The Mid South Club is a private, gated community located next to the Pinehurst Resort and its course is an early 1990s Arnold Palmer design that was renovated in 2017 to convert all the greens to Champion Bermuda grass.
Construction on the golf course began in 1988 and after the property changed hands it opened again in 1993 as Pinehurst Plantation. The club then went through several more changes in ownership (and a name change to Mid South in 2002) before Talamore Golf Partners acquired the layout and built the clubhouse in 2004.
Highlight holes include the par three 6th, requiring an all-carry tee shot over water to the green, the par five 9th, where the rock-fronted green sits behind more water, the long tree-lined par four 12th, and the par three 17th, playing uphill with no bailout areas to a severely contoured green.
Over the last decade living in the Carolinas, I lost track of the number of times members of my golf circle cited the Mid South Club among their two or three favorite courses in the state. During my first round there this summer, the course met the high bar set by these countless positive reviews.
The Mid South Club makes a strong first impression. Immediately, the golfer realizes they are in for a real treat when stepping foot on the driving range and practice green, presenting some of the fastest and most lush turf in the entire Pinehurst area. These conditions are central to Mid South’s memorability, enabling the numerous swales and collection areas scattered around green complexes to pose a serious strategic threat.
Like many other Arnold Palmer courses, Mid South Club tests all aspects of the player’s game. Holes differ significantly in length and frequently vary in their narratives, sometimes requiring an all-aerial approach, and other times welcoming run-up shots. Interestingly, the journey on each side of the course differs almost entirely.
The main storyline on the front is one of fantastically contoured fairways and elevation change. In fact, green complexes are not visible from the tee on any of the seven two and three shotters. The knolls situated in the ideal landing zones are beguiling for players of all abilities. On the dogleg right 2nd, a properly played fade might actually follow the sloping land behind a tree, blocking a view of the green. On the 4th, similar curvature may funnel a ball into a completely blind approach over a steep knob. At the 5th, the player must strategically land a drive on a downward slope that leads to a pond. At virtually all points in the round, the King demands precision and thoughtfulness.
The topography of the back nine is far more subdued with the opening four holes flowing over gentle terrain. At the 14th, the course abruptly bursts into a more prototypical Sandhills-style landscape which asks the player to navigate large waste areas to an island fairway. The risk-reward approach shot at the 15th is arguably the most memorable shot of the round. Going for the green in two at this par five is tempting but dangerous. A hard slope can be used to funnel balls down to the green, but only if the shot can avoid a virtually irrecoverable centerline bunker. An airborne approach is also an option, but it requires a hard hook that does not fly beyond the green and into a pond. The final holes all incorporate treacherous penalty areas.
The Mid South Club is technically a gated, private community, though it offers occasional daily-fee tee times through booking websites and area travel affiliations. For its membership, the facility provides an exceptionally varied experience; for visitors, a high-quality round with some of the finest conditions in the Sandhills. Balancing the needs of both clientele, the staff at Mid South provides wonderful hospitality and a memorable day on and off the course. The Mid South Club is more than deserving of its consistent, strong praise by virtually all rating bodies.