The most premier private experience in Pinehurst arguably belongs to members of The Country Club of North Carolina, CCNC. Does that surprise you? Pinehurst, the American Home of Golf conjures images of the iconic statues and all the numbered, pine lined courses as the most familiar and rightfully so. CCNC however delivers two very pristine courses and amenities with all the pines plus an entire forest and lakes without the tourists, just seven minutes from Pinehurst Resort.
In 1963, over 40 prominent businessmen formed a vision to create a club of the finest quality in a central location for its members to golf and socialize. Today, member ownership of the club ensures the integrity of the founders’ vision at CCNC. An understated security gate lends to the privacy and secrecy of the exclusive grounds.
Dogwood’s original Ellis Maples and Willard Byrd design of 1963 was renovated 40 years later by Arthur Hills and Steve Forrest, then again by Kris Spence in 2016. It is one of only five courses in the state with luxuriously textured Zeon Zoysia fairways. The routing of the Dogwood course is such that when playing each hole, it feels like you’re the only ones on course. Number three’s par 3 is the first ever island green in North Carolina. Number 11 features a waterfall and wooden cart bridge. Half the holes skirt the lakes with number 16 playing across a section of Watson Lake. 18 is the best finishing hole in the Sandhills region.
The Cardinal Course was designed by Willard Byrd and Robert Trent Jones, Sr. Each course is annually noted on Top lists and both have Audubon Sanctuary Certification. Ospreys shriek to one another sailing through the straw pines while black squirrels with white noses resembling golf balls clamor up the trees like acrobats. Dogwoods are pretty in bloom, with red berries remaining after. Along with red whistling cardinals, they flourish throughout both courses.
The Club will proudly host its third USGA National Championship when the US Junior Amateur returns in July of 2021.
The highly secured community offers two neighborhoods. Royal Dornoch Villas’ twenty-five fully maintenance free sites are in walking distance of CCNC amenities. They share beautiful lake, golf and woodland views as do the homes in East Lake Development situated across from hole 4 of the Dogwood Course. Homeowners here have a safe and secure, natural retreat with miles of trails in the heart of Pinehurst. One might be astounded by the positioning of homes and communal aspect as they are connected yet private along twenty-two miles of roads.
Dornoch Grille serves breakfast and is the halfway house for Dogwood overlooking its 17th hole and the 1st of Cardinal next to Urquhart Pond, named for one of the founders. The 19th Hole is for men only and open Wed-Sun 11-6. The Clubhouse with Members’ Lounge and formal Royal Dornoch Ballroom has been renovating in phases with completions this fall and next fall. A new wrap around terrace delivers scenic lakeside dining and golf views with attentive, friendly service and a menu to please any palate. The fresh fish and scallops were among the best dinners of our lives. The chef explained his secret – working with a collaborative team of young chefs who creatively experiment and enhance one another’s ideas. They engage in “spice ology” to create magic serums with maple syrup and bourbon and the fluffiest risotto concoctions.
The Golf Shop at CCNC utilizes every inch of its footprint with top quality merchandise to suit all tastes, displayed creatively yet uncluttered.
In addition to three recreational lakes, and fishing ponds a fitness center with all the top equipment and personal training overlooks Watson Lake as does the sophisticated pool complex with a seasonal snack bar. Family camps and children’s programs plus game clubs and special community events enhance the social environment. Sports courts are available for tennis and now pickleball has become very popular here. Will golf croquet be next? If the members want it, to be sure.
Not reserved for residents, there are about 250 North Carolina members who live outside of the county. Ninety percent of the state’s population lives conveniently within 100 miles of Pinehurst. 150 national members plus international make The Country Club of North Carolina much more than a golf community. It is an executive fraternity/sorority where friends and family share everything in common whenever present and homes are available to nonresident members when visiting. Several Full Golfing and Nongolfing Membership Fee options range from Patriot at $1500 to Resident/Moore County at $28k in 2020. In between are Overseas, National and North Carolina Memberships. Monthly Dues are based on the same sliding scale.
When Carolinians inquired where we played while in Pinehurst, they would ask, “How did you play there?” We were lucky to enjoy a day of exclusivity in the private play land that is The Country Club of North Carolina. Manicured fairways and greens make the golf courses lush while chefs and attendees make dinners a delicious treat and the members are all very engaging.
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