At Primland Resort, golf and life on the mountaintop is pretty great


Primland’s back nine is more demanding than the front, but it’s very fair. There are a few more target tee shots, like on the 11th and 15th holes, both short par 4s where a hybrid is a good play. The 16th hole is a mountain Cape hole, giving the player the option to take on as much gulch as possible or laying back to a wider landing area on the left.

The best green complex on the course, in my view, belongs to the par-5 17th. It’s not truly reachable at 550 yards, but a generous landing area gives the player a chance to take a poke at a somewhat blind second shot to a multi-tier green sloping hard right-to-left. Birdies are well-earned, but the hole offers options for every type of player.

The finisher is a great hole because it lets the player decide how they want to walk away from the course. The tee shot to the dogleg-right hole has plenty of width for a safer, shorter play. A longer player can blast away over the tree-filled corner and take on losing the ball with a big bailout. Pull off the drive, however, and you’re left with a short iron or wedge into a huge green complex going away from the player. It all ends in the shadow of the lodge, with fire pits blazing in several different places as onlookers can spy the final few strokes of your round. What a beautiful setting.

Before dinner, I went back to my room and finally took in the remarkable modern design. Lots of exposed wood. Lots of technology to make mood lighting a thing in every room. Whether you were watching TV, reading, taking in the view or trying to sleep, there was a setting for you. The bathroom apportionment was more than generous, with a large, two-head shower, a big tub and double sinks with beautiful slate flooring. The living room had comfortable, upscale-feeling furniture, and the natural light coming in from the windows was perfect. The king bed was comfortable and the bedside tables and lighting made me feel relaxed and pampered.

The resort’s food choices are fantastic, lending themselves to regional cuisine, including the best candied bacon I’ve ever had. The drinks are great, and you can get your hands on some of that legal moonshine they have in those parts. (It’s not as potent as the real white lightning, but it’ll do.)

Primland offers plenty more to do, including an excellent spa, a 24-7 indoor pool area, exercise space, hundreds of acres of trails, disc golf, sporting clays, RTVs and more. If you like the outdoors for more than golf, you’ll never feel like you don’t have something to do.

After a great night’s sleep and a fun morning round with assistant pro Craig Gunn, I had to head home. Then I remembered that I have almost no gas and that coasting some 13 miles down the mountain into town probably wasn’t going to end well. But they had me covered, getting me to some gas on property so I could go on my merry way. They didn’t have to do that, and it was greatly appreciated.

Next time I go to Primland, I want to experience it with my wife. My kids are a little too young to appreciate what the resort has to offer, so they can come when they get a little older. But for my wife and I, even without the golf course, Primland is a perfect retreat. It’s an ideal destination to recharge the batteries, get back in touch with simplicity and sit back and enjoy the view — of nature, of the stars and a little sliver of creation most people rarely get to see.

About the author


Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee is founder of Golf News Net and GolfTripX. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for over a decade, working for NBC Sports, Golf Channel, Yahoo Sports and SB Nation. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He used to be a good golfer. Sometimes he just wants to talk about where he wants to play golf today.

Ballengee can be reached by email at ryan[at]