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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 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 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. 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!
Newport Cup Participants Review Talamore & Mid South Golf Club and Lodging Product Name: Talamore Golf Club and Mid South Golf Club Product Type: Golf Courses and Lodging Product Website/URL: http://www.talamoregolfresort.com Cost: Varies Below, twelve members of the 2017 Newport Cup squad will write thorough, in-depth reviews of Talamore and Mid South Golf Club and the lodging, complete with photos, an occasional video, and a wealth of opinion and information. They're encouraged to be as honest as possible. We'd like to thank the sponsors for the gear, apparel, equipment, and goodies, and we chose them largely because they produce quality products, but they know we value honesty and integrity in reviews as well.
I've uploaded about 125 photos from @mvmac and I, and if you were a participant or a huge helper (@RandallT), I encourage you to add your own images. Just click "Add Images" on the album page (I scaled my photos to 50%, so they're mostly 800 KB to 1.5 MB in size). If you have any troubles uploading, let me know. I can adjust the media allowances. Here, too, is a video showing just about every video clip Mike and I recorded. (Yes, it'll take awhile to upload.)