Legendary Pinehurst No. 2 Once Again Named Best Course in N.C.
Pinehurst No. 2 has once again secured the top spot as the best golf course in the state, as determined by the prestigious North Carolina Golf Panel. Pinehurst No. 4 moved up 10 ranking positions and into the Top 10 in the state to earn the ninth position. Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club in Southern Pines remains ranked fourth, with the Dogwood course at The Country Club of North Carolina holding onto its fifth position. Overall, 15 Pinehurst area golf courses are included among the Top 100 rankings.
The North Carolina Golf Panel was founded in 1995 and is recognized as the most authoritative statewide source of golf course rankings in a state that arguably has some of the nation’s best courses. The 135-member panel is composed of golf media, club professionals and general managers from many outstanding courses, accomplished amateur players, college golf coaches and others who play an active role in promoting golf in North Carolina.
“It’s no surprise to see seven of the top 20 courses in the state are located in the Pinehurst area,” said Phil Werz, president and CEO for the Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. “While our destination is on every golfer’s bucket list, we have a great mix of courses from legendary and historic to affordable and fun to fit every price range. When you combine great golf with a growing craft beer scene, local dining with innovative chefs using products from farmers in Moore County, unique shopping options and fun events year-round, our area is an amazing destination not only for golfers, but also for couples, meetings and groups.”
Pinehurst No. 4’s move into the top 10 of the rankings is no surprise. The Gil Hanse redesign opened in September 2018, so more panelists were able to play it last year and fully consider it for the 2020 rankings. Another area course that saw large improvements in their ranking was Mid South Club, which moved up eight spots and into the top 50 at No. 44. Also, The New Course at Talamore improved nine spots to No. 83.
The panel also ranked the “Top 50 Courses You Can Play” and the Pinehurst area once again dominated the list with 15 listed, or 30 percent of the clubs, including the top six – Pinehurst No. 2, Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club, Pinehurst No. 4, Pinehurst No. 8, Mid Pines Inn and Golf Club and Pinehurst No. 9. Other golf clubs among the Top 50 include Mid South Club, Pinehurst No. 7, The New Course at Talamore, Southern Pines Golf Club, Pinehurst No. 6, Legacy Golf Links, Tobacco Road, Longleaf Golf and Family Club, and Hyland Golf Club.
“We are so fortunate in the state of North Carolina to have an abundance of great golf courses from the mountains to the coast,” said Kevin Brafford, executive director of the N.C. Golf Panel. “However, many of the courses in the Pinehurst area are legendary, globally recognized and memorable. Those golf courses put our state on the golf bucket list map, not just for golfers in this country, but also from around the world.”
Pinehurst area golf courses are no strangers to the national and global stage as well when it comes to major championships. In 2019, Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club hosted the U.S. Senior Women’s Open, while Pinehurst No. 2 and No. 4 co-hosted the U.S. Amateur. In 2021, The Country Club of North Carolina will host the U.S. Junior Amateur. In 2022, the U.S. Women’s Open returns to Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club. And the U.S. Open will be back at Pinehurst No. 2 in 2024, marking the fourth such major championship to be played at the historic club over the course of 25 years (1999, 2005, 2014 and 2024), the most to be played over the course of a quarter- century than any other location in the country. All of those events are sanctioned by the United States Golf Association (USGA). For the complete list of the Top 100 Courses for 2020, Top 50 Courses You Can Play and other rankings, visit NCGolfPanel.com.