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A friend and I just spent the past weekend in Pinehurst for our annual end of season southern golf trip. This was our first year visiting Pinehurst, and it definitely will not be our last. 

Round 1 - Talamore

We arrived Thursday morning and were able to check into our hotel early and relaxed a bit before our 12:30 tee time at Talamore. The Pinehurst area had received 4.5 inches of rain from Sunday through Thursday, so we were unsure how the courses would be. We were pleasantly surprised. Talamore was cart path only, but that was fine and didn't detract from the experience at all. The weather during the round was cold, only about 45 degrees, and a light mist/rain fell for most of the front 9, which actually added to the ambiance of the experience.

There are numerous write ups on here about the course from the Newport Cup so I'll keep mine brief, but man, we were blown away at the course. Even with all the rain they received, the greens were the best I had ever putted on. The fairways were generous, and definitely a great mix of holes that included a couple short par 4s that I'd love to play again when the ball is rolling to see how close I could get to the greens. I shot a 79 which I was pleased with for the first round and less than ideal conditions.

After the round we went to Southern Pines Brewing which is a small, local brewery that did have some good beers. The Duck Hook Cream Ale and the Pineapple Thief IPA were delicious.

 

Round 2 - Dormie Club

We had an 11:09 tee time Friday at Dormie Club, and due to the rain, the course was walking only, because the cart paths were sand and were actually in worse shape than the course was. The weather Friday was perfect. Mid 50s and sunny. Dormie was a pretty tough walk, some of the holes are a decent distance apart from each other and some decent elevation changes as well. Yet again the greens were immaculate and the course was excellent. Both my friend and I ranked Talamore slightly ahead of Dormie club, partly because neither of us are a fan of blind shots, and Dormie had a few more than Talamore did, but we would definitely play it again and they are both in my top 5 favorite I've ever played.

I played a very solid round at Dormie club, shooting a 77 and hitting 71% of the fairways off the tee, and I took advantage of the par 5s, playing the three par 5s in 2 under par.

After this round we met up with @DaveP043 and his wife at a local bar where we chatted for a little bit, and it was great to meet them and put a face to the name. Dave was very helpful when I was planning this trip, figuring out which courses to play and where to eat while down there.

We went to the highly recommended pizza place, Etalia, and it did not disappoint. The food was very good. Here are pictures of the 1st and 3rd holes from the tee boxes, and the pizza from Etalia

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Round 3 - Mid South

Mid South was our final round of the trip, and overall the course and the facilities were superb. The weather was perfect again, low 60s and sunny, no wind. Yet again the greens were perfect, these were the fastest ones out of the three courses we played, and there were so many subtle breaks that were tough to read which gave me fits with the putter. I hit some approach shots close and had some close looks at birdie/par saves, but I missed 9 putts inside of 12 feet :censored: and lost focus towards the end of the round which lead to a couple blow up holes en route to an 83

As I mentioned in the GameGolf thread, my shot of the trip came on the 12th at Mid South:

I drove the ball 5-10 feet into the right pine straw, but was blocked out from most of the green by some trees, had like 170 to the middle of the green. I chose 7 iron and a straight shot from where I was aimed would have put me between the greenside bunkers on the apron of the green. I opened my stance and tried to feel like I was swinging out to in for a cut, and the ball started dead straight then had a really nice 10-15 yd cut to the middle of the green and stopped 8 feet from the pin. Missed the putt of course. Really happy with my execution of the shot, it's not that often I purposefully add curve to shots, and to pull it off gave me a lot of confidence.

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Mid South definitely required a bit more strategy/thinking which club to hit off the tee on some holes, which isn't a bad thing, I was just in the mindset of hitting driver at all times and it did hurt me in a few instances, but that is more of a reflection of me as player and not the course itself.

Overall, I would play all three of these courses again in a hearbeat. They were all slightly different, I'd say Talamore was probably the easiest of the 3 courses, Dormie Club was the most remote/scenic, and Mid South was the nicest overall in terms of greens, practice facilities, staff, etc. Even had a course ranger come out to us on the 17th tee at Mid South and apologize to us for the slowness of the groups in front of us, we ended up having a 4.5 hour round according to the on cart GPS unit/timer.

We had a great time overall and definitely will be back. I hope this helps anyone who is thinking about visiting the area!

 

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I'd probably rank them… with Talamore a distant third. I'm not sure which I'd put where between Mid-South and Dormie Club. I haven't played Mid-South since before the renovation, so I'm bumping it up in my mind for that… but it may be even better or slightly worse than I imagine. Right now I'm calling it a tie, though.

 

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Great to see/hear about the nearby courses, we don’t get out there that much but enjoy hearing about these trips.

iSank

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Great write up @klineka. Sounds like a great time! I bet you’re still running that 7i shot through your mind. The pizza looks prettt damn good too! Thanks for sharing this!

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Etalia in Southern Pines closed on January 1st.

Regretfully we announce that Etalia will be closing its doors on January 1st. We are very grateful to everyone who has supported the restaurant and we hope to have the honor of serving you one more time this holiday season. The restaurant will maintain regular business hours in addition to a special Date Night on New Year’s Eve but will be closed on the 24th and 25th for the Christmas Holiday.

We greatly appreciate and thank you for your support. Etalia had a long successful run because of our neighbors, friends and the wonderful community that makes Southern Pines so special.

Best wishes,
The Etalia Team & The Lund Family

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26 minutes ago, RemyM said:

Etalia in Southern Pines closed on January 1st.

Regretfully we announce that Etalia will be closing its doors on January 1st. We are very grateful to everyone who has supported the restaurant and we hope to have the honor of serving you one more time this holiday season. The restaurant will maintain regular business hours in addition to a special Date Night on New Year’s Eve but will be closed on the 24th and 25th for the Christmas Holiday.

We greatly appreciate and thank you for your support. Etalia had a long successful run because of our neighbors, friends and the wonderful community that makes Southern Pines so special.

Best wishes,
The Etalia Team & The Lund Family

Well that's a sad thing to read.

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33 minutes ago, RemyM said:

Etalia in Southern Pines closed on January 1st.

Regretfully we announce that Etalia will be closing its doors on January 1st. We are very grateful to everyone who has supported the restaurant and we hope to have the honor of serving you one more time this holiday season. The restaurant will maintain regular business hours in addition to a special Date Night on New Year’s Eve but will be closed on the 24th and 25th for the Christmas Holiday.

We greatly appreciate and thank you for your support. Etalia had a long successful run because of our neighbors, friends and the wonderful community that makes Southern Pines so special.

Best wishes,
The Etalia Team & The Lund Family

Dang thats unfortunate. It was really good.

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Just now, klineka said:

Dang thats unfortunate. It was really good.

I can promise you that I'll be searching for a replacement pizza joint next time I'm there.

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On 1/7/2019 at 3:48 PM, DaveP043 said:

I can promise you that I'll be searching for a replacement pizza joint next time I'm there.

We went to Brixx and Etalia several years ago and liked Brixx better.  For Italian, we always go to Vito's, but haven't tried the pizza there.

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Heading back to Talamore/Mid South in mid July with 3 friends.

They have a package available where you get 2 nights (we added a 3rd night) and 3 rounds of golf, lodging at the resort, breakfast each day, a $25 pro shop credit, and a brand new 2016 Scotty Cameron putter. They ran out of the choices for putters quickly, so the only option they had left is the 2016 Select Newport 3. Not my favorite head shape but still willing to give it a shot and I can always sell it if I absolutely hate it.

We are doing 1 round at Talamore and 2 rounds at Mid South and staying in the Talamore Villas.

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2 hours ago, klineka said:

Heading back to Talamore/Mid South in mid July with 3 friends.

They have a package available where you get 2 nights (we added a 3rd night) and 3 rounds of golf, lodging at the resort, breakfast each day, a $25 pro shop credit, and a brand new 2016 Scotty Cameron putter. They ran out of the choices for putters quickly, so the only option they had left is the 2016 Select Newport 3. Not my favorite head shape but still willing to give it a shot and I can always sell it if I absolutely hate it.

We are doing 1 round at Talamore and 2 rounds at Mid South and staying in the Talamore Villas.

Are you playing any 2nd rounds? 

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15 minutes ago, GolfLug said:

Are you playing any 2nd rounds? 

Thinking about it, maybe a 2nd round at Mid South one of the days, I think I read somewhere for a same day replay you only have to pay the cart fee.

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3 hours ago, klineka said:

Heading back to Talamore/Mid South in mid July with 3 friends.

They have a package available where you get 2 nights (we added a 3rd night) and 3 rounds of golf, lodging at the resort, breakfast each day, a $25 pro shop credit, and a brand new 2016 Scotty Cameron putter. They ran out of the choices for putters quickly, so the only option they had left is the 2016 Select Newport 3. Not my favorite head shape but still willing to give it a shot and I can always sell it if I absolutely hate it.

We are doing 1 round at Talamore and 2 rounds at Mid South and staying in the Talamore Villas.

Sounds like a good time! We’re going to (eventually) take a 3- or 4-day golf trip one day like you are, and I was thinking about playing a few courses in the Pinehurst area.

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6 hours ago, klineka said:

and a brand new 2016 Scotty Cameron putter

I saw the same post(s), and they had a Cameron in the photo, but the description just said "a free putter."

The Cameron in the putter had the name "Scotty Cameron" blurred out, too. Here:

 

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3 minutes ago, iacas said:

I saw the same post(s), and they had a Cameron in the photo, but the description just said "a free putter."

The Cameron in the putter had the name "Scotty Cameron" blurred out, too. Here:

 

Yeah I saw that too, not sure why it was blurred out in the image. I emailed them a few days ago to get more info and they shared the list of the putters that we get to pick from, they did it first come first serve, you specified which model you wanted when you completed the booking. As of couple days ago they were only sold out of the Newport 2, but when we went to book today they were sold out of the Newport 2 Mallet as well so all 4 of us will be getting the Newport 3.

Here is the list of all the models they were offering:

-2016 Select Newport 3 RH

-2016 Newport 2 RH

-2016 Newport 2 Mallet RH

-2016 Newport 2 LH

They did this event back in like November too based on some posts I saw on reddit, and for that one they included a custom Scotty Cameron/Talamore headcover but it specifically said that the custom headcover does not come with this one in July.

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Got back from Pinehurst last night and had a blast. Weather was hot but no rain.

Played Talamore friday afternoon and it was solid, a great start to the trip, everyone in the group enjoyed it. I went 41-38 for a 79, played the back 9 much better than the front, hit a wedge to 2 feet on 10 for a tap in birdie.

Played Mid South Saturday morning, and since we were playing Tobacco Road in the afternoon, we agreed to do a group scramble here to mix it up and conserve a little energy. I chipped in for a birdie this round too. 

Stopped in the Mid South clubhouse after the round to get lunch before heading over to Tobacco Road. Drive wasnt too bad to Tobacco road, only about 25 minutes. 

Got checked in at Tobacco road and off we went. It was in great shape, some of the best greens I have ever putted on. It lived up to the hype and I had a great time and really enjoyed the round, but it's not a course I would want to play every day or as my only course I could play, but I do want to play it again now that I know some of the lines a bit better. 

I went 38-39 for a 77, birdied number 4, a par 5 where I was on the green in 2 after a great 6 iron from 200 yds, and birdied number 17, a short par 3 where I hit my tee shot to about 10 feet and made the putt. I played too aggressively on some approach shots and it definitely cost me, but then there were other shots that I didn't hit great but still got away with due to slopes and contours of the holes. 

The only negative about Tobacco road was the fact that it was a 5 hour round so we were pretty drained after that.

Played Mid South again on Sunday this time playing our own ball, I went 38-39 again for a 77, birdied the 4th hole a par 5, got up and down from about 60 yds. I had a couple penalty shots with poor approaches, but played pretty solid overall. 

After the round Sunday we went over to Pinehurst Brewing Company and spent a couple hours there eating and drinking, the food was amazing, some of the best wings (Cheerwine BBQ wings) and burger (Brisket Burger) I have ever had.

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Here are a couple pics I took at Tobacco Road

View from the first tee

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17th hole 

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Tee shot on 18

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GGrrrrrr, I'm jealous, but that's some pretty good playing.   My wife and I had plans for Spain and Portugal in September that we think will fall through, so I just took a look at bookings in our Talamore condo, and there's really nothing open until mid-October.  Ah well, we'll figure out something to do for a little getaway.

We've always enjoyed Pinehurst Brewing, glad that worked out well for you.  Any other food or drink choices that stood out?

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