Local News

Pinehurst area could get more golf courses

Posted September 24, 2009 7:06 p.m. EDT
Updated September 24, 2009 8:31 p.m. EDT

— The economy may still be struggling, but plans are in the works for another large-scale golf community outside of the world-renowned golf mecca of Pinehurst.

A gated community called Pine Forest is slated for about 1,650 acres along N.C. Highway 211 a few miles west of Pinehurst. The development would have about 600 homes, a 100,000-square-foot retail center and two championship golf courses.

"I don't think it's needed. I think it's overkill for this area," said Mike Hopkins, whose property abuts the proposed development.

The Pinehurst area already has 43 golf courses, according to the Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen Area Convention & Visitors Bureau.

"There's enough holes, if you lined them back to back, to play all the way to the Raleigh-Durham (International) Airport," said Beverly Stewart, director of sales for the visitors bureau.

Stewart called plans for Pine Forest ambitious in an economy that's been below par for the past year.

"I think it's also smart because, if the economy does turn around, he's going to have a huge tract of land that he can probably put two golf courses out there," she said.

"He must surely have some deep pockets is all I can figure," Hopkins said.

Developer Bob Hansen of MHK Ventures said he has modified his plans to address local concerns, especially traffic. He said he plans to invest $3 million to run a water line from neighboring Montgomery County to the project because of ongoing water shortages in Moore County.

He submitted the plans this week to the Moore County Planning Board.

The state Department of Transportation plans to widen N.C. 211 from two to four lanes in the future, officials said.

The planning board is expected to review the plans in November. It's unclear when the Moore County Board of Commissioners would vote on the project.