WHERE TO STAY: The Pinehurst Hotel and Country Club (P.O. Box 4000, Pinehurst, N.C. 28374, 800-334-9560) has 310 rooms. A recreational package for three days and two nights during the prime seasons in 1985 (March 1-June 12 and Sept. 5-Nov. 13) is $214 per person per day, including breakfast, dinner and access to recreational facilities. The "social" package, or lodging with breakfast and dinner daily during the same periods, minus the sports, is $148 per person. During the summer months, the recreational package is $170 and the social package is $122. (Condominiums and villas near the hotel -- both lakeside and on the golf course -- also are available.)

There is a $20 additional charge per person for each round on the No. 2 course (which is sometimes closed during the summer). Golf carts are $9.50 per person, and caddy fees are $12 plus tip for each bag. Pinehurst Hotel guests are urged to arrange golf starting times up to 60 days in advance.

The Pine Crest Inn (Pinehurst, N.C. 28374, 919-295-6121) has 42 rooms with rates that vary depending on date. A recreational package of three days of golf and two nights' lodging in May is approximately $150 per person, double occupancy. The summer rate is $123. At both the hotel and the inn, there is a 15 percent service charge in lieu of tipping and a 4.5 percent state sales tax.

The package rate at the inn includes lodging, dinner, breakfast and all-day golf at area golf courses. Tee times for the six Pinehurst Country Club courses may be reserved only five days in advance, and the inn cannot guarantee access during peak demand weekends. Times on other area courses may be reserved 30 days in advance.

At the Magnolia Inn (P.O. Box 266, Pinehurst, N.C. 28374, 919-295-6900), the rooms have twin beds and private baths, and suites are available for groups. The rate is $14.50 per person per day, including breakfast. Children under 10 are free and those age 11 to 17 1/2 are half-price.

WHAT TO DO: Tufts Archives of the Given Memorial Library (Village Square, 919-295-3642) is open Monday to Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 2 to 5 p.m.

The World Golf Hall of Fame (P.O. Box 1908, Pinehurst, N.C. 28374, 800-334-0178) is open from early March through the end of November seven days a week, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $3 for adults, $2 for children age 10 and older and free for those under 10.

Other golf courses: There are 16 golf courses open to the public in the area. Three notable Ross-designed courses in nearby Southern Pines are: Mid Pines Resort (18 holes of golf and a Quality Inn), (919) 692-2114; Pine Needles Lodges and Country Club (18 holes of golf, and lodging), (919) 692-7111; and Southern Pines Country Club (27 holes of golf but no lodging), (919) 692-6551.

WHERE TO EAT (other than the hotels): Sleddon's Restaurant (275 South Bennett St., at the corner of Massachusetts Avenue, Southern Pines, 919-692-4480). Open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday, from 6 p.m.. Reservations are a must.

GETTING THERE: It takes approximately seven hours to drive to Pinehurst from Washington. Take I-95 to Fayetteville, N.C; go west on Rte. 24 to Rte. 401, then west to Raeford. From there, take Rte. 211 northwest to Pinehurst.

Piedmont and Eastern fly regularly from National Airport to the Raleigh-Durham airport, which is an hour and a half from Pinehurst. Round-trip fares vary from less than $100 (Supersaver) to nearly $300. The hotel will transport guests to and from the airport for a fee, depending on the number of people ($50 one way for one person).

Amtrak has a train leaving Washington daily at 3:05 p.m. and arriving in Southern Pines at 9:27 p.m. A train leaves Southern Pines each morning at 8:40, arriving in Washington at 3:30 p.m. The cost is $101 round trip and the hotel will supply transportation to and from the train station.