John P. Kane
Ryan Barnett/Courtesy of Southern Pines
Southern Pines used to be a course that only locals and architectural bookworms played. Designed in the early 1900s by Donald Ross, the affordable public course occupied a wonderful, bucolic piece of land and seemed to have buried treasure underneath. After a change in ownership, Kyle Franz completed a major 2021 renovation that added plenty of razzle dazzle to the design in the form of new greens and painting the layout with the kind of scruffy sandscapes indigenous to the Pinehurst region (and to Pine Needles and Mid Pines where he’s previously wielded his art). The work has elevated this formerly modest public course to the level of its more prestigious neighbors.
100 Greatest Public: Not previously ranked.
2023-'24 ranking: 72nd.
Best in State: Not previously ranked.
2023-'24 ranking: 17th.