Pinehurst No. 2 once again earned the top spot as the best golf course in the state, as determined by the North Carolina Golf Panel, as six other courses in the Sandhills were selected in the top 20 of the state.
Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club, site of the 2022 U.S. Women’s Open June 2-5, moved up one spot to third. Both North Carolina Country Club courses were in the top 17 in the state, with the Dogwood course coming in at No. 4 and the Cardinal course at No. 17 after a 2021 where the US Junior Amateur was contested on both course at the club. . Pinehurst #4 came in eighth and Pinehurst #8 finished 15th in the panel standings.
The Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw-designed Dormie Club in the West End made a significant jump in the rankings from 33rd to 20th.
“Our destination is blessed with not only excellent golf courses, but also world-class courses, and the rankings once again demonstrate why our region is unquestionably the ‘home of American golf,'” said Phil Werz, President and CEO of Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Golfers from around the world make the pilgrimage to the Pinehurst area each year to play our courses, and it’s the engine of our tourism economy.”
The previously unranked Southern Pines Golf Club ranked in the top 100 at #88, recognized for the recent renovation of the original Donald Ross design by renowned golf course architect Kyle Franz.
The North Carolina Golf Panel was founded in 1995 and is recognized as the most authoritative source of statewide golf course ratings in a state that arguably boasts some of the best courses in the country. The 135-member panel is made up of golf media, club professionals and general managers from many outstanding courses, accomplished amateur players and college golf coaches, and others who take an active role in promoting golf in North Carolina.
Of the 2022 rankings of North Carolina’s Top 100 Courses, a total of 16 are located in the Pinehurst area. Other rated courses in the area include: Mid Pines Inn and Golf Club (21st); Forest Creek South (28th); Pinehurst No. 9 (31st); Forest Creek North (33rd); South Middle Club (38th); Pinehurst No. 7 (50th); Pinewild Magnolia (61st) and Talamore Resort (81st).
The panel also ranked the top 50 courses you can play and the Pinehurst area was well represented on the list with 15 locations, or 30% of clubs, including the top six and eight of the top 11. The top six include 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. Mid South Club moved up to eighth and Pinehurst No. ° 7 to 11th. Other top 50 golf clubs include The New Course at Talamore (24th), Southern Pines Golf Club (28th), Pinehurst No. 6 (38th), Legacy Golf Links (39th), Tobacco Road (40th), Longleaf Golf and Family Club (42nd) and Hyland Golf Club (49th).
The panel also created two additional categories for the top five short courses and top resorts in North Carolina. Southern Pines Golf Club is ranked third best short(er) course and Pinehurst Resort and Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club took home the top two spots for best resorts in the state.
“Most golfers in North Carolina, especially if it’s the only place you’ve lived, probably don’t appreciate how lucky they are to have the Sandhills area practically in their backyard,” said Kevin Brafford, executive director of the NC Golf Panel. . “If it was just Pinehurst Resort, it would be unique and special in itself. But having so many other great courses miles apart is remarkable. There really is no other place like this in the world.
Pinehurst area golf courses are no strangers to the national and world stage when it comes to major championships. This year, the US Women’s Open returns to Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club in June. The US Open will return to No. 2 Pinehurst in 2024, marking the fourth such major championship to be played at the historic club in 25 years (1999, 2005, 2014 and 2024), the most to be played during more in a quarter of a century than any other place in the country. Pinehurst No. 2 will host additional US Open championships in 2029, 2035, 2041 and 2047. In 2029, Pinehurst No. 2 will again host back-to-back US Open men’s and women’s championships, a repeat of the only course in America to host this tandem of events in 2014.