By Alice and Danny Scott

As the world watched The British Open, we fondly recalled our  “American Home of Golf” – Pinehurst Resort in the Sandhills of North Carolina, where the iconic Putter Boy and Payne Stewart’s fist pumping statues beckon photo ops just like the old Swilcan Bridge. A sense of nostalgia sweeps over as you drive in. The elegant Pinehurst Resort Clubhouse is a mini museum passing through to the 18th green of the US Open’s N0. 2. A stroll along the Walk of Fame transcends even St. Andrews. This is our golf history –old, new and continuously generating memories.

Nine courses give members and visitors a variety of golf thrills, the most famous being No. 2, caddie required. Marshall double bagged for us, regaling with stories along the way. On the third hole, designer Donald Ross’ brick house, sits green side. He must have had a crazy sense of humor to watch golfers tangling with his complex bunkering. Now the owner of Dormie occupies it but we wonder if it’s still Ross’ haunt? John Daly was leading the Open in ‘99 when he took an 11 here on Saturday making way for Payne Stewart’s win and us feeling good about our scores.

Course No. 4’s starter Pat, the only female ranger tries to give gals an advantage by whispering that the bent grass greens don’t break as much. Tom Fazio’s redesign includes 186 bunkers and waste areas. Hole 13, par 5 doglegs around a large lake with hole 14’s par 3 doubling back over it. En route a Christmas tree shaped magnolia smelled as sweet as an Easter lily. Within minutes other notable tee sheets are ready for booking, like Talamore with it’s llamas, and one of our new favorites, the wacky Tobacco Road incorporating the Irish sand hills in a genius design by Mike Strantz. 

The ultimate in Pinehurst Resort lodging is The Carolina Hotel. Halls are decked with photos, statues, and memorabilia galore. Live music plays on the porch of the Ryder Cup bar after the bagpiper steals the show before sunset.

French born Executive Chef T cooked up his career path through St. Marten, New Orleans, Dallas, Hawaii and our own Pointe at South Mountain in Phoenix before taking responsibility for all six restaurants at Pinehurst Resort. He credits his culinary team and farm fresh ingredients for the exquisite cuisine. He says he loves Pinehurst for “Truly having four seasons. It reminds me of France with a more bearable summer than South Carolina. Spring and fall are breathtaking. Before you say it’s winter, it’s over.”

A path from The Carolina Hotel leads to the quintessential Pinehurst Village. Tucked in the piney woods, it is a walk in the park with a hometown atmosphere. The brainchild of James Walker Tufts who believed the Long Leaf Pines held healing powers, Olmsted of Central Park fame was hired to design the village. On our excursion, the Village Wine shop welcomed us in to a tasting. Everyone was happy, funny and talking about golf. It’s a “made it” vibe, which is inclusive, not exclusive. The village is full of shops and restaurants. On the corner is a special golf store – Tom Stewart’s Old Sport Gallery. This former PGA player and golf writer shares space for his 40+ years of artifacts and wife Ilana’s Russian hand carved figurines. It is a must stop to understand the fabric of Pinehurst, a place where you abandon your ego, lay down your trophies and step up to the tee. A mile away is Lori’s Golf Shoppe combining women’s golf everything with local artisans’ pottery. A few days in Pinehurst and you feel like part of the community, with people calling out your name as they pass. Yep, we could live here and any golf lover would enjoy the visit. Travel logistics are easy with Raleigh and Fayetteville within an hour, Charlotte 21/2.

If the resort is booked, Homewood Suites by Hilton, a few minutes from Pinehurst Village is a very comfortable staging post for the myriad courses in the region. The extensive breakfast area serves groups of golfers where ladies might beware of the boys’ pick up lines. As Alice walked down the wide spiral staircase, a gentleman (and we do use the term loosely) said, “Take your pick, we are all losers.” She stuck with Danny, her Okie, of course. If you are at Pinehurst, that makes you a winner at least for the time there. Start planning at