Village of Pinehurst, North Carolina — The renowned Talamore Golf Resort near the Village of Pinehurst first made headlines for its famed stable of llama caddies and unparalleled customer service. Today, Talamore has grown to become one of the Sandhills’ premier golf getaways — which is why more than 90 percent of the resort’s customers return or refer new business.
Home for the past quarter-century to the Pinehurst area’s most successful stay-and-play program, Talamore has remained relevant through the years by staying on the cutting-edge of golf resort innovation. Talamore’s latest line of improvements, additions and upgrades have included a renovation of the Talamore clubhouse and golf course — now named, appropriately, The New Course at Talamore — unique resort activities such as weekly Pig Pickins’ at the Talamore Pavilion and southern breakfast buffets in the resort’s popular Sodfather’s Grille. This year, Talamore’s sister property across the street at the Mid South Club will be receiving a golf course restoration and greens conversion, along with numerous other club enhancements.
While Talamore hosts numerous foursomes and groups of more than 100, the resort is known for its versatility and has become a popular place for small- to mid-sized groups of between 12 and 40 golfers. These groups can rent an entire building or adjacent buildings to keep themselves grouped together onsite. Talamore’s clubhouse, pool and cabana are all conveniently located next to the Talamore Golf Villas, which provide top-shelf amenities and panoramic views. Talamore’s villa accommodations include spacious condominiums equipped in two- and three-bedroom configurations. Mid South Club offers immaculately adorned Lodges that provide stunning views of the ninth, 18th (and 19th) holes of Arnold Palmer’s famous course.
“Thanks to all the renovation work, the New Course at Talamore and the ‘new’ Mid-South Club stand as a compelling one-two punch,” said Matt Hausser, Talamore Resort’s General Manager. “When you tack on the more than 20 other area courses the Talamore golf packages offer, there simply is not a better all-around value and diversity.”
Last summer — 25 years after the resort first opened — the green complexes at Talamore were converted from bent grass to Champion Bermuda. In addition to true rolling and lightening fast greens, the new strains of Bermuda are providing significantly better playing conditions year-round. The Talamore green complexes were restored to their original 1991 design by recapturing the greens surrounds, which had been encroached by native Bermuda grasses. To ensure the design continuity of the putting contours, Talamore used the “no till” method pioneered by Champion Turf Farms out of Texas.
Talamore’s anniversary changes had a broader mission than just a greens conversion. Better course conditions, a more playable layout and more convenient golf cart access throughout the course were all on the list. Talamore removed a number of bunkers from the original layout and re-contoured the areas to blend with the surrounding shaping, providing more forgiveness in the landing zones and around the greens. Also, Talamore now allows full cart access to all its holes with significantly improved access everywhere.
Playing conditions have been improved tremendously as Talamore’s maintenance staff is better able to focus on top-notch turf, since more than 75 bunkers and nearly 90 percent of the actual sand has been eliminated from the original layout. A secondary effect of the improved playability and golf cart access has been a better pace of play — reducing playing times by more than 30 minutes.
And in a special touch reminiscent of Scotland, Talamore unveiled the Sandhills’ only sod wall bunkers — a dozen, strategically placed to provide a unique and fun challenge. Add everything up and “The New Course” at Talamore is, quite simply, a far more sustainable, maintainable, enjoyable and playable golf course from each and every angle.
Meanwhile, at Talamore’s Sodfather’s Grille, a fun 19th hole with outstanding resort cuisine, flat-screen TVs abound with sports, sports and more sports in a comfortable setting overlooking the course’s famous finishing hole. Adding to a guests’ flexible list of options, as giving them a walking distance spot to hang out and watch their favorite sporting events, Sodfather’s Grille also provides a breakfast bar in the clubhouse on Friday, Saturday and Sunday featuring the best southern and traditional breakfast favorites. The centerpiece to the breakfast has been the famous Dollie Llama waffle station with toppings galore.
Talamore’s Pavilion at the Villas — equipped with a fireplace, flat-screen TVs, comfortable seating, a plethora of BBQ grills and everyone’s favorite corn hole toss — stands in the middle of the Talamore Villa campus. Quickly becoming a major-league hit, the pavilion is regularly the site of Thursday night southern BBQ featuring a Pig Pickin’ and other southern favorites. Best of all, during prime golf season it is complimentary for Talamore guests.
Following up on the successful remastering of Talamore, this summer the greens at Mid South Club will be converted to Champion Bermuda. Mid South is also busy improving the club’s cart path system. Heavily damaged areas are being removed and in most instances being restored with a natural packed sand base, and the paths will be re-concreted where necessary due to grade or traffic patterns.
In addition, while the Mid South greens remodeling project is being conducted, the club will also add a new set of forward tees to many holes. These new tees promise to be a welcome addition to the golf course and are expected to provide a more player friendly approach for those just learning the game — as well as those looking to move forward for a more enjoyable playing experience.
Also in store for 2017 are member facility upgrades to include the addition of basketball on one of the tennis courts, as well as a new barbecue and hospitality area at the Mid South pool. In addition to the greens redo and other golf course enhancements, Mid South has added to an ever-expanding social calendar of events for the club’s members. Many new events and services were added in 2016 — all well received — and this year will include even more new events and enhancements to previous themes.