By Lee Pace
As Christmas approaches with each niblick stroke and foozled chip shot, unique gifts ideas for the golfer who has everything may be scarce. No worries, we have a few suggestions.
For the foodie: Dinner at The 1895 Grille
This intimate Four-Star enclave in The Holly Inn offers an experience in taste, atmosphere and service that’s unrivaled.
Try the filet of beef, rubbed with sea salt and truffle oil. It’s nestled alongside a ramekin of macaroni, fontina cheese and morsels of lobster.
Top off the evening by marveling as the wait staff pours molten white Godiva chocolate liqueur from a gooseneck sauceboat into a pillow of chocolate soufflé.
“Savor the moment,” says Thierry Debailleul, the executive chef at Pinehurst. “Dinner at the 1895 will take a little longer. Every morsel is an experience. There is always something happening on your plate.”
For the leisure lover: The Champions Massage
Michael Campbell was sore, tight and exhausted after the third round of the 2005 U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2. He found solace and the strong and soothing hands of a Pinehurst masseuse that night. The next day, he played a relaxed and free-flowing round of golf that bested Tiger Woods to win the championship.
The Champions Massage is just one of the many massage, facial, body wraps and salon services available in our award-winning spa facility. Guests are pampered in this “sanctuary within a sanctuary” with peppermint foot scrub and organic lavender oil applied to the soothing strains of flutes, harps and cellos of background music.
For the ultimate golfer: The Evergreen Escape
Pinehurst was founded in 1895 by James Tufts, a man from Boston who yearned for refuge from the bite of a dark New England winter. After opening in 1901, the Carolina Hotel became such a bustling establishment it turned away guests by the thousands during Februarys in the Roaring Twenties.
A moderate mid-Atlantic climate makes Pinehurst the perfect winter golf getaway. Our Evergreen Escape package includes overnight accommodations, a round of golf or a spa treatment and the Carolina Dining Room’s legendary breakfast buffet, all for one low price through early March.
You can upgrade to play Pinehurst No. 2, site of the 1936 PGA Championship, 1951 Ryder Cup and three U.S. Opens. There’s nothing better than walking No. 2 with a caddie on a brisk, bright winter day.
For the growing golfer: A weekend at the Golf Academy
More than half a million balls are estimated to be hit annually on Pinehurst’s Maniac Hill practice tee, and a fair number are struck at the far eastern side of the range where lead instructor Eric Alpenfels and his veteran staff conduct golf schools from March through late October.
Full swing, short game, putting, bunker play, course management and equipment fitting are addressed during each school, which run four days during the week and three days on the weekend.
Each golfer is video-taped upon the launch of the school and a one-on-one session with an instructor identifies the key faults and fixes guaranteed to shave strokes off your handicap.
For the trend shopper: A Visit to The Links Shop
Thousands of golfers flock annually to the expansive golf shop in the resort clubhouse, where all manner of golf wear from top lines like Peter Millar, Bobby Jones and Polo are available.
Lesser known but striking the perfect chord in the lobby of The Carolina Hotel is The Links Shop, which was remodeled and doubled in size earlier this year. It offers resort guests, members and locals a true boutique shopping experience.
Ladies may be particularly drawn to shop, which carries Brighton jewelry, Dooney & Bourke handbags, Frye boots and Patricia Han totes.
For the art enthusiast: “First Light at Pinehurst” print
Employee Kaye Pierson was on her way to mow the No. 2 greens one winter morning in 2013 when she noticed a confluence of sunlight and clouds to the east. Experience told her the scene would make for a stunning visual when the sun rose a little more.
After finishing up at No. 2, she moved over to the putting green and noticed a sky bursting with color. Using her iPhone, Pierson captured a remarkable view of The Putter Boy statue with a fog-enveloped Padgett Learning Center in the background, a soft orange sky swirling above it.
The image is available on archival prints and 5×7 note cards.
For the young golfer: Junior clubs and golf journal
Pinehurst has been an incubator for the game of golf for more than a century, and what better place to get a youngster initiated into a lifetime of fascinating competition, travel and friendship?
A set of custom-fitting junior clubs from U.S. Kids and a beautiful journal book by author Susan Green make an ideal Christmas combo for the youngest.
U.S. Kids Clubs come in two models, Ultralight and Tour Series, and are fitted depending on the child’s height, making their entry and progression into the game easy with clubs honed into their size and ability.
The engaging and beautifully-illustrated companion journal provides a fun and handy venue for a young golfer to track progress, make notes and store keepsakes along the way.
For the history buff: “The Golden Age of Pinehurst” book
From the shameless plug department, this book has been updated since its original introduction in the fall of 2012 to include coverage of the back-to-back 2014 U.S. Open and U.S Women’s Open.
The 384-page book is lavishly illustrated and chronicles the evolution of Pinehurst and its famed No. 2 course over more than a century — from the early days of architect Donald Ross to a behind-the-scenes perspective on the restoration of the course by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw.
Lee Pace is a regular contributor to the Pinehurst blog. He latest book, “The Golden Age of Pinehurst — The Rebirth of No. 2,” is available in all retail shops at Pinehurst.