Pinehurst Golf Days 3 & 4

Tuesday saw the old hackers heading to what would be the nicest course we played on the trip; Tallamore. Gaining some interest a number of years ago having the option of using Lamas to carry the golfer’s bags, the idea never took off and the remaining Lamas relegated to a penned area on the back 9, inconspicuously watching the golfer’s carts wiz by giving thanks for their own new life of leisure.
The 8 AM tee time barely dodged a frost delay, and although the sun made a vain attempt to peek through, the wind kept the temperatures feeling cool. The course was a tremendous layout, with many golf-friendly improvements scheduled for later this year including renovated greens, elimination of numerous bunkers and removal of hundreds of trees. The only other game improvement projects I could recommend in enlarging the cup and doubling the width of the fairways, as well as a mulligan a hole. Despite not having those advantages I did manage to post a 42/45 for a respectable 87.
The snack bar was a nice setting, especially the deck overlooking #18; a great place to enjoy a beer. The food choices were minimal, with the bar-b-Que being the most highly rated by our group, but the beer was cold and the staff very friendly.
A number of us played a captain’s choice 2nd round and then headed for Kurt’s Cuccina a phenomenal local Italian restaurant we found last year. Again the culinary highlight of the trip, unless you count the numerous milkshakes at Cookout! This eatery gets 5 stars from me in all categories. The quality is outstanding, the portions ample, the setting very friendly and the clientele, in addition to the many golfers, appears to have a large number of regulars

Our final round was played, as always, was Highland Hills and manager Bridgett and Ozzie the amazing Border Collie. One of the most welcoming courses I’ve ever played and the course, although having just a few difficult holes, is a great layout. Bridgett helps put the entire outing together and clearly loves what she does. Better yet-my first birdie of the year (2 to be exact), my first sub 40-9-hole score (39-with double on # 9 ) and best round of the year of 83, what’s not to like; especially since golf is all about ME! The 19th hole is a typical golf snack bar; nothing elaborate, dogs, subs, chips, etc., but Bridgett always has a large chocolate cake for our group which is a great way to end a great outing!
Great 4 days of golf, and already have it on my schedule for next year!

Hyland Hills Golf Club

Hyland Hills Golf Club – March 9, 2014.

My golf season is officially underway, and welcome to the first 2014 post to Birdies and Burgers, although my first round of the season had no birdies and not even a burger! However, after a 5 ½ Hour trip to the Pinehurst area, we (myself and 23 other golfers mostly from the Lake of the Woods area of Virginia) enjoyed the beautiful weather and friendly and gracious folks from the Hyland Hills Golf Club in Southern Pines, North Carolina.

After the rough winter the course itself was in pretty good shape considering the challenges of the cold and snow. As always “Ozzie” the faithful Border collie and the house cat are the center of attention in the clubhouse. The course itself was crowded, but the pace of play reasonable. A 6 iron from 176 yards on number 18 got me close enough to salvage a par for an 89 on the course, but the round was filled with missed opportunities and a few downright awful shots. But anything under 90 for an opening round of the season, especially with a must make par on 18, was a good way to start the season.

Given the late tee time and a scheduled early dinner, I chose to grab a ham and cheese hoagie at the turn. The menu in the snack bar was limited to a couple of sandwich choices, snacks and ¼ lb hot dogs, one of my playing partners chose.  The hoagie had plenty of shaved Honey-Baked ham on a fresh bun, which was served warmed at my request. My GDP (golf-dining partner- not some economic indicator) said the hot dog, san the chili, was cooked perfectly and tasty. The beer was a reasonable $3.00, and the food prices in the $4-5 range, and most importantly served by a staff that clearly understands the importance of a client-centric environment.

Everyone at Hyland Hills is incredibly friendly and engaged our entire group in conversation; again with Ozzie being the focal point of the interactions. He loves to ride around the course with Bridgett in a golf cart and entertain the golfers in the clubhouse with his quick reflexes as he stalks his rubber chicken or ball.

This trip to Pinehurst has been an annual event for many in the group, but just my second trip, and we will play the course again on Wednesday before we leave to return to Northern Virginia. I look forward to trying to best the 89 and visiting again Hyland Hills.

Food:3 Stars (3 / 5)
Course:3 Stars (3 / 5)
Staff:5 Stars (5 / 5)