FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Meadows Of Dan, VA, Primland Resort, Highland Course

Oct 1, 2011
2011 / October 2011
 

Primland Resort near Meadows of Dan, Va., is a pocket of opulence surrounded by 12,000 acres of wilderness. It’s a sportsman’s club, a golf retreat, a honeymoon haven and a luxurious hotel — an intriguing mix that has drawn me back many times since the resort’s Highland Course opened in 2006.

My most recent visit was this spring, when the golf course was so well groomed it could have hosted a PGA event, and the 27-room Lodge at Primland appeared ready to receive royalty. In the spacious, well-appointed rooms, drapes were pulled back to reveal mountain views from every perspective. Up in the Observatory, a high-powered telescope sat ready to spy on the stars and send stunning images to televisions throughout the Lodge.

On the ground floor, towels were folded just so on the edge of the chlorine-free indoor pool and hydrospa. Attendants were poised to administer rejuvenating natural treatments in the 8,134-square-foot spa, a tranquil place with a Native American theme. The chefs in the Lodge’s Elements restaurant and the rustic Stables Saloon had the freshest meats and seafood on hand, ready to prepare the finest French-inspired New American dishes.

Guides waited to take guests fishing (or hunting, in season), horseback riding or ATV-riding on 90 miles of wilderness trails. Or to experience the sporting clays range that Esquire called one of the top 25 in the nation.

What makes this level of activities, service and luxury so amazing is that the central Virginia resort is not exactly next door. Winston-Salem and Charlotte, N.C., are to the south, 58 and 120 miles, respectively. Washington, D.C., is 300 miles to the north. The only easy way to get here is by helicopter.

The late Didier Primat, founder of the resort, wanted Primland to be an eco-conscious retreat with world-class amenities. His family and staff continue to uphold his legacy. The Lodge, with its natural wood and stone exterior (all recycled), mimics the old stone structures that are indigenous to the Virginia hills and blends beautifully into its surroundings. Similar architecture was employed in the three fairway cottages, each with a kitchen and two bedrooms, vaulted wood ceilings with exposed beams, and stone fireplaces. On one visit, we stayed in a cottage with a private porch overlooking the 10th fairway. Another time, we stayed in one of the 15 older but no less luxurious cabins tucked into the woods along the ridge, with views of the valleys and mountains beyond. The cabins range from one to seven bedrooms, most with screened porches and gas fireplaces.

Most guests who experience Primland once are eager to return. This is especially true of golfers. Golf writers have gushed over The Highland Course since its opening, and this year it soared to No. 13 on Golf Digest’s Best Public Courses in America. It’s No. 1 in Virginia, a state not lacking in fine layouts.

Designed by renowned Scottish architect Donald Steel, the 7,034-yard course follows the crest of a ridge 2,850 feet above sea level. Almost every hole provides views of valleys and mountain ranges to the east and west.

“There is a remoteness about Primland, a sense of escape, that is special,” says Steel. “Golf courses have been built in every landscape imaginable, but only rarely on mountain peaks. Primland sits on top of the world, enjoying scenic views that stretch the vocabulary, and with a course design that is very different.”

Steel often allowed the terrain to provide natural hazards — cliffs and deep woods from which there is no escape — and spiced up an already stiff test with vast, Scottish-style bunkers. None are extraneous. The greens are large, with lots of undulations and a short-clipped fringe that invites balls to roll away. You must plan your strategy on every hole in order to arrive at a good position for your approach to the green — and have your putting well tuned.

“This course design has been a highlight of my career,” says Steel, “since its location, while strikingly obvious in hindsight, did not jump out at me after the first several site visits. But once I strode over the plateau, with views which reminded me of the highlands of Scotland, I knew this would test the mettle of golfers who want to play courses that would challenge the professionals.”

Hole 1

(536 yards, par 5)

The first hole is a portent of challenges — and scenery — to come. Doglegging through an opening in a rock ledge, the fairway slopes steeply to an angled green that falls away on three sides. Behind the green, the land cascades into the Dan River Gorge.

Hole 2

(195 yards, par 3)

Hopefully, the first hole has provided adequate warm-up, because you’ll need to uncork a do-or-die shot over a ravine to a green perched atop a steep hill. Land short, and your ball rolls a very long way back toward you. Get used to it; four of the course’s five par 3s require spot-on carries over trouble.

Hole 4

(149 yards, par 3)

A short hole, this one nevertheless requires accuracy to an undulating green. Just behind the green, with its large deck hanging over a sheer drop-off, is The Treehouse, a new one-bedroom aerie for adventuresome souls with no sleep-walking tendencies.

Hole 7

(494 yards, par 4)

Steel calls this “a hole that has everything — stunning views, an air of freedom, an inviting drive and a green that makes an attractive target but gives nothing away.” Pars have to be earned, due in large part to the fairway bunkers threatening any drives that stray even slightly.

Hole 10

(463 yards, par 4)

After the front nine’s gantlet of ravines and tilted, tree-lined fairways, the 10th bursts into an open field with distant mountain views. The dogleg sweeps right around a down-slope covered in tall grass. While the fairway looks like a big target, deep bunkers set into mounds on the right and on the left fringe are positioned to catch drives. It takes a good, long drive to be in position to carry the cross bunkers in front of the green and stick your ball on the slick putting surface. With good reason, it’s the No. 1 handicap.

Hole 13 (612 yards, par 5) 

The longest hole invites you to boom your drive without reservation, but the second shot must set you up clear of the tall pine tree for your approach. The green is 60 yards from front to back and maniacally contoured.

Hole 18

(484 yards, par 4)

It takes a well-hit and well-directed drive to reach the plateau on this fairway, which gives you a final spectacular mountain view to the right. From the plateau, it’s a downhill shot to a generous green.

The Highland Course Primland Resort
2000 Busted Rock Road
Meadows of Dan, VA 24120
tel 866 862 0476
www.primland.com

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

#globility

Insta Feed
December 2022
Dec 9, 2022

Hidden Gem: Discover Istanbul’s Vibrant Balat Neighborhood

The UNESCO World Heritage neighborhood of Balat rivals İstanbul’s Old City for its historic significance, with an added splash of color. Its cobbled hilly streets boast a full rainbow of houses, cafés, restaurants and churches painted in pinks, reds, oranges, yellows, greens and blues — parts even surpassing my native San Francisco’s steep, colorful corridors. The most vibrant stretch of homes, dating anywhere from 50 to 200 years old, runs along Kiremit Caddesi.

Discover a Journey Filled with Wonder in 2022

ISN’T IT TIME? It's time to treat yourself to the vacation you deserve, and Celebrity Cruises® offers the perfect escapes. With an award-winning fleet of ships that sail to more than 300 destinations around the world, Celebrity will take you almost anywhere you want to go in style. Enjoy stunning staterooms and suites, culinary experiences imagined by Michelin-starred chefs and intuitive service. Celebrity makes sure your vacation is effortless from the start, which is why drinks, WiFi and tips are Always IncludedSM on every sailing.

Daily
Dec 9, 2022

Icelandair Welcomes New North American Gateway: Detroit

Icelandair recently announced its newest North American gateway: Detroit, Michigan. The seasonal flights begin May 18, 2023, taking off from Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport to Reykjavik (KEF), Iceland. The four weekly, non-stop flights will run through Oct. 30, 2023. Flight 872 departs Detroit for Iceland Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, at 8:30 p.m., on a 160-seat Boeing 737MAX. The return, from Reykjavik to Detroit, departs 5 p.m. on the same days of the week, arriving at 6:25 p.m.

Daily
Dec 9, 2022

Winter Walking Trips with The Wilderness Group

If your personal travel nirvana involves fabulous scenery and a snappy, reviving hike in bracing winter air, Bannikin Travel & Tourism hopes to make your dreams come true with a selection of new winter walking itineraries in Scotland (other trip options are available in England and Ireland). Here’s what you can look forward to in 2023:

Hit the High Notes in Nashville

Nashville’s once-modest skyline continues to evolve as its luxury market grows. Lavish hotel properties are added to the landscape while acclaimed chefs stake claim in the robust culinary scene and premier cultural offerings round out the city’s repertoire.

Daily
Dec 8, 2022

The Hotel Das Rüebezahl on Tegelberg Mountain

As of November 2022, Rohrkopfhutte (mountain hut) on Germany’s Tegelberg mountain reopened, and the dream view from the terrace, of the castles of Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau and the stunning Schwangauer Alpsee, can be seen in the valley below.

Daily
Dec 7, 2022

Tel Aviv: The Perfect Winter Destination

Travelers constantly look for their next bucket-list vacation, but with Europe getting colder, why not travel to a destination that is sunny year-round? Tel Aviv is the perfect getaway to escape the  cold winter months. Whether traveling solo, with friends or family members, here are some must-do activities in Tel Aviv.

Discover Egypt in Total Luxury with World’s Most Eminent Archaeologists

THE MOST EXCLUSIVE TOURS OF EGYPT EVER OFFERED

eFlyer Reviews
Dec 7, 2022

Workshop Kitchen + Bar Review

Palm Springs became a destination of legend when Hollywood’s biggest and brightest during cinema’s “Golden Age” turned the desert community into their glamourous backyard. While restaurants and hotels epitomizing definitive Palm Springs luxury open, adapt and change with the times, it says something that one of its hottest restaurants sets up an outpost back in Los Angeles. And that’s exactly what chef Michael Beckman and restaurateur Joe Mourani did on the southern tip of the always-evolving Fairfax District.