As one of three courses in the Sandhills to have hosted a U.S. Golf Association national championship, Legacy Golf Links in Aberdeen, N.C., has long been one of the most popular courses in the Pinehurst area.
Here are five things to know about the course, which came in at No. 40 among “Top 50 Courses You Can Play” in the North Carolina Golf Panel’s 2017 rankings.
1) A different approach
A product of Nicklaus Design, Legacy was completed by Jack Nicklaus’ eldest son, Jack Nicklaus II, in 1991. However, unlike a majority of his father’s designs, Nicklaus II made Legacy rather player-friendly.
According to Chad Derusseau, Legacy’s director of golf, almost every shot offers room to miss the sand, water or hazards that might be on the other side of the fairway or green.
“As long as you kind of play to the safe spot,” Derusseau said, “you can really keep your ball in play the whole round and not get yourself in too much trouble.”
2) ‘The Bear’
Once rated as one of the toughest holes in North Carolina, few finishing holes compare to Legacy’s, a 459-yard par-4.
With a long drive almost necessary to reach the green – which features a water hazard guarding most of its front and a stone bulkhead – in two shots, it’s easy to understand why the hole is nicknamed “The Bear.”
“It’s basically all carry to the green because of the lake and the rock wall,” Derusseau said. “You either have to go for it or lay it up and try to get up and down for par. It’s just a very challenging hole.”
3) Quite the collection
As renowned as Legacy’s 18th hole is, its four par-3s (Nos. 5, 9, 11 and 17) might form one of the best sets in Pinehurst, being almost as challenging as they are scenic.
“On three out of the four, there’s water that’s very much in play,” Derusseau said. “They’re good, challenging par-3s. And visually, they’re all beautiful because you’re kind of up on an elevated tee and looking down to the green and you’ve got the lakes.”
Legacy underwent a renovation in the summer of 2011 that included the addition of a few sand traps. However, the most notable change was the course becoming the first in the Pinehurst area to convert its greens from bent grass to MiniVerde Ultra Dwarf Bermudagrass.
Since then, many prominent courses in the area have implemented MiniVerde or other varieties of Ultra Dwarf Bermudagrass.
“That was by far the best decision we’ve made,” Derusseau said. “I was a little skeptical at first just because I was so used to bent grass. …They have held up extremely well. Over the years, they’ve just gotten more receptive.”
5) Worth the money
Whether you’re booking a tee time for a random Saturday or looking to get away for a couple of days, Legacy offers a great value considering the course layout and conditions.
For an adult to play 18 holes with a cart from June 17-Sept. 15, it costs $49 Monday-Thursday, $59 Friday-Sunday and $39 after 3 p.m. From Sept. 16-Nov. 17, those rates increase to $69, $79 and $49, respectively.
Legacy Golf Packages offer one-, two- and three-bedroom condominiums and three- and four-bedroom houses within walking distance of the Village of Pinehurst. More than 30 partner courses are involved.
Multiple packages are available for the summer and fall, including the summer premier special – which includes two nights at a two-bedroom condo located on the Pinehurst Resort courses and three total rounds at Legacy, Tobacco Road Golf Club and Talamore Golf Resort for $283.00 per person.
“We don’t want to be looked at as a discount golf course by any means,” Derusseau said, “but we try to really price ourselves as, for the money, the best course you can play.”