Pinehurst No. 2 Ranked Sixth on Golf Digest’s Annual Rankings of Public Golf Courses

PINEHURST, NC (October 11, 2021)Pinehurst No. 2, host of three U.S. Open Championships and future host of the 2024 event, is ranked sixth in the United States among Golf Digest magazine’s annual list of America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses. Other Pinehurst area courses ranked on the list include Pinehurst No. 4 (32nd), Tobacco Road Golf Club (49th), Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club (73rd), Pinehurst No. 8 (76th) and Mid Pines Inn & Golf Club (93rd).

Pinehurst No. 4, Hole 6

“Once again, these rankings reinforce that the Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen area is the undisputed ‘Home of American Golf,’” said Phil Werz, president and CEO of the Convention and Visitors Bureau. “While these courses are the core of any bucket list trip to the Pinehurst Area, we have a wide variety of quality courses from which to choose that offer an amazing golf experience for a number of price ranges.”

Tobacco Road Golf Club - Sunset

Overall, 17 courses made the list for the first time including Pinehurst No. 4 following a complete remodeling by Gil Hanse and Jim Wagner in 2019. Prior to the renovation, the previous version of No. 4 was ranked as high as 57th in 2015-16.

Pine Needles

Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club will host the 2022 U.S. Women’s Open, the fourth time the event has been held at the Southern Pines course. Mid Pines Inn & Golf Club is celebrating its 100th anniversary this fall. Tobacco Road has been ranked since 2009 with this year marking its highest position in the poll, moving up from 52nd. Pinehurst No. 8 has been ranked since 2003. Aside from hosting the 2024 U.S. Open, Pinehurst No. 2 will also welcome that national championship in 2029, 2035, 2041 and 2047. In 2020, No. 2 was named as the USGA’s first U.S. Open anchor site.

Pinehurst No. 8, Hole 14

For a complete look at America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses by Golf Digest, 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 2020, Moore County ranked as the twelfth largest tourism economy in North Carolina, generating $396 million annually in visitor spending, which supports the second largest employment sector in the county. For more information, visit HomeofGolf.com.

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ConventionSouth Magazine Honors Destination for Best Meeting Sites in the South

PINEHURST, NC (October 7, 2021) – The Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) has earned its twelfth consecutive Readers’ Choice Award as determined by the voters of ConventionSouth magazine. The CVB is among 415 other convention and visitors’ bureaus, meeting facilities and hotels located across the South to receive this year’s award.

There are only eight 12-time winners of this particular award throughout the Southeast and the Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen Area CVB and the Greensboro CVB are the only organizations in North Carolina to achieve this level of recognition. The only other 12-time winners include: The King and Prince Golf Resort in Georgia; the Myrtle Beach Convention Center; the Chattanooga Tourism Company in Tennessee; Austin Convention Center in Texas; and the Greater Birmingham CVB and Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism, both in Alabama.

According to CVB president and CEO, Phil Werz, the organization garnered top votes for the best meeting sites in the South. More than 8,000 voters participated in this year’s Readers’ Choice survey. The survey also reported its highest voter participation via social media this year. The Readers’ Choice Awards program started in 2001.

“The pandemic provided a great challenge for meeting planners as events and meetings were severely curtailed in the last year,” said Werz. “While we are not back to previous levels in terms of larger meetings and conventions in this destination, leisure demand remains very strong and we have witnessed a return to record hotel occupancy numbers and room tax collections in 2021. It’s great to know that the Pinehurst area remains a desired destination for meetings planners that will return to us when the time is right.”

“ConventionSouthreaders and fans have voted to decide the best meeting sites in the South, and it is no surprise to us that Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen Area CVB has been selected to receive our annual Readers’ Choice Award,” said ConventionSouthAssociate Publisher Ashleigh Osborne. “The value in receiving this prestigious recognition is that it comes from the United States’ top meeting professionals who hold events in the South. These planners demand the highest level of customer service and quality facilities, and they have contributed in determining that the Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen Area CVB indeed displays the commitment to professionalism, creativity and service that they require.”

Since creation in 2001, this is the eleventh time that Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen Area CVB has received the award, making it an even greater honor to present it with a 2021 Readers’ Choice Award. Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen Area CVB will be featured as an award recipient in the December 2021 Awards Issue of ConventionSouth magazine. This exciting issue will also showcase some of the most talented meeting professionals in the nation as ConventionSouthalso presents planners with its annual “Meeting Professionals to Watch” designation. “Featuring peer advice and trade secrets from our Meeting Professionals to Watch in 2022, our Awards Issue is one of the most popular must-read resources within the meetings industry,” Osborne said.

Celebrating almost 40 years as a leading meeting planning resource, ConventionSouthmagazine is based in Gulf Shores, Ala., and is distributed to more than 18,000 meeting professionals located across the country who book meetings held within the South, according to Osborne. A complete list of award winners can be found online at: https://conventionsouth.com/2021-readers-choice-award-winners-announced/

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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By Lee Pace

            Golf champion on significant amateur levels. Hotelier. Grandfather. Owner of the most unique trio of Donald Ross-designed golf courses anywhere. Mover and shaker in golf circles on regional and national levels.

            Kelly Miller had no idea what he was getting into when he married one of Peggy Kirk Bell’s daughters and moved to Southern Pines in 1982.

            “The Bell family and Pine Needles kept me in the game of golf,” Miller says. “I wanted to get into business of some kind, I wasn’t sure what.”

            Miller grew up in Indiana and attended the University of Alabama to play golf, and there he met Peggy Ann Bell, the middle child of Peggy and Warren “Bullet” Bell, the owners since 1953 of the Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club that featured a 1928 Ross course.  Since the Bells’ oldest daughter, Bonnie, was traveling the country with her husband, Pat McGowan, on the PGA Tour, and son Kirk was just entering college, it fell to Kelly and Peggy Ann to follow in the footsteps of Peggy and Bullet in running the golf course and lodge. The timing was made further prescient by the fact that Bullet was diagnosed with cancer in early 1984 and passed away that May.

            “I was an early riser—I’d get here at six in the morning and then Peggy Ann took the night shift,” Miller says. “She would work from three to 11 or whatever it took. We tried to do the same things Peg and Bullet had done for so many years—mingle with the guests, make sure they felt welcome and had a great experience.”

            Kelly eventually became general manager and along with his mother-in-law led the family and resort to taking their spot in the Sandhills and Pinehurst-area explosion of the 1990s. In 1991, Pine Needles was awarded the U.S. Women’s Open for 1996 (and it would further host the event in 2001 and 2007 with a fourth coming in 2022). The family partnered with three individuals in buying the Mid Pines Inn & Golf Club across Midland Road in 1994. Miller struck a deal in 2012 with an eager and creative golf course construction worker and aspiring architect named Kyle Franz to renovate the 1921 Mid Pines course, and that project was roundly applauded by the golf world in 2013, leading Franz to supervise similar work at Pine Needles over the following years.

            “It’s been quite a ride,” Miller says. “I’ve been here 40 years now, so it’s pretty amazing. We’ve been hosting these championships now for 25 years. Time goes quickly. But it really did start with the 1991 and ’92 Tour Championships at Pinehurst No. 2. That spawned the ’94 Senior Open, the ’99 U.S. Open and everything that’s come since. It’s hard to imagine.

            “I know they called some of the older days at Pinehurst ‘the Golden Era,’ but seems like we’re really living in it right now.”

            The demands of learning the business and starting a family that eventually included three children (and now including two grandchildren) cut into Miller’s time on the golf course in the 1980s. After getting established in both arenas, he made time to rekindle his competitive golf fires and over the decades has become one of the most accomplished “mid-amateurs” in the Southeast, his resume including wins in the Azalea Amateur at the Country Club of Charleston, the Coleman Cup at Seminole Golf Club in Jupiter, Fla., the North Carolina Mid-Am and the Carolinas Mid-Am.

            “There were a lot of years that I wasn’t playing much golf because I was just trying to hang on and learn the business,” he says. “I started to get the itch to play more golf and my mother-in-law told Peggy Ann, ‘If he wants to go play in a tournament, he needs to do it. It’s good for him and it’s good for business.’ So I had my mother-in-law’s blessing.”

            Peggy and Bullet were longtime friends with golf architect Pete Dye and his wife Alice (Peggy and Alice were at Rollins College at the same in the 1940s), and they’d had conversations about Dye designing a second course for Pine Needles on land the family owned adjacent to holes on the back nine of the existing course. But the Gulf War in the early 1990s and the ensuing recession tabled those plans, and when Mid Pines became available in 1994, the family took the opportunity to buy the course, thus having two 1920s era Ross courses in the same resort operation.

            Sadly the Covid-19 cloud in 2020-21 stymied some of the ideas Miller and his ownership partner had to celebrate the 100th birthday of Mid Pines in 2021. Haresh Tharani, a retail and apparel industry veteran and avid golfer, bought out the Bell family’s partner in December 2017. Some rooms at Mid Pines have been thoroughly renovated, and Miller and Tharani are evaluating a number of options for future renovation and/or expansion.

            Over the ensuing years, Miller would occasionally play Southern Pines Elks Club, another Ross course from the early 1900s owned since 1951 by the Benevolent Order of Elks. He tried at various junctures to either buy, lease or have a management contract for the course, but none of those initiatives worked until he was able to acquire the course in July 2020.

            “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-3s that are unmatched anywhere. The club has a lot of fascinating history and I think it’s perfect fit for us.”

            Golf has been played on the site just south of Southern Pines town center 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 but the land remains and helps provide an attractive buffer for the existing course and club facility.

            Immediately upon closing the deal in July 2020, Miller commissioned Franz to begin work taking Ross’s routing and tweaking it to modern agronomic and playability standards and correcting many of the problems that evolved over the years due to limited maintenance resources. Over the next 14 months, Franz and Dave Fruchte, the long-time head superintendent at Pine Needles and Mid Pines, rebuilt all the greens and bunkers, thinned out trees, recontoured fairway mowing lines and fertilized the playing surfaces. Play continued on the course though with temporary greens at various junctures, and the course officially reopened in its modern iteration in early September 2021.

            “I think it’s pretty spectacular,” Miller says. “There’s probably more elevation change at Southern Pines than any course in the area. There are a lot of uphill shots and downhill shots because of the topography. They’d not done much tree-thinning for 50 or 60 years, and there was so much shade, it was hard to grow grass. It’s really exceeded my expectations. Southern Pines has always had kind of an almost cult-like following because the routing was so spectacular and always one of those hidden gems.

            “I like to think it won’t be hidden anymore.”

            In the highly competitive world of resort golf, the Pine Needles/Mid Pines/Southern Pines umbrella offers something no one else match—three Ross courses with every hole in the same position as the day the courses opened roughly a century ago. The holes at Mid Pines and Southern Pines have the same numbers and positions as they did in the original routings. The holes remain the same at Pine Needles, though the numbers changed under the Bells in the 1950s when they built new lodging facilities and made the original second hole the new first hole, with each hole number changing as well.

            “We’ve got 54 great holes of golf, all designed by Donald Ross, with each course having its own character,” Miller says. “Someone can stay two or three nights and play three vintage golf courses with the best playing surfaces we can offer. I think it’s pretty special.”

Lee Pace is the author of “Sandhills Classics—The Stories of Pine Needles and Mid Pines,” published in 1995 and updated in 2007, and was co-author with Peggy Kirk Bell of her book, “The Gift of Golf,” published in 2001.

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Dormie Club Boasts the Only Original Coore Crenshaw Designed Course in the Sandhills

PINEHURST, NC (SEPTEMBER 16, 2021) – After nearly 18 months of construction, Dormie Club has announced the Grand Re-Opening of Dormie Club, the network’s namesake club in Pinehurst, NC, the Home of American Golf.

Dormie Club’s all-new facilities and refurbished course will be showcased in a series of exclusive members-only Grand Re-Opening events the week of September 20. Entertainment includes 18-hole tournaments, 11-hole scrambles, music from Nashville-based country rock band McKenzie’s Mill, and standout culinary experiences led by network Executive Chef Tony Pope.

The club’s capital improvement plan was announced soon after acquisition by Dormie Network. The only original Coore & Crenshaw design in North Carolina was completed revamped, starting with restoration of the turf back to its pristine 2010 condition.

Dormie Club is now a true stay-and-play destination, with a full-service 16,600-square-foot clubhouse, standalone golf shop, and 60 beds onsite across ten Dormie cottages, four Executive cottages, and an expansive two-level Owner’s Cottage with a lake view. The clubhouse boasts several areas with ample seating, with the ability to host 32 in the dining room, 24 in the private dining space, 12 in the circular wine room, 42 in the lounge, 28+ on the covered patio, and eight in the private covered patio.

“It’s so gratifying to get to the finish line,” said Tony Chapman, Dormie Club’s General Manager. “To finally come full circle and fulfill the club’s promise is such an accomplishment, not only for our club but for the network. Completing this flagship property has definitely enhanced the benefits of Dormie Network membership.”

“Congratulations to Dormie Club for creating yet another place to experience all the Home of American Golf has to offer,” said Phil Werz, president and CEO of the Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. “The (Dormie) club and the Dormie Network with courses nationwide and in markets where we typically do not market will expose even more golfers and visitors to the destination and give us the potential to reach new people that will wish to experience the destination.”

The club, built in 2010 and acquired by Dormie Network in 2017, was ranked as Golf Digest’s #15 Best Course in North Carolina in 2021 and Golfweek’s #3 Best New Course upon opening. Dormie Club is one of six private destination golf clubs owned and operated by Dormie Network, each of which has experienced significant renovations and/or expansions following their acquisition. The network does not pass on any assessments to members and holds no debt on any of its properties.

About Dormie Network
Dormie Network is a national network of private destination golf clubs that includes ArborLinks in Nebraska City, Nebraska; Ballyhack Golf Club in Roanoke, Virginia; Briggs Ranch Golf Club in San Antonio, Texas; Dormie Club in West End, North Carolina; Hidden Creek Golf Club in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey; and Victoria National Golf Club in Newburgh, Indiana. Each offers a premier golf experience in a relaxing and accommodating environment ideal for business or leisure. Learn more at dormienetwork.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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Golf Includes Play at Pinehurst No. 2, site of the 2024 U.S. Open and other notable Ross courses

SOUTHERN PINES, NC (SEPTEMBER 10, 2021) – The Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) today announced a partnership with Donald Ross Sportswear to offer an opportunity to win a dream getaway to the Home of American Golf including a round of golf for two at fabled Pinehurst No. 2. The Pinehurst Donald Ross Sportswear Experience Sweepstakes runs through October 3, 2021.

“With the legacy that Donald Ross left in the Pinehurst area, it’s just a natural fit that the ‘Home of American Golf’ be associated with the brand that bears his name,” said Phil Werz, president and CEO of the Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB). “We are proud to partner with Donald Ross Sportswear for this incredible golf getaway to play multiple Ross designed courses, including the newly renovated Southern Pines Golf Club which we believe will earn ‘Best Course Renovation’ in the country this year.”

Aside from the opportunity to play Pinehurst No. 2, site of the 2024 U.S. Open, the sweepstakes winner will be able to bring one guest to play that course, plus other Ross designed courses including Pinehurst No. 1, Southern Pines Golf Club and Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club, site of the 2022 U.S. Women’s Open. In addition to the golf, the prize package includes a three night stay at the venerable and historic Carolina Hotel at Pinehurst Resort, $500 worth of Donald Ross Sportswear products and a $500 Visa gift card.

“All of us here at Donald Ross Sportswear are thrilled to partner with the CVB and have the opportunity to assist in providing such an incredible experience at the Home of American Golf,” said Rob Stein, president, Donald Ross Sportswear. “Pinehurst holds a near and dear place in the legacy of Donald Ross and the brand his namesake continues to inspire; making this a natural fit to promote the community and game that brings us together.”

The Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen Area is home to nearly 40 golf courses within a 15-mile radius in the Sandhills area of North Carolina. Courses in the Home of American Golf consistently rank among some of the finest in the state or the country. Pinehurst No. 2 will host the 2024 U.S. Open and will be the USGA anchor site for future championships in 2029, 2035, 2041 and 2047. Last September, the USGA announced it will move its second headquarters to Pinehurst and construct Golf House Pinehurst, set to be completed by the end of 2023. Pine Needles will host the 2022 U.S. Women’s Open, the fourth time the historic Donald Ross layout will host the prestigious championship.

North Carolina ranks sixth among states with courses listed among the Top 100 You Can Play. California tops the list with nine courses, followed by Oregon (7), Florida (6), Michigan (6) and Wisconsin (6).

The sweepstakes can be entered by visiting HomeofGolf.com, or DonaldRoss.com. Only one entry per person will be permitted and contest rules can be viewed upon entry.

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.

Donald Ross Sportswear

Established in 2008, Donald Ross Sportswear is the premier men’s performance golf apparel producer. Founded upon the values and principles of golf course architect Donald J. Ross, the company develops traditionally styled garments enhanced with modern performance fabrics. Donald Ross is prominently featured in the most elite and renown golf clubs and resorts domestically, and may also be found in an ever-growing list of international accounts. In 2020, Donald Ross expanded their reach to a wider audience via an online store found at donaldross.com.


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By Brad King

For golf aficionados, excitement around the Sandhills is reaching a crescendo, as the 18-month improvement plan at Southern Pines Golf Club is set to be unveiled in September.

One of the oldest Donald Ross-designed courses in existence dating back to the early 1900s, Southern Pines GC is now managed by the company that owns and operates nearby Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club and Mid Pines Resort.

The country’s preeminent golf course designer of the 20th century, Ross nurtured a love affair with the North Carolina Sandhills that he called home for most of his life. He said the area’s topography reminded him of his Scottish birthplace, where as a young man he studied at the side of Old Tom Morris.

His work at Southern Pines GC offers as close to the traditional bump-and-run game as can be found this side of the British Isles. Ross laid out the first nine holes in 1906 and the second nine six years later. His unique creations weave around a series of knolls and ridges through tall, pristine longleaf pines and brilliant, colorful azaleas. The 6,300-yard layout tees up some of the most dramatic golf terrain in the Sandhills, accentuated by rolling topography and a world-class set of par 3s, and complemented by Ross’s signature undulating greens and creative bunkering.

Formerly owned by the Southern Pines Elks Lodge and known locally as the “Elks Club,” Southern Pines remained virtually untouched through the years. It was an affordable, shot-makers dream course, always quietly known as one of the state’s most treasured hidden gems.

Now that the current renovation is complete, however, this gem won’t be hidden much longer.

The two-part project has been overseen by up-and-coming architectural star Kyle Franz, who previously supervised restorations at Mid Pines in 2013 and Pine Needles in 2018. Franz has forged his reputation as a Ross restoration specialist, having restored the original sandscapes at Mid Pines, and after executing a greens rebuild and bunker renewal at Pine Needles — which will play host to its fourth U.S. Women’s Open in 2022. He also assisted Bill Coore & Ben Crenshaw on the restoration of Pinehurst No. 2 prior to back-to-back, men’s and women’s 2014 U.S. Opens.

With the Southern Pines GC enhancement, Franz is returning the vision and feel of a Ross original, while remaining true to the well-preserved routing and removing other redundant elements that have been added through the decades.

In phase one, about 700 trees were removed from the property, augmenting the canopy and highlighting the magnitude of elevation change, while bestowing dramatic golf and lake vistas.

Phase two of the project — detailing work on the greens, cart paths and other areas — began in late spring. The greens have regained as much as 25 percent of their original putting surface, returning the feel of the Ross originals. The rough around the green complexes has been removed, encouraging players to create and enjoy. Every fairway has been widened, making them more inviting for the higher-handicapped players, but also allowing more advanced golfers to strategize.

The irrigation system around the greens and in the fairways has been modernized to sustain immaculate year-round conditioning. Additional yardage has been added to the back tees, now tipped out at 6,350 yards and capable of stretching out to nearly 6,900 yards, with a par of 70.

“Every green will have some crucial element, either gaining lost hole locations or removing features that made shots difficult to play, if not impossible,” said Franz. “Much of the property is transformed. We have all the bunkers restored and you really get a good sense for Ross’s golf course.”

Last but not least, Franz has rebuilt a previously shuttered par-3 to replace the “Lost Hole” from Donald Ross’s original design. The architect was afforded access to aerial photos of the course dating to the early 1950s that showed a “Connector Hole,” positioned to the left of the fourth green and linking with the 15th tee, which allowed golfers to play holes one through four, this par-3, and finish a nine-hole round with holes 15 through 18. The par-3 was abandoned at some point in the mid-1900s — but now it has been returned.

The course is expected to be re-open on Sept. 9, just in time for a busy fall season. To honor the Elks Club legacy, Southern Pines GC has vowed to retain the memberships of those belonging to the Elks Lodge.

“We want the course to remain a hub for the Southern Pines community to play golf, swim, come to the grill for breakfast or lunch,” said Pine Needles and Mid Pines CEO Kelly Miller, who headed up the investment group that acquired Southern Pines GC. “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.”

Q&A with Kyle Franz

Part 1: Franz Creating Legacy on the Links

Part 2: The Legacy Continues

Part 3: On Sandhills Topography

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Annika Sorenstam Returns for the 2022 U.S. Women’s Open

By Julia 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 also hosted the 2nd U.S. Senior Women’s Open in 2019.

“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 Cristie 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.

By virtue of her August 2021 win at the U.S. Senior Women’s Open, Sorenstam earns an exemption to play in the 2022 U.S. Women’s Open at Pine Needles, where she won the 1996 U.S. Women’s Open at the venerable Donald Ross course near Pinehurst. Now, she will return 26 years later to try and pull off what would be a legendary triumph inside the Home of American Golf. No matter what the outcome, Sorenstam will be greeted by what is sure to be a mighty throng of supporters in her quest to claim her fourth U.S. Women’s Open title.

“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.

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

For ticket packages to the 2022 U.S. Women’s Open, click here.

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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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