GOLF BAG: Getaways Without Travel
If you're looking for a year-end golf getaway that doesn't include the hassle of a lot of travel, area golf resorts may be just your ticket.
Seasonal offers and packages from Pinehurst/Southern Pines/Aberdeen areas currently highlight the state of North Carolina's official golf travel planning Web site, Golf.VisitNC.com, including New Year's getaways to the legendary Pinehurst Resort, named Best Golf Resort in America by Travel & Leisure Golf magazine.
For instance, the Evergreen Escape at Pinehurst Resort offers a round of golf or a 50-minute spa treatment, plus overnight accommodations, breakfast and dinner. The package rate starts from $229 per person, and you can upgrade to Pinehurst No. 2 golf course for an additional $165 per person.
The New Year's Party in the Pines at Pinehurst Resort features The Band of Oz. Enjoy a gourmet dinner, dessert buffet, party with dancing and grand countdown, continental midnight buffet, morning breakfast and late checkout to bring in 2009. This package starts from $229 per person. Golf, spa and children's programs are also available.
The end-of-the-year getaway at Legacy Golf Links in Aberdeen starts from $99 per person and includes two rounds at the Jack Nicklaus II-designed course and a night at the Comfort Inn of Pinehurst. Continental breakfast is included.
Talamore Resort is offering two nights in spacious Talamore Villas and three rounds of golf from $199 per person. Courses include the Legacy, Whispering Pines and Rees Jones' Talamore Resort Course.
Just down U.S. 1, Tobacco Road Golf and Travel in Sanford presents its golf special that includes a one-night stay with continental breakfast at the Comfort Inn of Pinehurst and two rounds of golf at Tobacco Road and Beacon Ridge. Packages start from $99 per person.
Sunbelt Tour: The Sunbelt Tour can be proud of its alumnae.
Three of the five fully exempt spots earned at the 2008 Champions Tour National Qualifying School went to Carolinas-based Tour.
Tom McKnight, who won his first professional event on the Sunbelt Tour several years ago at Calabash Golf Links, finished third. James Mason, who has been a member of the Sunbelt Tour since 2000, returns to fully exempt status for the second time, and Tidewater's 2006 South Carolina Senior Open Champion, Steve Thomas, claimed the fifth and final spot.
Also obtaining "conditional" cards by finishing in the top 12 were two-time Sunbelt Tour champion David Ogrin and Tim Conley, who led the 2008 Sunbelt Tour money list. Former Sunbelt Tour member Mike San Filippo also finished in this category.
Five more 2008 Sunbelt Tour members who finished in the top 30 will be exempt into the Monday qualifiers and will be trying to win one of the four available spots. They include Mike Lawrence, Jim Chancey, Javier Sanchez, Jack Ferenz and Mike Smith. Another former Sunbelt Tour winner who ended up in the top is Kirk Hanefeld.
The 2009 Champions Tour will be like a homecoming because they will all be joined by Gene Jones and Mike Goodes, who have fully exempt status from finishing in the top 30 of the Champions Tour 2008 money list.
Patriot Day: The fundraising totals for Patriot Golf Day have just been released, and the Carolinas PGA Section totaled $148,851-- the most of any of the 41 sections and 11.5 percent of the total raised nationwide for 2008.
Overall, 60 percent of the Carolinas Section's facilities participated in the Labor Day weekend event, which this year raised $1.7 million for the families of soldiers who have been injured or killed in the line of military duty.
Topping the list of Carolinas PGA facilities was Old North State Club in New London, N.C., where Director of Golf Tom Ducey and 36 members raised more than $41,000 for the families of military heroes.
Ducey said the enthusiastic response was because of the efforts of amateur golf and eight-year club member, Johnny Hall, a co-owner/president of two local lumber companies.
Wyndham News: The Wyndham Championship will be part of the inaugural Kodak Challenge that tees off on the PGA Tour in January.
Hole No. 15 at Sedgefield Country Club has been selected as a Kodak Challenge hole.
The Kodak Challenge is a first-of-its-kind competition for the Tour and celebrates beautiful holes and memorable moments. Players must play at least 18 of the 24 Kodak Challenge holes throughout the season to compete for the Kodak Challenge title and $1 million.
A player's lowest score relative to par on 18 of the Kodak Challenge holes will be counted. In the case of a tie, a sudden-death playoff on the final hole will take place immediately after conclusion of the last tournament of the Kodak Challenge, the Children's Miracle Network Classic presented by Wal-Mart.
"Being a part of the inaugural Kodak Challenge is a nice honor for the Wyndham Championship," tournament director Mark Brazil said. "The 15th hole at Sedgefield was selected as among the most beautiful and memorable on the PGA Tour, and that's a credit to Kris Spence who led the course restoration as well as Sedgefield superintendent Keith Wood. Piedmont Triad golf fans will be intrigued by this new game within the PGA Tour."
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