Flowers in front of the Carolina Hotel

Moore County Surpasses $600 Million in Visitor Spending for 2021

In 2021, Moore County witnessed an unprecedented $673 million in economic impact from visitor spending, a 70 percent increase from the previous year. That increase ranks as the fourth highest rate of increase statewide, up from $396 million in visitor spending in 2020 which was deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. With the substantial increase in visitor spending last year, Moore County now claims the tenth highest tourism economy in the state, the highest ranking in history.

Donald Ross

Donald Ross Could Golf His Ball

Anyone who has ever teed it up in the Pinehurst area knows the name Donald Ross. A transplanted Scot, Donald Ross fused his home course knowledge (Royal Dornoch and its elevated, contoured greens) and his study at St. Andrews (strategic options) to become the most honored and most prolific early American architect. Between 1919 and 1926, six U.S. Opens were played on his designs. Pinehurst No. 2 was his masterpiece, but Seminole, Oakland Hills, Oak Hill and Inverness weren’t far behind. In the Sandhills alone, he crafted Pine Needles, Mid Pines and Southern Pines, among others. Less known about Donald Ross? He could really play.

St. Andrews Clubhouse

From Cradle to Cradle

Nothing in 30 years has changed my early opinions: Pinehurst is the spiritual home of golf in the United States and St. Andrews the spiritual home of golf in Scotland — and for the rest of the world. There are no two places on earth where the senses are so saturated by golf. For all the traits they share, Pinehurst and its surrounding communities and St. Andrews with its web of proximate villages could be considered first cousins, perhaps even siblings. Yet their differences highlight how special and unique each destination is.

Waltzing on the Danube with Peggy Kirk Bell

Twenty-five years ago, I drew one of those assignments that happen in life — to the fortunate few. As a senior editor at LINKS magazine, I signed on to document the first golf cruise put on by Kalos Tours, a respected travel outfit from Chapel Hill, N.C. 

On the docket were easing down the Danube on the River Cloud, a modern equivalent of a 1930s-style private yacht, embarking for sightseeing excursions in Hungary, Austria and Germany and occasionally breaking up the days with golf rounds in each country.  Ain’t no bad in that lineup, as my mother-in-law used to say. Little did I know that the highlight of the trip would be the irrepressible joy that radiated from our “celebrity” host, Peggy Kirk Bell.

A Guide to Berry Picking in the Sandhills

In the Sandhills of North Carolina, the arrival of spring and warmer weather signals the start of strawberry-picking season, quickly followed by blueberry-picking season. Don’t tell the golfers, but berry picking may be one of the best things to do in Moore County, especially with children, and makes a great annual tradition. Meet local farmers, pick fresh berries, and enjoy making delicious memories in the sunshine.