In the fall of 1948, Lloyd Patrick (L.P.) Tate eloped with tobacco and textile heiress Anne Cannon Reynolds. Mrs Tate purchased 457 acres of the James Barber Estate on Midland Road in Southern Pines, NC. The Tates built and operated a horse training center and racetrack. L.P. named it Starland Farm, as he liked to think of his horses as stars. The entrance with its stone pillars and a Starland Farm sign was located on Midland Road just behind the #2 blue tee box of the present Longleaf golf course.
A 1974 photograph of Starland Farm shows a one-mile long track, which was built on a former steeplechase track, and a three-quarter mile turf race course with a show ring in the in the center. Today, some of the hedge and water jumps can still be seen on the #1 and #8 fairways and the #9 back tee. Portions of the Starland Farm track fence serve as a backdrop for the front nine holes.
L.P. Tate enjoyed training many thoroughbreds at Starland Farm. Up to thirty horses were stabled there during the winter season. The twenty-stall white stucco barn with its blue roof was designed by R.E. (Rassie) Wicker, a Pinehurst cartographer, historian and self-made engineer. A local Pinehurst builder, A.B. Sally, constructed the horse barn. As demand for space increased, Tate had additional stables built west of the barn. Among the horses trained at Starland Farm was the winner of the 1983 Preakness, Deputed Testimony whose picture hangs in the Longleaf clubhouse.
170 acres of the Club at Longleaf development were sold to Dan Maples, golf course architect, with the provision that he build and operate a golf course, including a clubhouse, driving range, tennis courts, swimming pool, and a pool house. Work in the 6600 yard 18 hole design began in February 1988 and its grand opening was held on November 4th of that year. The golf shop and cart storage were temporarily housed in the Tate horse barn until the present clubhouse was finished in early 1990. (Historical information provided by Jean Walker, longtime Longleaf member)