Aside from the beautiful grounds and friendly people, Scotia Village offers a number of local courses around Scotland County and beyond that are easy to get to and a challenge for all skill levels. Resident John Cottingham provides his take on how the local courses measure up.

In North Carolina, it isn’t difficult to find beautiful golf courses all over the state. But in and around Laurinburg and the Sandhills, there are a few that have become favorites of the residents of Scotia Village.

“There are two fine courses close by that we play often,” says John.

The most popular course among the group is also the closest. Located within four or five miles of Scotia Village, Scotch Meadows Country Club is a formerly private club that is now open to the public. “It was built during the depression and designed by Donald Ross,” he says. Donald Ross was a celebrated golf course designer responsible for the creation of some of the most popular courses in North Carolina.

Scotia Village residents enjoy a reduced rate to play the course and conditions are good for play nearly year-round.

Next on the list is about 12 miles up highway 501 toward Pinehurst. “Deercroft Golf Course was built in the early 1980s and it’s my favorite course,” says John. “Year round the greens hold up nicely.” John pointed out that most players play from the forward tees to make the course more accessible. He also says that Scotia Village residents can play for a discounted rate here, as well.

Most of the regular golfers at Scotia pay for an annual discount card called the Sandhills Golf Capital Card that provides reduced rates to 14 different courses in the area, with discounts depending on the season. Other popular courses include Legacy Golf Links in Aberdeen, which was designed by Jack Nicholas, and Bayonet at Puppy Creek in Raeford, near Fayetteville. Both courses are a bit farther away but well worth the drive.

But you don’t have to leave campus to get in a little golf. “The campus has a fine nine-hole putting course,” says John. You can practice your putting stroke any time or join Scotia’s putting league if you’re interested in a little friendly competition. Speaking of competition, Scotia Village also fields two teams in the PHI Olympics golf tournament every year. The community won three years ago and tied for second in 2019.

The golfers at Scotia Village have a standing tee time every Thursday morning at 9 AM at Scotch Meadows. No need to reserve a spot. Players show up when they can, both men and women, typically enough to fill two foursomes. Skill levels vary with the best golfers having around a 15 handicap. “I play as much as I can. I have a goal to play twice a week and we can pretty much play all year,” John explains.

John seldom played golf until he retired in 2000 after serving for 30 years in the U.S. Army as a chaplain, including tours of duty in Vietnam and Operation Desert Storm. He picked up the game as he took on interim work as a United Methodist Minister. He grew up in Laurinburg and returned after the Army to be close to family. His mother was a resident at Scotia Village and, over time, he knew many friends who moved to the community.

John and his wife Anita moved to Scotia in 2017, into a three-bedroom villa. John adds, “Scotia Village is the best deal going. Our villa is very spacious and fits all of our needs. We’ve been very pleased.”

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