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
Daily
Mar 5, 2021

3 Recipes for Lent from New Orleans’ Top Chefs

The Lenten season continues through April 3. This year, New Orleans’ top chefs share some Lent-friendly recipes for at-home dining.

Adventure Redefined: Volvo Overseas Delivery

Custom order your Volvo through the Overseas Delivery Program and receive round-trip airfare, hotel accommodations, and a personalized delivery at the Volvo Factory Delivery Experience in Gothenburg, Sweden. Your experience begins in Sweden with insurance and registration included, enabling you to drive your new Volvo throughout Scandinavia and Europe. Create the adventure of a lifetime with the program named Best Overseas Delivery four years running, and return home with the ultimate souvenir.

January/February 2021
Mar 5, 2021

Indulge in the Seductive Splendor Bora Bora

I had just taken off my sandals, stepping onto the white-sand beach for a late-morning walk to a secluded spot I heard about from a front desk clerk, when I glanced down and saw the time on my phone. It had just turned 11 a.m., which meant it was only 7 am back home, the perfect time to call and say good morning to by husband before he left for work. Not quite ready to head back to my room, I decided I’d test the WiFi signal and made the call as I continued walking toward the shoreline.

January/February 2021
Mar 4, 2021

Set Your Sights on San Antonio’s Art, Culture and Green Spaces

San Antonio celebrated 300 years of progress in May 2018. With a clear vision following that anniversary year, the Texan city set its sights firmly on 300 more. While commemorating this milestone, the city underwent a major overhaul to prepare for the next phase in its history.

Peace of Mind

IHG® Business Edge provides small- to midsized enterprises with benefits and confidence to navigate the evolving business travel environment.

Daily
Mar 4, 2021

SoJo Spa Club: Tranquility with an Urban View

When you think of a relaxing spa day, mountains, rivers and view of gorgeous landscapes pop in your head; a place to get away from the hustle and bustle of any city’s booming music and honking taxis. SoJo Spa Club and Hotel gives you the relaxing feeling of being away while still staying close to the busy center of Manhattan.

eFlyer Deals
Mar 3, 2021

Mackinac Island’s Grand Hotel’s Reopening Offers

Dance the night away with Grand Hotel’s Ballroom Dance offer, available May 16–18. Dancers of all skill levels will experience a diverse range of ballroom dance styles, alongside daily breakfast and dinner, a welcome reception and complimentary golf green fees.

Adventure Redefined: Volvo Overseas Delivery Program

Are you looking for a truly unique travel experience and considering a new vehicle? The Volvo Overseas Delivery Program is the perfect solution to create your own refined adventure of a lifetime. You can custom order your new Volvo, tailored to fit your needs and desires. They will fly you to Sweden to pick up your Volvo so you can drive and explore Scandinavia and Europe on your terms for up to two weeks.

eFlyer Lead
Mar 3, 2021

4 Travel Experiences for Women’s History Month

March marks Women’s History Month, and there are a number of ways to celebrate through travel. Here are just a few ideas to honor women in history.