In 2021, out of nearly 600 golf courses throughout North Carolina, courses in the Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen area earned 15 spots in the list of Top 100 Golf Courses in the state, as determined annually by the North Carolina Golf Panel. Once again, Pinehurst No. 2 tops the list — as has been the case since the panel was founded in 1995.
The Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen region is home to four of the Top 10 golf courses in North Carolina, and seven of the Top 20, as indicated below:
Of the more than 400 courses Donald Ross designed, Pinehurst No. 2 was where he made his home, continuing to tweak and perfect the course throughout his life. After an extensive restoration by Bill Coore & Ben Crenshaw, the course has returned to the way Ross originally intended.
For three generations, Peggy Kirk Bell and her family have been welcoming guests to Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club. The classic Donald Ross course was meticulously restored by Kyle Franz in 2017 and has hosted the 1996, 2001 and 2007 U.S. Women’s Open Championship.
While No. 4 has been through a number of iterations since it was first built by Donald Ross in 1919, Hanse’s version is the most stunning. With the most interesting topography on the entire Pinehurst property, a shimmering lake as a centerpiece and natural ridgelines defining corridors, golfers are treated to a brazen blend of sand, native wire grasses and shimmering water.
No. 8 opened in 1996 to commemorate Pinehurst’s centennial year. Tom Fazio took full advantage of the 420 acres of rolling terrain and natural wetlands to fashion a course that’s visually enthralling and challenging yet fun to play. The greens and tees are close together, making it a pleasure to walk.
The Mid Pines course remains exactly as Donald Ross numbered and routed the course in 1921. Impeccably manicured to modern standards, Mid Pines is a classic gem, a rarity among Ross’s masterpieces because it is exactly as he crafted it more than 88 years ago. Even so, Mid Pines has played host to many national competitions including the 2002 USGA Senior Women’s Amateur Championship.
Top 50 Courses You Can Play:
This year, the Golf Panel also ranked the Top 50 Courses You Can Play, top picks for public and semi-private courses. Fifteen of the Top 50, or 30%, are found in the Sandhills:
2020 Best Bang For The Buck & Best Greens Complexes
Last year the Golf Panel also ranked the Best Bang For The Buck and the Best Greens Complexes, by region. See what ranked at the top in the Sandhills:
Sandhills, Best Bang For The Buck (2020):
1. Southern Pines Golf Club
2. Legacy Golf Links
3. Hyland Golf Club
5. Longleaf Golf & Family Club
Sandhills, Best Greens Complexes (2020) (Factors include design, variety, conditioning and bunkering):
1. Pinehurst No. 2
2. Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club
3. Pinehurst No. 4
4. Country Club of North Carolina (Cardinal)
5. Mid Pines Inn and Golf Club
The rankings, published in the April 2021 issue of BUSINESS NORTH CAROLINA, are compiled based on votes cast by a panel of golf industry experts. For the complete list please visit the North Carolina Golf Panel.