The grass really is greener on the other side of the fence!
The 2-1/2-mile fenced road that winds slowly through Pursell Farms gives you just a glimpse of the diversity of this charming property.
Along the way, you get a nod from a few Longhorn cattle grazing in the pasture, then a quick glimpse of the brilliant green fairways through a forest of hardwoods. A sign points to the clay shooting range. The beehives and the research and business center are tucked back in the trees, alongside the gardens used to produce farm to table meals.
Bass fishermen try their luck on Lake Christine, while hikers set off from the elegant lodge to wander the trails in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. That’s before you even reach the centerpiece of the property: FarmLinks Golf Club, Golfweek’s number 1 ranked public access course in Alabama.
The words immaculately groomed and pristine condition are overused to describe golf courses these days, but this is one course where the description fits to a tee – as a matter of fact, tee to green over this 7,444-yard, Hurdzan-Fry design championship golf course.
There is a reason for the immaculate grooming and first-rate conditions. This is a research and development course where golf course superintendents come from all over the country to be educated in the art and science of growing grass.
“I like to call it the Epcot of Golf, “ says CEO, David Pursell. The resort has hosted over 10,000 golf course superintendents from around the world since opening in 2003.
Nick Kearns, Director of Green and Grounds at The Oaks Club in Osprey, and president of the Suncoast Golf Course Superintendents Association has visited Pursell Farms twice for the educational experience. Kearns knows elite golf properties. Before The Oaks Club, he was superintendent at The Ritz-Carlton Members Club in Sarasota and an intern at Augusta National. Nick’s also worked the grounds crew for nine Masters Tournaments.
“The Pursells understand how to present a quality product.” said Kearns. “They are very detail oriented when it comes to the golf course. The service and food is first class, and the hospitality is wonderful.”
His experience at Pursell Farms left him feeling like he was treated as part of the family. “I’d definitely go back.”
The golf course is spread over 500 acres of the 3500-acre property with generous fairways and greens. The quality of the course is combined with spectacular holes that take advantage of the Appalachian foothills terrain. The 210-yard par-3 fifth, with its 170-foot vertical tee-to-green nose dive, is FarmLinks’ signature hole. It’s stop and stare dazzling.
Even after you hit the green, it’s hard to leave the tee and walk away from the panoramic views. But enticing vistas and challenging holes present themselves on every turn as you navigate through this peaceful property. It’s never boring, and finishes with a bang with an equally spectacular downhill, 196-yard 17th challenge across a lake to a sliver of a green in the shadow of the Parker Lodge.
You’ll savor the memories of the par 3’s as you finish with a par 5 that plays 616 yards from the tips with two giant oaks guarding the fairway. A generous but undulating green can make or break your round.
FarmLinks accepts daily tee times, but you’ll want to linger and explore the award-winning cuisine created by Chef Andrea Griffith at the Clubhouse Grille, or if you spend the night, a gourmet meal cooked in your cottage can be arranged.
A charter member of the Southern Living Hotel Collection, accommodations include rooms, suites, and private cabins and cottages each elegantly appointed and set up to to maximize views of the surrounding property.
There’s even a restored antibellum home that’s perfect for weddings and family gatherings.
Low key but high tech, the property also offers meeting space for corporate events and a golf academy with state of the art Trackman III for swing analysis. The school is headed by Layne Savoie who has coached both college and tour players.
Add this resort hideaway, steeped in Southern tradition and warm hospitality to your bucket list. It’s listed among Golf Digest’s Top 75 Resorts, and rated by The National Golf Foundation for highest customer-satisfaction rating by the organization for four consecutive years.
For more on exploring Pursell Farms, visit: pursellfarms.com or call 877-292-3276