Pinehurst Area Buzzing with 2023 Excitement

Headed into 2023, there’s a palpable buzz pulsing throughout North Carolina’s Pinehurst, Southern Pines and Aberdeen area — or as it is more globally recognized, the “Home of American Golf.”Golf around Pinehurst boasts a storied legacy unlike any other place in the country, offering a variety of memorable sporting experiences on layouts created by the most renowned names in the game including Donald Ross, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, Gil Hanse, Dan Maples and many others. With nearly 40 golf courses in the Tar Heel State’s Sandhills region, all concentrated within a 15-mile radius of each other, there are a host of memories to be made. In addition to North Carolina’s best collection of golf courses, the area also serves up world-class dining and shopping, outdoor adventures, equestrian facilities and more.

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.