Need a break from your hectic life? In Central Alabama, one spot is packed with recreational options all tucked into 3,500 acres of grassy hills, green fields, and shady forest. Providing opportunities for tranquility and activity in equal measure, Pursell Farms offers world-class golf, shooting, and hunting or just relaxing with a good book in the quiet of the country. Add rustic-elegant accommodations, seasonal cuisine, and comforting hospitality, and you’ve got a serene Southern escape.
IN THE BEGINNING
Pursell Farms has been in the Pursell family for decades, and it began as a way for the family company, Pursell Technologies Inc., to sell its controlled-release fertilizer process to golf courses across the country. The company built a demonstration golf course on part of its farmland and brought potential customers like golf course superintendents to see its products in action. When the company was sold in 2006, the Pursell family kept the property and the golf course and created today’s pastoral playground.
The highlight of Pursell Farms is its 7,444-yard championship golf course, called FarmLinks. It’s been ranked the No. 1 public golf course in Alabama by GolfWeek multiple times (including in 2016) and is consistently ranked among Golf Digest’s top courses in the nation. The wide-open course is dotted with markers that share area history, aspects of the course’s environmentally friendly design, and pieces of the Pursell family story.
One tells the tale of Alabama-made marble. The tee box on hole No. 5 overlooks one of the area’s marble quarries, and a marker explains how a member of General Andrew Jackson’s militia actually discovered the deep vein of distinctive milky white marble while on their way to the Battle of Horseshoe Bend. This rare stone has been used in the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, and many other significant structures and is still highly prized today.
A highly-praised golf course isn’t the only thing Pursell Farms has going for it. Its Orvis Shooting Grounds opened in 2015 and offers Orvis Fly Fishing and Wingshooting Schools as well as guided hunts. It also features a state-of-the-art, fully automated sporting clays course. Twelve stations ring the bottom of Chalybeate Mountain and replicate shooting situations in both open and wooded settings. This partnership with Orvis, the country’s premier provider of outdoor adventures, has created only the second Orvis sporting destination in the United States.
Indulge in a rejuvenating and refreshing spa service at the resort’s recently opened The Spring House. The Marblestone Massage, named for the afore-mentioned Alabama marble, melts stress away.
Chef Andrea Griffith’s farm-to-table philosophy is more than appropriate at Pursell Farms and evident in her ever-changing menu focused on hearty, Southern foods prepared with the freshest, best ingredients she can find. That means sourcing from the resort’s onsite garden, which grows a wide array of vegetables, herbs, fruits, raising the farm’s own pigs, and making good use of other local producers and purveyors as well. Enjoy her culinary offerings at the resort’s restaurant, The Grille, or with in-room dining.
The accommodations at Pursell Farms range from charming cottages and cozy cabins to the historic Orvis Farm House, dating back to 1830, and the handsome—and, at 14,000 square feet, huge—Parker Lodge. They all have their own positives, but the cabins and cottages come with a bonus for golfers: they’re made for a foursome, with four bedrooms each and a den, and are arranged around a private putting green. The cottages include personal golf carts for use on the course and for driving around the property. In fall 2017 the resort will unveil its newest addition: the forty-room Inn at Pursell Farms that will include a pub, an upscale restaurant, and a pool with outdoor lounge.
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