship is open to amateurs who have not reached their 19th birthday by the conclusion of the championship and who have a Handicap Index not exceeding 4.4. Tiger Woods (three times), Jordan Spieth (twice), Johnny Miller, David Duval and Hunter Mahan are among the notable U.S. Junior Amateur champions.

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 2018, Moore County ranked as the eleventh largest tourism economy in North Carolina, generating $520 million annually in visitor spending, which supports the second largest employment sector in the county.

About The Country Club of North Carolina
The Country Club of North Carolina (CCNC), established in 1963, is a member-owned, gated residential community with 2,000 acres that features longleaf pines, three lakes and upscale tennis, fitness, swimming facilities and pickleball courts. The membership is local and national. Since 2003, it has been a certified member of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program. The Dogwood Course was designed by Ellis Maples and Willard Byrd and renovated by Kris Spence in 2016. The Cardinal Course, designed by Willard Byrd and Robert Trent Jones, Sr., completed a renovation by Arthur Hills in 2002.

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Pinehurst No. 2 ranked as No. 3 “Best Courses You Can Play in the United States”

PINEHURST, NC (July 23, 2020) – 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 annual Top 100 Best Courses You Can Play list. The famed Donald Ross design is also ranked 15th in the country among the publication’s Top 100 Classic Golf Courses which includes designs prior to 1960.

Other Pinehurst area courses ranked among the 2020 Top 100 Best Courses You Can Play list include Pinehurst No. 4 (41st), Mid Pines Inn & Golf Club (42nd), Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club (55th) and Tobacco Road Golf Club (99th).

“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. “What is even better is our community embraces golf and the golf industry, and supports everything from major USGA championships like the U.S. Open to events such as U.S. Kids World and Teen Championships and everything in between. Our destination understands how important golf is not only to those who live here, but also to everyone around the world that chooses to visit this special place 365 days of the year.”

Among all 50 states, North Carolina ranks fifth in the nation with the number of golf courses on the Best You Can Play list with seven, trailing only California (10), Florida (8), Oregon (8) and Wisconsin (8).

When broken down by individual states, Golfweek includes 15 courses as Best Courses You Can Play in North Carolina, nine of them located in the Pinehurst area. Those courses include Pinehurst No. 2 (1st); Pinehurst No. 4 (2nd); Mid Pines (3rd); Pine Needles (4th); Tobacco Road Golf Club (6th); Pinehurst No. 8 (7th); Pinehurst No. 7 (9th); Mid South Club (13th) and Southern Pines Golf Club (15th).

For a complete look at all of Golfweek’s 2020 rankings, click here.

For more about courses inside the Home of American Golf, 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 2018, Moore County ranked as the eleventh largest tourism economy in North Carolina, generating $520 million annually in visitor spending, which supports the second largest employment sector in the county.

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Restoration of Venerable Donald Ross Design Anticipated

SOUTHERN PINES, NC (June 30, 2020) – Southern Pines Golf Club, a vintage Donald Ross-designed course dating to the early 1900’s, announced today that it is now under management of the company that owns and operates Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club and Mid Pines Golf Club and will eventually be acquired by that same company.

Kelly Miller, president of Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club, announced the lease/purchase of the course from the Southern Pines Elks Club, the owner of the course since 1951. Miller said the Pine Needles/Mid Pines management company has taken over operation of the facility and is working toward a final sale when some infrastructure changes are made to the facility that have to do with environmental issues.

“I’ve always thought it a wonderful golf course,” Miller says. “It’s one of the best routings in the area. It has great topography and a set of par-threes that are unmatched anywhere. The club has a lot of fascinating history and I think it’s a perfect fit for us.”

“This is fantastic news for people who love visiting the Home of American Golf,” says Phil Werz, president and CEO of the Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. “To one day have this (Donald) Ross gem renovated to form a group of great golf experiences alongside Pine Needles and Mid Pines, you arguably would have one of the best trio of clubs to play in this destination.”

The deal consummates 15 years of Miller having his eye on the Southern Pines Golf Club and thinking that its Ross lineage would make it an ideal fit for the umbrella containing Mid Pines, a 1921 Ross design, and Pine Needles, a 1928 Ross course. He had had discussions with the Elks management at various junctures without ever being able to consummate a transaction.

The Elks bought the course in 1951 from Mike Sherman, a Connecticut businessman who had owned it since the post-World war II days. Prior to that, it had been owned and operated by the town of Southern Pines. Golf has been played on this site since at least 1906, and newspaper records indicate an 18-hole Ross course was operational by 1923, with a new nine having opened in 1924. The third nine was later abandoned.

“We’re delighted to see the golf course in the hands of the Miller family and their partners,” says Chris Deanes, Exalted Ruler of the Elks. “Quite honestly, the Elks have no business running a golf course. We’re a volunteer organization that focuses on charity and giving money away. Running golf courses is not what we do, and we’re happy the course is going to a family that does. Kelly and his partners truly appreciate the essence of the course and are committed to preserving it.”

Adds John Andrews, Chairman of the Board for the Elks, “Kelly has a great vision for the course. They have a good plan to bring the course back to where it should be.”

Miller says an 18-month course improvement plan is being developed that might include any of the following: design tweaks from architect Kyle Franz, who has supervised restorations at Mid Pines (2013) and Pine Needles (2018); resurfacing the greens; and rebuilding the bunkers and cart paths.

“We want the course to remain a hub for the Southern Pines community—play golf, swim, come to the grill for breakfast or lunch,” Miller says. “It will also be a great facility for our members and guests. I don’t know of any club or resort in the country with 54 holes of original Donald Ross work. That’s pretty special.”

The swimming pool will remain open and under the auspices of the Elks Club, and the club will retain ownership of the soccer field.

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 2018, Moore County ranked as the eleventh largest tourism economy in North Carolina, generating $520 million annually in visitor spending, which supports the second largest employment sector in the county.

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The Southern Pines Growler Company (SPGC) has the same name, but a brand new location in downtown. The new location is at the corner of Bennett Avenue and New York Avenue in the Growler Building, about a block away from the old location.

The 3,000 square foot facility has four times as much space for indoor and outdoor seating, with plenty of space for social distancing, and is a great place to meet for a cold beverage after spending some time walking along historic Broad Street window shopping. The craft beer selections are seemingly endless and highlight some of the best selections locally, statewide and around the country.

The SPGC originally opened in 2013 and is the longest-running growler company in the state of North Carolina. Owner/Proprietor Gerry Bateman has lived in Southern Pines for more than 30 years and he perhaps summed it up best when talking about a visit to the quaint town: “Great restaurants, great places to come hang out, a lot of great people,” said Bateman. “We are a very warm, friendly town and I think people that come here see that, they feel that. We have a nice spot for people to come see and they should enjoy it.”

CVB Designs Special Trading Card Series Featuring Local Chef Recipes

PINEHURST, NC (June 25, 2020) – In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, restaurants in the Sandhills area of North Carolina have been especially impacted economically. Some employees working in the restaurant and hospitality industry have had their hours reduced, or have been furloughed while businesses try to make ends meet. In an effort to assist workers serving in the hospitality industry, the Pinehurst, Southern Pines and Aberdeen Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) has launched a unique fundraiser. The Recipe for Recovery program features area chefs’ images and their recipes in format reminiscent of trading cards. The packs come in sets of 12 cards and sell for $25.00 each.

The first set of cards feature chefs and recipes from participating restaurants in Pinehurst, Southern Pines and Aberdeen including: Ashten’s Restaurant (Clara Mae’s Bisquits); Chapman’s Food and Spirits (Spinach Artichoke Dip); Chef Warren’s (Tunisian Sauteed Shrimp with Sweet Potatoes, Peanuts and Cilantro); Drum and Quill (Smoky Basil Mezcal Cocktail); Dugan’s Pub (Beer Battered Fish and Chips); Elliott’s on Linden (Crab Hush Puppies); House of Fish (Crab Cakes); Lisi’s Italian (Pappardelle with Roasted Red Pepper Cream); Pinehurst Resort (Veal Oscar); Scott’s Table (Mexican Street Corn Salad); The Bell Tree Tavern (Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya) and The Market Place (Our Famous “Not Too Sweet” Spiced Iced Tea).

“We wanted to do something special to give back to these amazing local restaurants which compose a significant part of the local culinary scene, but also make a huge impact on our tourism industry,” says Phil Werz, president and CEO of the Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen Area CVB. “The survival and vitality of our local restaurants are critical to the economic rebound for our destination from COVID-19. We (the CVB) merely wanted to do our part to support these great restaurants and chefs. The cards are cool, fun and you get to try some really great recipes. Hopefully, we raise a lot of money for dedicated restaurant and hospitality workers impacted by the pandemic.”

The CVB created 500 sets of cards in series one and when those sellout, the organization will create a second series with a dozen more chefs and their recipes. The CVB plans to continue the Recipe for Recovery program as long as demand for the cards continues. The CVB merely covers the cost to produce the cards – only a few hundred dollars – and then the rest of the proceeds will go to a local restaurant workers relief fund.

Recipe cards can be purchased at the 12 restaurants currently participating in the program and can also be purchased at the CVB located at 65 Community Road in the Village of Pinehurst. Because the CVB staff is working staggered office hours and telecommuting due to COVID-19, please call the CVB at 910.692.3330 to arrange a time to purchase the recipe cards. The CVB is working on a portal for online sales and hopes to have that operational after the July 4 weekend.

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 2018, Moore County ranked as the eleventh largest tourism economy in North Carolina, generating $520 million annually in visitor spending, which supports the second largest employment sector in the county.

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Traveler confidence in visiting the Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen area is steadily increasing, according to statistics released by Smith Travel Research (STR) and the CVB.

According to Smith Travel Research (STR), hotel occupancy in Moore County increased nearly 10 percentage points from April to May. Participating Moore County hotels reported a collective average of 32 percent occupancy in May compared with 22.2 percent for the month of April. The national average for hotel occupancy as of late May was 32.4 percent. The STR research does not include the short-term rental market.

Aside from information related to hotel occupancy in Moore County, the Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen Area Convention and Visitor Bureau (CVB) also monitors a variety of other markets for similar data, and for the month of May, Moore County was competitive, and in some cases, more productive than other select destinations in the Carolinas.

In May, among the competitive set the CVB tracks, Moore County bested Mecklenburg County/Charlotte (29.3 percent) and Guilford County/Greensboro (30.8 percent), while Wake County/Raleigh was slightly higher (33.3 percent). Beach communities in New Hanover County/Wilmington (36 percent) and Horry County/Myrtle Beach area (39.6 percent) were slightly higher as stay-at-home restrictions were loosened in May for both states.

“While those numbers are in line with the national average, keep in mind that Pinehurst Resort and all of its lodging options were closed for 59 days and reopened on May 22,” said Phil Werz, president and CEO of the Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen Area CVB. “With Pinehurst (Resort) back in the mix, we should see a solid boost for June. We are receiving more inquiries about travel, itineraries and things to do in the area more consistently, so we know people are ready to get out and explore, especially by car and within a 3-6 hour radius, and in some cases from even more distant locations like Pittsburgh, Ohio markets and the Northeast.”

The CVB has conducted in-market research for the month of June and early indications are showing hotel occupancy will continue to see solid increases when Smith Travel Research releases their official June report in mid-July. According to STR, the national hotel occupancy average on June 15th was 41.7 percent. Many Pinehurst area hotels polled by the CVB indicted occupancy levels higher than the national average in mid-June.

As North Carolina emerges from the pandemic, the CVB has access to a multitude of travel data and insights from travel research companies. Among a wealth of information, the CVB sees these key factors based on findings by the research company Destination Analysts:
• Americans continue to exhibit greater feelings of safety, including towards travel.
• One in five people are already traveling or ready to travel with no hesitations. These Americans have less concerns surrounding the virus and are more likely to prioritize having new experiences in their lives.
• Openness to travel inspiration and excitement to take a getaway in the next month increases each week.
• The proportion of American travelers who have at least tentative trip plans in 2020 grew to nearly 7-in-10 and Americans’ next air and road trips will be sooner than they reported last week.
• Travel is commonly seen as integral to health and wellness.
• Road trips, staying at a beach or rural resort, and visiting national and other parks are among the highest rated relaxing travel experiences.
• American travelers are also getting more comfortable with tourists in their own communities.

Founded in 1896, the historic Magnolia Inn is witnessing a rebirth. With new ownership, the venerable Inn has been completely renovated inside and out. Plus, with the addition of a gourmet Italian restaurant, Villaggio Ristorante, the Magnolia Inn is a once again one of the highlights of things to do and see in the Village of Pinehurst! This Southern gem sits amidst long leaf pines and magnolia trees just steps away from a variety of shops and galleries in the Village of Pinehurst.

The Inn is only minutes away from many challenging golf courses at the Home of American Golf, including Pinehurst Resort. You can also spend the day strolling the quaint streets of the Village of Pinehurst or take a walking tour to see the 100+ year-old homes that are nestled amongst the pines.

With 10 charming and comfortable guest rooms, the Magnolia Inn offers its guests all the comforts of home including daily housekeeping, free WiFi, cable TV, a fine dining restaurant, bar, daytime meeting rooms, sunroom, and outdoor patio with weekend music during weather-permitting months. The Inn’s fine dining restaurant, Villaggio Ristorante, is already a local favorite featuring fresh pasta, Italian specialties, steaks, chops and fish, a top shelf wine list, and crafted cocktails. The bar has 3 TVs for sports, and there is a large outdoor patio for dining and weekend music.

The proprietors, Julie and Ron Milton, are there to welcome you in true Southern fashion.

If you enjoyed the Painted Ponies display in downtown Southern Pines this spring, they will be available via a live online auction, June 17-20. The impact of COVID-19 forced organizers to move the auction from an actual site to online, but these amazing works of art are available to own. Proceeds from the online auction will support Carolina Horse Park (CHP) educational and environmental programs.

A total of 10 painted ponies are up for auction and will support the CHP’s mission for preserving open space, to maintain an exceptional equestrian competition facility, enhance the area’s residential community and contribute to a growing economy. Anyone wishing to bid on the painted ponies must register first. For more information and to register for the Painted Ponies Live Auction, click here.

Located in Hoke County between Aberdeen and Raeford, the Carolina Horse Park (CHP) was established in 1998 as a competition and training venue near Southern Pines. The Park is now the region’s primary facility for equestrian events with 315 acres hosting over 28 competitions each year. Their calendar also includes non-equestrian events including environmental education and community scholastic and athletic experiences. Part of CHP’s mission is to preserve Southern Pines’ heritage as an equestrian haven surrounded by attractive open space.

Who has the best beer in the Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen Area? Well, the choices of breweries here are plentiful and our best advice is to try them all! On June 1, the CVB launched a destination brewery video to showcase all our local brew pubs have to offer.

The short film, “Brewer Tour” is a fun, entertaining and informative look at the local brewery scene through the eyes of the experts – the owners, brewers and craft beer enthusiast that make the Home of American Golf one of the best places to visit for some of the best brews in North Carolina.

The four breweries include Pinehurst Brewing Company, Southern Pines Brewing Company, Railhouse Brewery and Hatchet Brewery. Aside from Pinehurst Brewing Company, our destination breweries are military-owned, so there’s great pride in not only the beer, but also pride in America and a belief that success is deeply rooted in our amazing community.

Come along for the ride as our beer experts take us from brewery to brewery and make plans to check each of them off your list on your next visit to the Pinehurst, Southern Pines and Aberdeen Area. We also urge you to drink responsibly and do not drink and drive. Also, this short film was shot and edited prior to the COVID-19 pandemic when social distancing was not part of the conversation.

Cheers!