Golf was born in St. Andrews. But here's where it moved.
Okay, we had kind of a head start. A mild climate. Four distinctly beautiful seasons. Green everywhere you look. Sprinkle in communities-- large and small, urban and rural, covering just about every lifestyle and taste-- and you've got the perfect setting for a golf mecca here in the Triangle.
Our abundant arts and theater, national hockey, minor league baseball, collegiate sports, entertainment and restaurants are all well and good, but for real fanatics the draw is Pinehurst.
Walk in the cleat-tracks of Jack Nicklaus, Payne Stewart and other golf legends at the place that has hosted more championships than any other golf course in the country. Pinehurst is even welcoming both the U.S. Open and U.S. Women's Open Championships in 2014. And that's just one of the 43 courses in a 15-mile radius.
Not that there aren't other famed sports legends hailing from here. The name "Michael Jordan" might ring a bell. We're home to NCAA basketball champions, and our beloved Carolina Hurricanes won the Stanley Cup a few years back. A NHL All-stars game and Draft Night? Right here. And baseball great, 2010 American League MVP Josh Hamilton, was born in Raleigh.
Even Carrboro native James Taylor, though he may not be able to hit the sinking curveball quite the way Josh can, famously professed his love in the song, "Carolina in my Mind." Critically acclaimed, 11-million-record-selling anthems don't just get written about anyplace.
Whether you've got the CD handy or not, it's easy to understand what James is talking about. Sunshine, moonshine, geese in flight... we've got all that stuff. We've also got top-notch hotels and convention centers, though, with the capacity to bring in practically anybody and everybody who's ever had Carolina in mind. And they'll eat and sleep well during their stay, courtesy of our four-star hotels and wide variety of restaurants.
It's just a short drive to stunning N.C. beaches or blue-tinged mountains, too, so whether you're thinking sand or snow, you're covered. Gorgeous state parks, lakes, greenways, blueways (a.k.a. water trails), hiking trails, bike paths, dog parks... we're half-inclined to just stop writing this altogether and go outside right now.
But we're not done yet. Though the appeal here is undeniable, our cost of living doesn't really reflect that. Housing prices here are well below the national average - not to mention stable. That's a big benefit for local residents, as well as for the North Carolina companies that have chosen to locate their people here.
Why? For one reason, it's just plain easier for a business to relocate its executives and employees here. The growing companies in North Carolina already are similarly able to find all the talent they need to keep on innovating.
So the next time you see another one of those national (or worldwide) rankings, and you notice it places the Triangle among the very best places to live, work and play, just remember - it's a fact.
Now, if you'll excuse us, we've got a tee-off time coming up here shortly.