Home to what is often referred to as the Golf Capital of the World (Southern Pines and Pinehurst), North Carolina could easily be called the best state to visit in the United States for golfing and complete golf vacations. Not only does the state host some of the best golf courses in the world, but there are plenty of courses outside the golfing ring of fire that can satisfy a beginner who might not be ready to take on the more challenging courses. For the most part, however, North Carolina golf courses cater to the serious golfers, and North Carolina golf resorts reflect this.
Acting as the king of all North Carolina golf resorts is the town of Pinehurst. Pinehurst is a village basically built up around golf courses; just over 30 golf courses, to be exact. Due to the expansive nature of these courses, their challenging bent and the luxury of the village of Pinehurst, these North Carolina golf courses have attracted golf's biggest names for private North Carolina golf vacations or tournaments with a more public appeal. Not only have many of golf's greatest players played golf here, but they are the ones who have designed most of these North Carolina golf courses. The first of these courses was actually designed in 1899, and the multiple courses of today combine past and present golfing history. Pinehurst hosted the 1999 United States Open Championship, further marking its place in the annals of golfing history.
As you might expect after such a build-up, North Carolina golf in Pinehurst does not come cheap. Reservations are a must, and it is actually not unheard of to make your reservations months in advance. Some courses will require that you are a member of a golfing country club back home, some will not, but be sure to check in advance. This is usually an attempt to keep amateurs off the course to keep play moving quickly. Depending on which courses you choose to golf, green fees can be anywhere from $40 per person to just over $200 per person. If you plan an entire North Carolina golf vacation in Pinehurst at one of the many North Carolina golf resorts in the village, you may be able to get a better deal on green fees. Some North Carolina golf resorts will package your green fees with your accommodation hotel fees. You will often find the best deals on golf packages by booking through a travel agent or online, rather than going directly through the hotel.
The Carolina Hotel Golf Course is one such resort which combines green fees with hotel accommodation for an all-inclusive North Carolina golf vacation. In fact, you must be a guest of the hotel in order to use the 7 North Carolina golf courses owned by this hotel. The draw to this hotel is the signature golf courses, all 7 of which were designed by some of the greatest players in golf history. These exclusive golf courses are open during the day only, and in addition to being a hotel guest you must also have reservations. Make your reservations well in advance of your trip; these are popular courses.
Legacy Golf Links is the place to go if you want a more relaxed golfing experience. Green fees here are between $49 and $69 and include a cart rental. Although this course still has many of the amenities of the golf courses down the road, it is open to the public and you need not be a member of any association to play here. You will also need to make reservations for Legacy, particularly in the summer months. The best times for golfing will fill up quickly (generally the early morning), so book early and check the weather to avoid having to play in the sweltering southern heat.