Industry News

Pinehurst No. 2 continues to lead the way In 2023 NC Golf Panel Rankings

Pinehurst area also boasts seven top courses you can play

SOUTHERN PINES, NC (APRIL 3, 2023) – Pinehurst No. 2 has once again secured the top spot as the best golf course in the state as determined by the North Carolina Golf Panel. Pinehurst Resort will host the 2024 U.S. Open at the venerable Donald Ross course for the fourth time, June 13-16, 2024. The Dogwood Course at The Country Club of North Carolina and Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club flipped the third and fourth positions. Southern Pines Golf Club moved up 13 spots to the 75th ranked course in the state as the recently renovated design by Kyle Franz continues to garner votes from panelists. Sixteen courses from the Sandhills area are listed in the Top 100 rankings with the lowest being Talamore Golf Club at #77.

The North Carolina Golf Panel was founded in 1995 and is recognized as the most authoritative statewide source of golf course rankings in a state that arguably boasts some of the nation’s best courses. The 185-member panel is composed of golf media, club professionals and general managers from many outstanding courses, accomplished amateur players and college golf coaches, and others who play an active role in promoting golf in North Carolina.

“North Carolina has some of the best golf courses in the country and the epicenter is right here in the Pinehurst area,” said Phil Werz, president and CEO for the Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Golf is a major driver of our economy in Moore County and the demand for our product is higher than ever. This once again validates that we are the Home of American golf.”

Among the 2023 rankings of the Top 100 Courses in North Carolina, a total of 16 are located in the Pinehurst Area. Those rankings include: Pinehurst No. 2 (#1); The Country Club of North Carolina (Dogwood, #3); Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club (#4); Pinehurst No. 4 (#12); CCNC (Cardinal, #13); Pinehurst No. 8 (#16); Mid Pines Inn & Golf Club (#22); Dormie Club (#24); Forest Creek Golf Club (South, #29); Pinehurst No. 9 (#30); Mid South Club (#37); Forest Creek Golf Club (North, #40); Pinehurst No. 7 (#51); Pinewild Country Club (Magnolia, #68); and Southern Pines Golf Club (#75) and Talamore Golf Club (#77).

The panel also ranked the Top 50 Courses You Can Play and the Pinehurst area once again dominated the list with 14 locations, or nearly 30 percent of the clubs, including the top seven and eight of the top 11. The top seven include Pinehurst No. 2, Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club, Pinehurst No. 4, Pinehurst No. 8, Mid Pines Inn and Golf Club, Pinehurst No. 9 and Mid South Club. Pinehurst No. 7 is eleventh. Other golf clubs among the Top 50 include Southern Pines Golf Club (#20); Talamore Golf Club (#21); Pinehurst No. 6 (#32); Tobacco Road Golf Club (#38); Legacy Golf Links (#40) and Longleaf Golf and Family Club (#41).

“The specialness of the Sandhills as the premier golf destination in perhaps the world, is reflected every year in our rankings. What sometimes get lost is how many outstanding course designers, following in the footsteps of Donald Ross, have worked in the region,” said Kevin Brafford, executive director of the N.C. Golf Panel. “Tom Fazio, Rees Jones, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus all have original designs. Then came the work of Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw on Pinehurst No. 2, followed by Gil Hanse with No. 4. Tom Doak will be the next to leave his mark when the tenth course opens next year.”

Pinehurst area golf courses are no strangers to the national and global stage as well when it comes to major championships. The U.S. Open will be back at Pinehurst No. 2 in 2024, marking the fourth such major championship to be played at the iconic club over the course of 25 years (1999, 2005, 2014 and 2024), the most to be played over the course of a quarter century than any other location in the country. Pinehurst No. 2 will host additional U.S. Open championships in 2029, 2035, 2041 and 2047. In 2029, Pinehurst No. 2 will once again host back-to-back men’s and women’s U.S. Open championships, a repeat of the only course in America to host that tandem of historic events in 2014.

For more information about all golf courses in the Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen area, visit For the complete list of the Top 100 Courses for 2023, Top 50 Courses You Can Play and other rankings, visit

Top 100 Courses for 2023 (second number is previous year’s ranking)

1.         1. Pinehurst No. 2, Pinehurst
2.         2. Grandfather Golf and Country Club, Linville
3.         4. The Country Club of North Carolina (Dogwood), Pinehurst
4.         3. Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club, Southern Pines                      
5.         5. Quail Hollow Club, Charlotte         
6.         6. Mountaintop Golf and Lake Club, Cashiers
7.         7. Elk River Club, Banner Elk
8.         12. Old Town Club, Winston-Salem
9.         9. Sedgefield Country Club, Greensboro
10.       10. Old North State Club, New London
11.       11. Cape Fear Country Club, Wilmington
12.       8. Pinehurst No. 4, Pinehurst
13.       17. The Country Club of North Carolina (Cardinal), Pinehurst
14.       14. Charlotte Country Club, Charlotte
15.       13. Wade Hampton Golf Club, Cashiers        
16.       15. Pinehurst No. 8, Pinehurst
17.       16. Old Chatham Golf Club, Durham
18.       18. Eagle Point Golf Club, Wilmington
19.       19. Raleigh Country Club, Raleigh
20.       23. MacGregor Downs Country Club, Cary
21.       22. River Landing (River), Wallace
22.       21. Mid Pines Lodge & Golf Club, Southern Pines
23.       24. Forsyth Country Club, Winston-Salem
24.       20. Dormie Club, West End
25.       26. Rock Barn Country Club (Jones), Conover
26.       27. Governors Club, Chapel Hill
27.       29. Country Club of Landfall (Dye), Wilmington
28.       25. Biltmore Forest Country Club, Asheville
29.       28. Forest Creek Golf Club (South), Pinehurst
30.       31. Pinehurst No. 9, Pinehurst
31.       34. Country Club of Landfall (Nicklaus), Wilmington
32.       30. Prestonwood Country Club (Highlands), Cary
33.       32. Treyburn Country Club, Durham
34.       37. Starmount Forest Country Club, Greensboro
35.       39. Champion Hills Club, Hendersonville
36.       36. River Landing (Landing), Wallace
37.       38. Mid South Club, Southern Pines
38.       35. Linville Golf Club, Linville
39.       46. The Club at Longview, Waxhaw
40.       33. Forest Creek Golf Club (North), Pinehurst
41.       40. Myers Park Country Club, Charlotte
42.       41. Trump National Golf Club, Mooresville
43.       45. Balsam Mountain Preserve, Sylva
44.       42. High Point Country Club (Willow Creek), High Point
45.       51. Bryan Park Golf and Conference Center (Champions), Browns Summit
46.       43. The Hasentree Club, Wake Forest
47.       44. Greensboro Country Club (Farm), Greensboro
48.       47. Finlay Golf Course, Chapel Hill
49.       52. Grandover (East), Greensboro
50.       49. Country Club of Asheville, Asheville
51.       50. Pinehurst No. 7, Pinehurst  
52.       55. The Cardinal by Pete Dye, Greensboro
53.       60. Hound Ears Club, Boone
54.       57. Lonnie Poole Golf Course, Raleigh
55.       53. Gaston Country Club, Gastonia
56.       48. Bald Head Island Club, Bald Head Island 
57.       54. Duke University Golf Club, Durham
58.       56. Hope Valley Country Club, Durham        
59.       58. The Currituck Club, Corolla
60.       59. Occano, Merry Hill
61.       65. Forest Oaks Country Club, Greensboro
62.       66. Mimosa Hills Golf Club, Morganton
63.       63. Ballantyne Country Club, Charlotte
64.       75. Porters Neck Country Club, Wilmington
65.       62. Prestonwood Country Club (Meadows), Cary
66.       70. Pinewood Country Club, Asheboro
67.       64. Leopard’s Chase, Sunset Beach
68.       61. Pinewild Country Club (Magnolia), Pinehurst     
69.       -- Carolina Country Club, Raleigh
70.       78. Cedarwood Country Club, Charlotte
71.       72. Crow Creek Golf Club, Calabash  
72.       69. Alamance Country Club, Burlington
73.       67. Bright’s Creek Club, Mill Spring
74.       68. Jefferson’s Landing, Jefferson
75.       88. Southern Pines Golf Club, Southern Pines
76.       71. The Club at Irish Creek, Kannapolis
77.       81. Talamore Golf Club, Southern Pines
78.       73. River Run Country Club, Davidson
79.       74. Tiger’s Eye, Sunset Beach
80.       75. Carmel Country Club (South), Charlotte
81.       80. Providence Country Club, Charlotte
82.       79. Thistle Golf Club, Sunset Beach
83.       83. Grandover (West), Greensboro
84.       77. Croasdaile Country Club, Durham
85.       84. Tanglewood park (Championship), Clemmons
86.       87. Blowing Rock Country Club, Blowing Rock
87.       89. Mill Creek Golf Club, Mebane
88.       85. Kilmarlic Golf Club, Powells Point
89.       86. The Country Club at Wakefield Plantation, Raleigh
90.       91. Crystal Coast Country Club, Pine Knoll Shores
91.       90. Linville Ridge, Linville
92.       82. The Peninsula Club, Cornelius
93.       92. Lake Toxaway Country Club, Lake Toxaway
94.       93. Benvenue Country Club, Rocky Mount
95.       96. Morehead City Country Club, Morehead City
96.       95. Bermuda Run Country Club (East), Bermuda Run 
97.       97. Stoney Creek Golf Club, Whitsett
98.       94. St. James Plantation (Reserve), Southport
99.       98. Brook Valley Country Club, Greenville
100.     99. Rumbling Bald Resort (Apple Valley), Lake Lure

The Pinehurst Southern Pines Aberdeen Convention & Visitors Bureau
The Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) is the economic development agency responsible for travel and tourism promotion, product development, and visitor services for Moore County, NC. The CVB devises strategies to enhance the County’s tourism brand value and product to accommodate the next generation of visitors, thereby stimulating the local economy and enhancing the quality of life for residents and visitors alike. In 2021, Moore County ranked as the tenth largest tourism economy in North Carolina, generating $673 million annually in visitor spending, which supports the second largest employment sector in the county.

Contact: Phil Werz, President & CEO, 910.692.3330 x-234