The New Course at the Talamore Golf Resort has reopened to rave reviews. Meanwhile, there is tremendous buzz around the resort in anticipation of the upcoming work on the resort’s second course just down Midland Road, the Mid South Club.
The Talamore Golf Resort opened in 1991 during an era when new courses were measured by their bold shaping and need for laser accuracy and skilled shot making. The original Rees Jones design delivered on all fronts. Among the many accolades, Golf Digest named Talamore as one of the Top 5 New Courses in America and Best New Course in the South. Talamore’s elevation changes of 150 feet and fully wooded property of towering longleaf pines provided a stunning canvas for Jones to paint a unique design for the Pinehurst and Sandhills area.
This past summer — a quarter century after the resort first opened — the green complexes at Talamore were converted from bent grass to Champion Bermuda. In addition to true rolling and lightening fast greens, the new strains of Bermuda are providing significantly better playing conditions year-round. The Talamore green complexes were restored to their original 1991 design by recapturing the greens surrounds, which had been encroached by native Bermuda grasses. To ensure the design continuity of the putting contours, Talamore used the “no till” method pioneered by Champion Turf Farms out of Texas.
Talamore’s anniversary changes had a broader mission than just a greens conversion. Better course conditions, a more playable layout and more convenient golf cart access throughout the course were all on the list. Members and guests say, “Mission accomplished.” Talamore removed a number of bunkers from the original layout and re-contoured the areas to blend with the surrounding shaping, providing more forgiveness in the landing zones and around the greens. Also, Talamore now allows full cart access to all its holes with significantly improved access everywhere.
Playing conditions have been improved tremendously as Talamore’s maintenance staff is better able to focus on top-notch turf, since more than 75 bunkers and nearly 90 percent of the actual sand has been eliminated from the original layout. A secondary effect of the improved playability and golf cart access has been a better pace of play — reducing playing times by more than 30 minutes.
And in a special touch reminiscent of Scotland, Talamore unveiled the Sandhills’ only sod wall bunkers — a dozen, strategically placed to provide a unique and fun challenge. Add everything up and “The New Course” at Talamore is, quite simply, a far more sustainable, maintainable, enjoyable and playable golf course from each and every angle.
On a recent weekday, more than 150 players from around the world were enthusiastically enjoying The New Course at Talamore, taking breaks between rounds for lively banter at Talamore’s Sodfather’s Grille, a fun 19th hole with outstanding resort cuisine.
Following up on the successful remastering of Talamore, next summer the greens at Mid South Club will be converted to Champion Bermuda. Prior to that, during the upcoming winter season, Mid South will be working on its cart path system. Heavily damaged areas will be removed and in most instances will be restored with a natural packed sand base, and the paths will be re-concreted where necessary due to grade or traffic patterns.
In addition, while the Mid South greens remodeling project is being conducted, the club will also add a new set of forward tees to many holes. These new tees will be a welcome addition to the golf course and are expected to provide a more player friendly approach for those just learning the game — as well as those looking to move forward for a more enjoyable playing experience.
The Mid South Club, masterfully designed by Arnold Palmer, boasts 545 acres of towering pine trees and emerald fairways within a private, residential community. Mid South is also adding two new family style golf carts equipped to carry four people and four golf bags — a fun way for the whole family to enjoy a round together. In addition, the club will be making improvements to its halfway house — including a menu expansion — and Mid South will have a new beverage cart in regular service during primary golf season.
Also in store for 2017 are Member facility upgrades to include the addition of basketball on one of the tennis courts, and also a new barbecue and hospitality area at the Mid South pool. In addition to the greens redo and other golf course enhancements, Mid South is adding to an ever-expanding Member social calendar of events. Many new events and services were added in 2016 — all well received — and next year will include even more new events and enhancements to previous themes.
Talamore Resort also offers its guests two unique lodging opportunities at the Talamore Golf Villas and The Lodges at Mid South. The Pavilion at Talamore — a large, covered facility, with seating up to 70 under cover, that serves first and foremost as a gathering place — is available to all resort guests.
On the “Hospitality Included” side of things, Talamore’s guests enjoy a complimentary Pig Pickin every Thursday and breakfast. Themed resort events include Buckin’ football and the famous Scotty Cameron getaway where more than 200 guests from around the country enjoy incredible golf, buffets and also get to add a new Scotty putter to their bag. New events and services are constantly being added to the Hospitality Included side of the Talamore experience.
“We are very excited about all the changes at Talamore and Mid South,” said Matt Hausser, Talamore Resort’s General Manager. “Our goal is to provide a user-friendly resort that our guests want to return to year in and year out. We consider The New Course at Talamore and the Mid South Club to be a very compelling one-two punch. When you add into the mix the more than 20 area courses our golf packages offer, there simply is not better all-around value and diversity than Talamore.”
Originally published on TheGolfBiz.com on 1 Dec 2016.