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Pine Needles Prepares for U.S. Women's Open

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SOUTHERN PINES — Never before in the history of theUnited States Golf Associationhad officials announced the tournament would return to the same location before the event was even over, until it happened for the first time in 1996 during the U.S. Women's Open at Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club.

Pine Needlesin Southern Pines is already preparing for the return of the U.S. Women's Open in May 2001, when topLPGAand women golfers descend on the rolling Donald Ross course.

A sprawling rustic lodge, Pine Needles not only has family appeal, but is also known across the country to be women-friendly.

"They love coming here because our golf schools are actually run by a woman and we're very woman-oriented," says Bonnie McGowan, director of golf.

The schools are run byLPGA legend Peggy Kirk Bell. In fact, Bell runs the resort, along with her daughters, son and extended family.

Pine Needles was one of the first places in the country to have an all-women's golf school. They call itGolfari.

And for those husbands who are now being beaten by their Golfari-graduated wives, former PGA touring pro Pat McGowan helps tune up a sputtering game.

With May 2001 just around the corner, preparation for the event has meant some major renovations and additions. Pine Needles is adding another lodge with eight rooms and a workout facility. The resort is also renovating some of the existing interiors.

There are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the lodge before the Open returns. However, U.S. Open week is already sold out.

Golfers can still drive into town to watch the event. Tickets go on sale in May.

Fans can also sign up to work the event and get a real bird's eye view. To volunteer for the May 2001 event, call(800) 222-8742.

For more information about the lodge, call(910) 692-7111.

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Susan Dahlin, Reporter
Bob Sadler, Photographer
Julie Moos, Web Editor

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