The New Course at Talamore Golf Resort in Southern Pines, N.C., has been named the “Course of the Year 2018” by the Village of Pinehurst Area Chapter of the National Golf Course Owners Association. The prestigious award comes after a major restoration was performed on the golf course in 2016.
Talamore’s partner property across the street, the Arnold Palmer-designed King’s Course at Mid South, underwent a similar golf course restoration and greens conversion along with numerous other club enhancements.
In all, these projects are among $6 million in capital improvements at Talamore’s four North Carolina and Pennsylvania facilities.
In 2016 — a quarter century after the renowned resort first opened — the green complexes on The New Course were converted from bent grass to Champion Bermuda. The New Course’s green complexes were restored to their original 1991 Rees Jones design by recapturing the greens surrounds, which had been encroached by native Bermuda grasses.
This past summer, the King’s Course — the only Arnold Palmer Signature course in the Sandhills — also installed new Champion Bermuda greens along with a host of other course renovations. Some greens increased in size by as much as 40 percent, as the many years of Bermuda encroachment was removed.
“The greens restoration is nothing short of a watershed event,” said General Manager Matt Hausser. “It’s incredible. All of the greens had shrunk to oval shaped. We now have fingers and approach areas that we never knew existed. The opportunity for many unique pin placements is making the courses even more fun and challenging.”
Talamore Resort’s anniversary changes had a broader mission than just greens conversion. Better course conditions, more playable layouts and more convenient golf cart access throughout the courses were all on the list. The New Course removed 75 bunkers from the original layout — re-contouring the areas to blend with the surrounding shaping, providing more forgiveness in the landing zones and around the greens — and added some new, signature sod wall bunkers.
Also, the New Course now allows full cart access to all its holes with significantly enhanced access everywhere, and improved walk on and off to greens.